Geotimes Logo PEOPLE and PLACES September 1998 


The American Geological Institute (AGI) has selected DAVID WUNSCH, a geologist with the Kentucky Geological Survey, as its 1998-1999 Congressional Science Fellow. He is the first Congressional Fellow sponsored by AGI since 1982. Wunsch brings a background in hydrogeology and geochemistry as well as experience in state government to his new position of science adviser. He will serve for one year in the office of a representative, senator, or congressional committee. "It gives me an opportunity to contribute to better government," he says. Wunsch joins more than 30 other fellows, supported by 28 other science and engineering organizations. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) administers the program for all the fellows. AGI President Susan Landon says the combination of geological and political experience that Wunsch has acquired by working for a state survey makes him a top candidate. "He's going to Washington with a very realistic view of what his role can be," she says. "We were impressed with his enthusiasm for providing earth-science input to Congress." Wunsch earned his Ph.D. in hydrogeology from the University of Kentucky in 1992. He has worked with the Kentucky Geological Survey since 1985 and became an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky in 1997. Working with the Federal Facilities Oversight Unit, he provides technical support for the cleanup and monitoring of the Department of Energy's Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. As a scientist with the Kentucky State Geological Survey, he has gained legislative experience by working with the State Water Management Task Force and the Kentucky River Basin Steering Committee.

Three AGI member societies will also send Congressional Science Fellows to the Hill this fall. The American Geophysical Union selected DAVID E. HUNTER, who served this summer as a U.S. Department of Energy Global Change Fellow at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He holds a B.S. in natural resources from Cornell University. Prior to his work at Scripps, he spent a year studying sulfate aerosols and global temperature trends at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
   The Soil Science Society of America selected NEYSA M. CALL, who recently earned her Ph.D. in crop science from North Carolina State University. The Geological Society of America will send KAI S. ANDERSON, currently a Ph.D. student at Stanford University studying facies architecture of turbidite systems.

On July 1, AGI's Education and Human Resources Department was divided into two departments. MICHAEL J. SMITH, who joined AGI as director of curriculum development in May, was named director of the new Department of Education. He will supervise education and curriculum development projects. MARILYN J. SUITER, who had been director of the former Department of Education and Human Resources since 1992, is now director of the Department of Human Resources and Career Development. Her new department advances human resources, scholarships, and careers in the geosciences. A reorganization of AGI's structure was needed because the services, activities, and programs that the institute offers have expanded in scope and increased in number, says Executive Director Marcus E. Milling.

In June, the Association of American State Geologists selected their 1998-1999 officers. The new officers are: President-Elect JAMES M. ROBERTSON, Vice-President JONATHAN G. PRICE, Secretary S. CRAGIN KNOX, Treasurer VICKI J. COWART, Statistician LAURENCE R. BECKER, Editor-Publication Manager JOHN P. BLUEMLE, and Historian EMERY T. CLEAVES.

The Council on Undergraduate Research elected new officers in July: President CHARLOTTE A. OTTO, University of Michigan-Dearborn; Immediate Past President NEAL B. ABRAHAM, DePauw University; and President-Elect DAVID G. ELMES, Washington & Lee University. The new chair of the council's Geology Division is JILL K. SINGER, State University of New York-Buffalo.

KURT J. SCHNEBELE, an oceanographer with experience in field work, data processing and analysis, and technical program management, has been named deputy director of the National Oceanographic Data Center in Silver Spring, Md. The center is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Schnebele retired from the NOAA Corps in 1997 after 26 years of service aboard several NOAA ships and with the agency's Atlantic Marine Center. Recently, he served as executive director of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Starting July 19, DAVID EVANS became the new director of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Evans was formerly the deputy assistant administrator of the agency's National Marine Fisheries Service in Silver Spring, Md. Succeeding Evans is ANDY ROSENBERG, who was the Northeast regional manager for NOAA Fisheries. Northeast Deputy Regional Administrator JON RITTGERS will act as regional administrator until Rosenberg's former position is filled.

President Clinton nominated BILL RICHARDSON, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as the next Secretary of Energy, to replace outgoing secretary Federico Pena. As a New Mexico congressman from 1983 to 1997, Richardson represented the district that includes the Sandia and Los Alamos DOE laboratories. Also, PATRICIA FRY GODLEY resigned, effective July 31, as assistant secretary for fossil energy. She has served as assistant secretary since 1994 and was in charge of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. ROBERT S. KRIPOWICZ, principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy, became acting assistant secretary for fossil energy upon Godley's departure.

The Dibblee Geological Foundation awarded its 1998 Dibblee Medal to CLARENCE A. HALL JR., Professor Emeritus of Geology in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was honored for "outstanding contributions to geology through geological mapping and the interpretation of his maps," says John Crowell, professor of geology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Dibblee Medal symbolizes the importance of geologic mapping as a means of providing solutions to geologic problems for the benefit of mankind.

The Editorial Board of the Journal of Engineering Geology of the Geological Society (London) awarded its Young Author of the Year prize to SEAN TYRREL, a microbiologist at Cranfield University. The prize, for the best paper by an author under the age of 35, recognizes Tyrrel's work on iron bacteria that infect boreholes and aquifers. Tyrrel received the award in June during a meeting of the society's Hydrogeology Group.

RICHARD ASHMORE, an undergraduate geoscience major at Lamar University in Texas, was selected for U.S.A. Today's 1998 All-USA College Academic Team. The award carries a $2,500 prize and recognizes Ashmore and 20 other students from around the country for intellectual achievement and leadership. He is also the first person the national newspaper has selected for both its four-year and two-year teams. He was selected for the 1997 All-USA Community College Academic First Team while a student at Lamar University-Orange.
   The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) honored Ashmore for his academic achievements during its convention last May. Ashmore is the first student in AAPG's Convention Scholar program, funded by Houston-based ResTech. The Orange, Texas, native will graduate from Lamar in May 1999 with double majors in geology and earth science and minors in computer science and mathematics. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in vertebrate paleontology.
   JAMES V. TARANIK, who served as president of Nevada's Desert Research Institute for 11 years, was recently appointed Regents Professor by the University and Community College System of Nevada. He is now President Emeritus of the Desert Research Institute and holds the Arthur Brant Chair of Geophysics at the Mackay School of Mines. He was dean of the school from 1982 to 1987 and served as chief of the Non-renewable Resources Branch of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from 1979 to 1982. Taranik was principal scientist for geological applications at the U.S. Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observations Systems Data Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., from 1975 to 1979. He earned his Ph.D. from the Colorado School of Mines.


The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) has selected the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (known as New Mexico Tech) in Socorro, N.M., as the home of its new PASSCAL Instrument Center. The single, integrated instrument center should be completed in October. "A single instrument center provides for continuous staffing and management and will make it easier to evenly distribute the workload and support disparate field experiments while maintaining ongoing initiatives in the core facility," the PASSCAL Standing Committee reports in a recent IRIS Newsletter. "The savings realized by minimizing operating costs will enable PASSCAL to increase its capability at a faster rate, better servicing the portable array seismology community." RICK ASTER and HAROLD TOBIN will be the center's principal investigators. PASSCAL, or Program for the Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere, is a member program of IRIS.

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