Ronald Earl “Mac” McAdams was a talented geologist, a top-notch explorationist and mentor to hundreds of geologists.
He was born on August 16, 1910, in Tulia, Texas, and in the mid-1930s he went to work for Shell Oil in San Antonio as a field geologist.
McAdams soon proved successful and was put in charge of detailed field mapping projects near San Antonio and Seguin. His efforts helped shape Shell’s early exploration programs.
Following World War II he rejoined Shell’s exploration staff of the Texas Gulf Coast in Houston. As Shell began expanding its exploration activities across the United States and Western Canada, McAdams was named exploration manager for the Tulsa office. The team he assembled thrived, establishing a pattern that became a model for Shell’s exploration approach, philosophy and culture.
During the next 10 years, McAdams achieved levels of increasing responsibility culminating in 1956 with his appointment as vice president and head of exploration. Responsible for the success so many others enjoyed, “Mac” remained in this position 15 years until his retirement in 1970.
Retiring for McAdams meant moving to Denver, establishing his own company and remaining active in oil and gas exploration, until his death in May 1995, just 10 days after his wife of 67 years, Lucy, had passed away.
The R. E. McAdams Memorial Grant is awarded annually to a deserving graduate student through the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation Grants-in-Aid Program and is endowed by the AAPG Foundation through generous contributions from friends and colleagues.