After Army service, Tom graduated from Princeton with honors in biology. In 1952 he earned a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University.
He was a teacher-researcher at Tufts University from 1952 to 1955, and then professor of entomology and biophysics at Penn State University until his retirement in 1991. He remained active in the university community, especially as a leader and adviser for the Penn State Outdoor Club.
Throughout these years he climbed mountains worldwide: in the Himalayas, on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya in Africa, up Fuji in Japan and Mount Ararat in Turkey, on the Matterhorn in Switzerland, and in China’s Tien Shan Mountains.
While at Tufts University he had explored the Greenland ice cap more than 900 miles into the Arctic Circle. Penn State gave him a Friend of the (Nittany) Mountain Award. He personally maintained 25 miles of trails there; an outlook on the mountain is named for him.
Tom was cited as a dedicated teacher and for exemplary stewardship of natural resources, and as a “tireless guardian of Mount Nittany.” He died Dec. 5, 2019, in State College at 92.