James L. Carter Scholarship Fund

Dr. James Carter was associate professor emeritus and one of the longest-serving faculty members at The University of Texas at Dallas.

The James L. Carter Scholarship is awarded to graduate and undergraduate students pursuing degrees in the geosciences. To make a gift to the scholarship fund you may visit the “Make a Gift” page and select the Dr. James L. Carter Scholarship fund from the drop-down box. If you any have questions, please email Dane Richardson or call 972-883-6407.

Throughout his career as a geoscientist, Carter studied everything from the Earth’s upper crust to environmental geochemistry to paleontology. He helped train Apollo astronauts in field geology, analyzed lunar samples and created simulated moon dirt for NASA to test equipment. He also made a name for himself when he discovered and helped excavate the articulated neck of an Alamosaurus in Big Bend National Park. One of the largest dinosaur fossils ever found in Texas, the skeleton is on display at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

“Dr. James Carter was truly an original, and I count myself fortunate for having met this amazing man — maker of moon dirt, designer of rock gardens, discoverer of dinosaur bones and the sleuth who found UT Dallas’ lost time capsule,” said President Richard Benson, who holds the Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership. “For the last 55 years, UT Dallas has shared in his joyful passion for scientific inquiry and his love of teaching. Even after he retired, he continued to contribute in so many ways to The University of Texas at Dallas. We will miss him dearly.”

Carter joined the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest (GRCSW) — the precursor institution to UT Dallas — as a postdoctoral researcher in 1964.

“It was an extremely exciting place to be,” Carter said about the early days on campus in a 2009 interview (MP3). “There was no project too large or too small that people wouldn’t tackle, no matter how difficult it was. It was a can-do attitude. It was amazing. It was the ’60s, and we were going to the moon.”

Carter remained with the GRCSW when it became UT Dallas in 1969 and retired in 2008 after 43 years of teaching and research. His research interests involve five areas:

  • Lunar and extraterrestrial resources.
  • Upper mantle and lower crustal studies of the earth.
  • Geochemical exploration and ore deposits.
  • Environmental geochemistry.
  • And K-T boundary and Late Cretaceous sauropod dinosaurs.

Contribute to the James L. Carter Scholarship Fund.

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