Doug Rankin is a Scientist Emeritus with the US Geological Survey (USGS) in Reston, Virginia. His career began as a geological field assistant with the USGS on the Colorado Plateau in the early days of uranium exploration. He was an Assistant Professor of Geology at Vanderbilt University (mineralogy and petrology) before joining the USGS in 1962. Most of his career has been as a field geologist in the Appalachians interested in tectonics and paleovolcanism. Through that work he was a major contributor to the GSA DNAG Program. In the pursuit of diversity, Rankin also worked in the Sierra Nevada, the Absaroka Mountains of Wyoming, and the US Virgin Islands. He was detailed for a year to the Lunar Sample Office of NASA during the Apollo Program. He served a tour as coordinator of a study of the Charleston, SC earthquake of 1886 and Chief of the USGS Branch of Eastern Regional Geology. Retirement in 1995 resulted in working nearly full time as a volunteer on the geology of the Upper Connecticut Valley, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Rankin received a BA cum laude in geology from Colgate University in 1953, a MA and Ph.D. in 1955 and 1961, respectively, from Harvard University. He is a Fellow of GSA (1966) and the Mineralogical Society of America (1988). He is a member of AAAS and the American Geophysical Union through which he served a tour as Associate Editor of Tectonics.
Outside interest include bicycling, working in the woods, reading, music, and photography. A former passion of hiking is greatly curtailed: too many miles on the knees and ankles. He lives in Washington, DC, is married to a historian of China, has two daughters, and four grandchildren.