Norman Ethan Allen Hinds (1893-1961)
Norman Ethan Allen Hinds was born in Denver, Colorado, on July 5, 1893. He was the son of William Richardson Hinds and Isabella Eugenia Andrus Hinds. He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado in 1914. In the summers of 1911 and 1913 he had been a field assistant on the Colorado Geological Survey, thus early adopting geology as a career. Upon graduation he became assistant geologist on the Survey, where he remained until 1917. He then entered Harvard University as an Assistant in Geology and Geography, but his student career was interrupted by the war. He served as second lieutenant in the Air Force in France during 1918-19. Returning to Harvard, he received his master's degree in 1920. He then proceeded to the Hawaiian Islands to make field studies for his doctor's thesis. During this period he was successively Sheldon Travelling Fellow, Research Associate (Bishop Museum), and Yale-Bishop Museum Fellow. Returning to Harvard in 1922, he became Instructor in Geology and Geography for a year, and received the Ph.D. degree in 1924.
In 1923 he became Assistant Professor of Geology at the University of California, where he remained until his retirement as Professor of Geology, Emeritus, in 1959.
Professor Hinds' great interests were in the fields of geomorphology and pre-Cambrian geology. The latter was an outgrowth of his extreme interest in the Grand Canyon region. Of his works we might cite The Late Pre-Cambrian of North America, XVII International Geological Congress, Moscow (1937); Evolution of the California Landscape, California State Division of Mines Bulletin 158 (1954); Geomorphology, Prentice-Hall (1943); and Climatic Fluctuations in Arid Regions During Late Earth History, UNESCO Arid Zone Program (1952). He was widely known as a fluent and clear writer, and all his works were beautifully illustrated.
But it is as a teacher that most people always thought of him. He was a magnetic lecturer. The size of his classes in Geology 1 was limited only by the capacity of Wheeler Auditorium--and not completely by that, for he could count on fifty absences a day and enroll fifty more than the room can seat. He liked to speak for the first ten minutes of the hour's lecture on the state of the nation or on athletics. He was most liberal of his time in advising students; after an examination in Geology 1 there would be lines of students at his door. As the result of generations of large classes, enthralled by Hinds, he was widely known throughout the State. When other members of the Geology Department travel about, they frequently are asked by businessmen and housewives, "How is Professor Hinds? He gave me a lifelong interest in the landscape about me."
Another salient feature of his life was his affection for the Indians of New Mexico. He advised them on water problems, represented them in contacts with the government, and helped with the knotty problem of their ages during the draft in World War II. He was initiated into membership of the Tesuque Tribe and was a member of the tribal council, which gave him the privilege of "descending into the kiva," a signal honor in the tribe. In middle life he became a Roman Catholic, and, although he never married, he adopted a son from the Tesuque Tribe. His son resided with him in Berkeley.
Professor Hind's happy times were in the summers when he roamed the southwest. But in winters the card table at the Faculty Club gave him much pleasure, and if one were to believe him, some profit.
Professor Hinds had been troubled by his heart for the last few years, and on June 26, 1961, succumbed to it. He is survived by his son, Patrick, and two grandchildren.
In Memoriam written by P. Byerly, C. G. Higgins, L. B. Simpson