Geotimes Logo ABOUT PEOPLEFebruary 1998


STEPHEN JAY GOULD, professor of zoology and geology at Harvard University, will become president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this month. Gould, a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist who is curator of invertebrate paleontology for Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, has written 15 books on science for the general public, including The Panda's Thumb, which won a National Book Award. He has been selected as a fellow of AAAS and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received more than 40 honorary doctorates.

Current AAAS President-elect M.R.C. GREENWOOD will become AAAS president. He is chancellor of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

THOMAS CASADEVALL will be named deputy director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) this month. Casadevall joined the USGS as a geochemist in 1978 and will take the deputy director position after serving as the regional director for the USGS Western Division. He earned his Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University and specializes in volcanic hazards and aviation safety.

The 1998 officers for the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) are: E. BRUCE WATSON, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, president; JOHN M. FERRY, The Johns Hopkins University, vice president; BARB DUTROW, Louisiana State University, secretary; MARK GHIORSO, University of Washington, councilor; and ROBERT W. LUTH, University of Alberta, councilor.

The MSA Council gave its 1998 awards, grants and fellowships to: C. WAYNE BURNHAM, Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University, Roebling Medalist; JAMES BRENAN, University of Toronto, 1998 MSA Award; DANIEL E. APPLEMAN, Cranbrook Institute of Science director, 1998 MSA Distinguished Public Service Award; SUBARNAREKHA DE, Princeton University Ph.D. student, grant from Edward H. Kraus Crystallographic Research Fund; R. LEE PENN, University of Wisconsin Ph.D. student, 1998 MSA Grant for Student Research in Mineralogy and Petrology. New fellows are NIKOLAI V. SOBOLEV, director, Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, and PETER J. HEANEY, Princeton University.

The 1998 officers for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists are: S. RUTT BRIDGES, a Denver-based private investor, president; BRIAN H. RUSSELL, president of Hampson-Russell Software Ltd., president-elect; WULF F. MASSELL, president of EPIC Geophysical, first vice president; KAREN R. CHRISTOPHERSON, president of Chinook Geoconsulting Inc., second vice president; TOSHIFUMI MATSUOKA, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd., vice president; STEVEN R. RUTHERFORD, Anadarko Algeria Corporation, secretary-treasurer; LAURENCE R. LINES, University of Calgary, editor.

JOANNE M. BURKHOLDER, associate professor for Aquatic Ecology & Marine Sciences at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, will receive the Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She will receive the award this month during the AAAS ceremony to honor scientists and engineers for their awards and achievements. Burkholder identified and named Pfiesteria piscicida, a toxic aquatic microbe. She is dedicated to focusing public attention on how U.S. rivers and fish -- and possibly people using and studying them -- could be devastated by the microbe.

ALLEN E. MURRAY, retired chairman and CEO of Mobil Corporation, received the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement from the American Petroleum Institute (API) during the institute's annual meeting in November.

The 1998 officers for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) are: DEANN CRAIG, Phillips Petroleum Co., president; GUSTAVO INCIARTE, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), 1999 president.

West Virginia Gov. Cecil H. Underwood granted LARRY D. WOODFORK, state geologist and director of the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, the Distinguished West Virginian award during the survey's 1997 centennial celebration. The award recognizes outstanding achievement and meritorious service to the state in a given profession. Woodfork was also selected by Kentucky's governor, Paul E. Patton, for its Kentucky Colonel award. The award recognizes contributions to the community, state, and nation.

JANE M. WILLARD, president and principal geologist for EnPro Assessment Corp. in St. Paul, Minn., received the first geologist's license through the Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience, and Interior Design for the state of Minnesota.


Norman Ross Tilford, professor of geology at Texas A&M University and executive director of the Association of Engineering Geologists (AEG), died in an airplane accident on Nov. 13, 1997, while flying his Cessna 180 from College Station, Texas. Tilford, who was 62 years old, joined Texas A&M in 1985 with 30 years of international geology experience.

Professor Tilford was en route Nov. 13 to Van Horn, Texas, where he was meeting his students for a field trip. They reported him missing on Nov. 14. Intense searching by the Civil Air Patrol proved unsuccessful, but two hunters found the plane's wreckage on Dec. 13 in a densely wooded area about nine miles west of Johnson City, Texas. Tilford apparently died on impact.

"We have lost a good friend and colleague," says Christopher Mathewson, who is also a professor of geology at Texas A&M. "The engineering geology profession has lost a dedicated servant, Texas A&M University has lost a great teacher, and the Association of Engineering Geologists has lost an outstanding leader."

Tilford was born in Moscow, Kan., On Dec. 14, 1934. He started his engineering geology career working on foundation geology with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Los Angeles Subsequently, he worked in west Pakistan for the Harza Engineering Company. After he earned his master's degree in geology from Arizona State University in 1966, he worked for the Philadelphia Port Corp. and then joined Ebasco Services Inc. in 1969. Tilford was the company's head geologist when it constructed the Keban Dam in Turkey, one of the largest dams in the world at that time. Beginning in 1975, he served as Ebasco's chief geologist and traveled throughout the United States and the world as a consulting geologist.

As a Texas A&M professor, Tilford was known for his incorporation of real life situations into his classroom teaching and on filed trips, Mathewson says. Tilford focused on active tectonics, water resources development, evaluation of geological hazards, and site selection studies.

He was a member of several associations and was particularly active the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the U.S. Committee on Large Dams, and AEG, serving as AEG's executive director since last June. AEG gave him its Floyd T. Johnston Service Award in 1992.

The Engineering Geology Foundation has established the Norman R. Tilford Scholarship to support student field work. Donations can be sent to John Ivey, Treasurer, Engineering Geology Foundation, 15554 West 67th Avenue, Arvada, Colo. 80007-7041.

SUZANNE TAKKEN, a charter member of the American Institute of Professional Geologists and past president of the Association for Women Geoscientists, died Nov. 9, 1997. She was born April 25, 1925. AWG named the Suzanne Takken Encourage Award in 1990 in recognition of Takken's work as a role model and mentor for women pursuing geoscience careers. She was director of the AWG Foundation.

In addition to her leadership roles in AIPG and AWG, Takken was an active member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Oklahoma City Geological Society. The society awarded her an Honorary Lifetime Membership in 1982.

Takken graduated from the University of Michigan in 1947 and worked as a petroleum geologist for Mobil Oil Corp. until 1970. She spent the remainder of her career as a consulting geologist. The book she authored, Landman's Handbook on Petroleum Exploration, was published in 1978. "She was a unique woman -- a leader in a male-dominated profession, a person of resoluteness and self-assurance with the independence of mind to 'take the road less traveled,'"says Robert Northcutt, a petroleum geologist in Oklahoma City and AIPG member. "We all miss her."

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