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Washington State University

Culver Study Memorial Museum

Dedicated to the Memory of Harold Eugene Culver (1883-1970)


Dr. Culver was born in 1883 at Vermillion, Dakota Territory. He received his Ph.B. in 1910 and his Ph.M. in 1911 at the University of Wisconsin, where he had studied with C.K. Leith and W.J. Mead. From 1912 to 1919 he was a geologist with the Washington Geological Survey and a teacher at the University of Washington. He then became Head of the Coal Division of the Illinois Geological Survey. In 1923 he was awarded the Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago, where he had worked with such luminaries as Salisbury, Chamberlin, and Johannsen.

In 1925, he came to Pullman as Head of the Department of Geology, Washington State College and Supervisor (State Geologist) of the Washington Division of Mines and Geology, both located in Morrill Hall. After retiring in 1950, he served for two years as Senior Advisor and Professor at the University of the Philippines.

The Memorial includes rock and mineral specimens in the cabinets and the large display room opposite the elevators (which also houses the Jacklin Collection) on the first floor of Webster Physical Sciences building. Most of the specimens in the cabinets in the lobby of the building were sent to WSU. by Dr. Culver’s former students in recognition of his contribution to their later success in many fields of geology. More than 100 specimens, as well as funds for the cabinets, were sent in by alumni.

The Memorial serves to emphasize the world-wide activities of professional geologists who received their early training at WSU. As the Memorial also stimulates interest in geology among students and the general public, we know that the donors will be pleased to learn that their gifts have an educational value of which their former teacher would surely have approved.

Just a few of the unique items on display…

Sabor cat fossil

Sabor Tooth Cat (Smilodon californicus)

Dire Wolf fossil

Dire Wolf skull

reptile fossil

Dimetrodon (Unique Reptile)