Passing of Former Director Professor Tony Orme

It is with a heavy heart that we note the passing of former WMRC Director, Professor Antony (Tony) R. Orme this past Spring. Tony received his undergraduate degree and doctorate from the University of Birmingham and served at UCLA from 1968 to 2010 as a faculty member in the Department of Geography. Upon official retirement he quickly rejoined the UC ranks as Director of the UC White Mountain Research Center from 2012 to 2016. This is almost half a century of dedicated service to UCLA.

Tony was an internationally recognized and award-winning geomorphologist who worked in a number of systems – literally from the mountains to the sea. He was as an inspiring teacher and mentor to man undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, he was a gifted artist, scientific illustrator and cartographer. Tony held the rank of Full Professor at UCLA. He served as the Chair of the UCLA Department of Geography from 1974 to 1977, and Dean of Social Sciences from 1977 to 1983. His final administrative role, as Director of the UC White Mountain Research Center, was nothing short of transformative. At the Center he undertook a highly successful reorganization and renovation of operations and facilities. With our multiple research stations, extending to over 14,000 feet in elevation, this would have been daunting to many. He tackled it with gusto. He was a strong advocate for WMRC at both UCLA and at the UC Office of the President. Professor Orme’s achievements at the White Mountain Research Center was in many ways an incredible capstone to a distinguished career of research, education and service.

Professor Orme is survived by his wife Amalie, a Professor of Geography at CSU Northridge and frequent user of WMRC facilities, his sons Mark and Kevin, and daughter Devon. His daughter, who is an Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences at Montana State University, recently gave birth to a daughter. Tony was an important part of the WMRC family, and central to its survival and continued growth. He will forever be remembered by us all for his vision, energy and dedication to this very special place.