M. Gordon Wolman, a professor of geography at Johns Hopkins University for more than 50 years, died February 24, 2010 at his Baltimore home. He was 85. Known by everyone as “Reds” for his bright shock of hair (which eventually became gray), Dr. Wolman was reportedly as beloved by his students as he was famous for his scientific contributions — and that’s saying a lot.
As a U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist during the 1950s, he and his colleague Luna Leopold published pioneering studies on how and why rivers change — studies that are now the foundation for modern water-resources management and river restoration and engineering. The pair wrote, with John Miller, the 1964 textbook “Fluvial Processes in Geomorphology,” considered a seminal work.