Alan Coope (1935-2001)


Carol, Brenda, and James have asked me to say a few words about Alan's professional attributes. First, I must say that it would be extremely difficult to communicate, in words, all that Alan has done for his chosen profession and for those of us who have had the honor to walk along side of him or touched paths with him during his career.

I met Alan just over 20 years ago at the Toronto Symposium for the Assoc. of Exploration Geochemists. Upon meeting Alan, one encountered a quiet English mannered gentleman. It is only after you have had the extraordinary honor of having worked with him or having discussed one of his projects that you were able to discover the talented impassioned professional, scientist, mentor, and scholar that was beneath the surface.

Alan was in all ways:

An exacting scientist who continually asked questions - always looking for the one piece of information that would lead him on toward the next higher level of understanding and, of course, more questions.

A great professional who applied his knowledge and skills efficiently and only after due consideration to every project. He communicated his ideas and knowledge to others freely and without prejudice. He cheerfully taught those willing to learn the skills he had developed through his extensive experience.

A noble scholar who willingly shared his hard-won knowledge with others through reports, journals, newsletters, and personal communications.

And, Always a true friend to everyone who was lucky enough to have worked with him.

Alan deserves the well-earned recognition he has received due to his exemplary actions and attitudes and as the guardian of the profession of exploration geochemistry. He was honored this year with the Assoc. of Exploration Geochemists highest honor - Life Membership and has been awarded numerous medals and honors from many Professional Associations to which he belonged. He was a strong and consistent voice promoting quality in the science, professionalism in the individual, and success within the industry. Alan never ceased to expand his knowledge of, and to develop new understandings within, the geological sciences even after retiring - which he kept saying he was going to get around to soon.

Alan's thorough understanding of the Geosciences and the practical application of the science kept him very busy evaluating and participating in advisory committees on many of the programs and grant applications for the Geological Survey of Canada, the US Geological Survey, the Arizona Geological Survey, the Ontario Geoscience Research Review committee, the Centre for Earth Resource Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and many other government and private research organizations.

Alan consistently aided and assisted in the career development of geologists entering into the field of exploration geochemistry. Newmont, under Alan's guidance, supported research programs within various MS and PhD programs. Alan played a key role in each of these supported research programs and always knew the details of each. During his career with Newmont, Alan positively influenced more than 50 graduate students, many of whom are now the principals of the exploration community. He was a mentor and inspiration to many of us, as he was always willing to share his knowledge and experience with those of us who aspire to be first- rate explorationists.

He has been a continuous contributor to professional societies throughout his career. Alan was the first President and primary author of the constitution and by-laws for the Association of Exploration Geochemists. Always present in person or as a thoughtful voice in the background, much of the success of AEG can be directly attributable to Alan's insight and influence. He has served on many committees for the Society of Economic Geologists, Society of Mining Engineers, Geological Society of Arizona, American Institute of Professional Geologists, Geological Association of Canada, Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, and others.

I realize that his family missed out on some quality time with their father & husband while he was off trying to find the elusive key question that would unravel some aspect of the science he was currently investigating. However, as his family we hope you understand that in devoting the time that he did to his profession he touched on more lives within this lifetime than most of us could wish to in several lifetimes. Our appreciation goes out to you for sharing him with us so that he could participate fully in his profession and enhance our lives as well.

Alan was a man of true greatness and will be missed.

To Alan! May he rejoice in a life well lived !!!

-- Erick Weiland --