[unav_all] Roy Dokka for UNAVCO List Serve

Giovanni.Sella at noaa.gov Giovanni.Sella at noaa.gov
Tue Aug 9 18:37:19 MDT 2011

	The geologic and geodetic communities lost a dedicated scientist, a strong advocate and witty friend on Monday, August 1, 2011 with the passing of Professor Roy Dokka. Roy died unexpectedly in his home in St. Francisville, Louisiana leaving a prolific legacy of creative and pioneering research in the fields of structure and tectonics, remote sensing, applied GPS geodesy, and Gulf coastal processes and policy. At the time of his passing, Roy was the Executive Director of the Center for Geoinformatics, Director of the Louisiana Spatial Reference Center; and, the Fruehan Family Professor of Engineering at LSU. He held the unique distinction of being the only professor in LSU history honored with endowed professorships from two different colleges (Science and Engineering).

	Roy joined LSU’s Department of Geology & Geophysics in 1980 as an assistant professor after receiving his Ph.D. in geological sciences from the University of Southern California. For the first two decades of his research career, Roy's work with his students focused on the tectonics of the southern San Andreas Fault system and highlighted the role of the Eastern California Shear Zone. In collaboration with colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Roy was instrumental in advocating for the application of remote sensing data, especially hyper-spectral (AVIRIS) data, as an alternative way to visualize, quantify and describe the geology in remote, or often restricted, field areas. For this body of research and his profound commitment to teaching and mentoring students, he was promoted to full professor in 1990 and became the first recipient of the Adolphe G. Gueymard Professorship in Geology & Geophysics in 1998. 

	In 2001, Roy founded the Center for GeoInformatics and joined LSU's Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering in an effort to build new research and academic programs in Geodesy and GeoInformatics. In 2002, he initiated the Louisiana Spatial Reference Center, a partnership with the National Geodetic Survey-NOAA, focused on creating a state-of-the-art positional infrastructure for Louisiana. During this transition, Roy switched his research focus toward understanding the deformation and coastal land loss mechanisms of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, especially Louisiana. He threw himself passionately into this new pursuit and began questioning all aspects of our understanding of land loss. He established a continuous GPS network that served the dual purpose of supporting both science and the surveying and mappings needs of Louisiana. He did not limit himself only to the science of the causes of coastal land loss, but worked closely with others, including Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.), to influence associated public policy decisions and to challenge entrenched perspectives of coastal land loss.

	Roy was tireless, creative and tenacious in this pursuit; he worked with local, state and federal agencies, and with policy makers. His passion for public policy as it relates to coastal land loss made him, much to his surprise, a frequent visitor to the U.S. Capitol. While doing all these things he never wavered in his attention to his graduate students, whom he cared for deeply, nurturing them by using both sticks and carrots, and extolling their virtues to outsiders. His undergraduate students remember his humor, compassion and infinite enthusiasm for the earth sciences.  For his dedication to teaching and mentoring, he received numerous instructional awards.  

	Roy died prematurely at age 59; he is survived by his wife of 38 years, Margie, his daughters Saundra and Kristina, and grandson, Trey.

	Roy was a creative and engaging scientist; he was, funny, playful, and generous of heart and time. He was fiercely outspoken and always passionate about his research, his students and his family! He was unconditional in his support of his students in every aspect of their lives. Just exactly when you needed it the most, you'd get a call or a message to call him ASAP. Thank You, Roy! Your laughter, kindness and generous heart are what we will always remember the most about you! 

Carrie Whitehill and Giovanni Sella
cwhitehill @ gmail.com  
giovanni.sella @ noaa.gov

Citation: R. K. Dokka (2011), The role of deep processes in late 20th century subsidence of New Orleans and coastal areas of southern Louisiana and Mississippi , J. Geophys. Res. , 116 , B06403, doi:10.1029/2010JB008008.

More information about the unav_all mailing list