Dr. Young was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on June 29, 1943. He attended elementary schools in New York state and Gainesville, Florida and graduated from Gainesville High School in 1961. Dr. Young received a B.S. in Geology, with High Honors, in 1965 from Wesleyan University, and his M.S. in Geophysics in 1968 from Stanford University.
Roger began his professional career in geophysics at Mobil Oil in Dallas shortly after graduation from Stanford. He married his high school sweetheart, Frances Anne Bovee, on November 3, 1968 in Topanga Canyon, California and they resided in Dallas for a short time before he was drafted into the army in January 1969. He received a direct commission after basic training and served in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at the U.S. Army Map Service (then TOPOCOM) and then in Vietnam. After his discharge in early 1972 he and Frances traveled for a number of months in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada before he began graduate studies at the University of Toronto.
He received his Ph.D in Physics (Geophysics) in 1979 from the University of Toronto. He was a Research Geophysicist with Phillips Petroleum from 1979 to 1982 and Senior Research Geophysicist from 1982-1986. He was a Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia from 1986-1990. He came to OU's School of Geology and Geophysics as an Associate Professor in 1990. He held positions in, and received awards from many international geophysical societies. He was an active researcher who published numerous papers, and in recent years became best known for his work in near-surface geophysics. Many M.S. and Ph.D. students completed their degrees under his direction. He was Director of the Shell Crustal Imaging Facility for many years. In 2008, he received the Stubbeman-Drace Presidential Professorship, given to outstanding faculty selected on the basis of teaching, willingness to mentor, and dedication to research, creative activity and service. This description of the basis for awarding these Presidential Professorships summarizes Dr. Young's career at OU perfectly. Roger loved camping and hiking and particularly enjoyed his field work with students and colleagues. Music, especially classical and international folk music, always gave him great pleasure. He joined Frances in International folk dancing and playing the piano was a lifelong pursuit.
Roger was preceded in death by his mother, Helen Chamberlain Young. He is survived by his wife, Frances Anne Bovee Young; his father, Dr. John A. Young; sisters, Lise Colgan and husband, Fred; Marjorie Baugh and husband, Ed; brothers-in-law Gregory J. Bovee and wife, Nancy; Matthew W. Bovee and wife, Alison; mother-in-law, Maezene Anderson; three nieces, five nephews, four grand-nephews, one grand-niece as well as an uncle and many cousins in Connecticut.
A memorial service was held on Friday, October 23, 2009, in the OU Memorial Student Union.
If you would like to donate a monetary gift in honor of Dr. Young, please make the check payable to University of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc. and reference fund #42382 Roger Young. Checks should be sent to the attention of Nancy Leonard, ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics, 100 East Boyd Street, Suite 710, Norman, OK 73019. The Dr. Roger A. Young Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund will be used for scholarships/fellowships for CPSGG students. Preference for graduate student in geophysics. However, money can be awarded to any student (Fall, Spring, or Summer Field Camp) who attains and maintains a 3.5 GPA. Because of Dr. Young's love of summer field camp, the fund may also be used to pay for the operational and upkeep expenses related to summer field camp.