Ralph Ewers got interested in rocks and minerals on a family trip to the Rocky Mountains. When he returned home, the Cincinnati newspaper had an article on Saturday classes in rocks and minerals for kids. He enrolled immediately and decided by age 10 that he wanted to be a geologist and a museum director. He claims that he has nothing left to live for.
On a museum sponsored trip to Carter Caves State Park in Kentucky he became interested in caves and karst. That led to building a walk-through exhibit cave and, on the side, directing a planetarium at the museum, a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati and a Ph.D. in geology studying karst with Dr. Derek Ford at McMaster University in Canada.
Following a stint as a Science Museum Director in Florida he returned to Kentucky to teach geology at the University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University. After serving as supervisor for 34 graduate students who studied karst, he and his wife, the other Dr. Ewers, formed a consulting firm dealing primarily with contaminant issues in karst aquifers. This helped him support those grad students and took Ralph to the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, South America, and Europe to help deal with the terrible things that humans have released into their limestone groundwater… their drinking water.
Ralph claims that he is one of the most fortunate people on the planet, in that he has always been able to earn a living doing what he loves to do… explore caves and karst.