Merrill Foster


Olin Hall 121 and 6
(309) 677-2352

Ph. D., Geology (Thesis research on Marine Biology), Harvard University
M. A., Paleontology, University of California at Berkeley
B. A., Paleontology, University of California at Berkeley


Dr. Merrill Foster has taught full time for 42 years. Prior to that he was a teaching assistant at the University of California at Berkeley and a teaching fellow at Harvard University. He was Professor of The Year and received the Putnam Award for Teaching Excellence.


Dr. Merrill Foster is the author of many publications in marine biology and paleontology including one book and a large portion of a second book. He has engaged in more than one hundred field studies including two expeditions to the seas off Antarctica and one down the Gulf of California. He has given at least ten professional lectures. He has served as a reviewer, consultant, and conferee on more than eighty occasions. He received the Rothberg Award for Professional Excellence.


Dr. Merrill Foster has served the university as member of numerous committees, director of various agencies, and in many other ways. His community service activities have been numerous and varied. He was the Chairman of the Peoria City/County Landfill Committee and the Peoria City/County Solid Waste Committee. He has given numerous lectures, demonstrations, and field trips for local and state schools and other groups concerning the environment, biology, and geology. He has been particularly active with the Sun Foundation as an advisor and teacher. He ran the worship services for the Peoria Universalist Unitarian church for two years. He has helped innumerable people with biological and geological specimens.