Faculty – Paul R. Camp Obituary

Publish Date: January 11, 2012, Bangor Daily News

CampPaul R. Camp ORONO – Paul R. Camp died Jan. 9, 2012, of complications from Parkinson’s Disease. He was born Dec. 29, 1919, in Middletown, Conn., the son of Burton H. and Rachel Rice Camp. Paul came to the University of Maine in 1967 as professor and head of the Department of Physics and continued to teach and do research until his retirement in 1996. While chairing the department, he hired a number of physicists in a variety of specialties and established the Ph.D. program in Physics. He was active in departmental and university committees and professional societies such as American Physical Society, American Association of Physics Teachers and International Glaciological Society. Paul’s research focus was in solid state physics with special interest on the surface growth of ice and he had many professional publications in a variety of areas. He had great enthusiasm for the University of Maine, his students and his colleagues. In October 2010, Paul was honored as a distinguished emeritus professor at the College of Engineering’s Gorman Emeriti Brunch. After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1941, Paul joined a group of scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., whose focus was on the development of radar. After the war began, he was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy while continuing work at the research laboratory. In 1947, Paul received a master’s degree in Physics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in 1951 from Penn State University. His professional career included teaching at Reed College in Portland, Ore., the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, N.Y., Physicist at Large at the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, N.H., and staff member on the Commission on College Physics at the University of Michigan. Paul loved all the seasons in Maine and said this was as far south as he wanted to live. On their many camping trips, he taught his daughters how to pack the car, pitch a tent and build a fire. He was enthusiastic about the woods and water and an avid swimmer. A favorite winter activity, besides skating on the local ponds, was collecting and photographing snowflakes. He was intrigued by their structural growth as well as their beauty and took many exquisite pictures of group formations and single snowflakes. Over the years, his family dubbed him the “Great Flake.” At any time of the year, Paul enjoyed the “grand-dogs” in his daughters’ families and the dogs in the neighborhood. Survivors include his wife, Polly; and daughters, Elizabeth and her husband, Walter Skrod, of Mahwah, N.J., Susan and her husband, Christopher Bates, of Winterport, Jennifer and her husband, Stephen Cousins, of Hampden; and grandchildren, Dillon Bates, Elija “Lulu” Bates, Matthew Skrod, Lucas Cousins and Tatum Cousins; a sister, Margaret Schwartz of Peru, N.Y.; and a number of nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Miriam Camps of Cambridge, England. A memorial service will be held later this month. Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Maine Foundation, 2 Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469 for scholarships to students in Engineering Physics.