William E. Glassley

William E. Glassley | July 1, 1947 – March 19, 2023

Our beautiful blue planet lost one of her finest champions when Bill Glassley died unexpectedly on March 19th in Copenhagen, Denmark. A man of boundless energy, curiosity, humor and humanity, Bill will be missed by all who knew him. Bill was born and raised in Ventura, CA; his early love of surfing inspired his lifelong love of the natural world. His subsequent careers as a geologist, educator and natural history writer all drew energy from his belief that a
fundamental essence of our humanity resides in the wilderness. Bill graduated from the University of California, San Diego and received his PhD from the University of Washington, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in Oslo, Norway. As a passionate young educator in the Middlebury College Geology Department, his creative lectures often drew standing room only audiences. Over his lifetime, he had a myriad of academic affiliations which included the University of California, Davis and Aarhus University in Denmark, Lawrence Livermore National Labs and the California Institute for Energy and Environment. Bill's curious mind and open spirit led him to collaborate for over 30 years with Danish colleagues researching the geologic history of Greenland. The expeditions he took to Greenland inspired Bill to write A Wilder Time: Notes from a Geologist at the Edge of the Greenland Ice, which won the 2019 Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Natural History Writing and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, and was short-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize.

Bill was a longstanding pioneer and advocate for expanding geothermal energy and spent a significant part of his career advancing geothermal technology and policy and educating the next generation of geothermal scientists and engineers as faculty and the Executive Director of the California Geothermal Energy Collaborative at UC Davis. He also wrote a textbook on geothermal energy, which, in its 2nd edition, continues to be an important text for the
renewable energy world. At the time of his death, Bill had just completed his third book, a collection of essays

Bill leaves behind his daughter, Nina Milburn Glassley and his wife, Lyn Feakes aswell as his beloved pup, Iz.

Bill gave a thoughtful and inspired lecture on the importance of preserving wilderness based on his Greenland research in 2016 at the College of the Atlantic. It can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qNknrXXBv4