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Max Reams

College of Arts and Sciences

Chemistry and Geosciences

M.P.C., 2000, Olivet Nazarene University
Ph.D., 1968, Washington University
M.S., 1963, University of Kansas
B.A., B.S., 1961, University of Kansas

While earning his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Reams completed his dissertation research on sediments in caves. This became a landmark study that helped revolutionize the understanding of the origin of caves. Since that time, his studies have opened new areas of research, such as the discovery of freshwater stromatolites and the application of fractal geometry to the distribution of sinkholes. He and an ONU student have published what may be the first recognized ancient deposit by a rogue wave. He mentored an honors student who did the first study of a state park's trails based on natural hazards instead of difficulty.

An Olivet faculty member since 1967, Dr. Reams has been honored as Faculty Member of the Year and has also received the Richard M. Jones Award for Teaching Excellence. He also served as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Geosciences. His classes are considered among the more popular on campus, and alumni consistently name him as one of the most memorable faculty members.

His teaching has included almost every phase of geology. He started the geology program at Olivet and has had the opportunity to be part of its growth. When he served as department chair, he wrote several successful grants for science equipment. Through his leadership, all the sciences have grown in status and significance at Olivet.

Traveling and studying the geology of the United States has been a career-long focus for him. Having visited many of the most significant sites, he leads students on geological field trips both locally and on extended excursions, including geology field camps.

Dr. Reams is proud of the fact that 60 percent of alumni in geology go on to graduate programs and nearly all receive full financial support. His students have gone on to significant positions, ranging from major university faculty, president of an oil company, heads of environmental firms and a host of individuals making a difference in their disciplines.

A fellow in the Geological Society of America and in Sigma Xi (Scientific Research Society), he completed sabbatical studies in Australia and New Zealand, as well as Scotland and Ireland. He also has numerous professional publications and conference presentations to his credit.

Together, Dr. Reams and his wife, Carol, completed Master of Pastoral Counseling degrees at Olivet to complement their ministry to premarital and married couples, churches and district retreats, and retirement communities.

They are the parents of three children — all Olivet graduates. Carol was assistant to Olivet’s registrar before her retirement.

Dr. Reams has served local churches as a Sunday school teacher and board member. He is also trained as a life coach and is a member of the International Coaching Federation. He enjoys genealogy as a leisure activity.



Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.