Skip to content

In Memoriam

Dr. Merrill RiddDr. Merrill Ridd, emeritus professor of Geography, passed away on April 28, 2024, at 91 years old.

Professor Ridd graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in 1954 and MS in 1960, and received his PhD from Northwestern University in 1963. After serving in the Korean War, Ridd was the project leader of Multiple Use Research at the U.S. Forest Service Intermountain Experiment Station, Ogden, Utah from 1962 to 1965. From 1965 to 1967, he was associate director and editor of the Earth Science Curriculum Project for the National Science Foundation, culminating in Investigating the Earth, a secondary school textbook and laboratory manual, while conducting workshops for teachers and professors in the West, Washington D.C. and Bangalore, India. He served on the faculty of the Geography Department, University of Utah from 1967 until his retirement in 2004, and as Geography chair from 1971 to 1979. Having a background in geography, geology, and ecology Dr. Ridd was the lead-off instructor of the five professors who introduced the Environmental (& Sustainability) Studies program at the University of Utah.

In 1975 Professor Ridd established the Center for Remote Sensing and Cartography with funding from NASA, conducting and publishing research as a training ground for over 45 graduate student advisees. He published over 70 technical papers and reports, many with students as lead author, and was the author or editor of several books on geography and earth science education. Some of his most impactful research was his pioneering work on remote sensing of urban environments. After retiring, Professor Ridd established a scholarship that has supported several undergraduate students in Geography over the years.

Last Updated: 4/30/24