After his graduation from Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in geology, Vice Chancellor for Research at University of Alaska Fairbanks Virgil Sharpton, ’79 went on to receive his master’s and doctoral degrees from Brown University.
His early career began with research positions at Grand Valley and Brown Universities. He also earned fellowships with Brown University and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). These positions led to NASA’s Lunar and Planetary Institute where he would first work as a visiting then as senior staff scientist.
In 1998, Sharpton would join the faculty of University of Alaska Fairbanks while maintaining appointments with the Geophysical Institute and the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the College of Natural Science and Mathematics. In 2006, he accepted his present position as Vice Chancellor for Research.
Sharpton’s published works include numerous books and articles in Science, Nature, and the Journal of Geophysical Research. He has been awarded with such honors as the Government of Canada Group Achievement Award and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Group Achievement Award.
He and his wife Susan, currently reside in Fairbanks, Alaska.