- Ph.D., Geology, Indiana University
- M.S., Geology, Indiana University
- B.S., Geology, Indiana University
- Wetlands hydrology
Dr. W. Thomas Straw, after being discharged from the United States Air Force, earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate in geology from Indiana University. As an exploration geologist for Humble Oil and Refining Company, he spent several years working the oil fields of the eastern United States. Later, in 1968, Straw joined the faculty at Western Michigan University, where he taught in the Geology Department and directed the department during two terms: as acting chair from 1971-1975 and as chair from 1988-1997. One of his most noteworthy achievements was helping the department direct its efforts toward an emphasis in environmental geology. His particular expertise was in wetlands hydrology for which he did extensive consulting nationwide. Straw and his wife, Odessa, intend to enjoy retirement in New Harmony, Indiana. Straw will continue his consulting work, but he and Odessa are likely to spend a good measure of their time visiting with their children and grandchildren. Perhaps he will even have some time to do a little fishing in the Wabash.