Dr. Donald E. Hattin, professor emeritus of Geology at Indiana University, 87, beloved husband and cherished father, passed away June 24, following an acute cerebral hemorrhage.
The son of Edward Hattin and Una W. Hattin, Don was born in 1928 in Cohasset, Massachusetts, and grew up in the neighboring seaside town of Scituate, where he maintained lifelong friendships. As a boy, Don was never at a loss for something interesting and exciting to do. During his adolescent years in Scituate, he was a very proud and active Eagle Scout, worked at a local produce farm, a small grocery store, and with lobster fishermen. These experiences provided a lifetime of skills and never ending stories. Many of them were retold in his book, Tales of a New England Boyhood. While in high school he met and fell head over heels in love with Marjorie Elizabeth Macy, who remained the love of his life
Don began his college studies in 1946 at the University of Massachusetts, where he graduated with a B.S. degree in 1950. In 1950, he studied stratigraphy and paleontology at the University of Kansas, earning a master’s degree and Ph.D. in 1954 under the tutelage of his mentor, Raymond C. Moore. In 1954, Don joined the faculty of Indiana University as an assistant professor of Geology. He taught for one year before being called to active duty during the Korean conflict. Serving as a Lieutenant in the US Air Force, Don was assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. He was later transferred to the Icing Research Establishment on Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, and eventually attained the rank of Captain. He returned to Indiana University in 1957.
In 1960, he was named associate professor of Geology and, in 1967, received tenure and became professor of Geology. He continued teaching at IU until his retirement in 1995. During his career at Indiana University, Don authored or co-authored over 100 scientific publications on numerous topics ranging widely across his fields of study. His knowledge of chalk deposits in Cretaceous strata around the world led him to be affectionately known as "Dr. Chalk." Don was involved in the naming of a fossil genus and 13 species during his career, and was also extremely honored to have a genus and five species named after him (Cretalamna hattini).