|FROM THE EDITOR||June 1999|
With summer upon us and many of you about to head to the field, I’ll
ask the perennial question, “How are we doing?” I’m always curious if you
like what you see in the magazine. Unfortunately, we never hear enough
from our readers. So, it’s hard to know if we are doing our jobs up to
your expectations. Oh, we get the occasional letter pointing out our mistakes
… not many, of course. But, what we really appreciate are letters critiquing
our coverage and presentation. It is important for us to know what you
expect, so we can plan accordingly. We do conduct reader surveys periodically
to gather statistically sound data. But, the occasional letter from our
readers helps us gauge our performance.
Because of its broad topical coverage, Geotimes maintains a wide niche in the geocommunity. It is one of a handful of newsmagazines that covers all of the geosciences. This month is no exception.
Our first feature, Rocks Redux at the Smithsonian, by National Museum of Natural History research geologists Sorena Sorensen and James Luhr, describes the development of the Smithsonian’s new Rocks Gallery. Sorensen, the exhibit’s curator, and Luhr, director of the Global Volcanism Program, worked with a team of museum geoscientists to complete this final section of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. Here is the interesting story of an engaging exhibit that offers a hand-on petrologic experience to all that visit the gallery.
In our second feature, Dorothy Stout, a professor at Cypress College and currently program director for the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation, reviews the work of John C. Crowell, a geologist who was directly involved with some of this century’s most profound events. Professor emeritus at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Dr. Crowell’s career has led him through both human and geologic history. Starting out as an oil geologist, with an interest in coastal processes and a commission in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he found himself studying meteorology. That led him to study wave forecasting, resulting in a position on General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s staff developing plans for the Allied Invasion of Normandy, a turning point in World War II.
After the war, Crowell found himself involved in the scientific battles of plate tectonics. Through his focus on the sedimentation and tectonics of California, he made major contributions to the understanding of global systems. With a career that touched on so much, he truly
is a “geologist’s geologist.”
Our regular columns are also lively and informative. In this month’s “Comment,” Jody D. Nyquist, assistant dean of the Graduate School at the University of Washington and director of the Center for Instructional Development and Research, tells of her efforts re-evaluating Ph.D. training. Acknowledging the dearth of academic positions in the foreseeable future, she is examining how these advanced degrees should be taught. “Political Scene” guest columnist and 1998-1999 AGI Congressional Science Fellow, David Wunsch, describes recent activity with the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And, AGI Education Director, Mike Smith, tells of the
trials of curriculum development in his monthly column, “Core Studies.”
And remember … send us a post card from the field.
Victor V. van Beuren