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AGI Mourns Past President, Former Executive Director

Two distinguished geologists who played key roles in the development of the American Geological Institute (AGI) -- Laurence L. Sloss and Robert C. "Steve" Stephenson -- died late last year. Sloss served as AGI's president in 1968; Stephenson was the institute's executive director from 1955 to 1963.

"Both were lifelong supporters of AGI, and both made significant contributions to the organization and to the geoscience community," said AGI Executive Director Marcus Milling.

Laurence L. Sloss
Laurence L. 
Sloss Sloss, professor emeritus of geological sciences at Northwestern University who died Nov. 2, 1996, was widely recognized in the geoscience community as one of the pioneers of the concept of sequence stratigraphy. Many credit him with instigating a revolution in stratigraphic thinking. His many publications included a seminal 1962 study on the cratonic megasequences of North America.

A native Californian, Sloss earned his undergraduate degree at Stanford University and completed his graduate work at the University of Chicago. He joined the faculty at Northwestern in 1947. Sloss was named the William Deering Professor of Geological Sciences there in 1971, and he occupied that chair until his retirement 10 years later.
Sloss served as president of several major geological societies, including AGI, the Geological Society of America (GSA), and SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology). His many professional honors included the Penrose Medal from GSA, the William H. Twenhofel Medal from SEPM, and the President's Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Robert C. Stephenson
Stephenson Stephenson, a highly successful science administrator who died Dec. 17, 1996, directed the American Geological Institute during a critical period in its development. During his eight-year tenure, he increased the organization's budget tenfold (primarily through securing increased grant funding) and significantly expanded its services to the geoscience community.

Stephenson launched Geotimes magazine and served as its first editor. He established the Visiting Scientist Program and Visiting International Scientist Program and served on the steering committee for the first secondary-school geoscience curriculum. Under his direction, AGI started publishing its popular AGI (Data Sheets) series and produced its first Glossary of Geology and Related Sciences.
"Through his work at AGI, Dr. Stephenson played a major role in improving the professional status of geologists," notes Milling. When Stephenson left the institute in 1963, a tribute in Geotimes used Ralph Waldo Emerson's statement that "an institution is the lengthened shadow of one man" to emphasize the scope of his contributions to the organization.
Stephenson also served as executive director of the Ohio State University Research Foundation and the Texas A&M Marine Resources and Sea Grant College Program. Early in his career, he worked as an economic geologist for National Lead, Union Carbide, and other companies, and was assistant state geologist for Pennsylvania. Before retirement, he served as a research administrator for the U.S. Department of Energy. As a consultant, he was involved in international projects in Brazil and Turkey.
Stephenson served on and chaired numerous committees and conferences on research administration and international affairs. In retirement, he chaired the Lake County (Fla.) Water Authority's Advisory Committee on Conservation.
A native of Oxford, Ohio, Stephenson earned his A.B. from Miami University (Ohio) and his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University.

At its annual meeting in February, the American Association for the Advancement of Science recognized six individuals for their pioneering efforts to promote scientific awareness and science education. Those honored were D. ALLAN BROMLEY, dean of engineering and Sterling Professor of Sciences, Yale University; PHILIP W. HEMILY, adviser to the National Research Council and the National Academy of Engineering; ALAN J. FRIEDMAN, director, New York Hall of Science; WILLIAM M. JACKSON, professor of chemistry, University of California, Davis; JOSEPH G. GALL, professor of developmental genetics, Carnegie Institution of Washington; and DERRICK K. ROLLINS, professor of chemical engineering, Iowa State University.

FEDERICO PENA is slated to be the next secretary of energy, replacing HAZEL O'LEARY whose departure was announced shortly after President Clinton's re-election last fall. Pena, who served as transportation secretary during Clinton's first term, was previously the mayor of Denver and a Colorado state legislator.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) presented its 1996 John Wesley Powell awards to three individuals and an organization in recognition of their contributions to USGS programs. JACK DANGERMOND, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Redland, Calif., received the Powell award for achievement in industry; his work in developing and distributing geographic information systems has improved the analysis and presentation of USGS data. W. JACQUELINE KIOUS, a USGS volunteer, was honored for her efforts as co- author of a new general interest publication on plate tectonics. The survey recognized NANCY L. PARKE, government affairs director of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, for her support of the U.S. surveying and mapping community. The TRI-COUNTY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties, Mich., received the Powell award for achievement in state and local government.

RICHARD J. KRUIZENGA became president and chief executive of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man (ISEM) at Southern Methodist University on Jan. 1. Kruizenga, who has been a senior fellow and ISEM trustee since 1993, was vice president of corporate planning for Exxon Corporation until his retirement in 1992. He replaces JAMES E. BROOKS, who directed the institute for the last 15 years and who will now serve as its vice chairman. Under Brooks's guidance, ISEM expanded its global outlook through programs involving the international energy industry and played a key role in linking Texas energy companies with international opportunities. Brooks, a past chair of the geology department at Southern Methodist, is a professor emeritus of geological sciences at the university.

Staff changes at federal natural resource agencies include the appointment of MICHAEL DOMBECK as chief of the U.S. Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture. Dombeck leaves the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which he headed as acting director since 1994. SYLVIA V. BACA, Interior's deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management, will serve as interim BLM director until a permanent director is selected and confirmed. Resignations announced at Interior include GEORGE FRAMPTON, assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, and National Park Service Director ROGER KENNEDY.

Twenty-two current or retired U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employees have received the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior -- that organization'shighest honor. Those recognized include LARRY AMOS, a National Mapping Program manager; MANUEL BONILLA, an international authority on active faults; computer technology innovator WENDY BUDD; WILLIAM CANNON, an expert on the geology of the Great Lakes region; THOMAS DUTRO, honored for research accomplishments in biostratigraphy, regional geology, and applied brachiopod paleontology; ROMEO FLORES, a key contributor to the fields of sedimentology, energy resources, economic geology, and depositional modeling; MILTON FRIEND, director of the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis.; ARTHUR GRANTZ, an expert on Alaskan and Arctic geology; and KEITH KVENVOLDEN, whose gas hydrate studies have contributed to economic and environmental studies.

Other USGS employees honored were RICHARD MACDONALD, for developing earth-science applications of CD-ROM technology; PEGGY MCCAFFERTY, for her impact on the survey's ethics program; ROBERT MEADE, for contributions to geomorphology, sedimentology, hydrology, and petrology; automated mapping pioneer ALAN MIKUNI; RANDLE OLSEN, for contributions to cartography, digital mapping, and remote sensing; ROBERT PAGE, for Alaskan earthquake hazards research; WILLIAM PATTON, an authority on the geology, tectonics, and evolution of western Alaska and the Russian Far East; NIEL PLUMMER, for research on the mass transfer of mineral water reactions in groundwater systems; JOSEPH ROSENSHEIN, an internationally recognized hydrology expert; LAWRENCE SODERBLUM, for contributions to space science and astrogeology; LINDA STANLEY, for facilitating the reinvigoration of the USGS; JOHN VECCHIOLI, for contributions to groundwater hydrology; and RICHARD S. WILLIAMS, for accomplishments in using remote sensing to understand geologic processes.


WILLIAM J. SANDO was a member of the Paleontology and Stratigraphy Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey for 40 years. He earned his Ph.D. in geology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1953. His research focused on the study of fossil corals and how their evolution documented the ancient geological history of the Rocky Mountains. His investigations produced a large fossil collection, which is now in the National Museum of Natural History. Sando retired from the survey in 1993, but continued his research at the museum until 1995. October 1996.

GALEN KNUTSEN, Cyprus-Amax Minerals Company's exploration manager for Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, died last fall when Aeroperu flight 603 crashed off the coast of Lima, Peru. A certified professional geologist and member of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, Knutsen directed the U.S. Bureau of Mines Intermountain Field Operations Center from 1992 until the agency was abolished early last year. He managed mineral assessment efforts, environmental studies programs, and abandoned mine inventory projects, and headed an international team of experts that helped the government of Peru establish environmental guidelines for that nation's energy and mining industries. Before joining the bureau, Knutsen worked as an exploration geologist and exploration manager for Newmont Mining Corp. The company recognized Knutsen's success in locating and developing world-class gold deposits with its select "Gold Finder Award." October 1996.

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