William Size

Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences

Office: 400 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322

Phone: 404-727-0203

Fax: 404-727-4448

Email: wsize@emory.edu


I was born in Chicago, Illinois shortly after our family moved from Cincinnati, Ohio. Although I did not know it at the time, both places were great geological localities. I grew up collecting chunks of chalk and fossils as if they were buried treasure. I really did not connect with geology until I started my freshman year at Northern Illinois University in 1961 and met with my advisor. He suggested that geology would bring together my interests in math and science. The rest is history. Geology was exactly what I was looking for. I finished at NIU with a BS in Geology in 1965 and stayed on for an MS (1967). My thesis area was just north of Yellowstone Park where I mapped and worked out the petrologic history of a volcanic center that erupted rock into Yellowstone. I continued in geology at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana for my PhD. I was fortunate to have been assigned as a teaching assistant to a professor who would become my mentor. My research again involved mapping sub-volcanic rocks, this time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This research lead towards my bigger goal of trying to understand how continents evolve by examining the chemical characteristics of igneous rocks. I completed my doctorate in June, 1971, and two months later was in Honolulu at the University of Hawaii as a visiting professor. I spent a year in the Department of Geology and Geophysics teaching and doing research on Mauna Kea volcano on the Big Island. I started at Emory University in 1973 in the Department of Geology. Which was later re-organized and incorporated into what is now the Department of Environmental Studies. During this time my research interests have remained with igneous rock genesis, but has expanded outside the US. Most of my research presently is in Norway and New Zealand, supported over the years with a Fulbright Fellowship, Visiting Professorships, sabbatical leaves, and grants.

Courses Taught

  • ENVS 390 ENVS Seminar
  • ENVS 321 Geology and Human Health
  • ENVS 362 Mineralogy and Petrology

Research Interests

  • incipient anatexis of crustal rocks and the origin of migmatites
  • petrology of trondhjemite and the petrogenesis of continental margin lithosphere
  • sampling techniques for detection of trends in geological populations
  • engineering petrology of dimension stone
  • petrology and structure of layered igneous intrusions
  • environmental geology and natural hazard reduction


  • Size, W.B., Roberts, D. and Prestvik, T., 2004, Petrogenesis, discrimination and ages of continental and ophiolite-related trondhjemites in the Central Norwegian Caledonides. Abs. 32 nd International Geological Congress, Florence , Italy.
  • Stone-Miller, R. with a geological appendix by William B. Size. 2002, Seeing with New Eyes – Highlights of the Michael C. Carlos Museum , Collection of Art of the Ancient Americas . 301 p.
  • Size, W.B., Roberts, D. and Grenne, T., 2001, Multiphase trondhjemites from the Trondheim region, Central Norwegian Caledonides. Abs. 36 th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern section of the Geological Society of America.
  • Bean, C., Size, W.B., Stone-Miller, R and Watkins, V. 2000. Characterization of Pre-Columbian Jade Artifacts using non-destructive quantitative analysis. Abs. Annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, Southeastern section.
  • Size, W.B., Stone-Miller, R., Watkins, V., and Bean, C., 2000, Non-Destructive quantitative analysis applied to Pre-Columbian jade artifacts from Central America. Abs. International Geological Congress. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.