Greg Snow, 65, professor of physics and astronomy, founder of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s High Energy Physics Team, died May 4.
Snow joined the Husker faculty as an associate professor in 1993 and was promoted to full professor in 2008. Prior to joining the university, he was an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. Snow also served as associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences from 2008 to 2013.
Snow was hired in 1993 to build a research group — the High Energy Physics Team — to work at the Superconducting Super Collider then under construction in Texas. When the collider was cancelled, Snow immediately sought and secured membership for Nebraska in the DZero collaboration at the Fermi National Laboratory Batavia, Illinois, and with the CMS collaboration whose planned experiment at CERN at that time was still under development. He would go on to hold several leadership positions in both collaborations.
He was a contributing member of collaborations that made key discoveries in the past 25 years, including the search for the Higgs-boson particle, which was discovered in 2012. The discovery went on to win the Nobel Prize in physics in 2013.
Snow was co-creator of the Cosmic Ray Observatory Project. This statewide effort involved Nebraska high school students, teachers, and college undergraduates in the study of extended cosmic-ray air showers. Teams of students learned to operate school-based detectors they had constructed themselves. The project had more than 150 student and teacher participants from 26 schools, spread across 15 of Nebraska’s 19 Educational Service Units.
The success of CROP led to Snow being invited to serve as the Pierre Auger Task Leader for Education and Outreach, where he helped establish a visitor center in the Auger office building in Malargüe, Argentina. He worked with local teachers there to institute the Auger Science Fair, which annually hosted 40 schools.
Through his leadership in the dean’s office, the university was selected for the prestigious Beckman Scholars program, which brought additional scholarship money to selected life sciences students.
In recognition of his education and outreach efforts, the department nominated Snow as an American Physical Society Fellow. He was named an APS Fellow in 2004.
Snow was born April 6, 1954, to Ray and Dorothy (Brinkman) Snow in Kansas City, Missouri. He is survived by his wife, Graciela Acedo and son, Everett Gutzmer; sisters, Valerie and Barbara. Preceded in death by his parents.
A memorial service is 11 a.m. May 9 at Roper and Sons Funeral Home, 4300 O St. There will be no visitation. The family has requested that memorial contributions be directed towards CROP or to the Pierre Auger Observatory. A family obituary can be viewed and condolences can be left online.