Atholl Sutherland-Brown, retired chief geologist for the British Columbia Geological Survey, died Dec. 9, 2016, at age 93.
He joined the Canadian Royal Air Force at age 18 during World War II and was a decorated fighter pilot with the British in Burma, flying 48 missions in a two-man, twin-engine fighter-bomber from 1943 to 1945. Flying at low levels, these airmen targeted rail lines and bridges. In a 1997 interview, he said, “We had high losses. There were 40 percent casualties.”
Sutherland-Brown graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1950 and earned a Ph.D. in geology from Princeton in 1954. Geology was a passion for the rest of his life. He was a leader in initiating detailed geological description of mineral deposits around the Canadian province of British Columbia.
He wrote Searching for the Origins of Haida Gwaii: Adventures While Mapping the Geology of the Islands, 1958-1962, about geology, but also character sketches of people he met there. Geologist Nick Carter, who worked with Sutherland-Brown for many years, wrote that his work was the first documentation of its kind in British Columbia. According to Carter, “This was landmark stuff.”
Sutherland-Brown was predeceased by his wife, Barbara. He is survived by Ruth, his second wife; one son; and two grandchildren.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.