Geotimes Logo
 March 2000 

Note: This letter also appeared in the print version of Geotimes, which has a new design beginning with the March issue.

Have you noticed? Geotimes looks different this month. For the first time in the magazine’s history, Geotimes staff is designing the magazine. That means we have the freedom to present information to you in a different package. We’ve changed the magazine’s font, the design at the top of each page and the appearance of the features. The content is the same — News Notes, Political Scene, Geophenomena, Geologic Column, etc. The new look of March is just the first of many changes you’ll notice in Geotimes as the year progresses. The changes are part of our goal to make the magazine easier for you to use. It contains rich and varied information, and this new presentation should make it easier for you to decide what you want or need to read.

This issue also highlights two landmarks of field geology: Wyoming geologist J. David Love, and the Brunton pocket transit. Last year, AGI gave Love its first Legendary Geoscientist award. In this issue we offer a glimpse of his life, much of it spent mapping his native state. And speaking of field geology and Wyoming, every field geologist has used the pocket transit sold by The Brunton Company of Riverton, Wyo. Freelance writer Tom Reed offers a history of David W. Brunton and his amazing invention. This feature also takes a look at how, with new technologies like the Global Positioning System available, geologists use their Bruntons today.

As you peruse this month’s issue, also notice the Political Scene column by Eileen McLellan, AGI’s 1999–2000 Congressional Science Fellow. Working for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), McLellan realized the value of bridging the divide between geology and biology, especially when it comes to making decisions about land management. Investigating the science behind the controversy over dam breaching along the Lower Snake River, McLellan discovered why a geologist should care about salmon.

We would also like to take a moment to comment on an obituary that appears in this month’s Society Page in memory of William T. Holser. Bill lost a long battle with Parkinson’s disease on Christmas Day, but we remember him for the successful battle he waged for greater support and recognition of the U.S. Geological Survey Library. In 1997, Bill heard of the survey’s plan to cut the library’s journal acquisition budget by half, crippling its ability to serve its role as the de facto national library for the geosciences — the library of last resort for researchers around the country. In large part due to Bill’s efforts, the budget cuts never materialized, and the survey subsequently elevated the library’s status to that of a bureau-wide entity.

Early in 1999, Bill was present at the opening of the new library facility at USGS national headquarters in Reston. He looked quite pleased. Our thanks to Bill for reminding all of us that the efforts of one person can make a big difference in how we set our priorities. Something to think about.

David Applegate                                                                        Kristina Bartlett
Acting Editor                                                                             Managing Editor