NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma family mourns the loss of a distinguished member with the death Tuesday of Charles Mankin, former director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey. He was 80.
Mankin came to the University of Oklahoma in 1959 as an assistant professor and was commissioned by OU’s longest-serving president, George Lynn Cross, to serve as director of the School of Geology and Geophysics in 1963.
In 1967, Mankin became director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, maintaining this role until his retirement in 2007. He is believed to be the longest-serving director of any state geological survey in the country.
“Charles Mankin’s record of service to the Oklahoma Geological Survey will never be surpassed,” OU President David Boren said Wednesday. “With half a century of leadership of the Survey, Dr. Mankin has left a lasting influence in the field of energy in our entire country.
“The university family will never forget his dedication to generations of students,” Boren said.
Upon his induction into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame, The Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society called Mankin an “enrichment to the state and nation.”
In addition to his leadership in Oklahoma, Mankin also served as president or vice president of national organizations including the Association of American State Geologists, the American Geological Institute, the Mid-Continent Section of the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, and the American Institute of Professional Geologists.
“Charles played a key role in pushing through the National Geologic Mapping act, which addressed how far behind the U.S. was in geologic mapping,” current OGS Director Randy Keller said.
“We use a term in geology, ‘type locality,’ which means standard of reference, and Charles was the type locality of state geologists,” Keller said.
Services for Mankin will be 3 p.m. Monday at First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster Ave. in Norman. Arrangements are by Havenbrook Funeral Home.