W. Gary Ernst held pre- and postdoctoral fellowships at the Geophysical Laboratory, then joined the UCLA faculty in January 1960. Moving to Stanford in 1989, Ernst went emeritus in September 2004. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, Ernst was president of the Mineralogical Society of America (1980-81) and the Geological Society of America (1985-86). He received the MSA Award (1969), the Geological Society of Japan Medal (1998), the Penrose Medal of the GSA (2004), the Roebling Medal of the MSA (2006), the AGI Legendary Geoscientist Award (2008), and the Distinguished Career Award of the International Section of the GSA (2010). Author of seven books and research memoirs, editor or co-editor of 19 others, Ernst is author or co-author of 300 scientific papers dealing with: physical chemistry of rocks and minerals; Phanerozoic interactions of lithospheric plates and orogenic belts, especially in central Asia, the Circumpacific and the western Alps; early Precambrian petrotectonic evolution; high- and ultrahigh-pressure subduction-zone metamorphism and tectonics; geobotanical studies/remote sensing; and geology and human health. He taught Introduction to Earth Systems and then Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology through 2017 at Stanford, and still conducts research chiefly in northern California and eastern Asia.