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About the Cover 
 Dacite columns in Randle, Wash., north of Mount St. Helens.  
Photograph taken by Richard Fiske, Smithsonian Institution.
From the Editor
by Victor van Beuren

Political Scene

by David Wunsch

Does SPR Spell Relief for the Domestic Oil Industry?


People & Places


News Notes

by Kristina Bartlett and Devra Wexler 

Platinum in the hills What tangled networks they weave …   
Instrumenting plate boundaries  
Dry lake sediments stir up old theory  
USGS to manage Landsat missions 



Rocks Redux at the Smithsonian 
 They’ve been waiting behind closed doors or hidden in rock formations, but now the big rocks are on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals was just getting started when it opened in late 1997. Here, a Smithsonian curator and geologist offer a tour of the recently opened Rocks Gallery, which features specimens as large as a 400-pound lodestone. The rocks are displayed in ways that tell their stories of plate tectonics and geologic processes. 
by Sorena S. Sorensen and James F. Luhr 
John C. Crowell: A Geologist’s Geologist 
 He forecasted wave conditions for the Normandy Invasion and led a convoy section across the Burma Road during World War II. Today he  studies and teaches California’s geology. He’s helped us understand causes of glaciation, the roles of strike-slip faults, and details of Earth’s past climate. The life of John C. Crowell, professor emeritus at the University of California at Santa Barbara, has been full of scientific achievements and contributions taking many forms. 
by Dorothy L. Stout 

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