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Clyde E. Davis Jr.

by Susan J. Ainsworth
November 19, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 47

Clyde E. Davis Jr., 75, a professor emeritus of chemistry at Humboldt State University, in Arcata, Calif., died at his home in Bend, Ore., on Sept. 17.

Born in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, Davis earned a B.S. in chemistry at the College of Idaho in 1959 and an M.S. in chemistry from Oregon State University in 1961.

He taught chemistry at Casper College, in Casper, Wyo., for three years before earning a Ph.D. at Colorado State University in 1968. Davis then spent one year as an instructor at California State University, San Luis Obispo, before doing a postdoc at Australian National University, in Canberra.

Subsequently, Davis joined Humboldt State, where he remained for 30 years, serving as department chair from 1990 until 1992. He was an exchange professor at the University of Wollongong, in Australia, in 1998.

His research interests were diverse, including the study of heterocyclic cyclizations, cobalt(III)-assisted hydrolysis of polypeptides, and the kinetics of the base hydrolysis of cobalt(III). He also developed methods for templating biological polymers in silica. Later, he published in the field of chemistry education, focusing on solar energy experiments. Davis was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1962.

He had a passion for rocks and minerals.

Davis is survived by his wife of 53 years, Phyllis; daughter, Sydney; and son, Scott.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.


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