Montana State University

Earth sciences to hold Dec. 9 open house for holidays, Custer retirement

November 30, 2011 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - Montana State University's Department of Earth Sciences will hold an open house on Friday, Dec. 9, to celebrate the holiday season and honor department head Steve Custer who is retiring after 35 years at MSU.

The open house will run from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in the Traphagen Hall conference room.

Custer will retire on Dec. 31. He came to MSU in September 1976 and served 13 years as head of the earth sciences department. He served from 1983 to 1991 and 2007 to 2011.

Under Custer's leadership, the department saw an increase in undergraduate enrollment and success in the master's and doctoral programs. The department added a doctoral program in the early 2000s, and the first doctoral students graduated under Custer. The master's enrollment also increased by 50 percent during Custer's service.

The curriculum has grown to include snow sciences, geographical information systems, geohydrology and several specialties in geology.

Custer received the MSU President's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004 and the Montana Waters Legend Award in 2000 from the Montana Chapter of the American Water Resources Association. He is regularly asked to consult on water issues by government officials and members of the Montana Legislature.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or