May 1999


The Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration Inc. elected new officers in February: President JAMES W. BOYD, John T. Boyd Co., Pittsburgh, Pa.; President-Elect DONALD E. RANTA, Golden, Colo.; Past President IHOR KUNASZ, Newmont Uzbekistan Ltd., Denver, Colo.; and Vice President-Finance ARTHUR A. SCHWEIZER, Green Diamond Products, Riddle, Ore.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) elected BRUCE ALBERTS to a second six-year term as president. Alberts, a biochemist, has focused on science and mathematics education issues, helping steer development of the National Science Education Standards and launching the publication, Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science. He has also focused on the role of science policy in the international arena. For more information about new NAS officers, visit the Web at

The ALDO LEOPOLD LEADERSHIP PROGRAM, a new program to train environmental scientists to be effective communicators of scientific information, selected its first group of fellows recently. The scientists will be trained with the skills to share scientific knowledge about environmental issues with the media, policy-makers, and the private sector. Oregon State University operates the program on behalf of the Ecological Society of America, with a $1.5 million, five-year grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
   For a list of the selected fellows, visit the Web at and click on “Meet the Fellows.”

The MARS PATHFINDER TEAM received one of the Smithsonian Institution’s 1998 National Air and Space Museum Trophies. The team, led by project manager Tony Spear and project scientist Matt Golombek, made the July 4, 1997, landing of the Sojourner possible.


ROBERT M. HUTCHINSON, professor emeritus of geology at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., died Jan. 13, 1999, of injuries he sustained in an automobile accident. Called “Hutch” by his friends, Hutchinson was 80 years old and had taught at the School of Mines since 1956.
   Hutchinson earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from Princeton University in 1941. He served the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Trinidad and also the U.S. Geological Survey, returning to school after World War II and earning his master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1948. He was an instructor at the University of Texas from 1948 to 1953 while he earned his Ph.D. there. He taught at the University of Kansas from 1953 until he joined the School of Mines in 1956. Hutchinson earned several National Science Foundation grants to study the structure and petrology of the Pikes Peak Batholith, becoming an expert in its morphology. He also worked as a consultant. He retired in 1989, continuing to teach optical mineralogy until his death.

TERRY W. OFFIELD, a geologist who recently retired from the U.S. Geological Survey, died Feb. 5, 1999, of complications following heart surgery at Fairfax Hospital in Fairfax, Va. He was 65.
   Offield was born in Amarillo, Texas, in 1933 and grew up in Fairfax, Va. He earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1953 and his master’s degree in geology from the University of Illinois in 1955. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1955 to 1957, achieving the rank of captain. He received his Ph.D. in geology from Yale University in 1962, while also serving the New York State Geological Survey.
   In 1961, Offield joined the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), working on regional geology and mineral resources of the outer Himalayas and on mineral surveys in northeastern Brazil. Starting in 1966, he worked with the USGS Branch of Astrogeology, serving as an advisor for Lunar Orbiter missions. In 1977, he became chief of the Branch of Uranium and Thorium Resources. He was selected as chief of the Office of Energy and Marine Geology in 1982, guiding the program through creation of the Minerals Management Service and initiating offshore sonar surveys of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
   Author of more than 100 scientific publications, Offield received the Department of the Interior’s Meritorious Service Award and helped start the Geological Society of America’s Congressional Science Fellow Program.

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