In Memoriam: Jared R. Morrow

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of our friend and colleague Dr. Jared R. Morrow

Below the Alamo Breccia
Jared Morrow and his students working on the Alamo Breccia, Utah

Jared MorrowIt is with deep sadness that the Department of Geological Sciences must report the passing of friend and colleague Jared R. Morrow. Morrow lost his battle with cancer on Oct. 7.

About Morrow

Morrow received his bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University, master’s degree from Washington State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

He came to SDSU in the fall 2006 from the University of Northern Colorado and taught core undergraduate courses in sedimentology and stratigraphy, along with graduate courses in basin analysis.

Successful research career

“Jared’s vigorous and successful research career involved many students and centered on the geological record of meteorite impacts,” said David Kimbrough, chair of the Department of Geological Sciences.

“Key aspects of the physical and biological evolution of Earth are ascribed to impact events and Jared was at the forefront of research in this area.”

Serving the professional community

Morrow also provided strong support to the professional community by serving as vice-chair and chair of the North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature, an associate editor of the journal Palaios and board member for the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society Grants-in-Aid of Research, among other things.

He was an honored and respected colleague and will be deeply missed. Morrow is survived by his wife Robin.


Alumni Joe El Adli honors his undergraduate advisor Jared Morrow by naming the discovery of a new species of the extinct baleen whale after him, Herpetocetus morrowi

Artistic reconstruction of Herpetocetus morrowi sp. nov.
Artistic reconstruction of Herpetocetus morrowi sp. nov. in the late Pliocene Pacific Ocean off southern California. The fish depicted in the upper left is a sheephead (Semicossyphus sp. Ayres, 1854), known from otoliths and isolated teeth from the San Diego Formation (illustration by Robert Boessenecker).


  • Ph.D., Geology, University of Colorado-Boulder, May, 1997. Advisors: E.G. Kauffman and D.L. Eicher. Title: ‘Shelf-to-basin event stratigraphy, conodont paleoecology, and geologic history across the Frasnian-Famennian (F-F, mid-Late Devonian) boundary mass extinction, central Great Basin, western U.S.’
  • Fulbright Graduate Research Scholar, 1993-1994
  • M.S., Geology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, December, 1989. Advisor: G.D. Webster
  • B.A., Geology, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California, August, 1983

Research Interests:

  • Middle Paleozoic depositional history and event stratigraphy, central Great Basin and Western
  • Europe; geologic record of bolide impacts; patterns and processes of the mid-Late Devonian
  • (F-F) mass extinction.

Research Projects:

  • Devonian to Early Carboniferous sequence and event stratigraphy, central Great Basin and Western Europe
  • Geological record of bolide impact deposits, including the sedimentary geology, conodont biostratigraphy, and depositional history of deep-water offshore and shallow-water onshore deposits, early Late Devonian Alamo Impact Event, Nevada and Utah
  • Facies development, biotic turnover, and geochemistry of the F-F mass extinction interval

Selected Publications:

  • Morrow, J.R., 2006, Impacts and mass extinctions revisited: PALAIOS, v. 21, p. 313-315.
  • Morrow, J.R., Sandberg, C.A., and Harris, A.G., 2005, Late Devonian Alamo Impact, southern Nevada, USA: Evidence of size, marine site, and widespread effects: Geological Society of America Special Paper 384, p. 259-280.
  • Morrow, J.R., and Sandberg, C.A., 2003, Late Devonian sequence and event stratigraphy across the Frasnian-Famennian (F-F) boundary, Utah and Nevada, Chapter 10, in Harries, P.J., ed., High-Resolution Approaches in Stratigraphic Paleontology: Kluwar Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, p. 351-419.
  • Morrow, J.R., 2000, Shelf-to-basin lithofacies and conodont paleoecology across Frasnian- Famennian (F-F, mid-Late Devonian) boundary, central Great Basin (western U.S.A.): Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg 219, Frankfurt a.M., 57 p.
  • Morrow, J.R., Sandberg, C.A., and Ziegler, W., 1999, Recognition of mid-Frasnian (early Late Devonian) oceanic impacts: Alamo, Nevada, USA, and Amönau, Hessen, Germany, in Gersonde, R., and Deutsch, A., eds., Oceanic Impacts: Mechanisms and Environmental Perturbations: Berichte zur Polarforschung 343, Bremerhaven, Germany, p. 66-69.
  • Morrow, J.R., Sandberg, C.A., Warme, J.E., and Kuehner, H.-C., 1998, Regional and possible global effects of sub-critical Late Devonian Alamo Impact Event, Southern Nevada, USA: Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, v. 51, p. 451-460.