Statement about Biography
While we have attempted to ensure all information is accurate and as complete as possible, we are limited to what has been shared with us about James Bartel Urban, what we know from his publications, and what has been published about him.
If you notice any errors or are aware of any additional professional or personal biographical information (including organizations, awards, hobbies) please add them in our our Collection Forum or contact us to let us know.
Early Years and Education
James Bartel Urban was born June 20, 1933 in in Rush Springs, Oklahoma. He grew up in Rush Springs alongside his younger brother Logan Louis Urban.
James Urban became a master’s student of Dr. Dick Wilson at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, United States. James worked on “Microfossils of the Woodward Shale (Devonian) of Oklahoma” for a 1960 masters thesis.
James Urban’s Thesis and Related Publications
Urban, James Bartel, 1960. Microfossils of the Woodward Shale (Devonian) of Oklahoma: Norman, Oklahoma, United States, University of Oklahoma, M.S. (Masters). Thesis, 77 p. [SNOMNH_Pbot-00000006]
For the complete list of James Urbans’ publications see our compiled bibliography.
Research, Teaching, Mentoring and Scholarship
In 1967 James Urban joined the faculty of the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies (now the University of Texas-Dallas). Although he specialized in palynology he was the first head of the Science Education Program and built it into a department where local teachers could get a quality Master’s degree in Science Education. He also served for a while as the chairman of the geosciences graduate program and acting head of the Institute for Geological Sciences Program. He left the geosciences faculty in January 1980 to operate his own oil-drilling business. Which he ran while also being an adjunct associate professor in the geosciences program at the University of Texas-Dallas who supervised students and consultant to several major oil companies until the time of his death.
Organizations and Affiliations
Throughout his career, James was active in numerous scientific and professional organizations, attending as many meetings as he could.
Honors and Awards
Urban was the recipient of numerous grants throughout his career.
After his death the James B. Urban Scholarship Fund Endowment was established at the University of Texas-Dallas in his honor. This endowment provides deserving undergraduates and graduate students in geosciences (with preference towards paleontology students) scholarship support thereby extending James Urban’s legacy.
James Urban’s Legacy
While Dr. Urban may have been unfortunately killed in an airplane crash in Buffalo, Wyoming, on October 17, 1980, his scientific contributions and reputation earned him an impactful and lasting legacy.
References on James Urban’s Life
University of Texas-Dallas, 2006. The University of Texas at Dallas: School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics: Department of Geosciences: Resources: Scholarships: James B. Urban Scholarship Fund Endowment. URL: http://www.utdallas.edu/geosciences/resources/scholarships/urban.html