People In Memory
erle kauffman
time Excellence in Systematic Paleontology from the Pa-
Dr. Erle Kauffman
leontological Research Institution. Additionally, Erle was
Born: February 9, 1933
recognized with The Society for Sedimentary Geology’s
Died: December 16, 2016
W.H. Twenhofel Medal for Outstanding Contributions and
Erle Galen Kauffman, 83,
Professor Emeritus, Earth
and Atmospheric Scienc-
es at Indiana University,
died peacefully at home
December 16, 2016 after a
long illness.

Honored for his many
contributions to the Geo-
logical and Paleontological sciences, Erle also was acknowl-
edged as a master teacher, researcher and mentor, advanc-
ing the education of many through his passion for learning,
rigorous science, and generosity of ideas. Erle held an aca-
demic position at IUB since 1996.

Born and raised in the Washington DC area, Erle received his
undergraduate and graduate education at the University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor, and was awarded a Doctorate in Geo-
logical Sciences in 1961. Subsequently, Erle built a 20 year
career with the US National Museum, Smithsonian Institu-
tion, where he ultimately held the position of Full Curator,
Department of Paleobiology. During that tenure, Erle also
served as Adjunct Professor of Geology, George Washing-
ton University, Washington DC. From 1980 to 1996, Erle was
Professor and later Chair (1980-1984), in the Department of
Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Erle received many honors, both as scientist and educator.

He was recognized with an Honorary Master of Science
from Oxford University, England (1970), where he was a Vis-
iting Professor, and an Honorary Doctor of Natural Sciences
in 1987 from Georg-August-Universitat, GÖttingen, Germa-
ny, and in 1986 as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar to Australia.

In 1991 the Society for Sedimentary Geology awarded Erle
the R.C. Moore Medal for Excellence in Paleontology, and in
1997 he was honored with the Gilbert Harris Award for Life-
66 | hgr
Sustained Excellence in Sedimentary Geology in 1998,
and more recently with the Paleontological Society’s Med-
al for Advancement in Knowledge in Paleontology in 2014.

Erle was a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the
Paleontological Society, and the American Association
for the Advancement of Science. He served in leadership
roles in many of the professional organizations of which he
was a member, notably as President of the Paleontological
Society, and Vice President of the International Paleonto-
logical Association.

Erle lived life fully and with great heart, exploring, adven-
turing, playing as hard as he worked. His love of the Rocky
Mountains drew him both professionally and personally.

Erle was an experienced hiker, backpacker, climber, skier
and an avid fly fisherman, and these adventures were an
integral part of the family life he shared with his beloved
wife and colleague Claudia Johnson, his former wife Caro-
lyn Kauffman, and their children Donald, Robin and Erica.

Erle was an accomplished banjo player, and was known,
particularly by his students, for gatherings famous for
good food, good wine, good music, good conversation and
camaraderie. Erle is survived by his wife of 27 years Claudia C. Johnson;
his three children: Donald (Kathleen) of Sydney, Australia,
Robin of Paonia, CO, and Erica (Jim) Lancaster of Atlanta,
GA; six grandchildren: Shelley, Christopher, Anna, Tucker,
Tate, and Reed; former wife Carolyn (Stinebower) Kauff-
man of Redstone, CO; and his sister Christina Kauffman
of Boulder, CO. Erle was preceded in death by his parents:
Erle B. Kauffman and Paula V. (Graff) Kauffman.

To honor Erle’s legacy, please consider donating to the
Erle G. Kauffman fund at the Paleontological Society, the
Erle Kauffman Paleobiology Fund at the Department of
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Indiana University, or to
Indiana University Health Hospice.