Mary M. Poulton, Ph.D., was born in 1962 in Geneseo, IL. She attended Western Illinois University and received her BSc., MSc., and Ph.D degrees from the University of Arizona in Geological Engineering with an emphasis on mining and exploration. She worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers and Pittsburgh and Midway Mining Company and has consulted for the Bureau of Reclamation and the World Bank. Mary joined the faculty at the University of Arizona as an Assistant Professor in 1990. In 2000 she became head of the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering, the first woman to head an engineering department in the history of the university. She is a full professor in Mining and Geological Engineering with a courtesy appointment in Geosciences. Mary was Treasurer of the Association of Women Faculty and established the AWF Travel Grant Program. She also helped draft the tenure clock stoppage and modified duties policies. She served as Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women and established a tri-university CSW working group. She is involved in the NSF ADVANCE grant to promote the advancement of women faculty in STEM fields. Mary has testified before Congress on workforce issues in the mining industry and helped draft federal legislation under the Energy and Mineral Schools Reinvestment Act. She was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to chair the national mine safety research committee. She is Secretary of the American Geological Institute. She is Chair of the Board on Natural Resources for NASULGC. Mary's research area of pattern recognition using artificial neural networks has resulted in a well-funded research program for the past 17 years, numerous publications, and a book. Her research has involved work in China, Australia, Egypt, and Israel. Her research was spun-off into a company NOAH, LLC of which she is a co-founder and Vice-President. She holds a patent on the use of neural networks and optimization for water management. Mary was a technical consultant for and appeared in a 4-part Science Channel Series 'Faces of Earth' and also appeared in the PBS Documentary 'Under Arizona' and the CNBC 'World Business Review'. She has contributed to Middle School, High School and College textbooks on Earth Science and co-authored a popular software program called 'Minerals, Where and Why'.
Mary has been married to William Poulton for 24 years. They have a son Alexander who will graduate from USC in 2008 with a major in Cinema and Television Production.