Montana Tech Announces Uuno Sahinen Silver Medallion Awardee

The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology at Montana Tech has named Betty Ann Lindberg Skipp as the recipient of the 2016 Uuno Sahinen Silver Medallion. The award is named after former Bureau Director, the late Uuno Sahinen, who is widely recognized for the Bureau’s growth. The Uuno Sahinen Award acknowledges “outstanding contributions in understanding and development of energy, mineral, or groundwater resources in Montana” and is given to an outstanding geologist each year. The award will be presented to Lindberg at the university’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2016.

Betty Ann Lindberg Skipp was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 7, 1928. She graduated from Maine Township High School in 1945 and Northwestern University in 1949. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1948. At Northwestern, she majored in mathematics with a minor in geology, but soon came to realize that geology was her real interest. This came about because Robert M. Garrels was her freshman advisor, and the faculty hosted an outstanding array of professors including Lawrence L. Sloss, and W. C. Krumbein.

Betty applied for and received a graduate scholarship from the University of Colorado. In 1951 she married James M. Skipp and she has one son, Gary Lindberg Skipp, also a geologist with the USGS. She received an MS in 1956 and a PhD much later in 1985.

Betty began work for the U.S. Geological Survey in 1952 as an assistant to Clyde Polhemus “Hoss” Ross. She had her first field “lessons” working with Clyde in south-central Idaho. Clyde became a quiet champion and Betty was assigned to map the Maudlow Quadrangle in southwestern Montana on her own - by default. The project originally was assigned to four women geologists whom James Gilluly had on his roster and didn’t know what to do with. After Maudlow, she was fortunate to be assigned additional geologic quadrangle mapping in southwestern Montana, and then on to the Paleotectonic map project and south-central Idaho.

Betty has published 25 geologic maps of western Montana and south-central Idaho. She has one more Montana map in the works. Her career has also included work on the Carboniferous Paleotectonic map project (Great Basin), the landslide map of the U.S., and the Enewetak Drilling Program. She proposed a zonation for mid-Carboniferous smaller calcareous foraminifers in the Redwall Limestone of Arizona, and was a member of the international committee that established the type section for the mid-Carboniferous boundary in Nevada. She has a foramineral genus, Skippella, named for her.

Betty is emerita with the USGS, a member of the Tobacco Root Geological Society, the Colorado Scientific Society, and a senior Fellow with the Geological Society of America.