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Bill Bonnichsen and Marty Godchaux

Bill Bonnichsen, born in Twin Falls, Idaho in 1937, was raised on a farm near Filer, Idaho, and graduated from Filer High School. He finished his B.S. degree in 1959 in geological engineering at the University of Idaho. Later, he completed his Ph.D. degree in geology at the University of Minnesota. After teaching geology courses for a few years at Cornell University, he returned to Idaho in 1975 to join the Idaho Bureau of Mines & Geology, which later became the Idaho Geological Survey, located in Moscow at the University of Idaho. While at the Idaho Geological Survey he had the opportunity to study many facets of Idaho's geology, especially the nature and causes of the volcanism that accompanied the Snake River Plain, and has drawn maps and written papers describing lots of geologic phenomena. In 2003 he retired from the University of Idaho, but still has a great time investigating geologic features, and especially helping graduate students and faculty members at several universities with their geologic investigations of the Snake River Plain. He lives in Moscow with his charming wife, Marty Godchaux.

Marty Godchaux and Bill Bonnichsen at the Sawtooths [Credit: Bruce Reichert]

Marty Godchaux, born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1941, was raised in a colonial home on the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border, near Amesbury, Massachusetts. She finished her B.A. degree in geology in 1962 at Wellesley College near Boston. Then she moved across the U.S. to Eugene, Oregon, where she completed her Ph.D. degree in geology at the University of Oregon in 1969. She then returned to the east, and after a post-doc at Yale, she took a teaching position at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts, where she trained three decades worth of young women in geology. When she started at Mount Holyoke she was the only geologist on the faculty, but over the years while there she built a dynamic geology department that became one of the strongest departments in the college. She left there permanently in 1999 to be with her husband, Bill Bonnichsen, in Moscow, Idaho, and spent several years working with him in interpreting the volcanological features in the Snake River Plain. Nowadays, when not participating in community activities, she watches Idaho Public Television in the evenings with Bill.