Geotimes Logo ABOUT PEOPLE April 1997

In March, the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists (SIPES) installed its 1997 executive committee: PERRY O. ROEHL, San Antonio, Texas, president; DEAN KEBERT, Jackson, Miss., vice president; ROBERT D. COWDERY, Wichita, Kan., vice president of natural resources; JOHN M. JURASIN, New Orleans, La., secretary; and H. RUDY PARKISON, Dallas, Texas, treasurer.

SIPES also recognized two individuals for their contributions to the society. GEORGE R. GIBSON, Midland, Texas, received honorary membership, the society's highest award, and DONALD C. GIFFORD, Dallas, Texas, received the SIPES Outstanding Service Award.

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) has announced the winners of its 1997 awards. Recipients include JOSEPH E. WORTHINGTON, Asarco Inc., Ben F. Dickerson Award; ELMER W. GIESEKE, American Cyanamid Co., Howard N. Eavenson Award; BRIJ M. MOUDGIL, University of Florida, Antoine M. Gaudin Award; SPENCER R. TITLEY, University of Arizona, Daniel C. Jackling Award; WILLIAM P. BLACUTT, Corporacion Minera de Bolivia, Robert Peele Memorial Award; BEZALEL C. HAIMSON, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Rock Mechanics Award; RICHARD HOGG, Pennsylvania State University, Arthur F. Taggart Award; JOE E. HOUSE, General Mills (retired), Milton E. Wadsworth Extractive Metallurgy Award; and CHRISTOPHER C. WOOMER, Lake Shore Mining Equipment, Inc., J.W. Woomer Award.

The society also honored four individuals as SME Distinguished Members: SUBHASH CHANDER, Pennsylvania State University; RICHARD E. GRAY, GAI Consultants Inc.; GUY H. HARRIS, Dow Chemical Co. (retired); and Y.J. WANG, West Virginia University.

RICHARD V. FISHER, a professor emeritus of geological sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara, received the Thorarinsson Medal -- the highest honor awarded by the International Association of Volcanologists. Fisher is co-author of Pyroclastic Rocks, a leading volcanology textbook, and has conducted extensive research on international volcanoes and volcanic rocks.

The National Academy of Sciences has honored 18 individuals for their outstanding contributions to science. The awards, which include cash prizes, will be presented on April 28 in Washington, D.C., during the academy's annual meeting.

Two geoscientists are among those recognized. ERNST ZINNER, research professor of physics and of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, will receive the J. Lawrence Smith Medal for his studies of the isotopic composition of circumstellar dust grains preserved in meteorites. MIKHAIL A. FEDONKIN, head of the Laboratory of Precambrian Paleobiology at the Paleontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, will receive the Charles Doolittle Walcott Medal for his research in Precambrian and Cambrian life and history. Fedonkin has documented the body fossils, tracks, and trails that record the earliest evolution of animals.


JOHN ELIOT ALLEN was considered one of the "grand old men" of Oregon geology. An expert on the Columbia River Gorge, he worked as a field geologist, and eventually chief geologist, of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries in its early years. After leaving the department, Allen held several teaching positions and finally settled at Portland State University where he founded the geology department in 1956. When he retired 18 years later, he embarked on a third career - - writing. Allen wrote a weekly geology column for The Oregonian and co-wrote Hiking Oregon's Geology.

He was a fellow of the Geological Society of America, member of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, former president of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, and the 1972 recipient of that organization's Neil Miner Award for superior teaching. Dec. 17, 1996.

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND DORR II worked for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for 39 years. He spent much of his career in Brazil as a research geologist locating and helping to develop manganese and iron deposits. He also worked to improve geological education in Brazil by helping to establish the Geological Society of Brazil, geology programs in Brazilian universities, and exchange programs for Brazilian professors and students.

During World War II, Dorr worked on USGS efforts to locate foreign sources of strategic minerals. In addition to his extensive postwar service in Brazil, he also completed geological projects in other parts of Latin America and India. He returned to the United States in 1962 to serve as the USGS manganese specialist.
Dorr, who retired from the survey in 1975, was a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Society of Economic Geologists, Geological Society of America, Geological Society of Brazil, and Geological Society of India. He was the recipient of honor awards from the USGS and the International Cooperation Administration and was officially recognized for his contributions by the Geological Society of Brazil and other Brazilian organizations. Dec. 23, 1996.

CLYDE W. TOMBAUGH, founder of the astronomy research program at New Mexico State University, discovered the planet Pluto in 1930 when he was only 24 years old. Possessing a passion for the heavens, Tombaugh made telescopes out of old farm machinery and car parts -- one such telescope fortuitously landed him a job with the Lowell Observatory in Arizona where he made his famous discovery. In 1955, Tombaugh joined the faculty at New Mexico State University and established a respected research program in astronomy. He retired 18 years later. Jan. 17, 1997.

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