Geotimes Logo ABOUT PEOPLE July 1996

PHILIP HAGUE ABELSON received the National Science Foundation's Vannevar Bush Award for his scientific and technological contributions to the public's welfare. An avid learner possessing a passion for science, Abelson's career spanned many scie ntific disciplines. A colleague noted that Abelson could have entered five different divisions when asked to join the National Academy of Sciences. He chose to enter the geology division but had never received formal education in that field. Geology, like other areas of his scientific expertise, had presented itself as a natural extension to his curiosity.
A chemist and physicist by training, Abelson was involved in early research with radioactive tracers and was the first American to identify products of uranium fission. After completing his Ph.D. in 1939, he joined the Carnegie Institution where he be came chairman of the biophysics section of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. Coincidentally, Vannevar Bush was the head of the Carnegie Institution at the time. Bush facilitated Abelson's move into geology by appointing him director of the institut ion's Geophysical Laboratory. "I wasn't enthralled about the situation," he recalls. "But it was an opportunity to learn in another sphere. I thought maybe I could combine my knowledge of biochemistry with paleontology in seeking to acquire knowledge of a ncient things."
Abelson turned his attention to the fledgling space program in the early 1960s, revitalizing the Journal of Geophysical Research, and eventually forsaking research to become the editor of Science. As editor, he took the magazine in as m any diverse directions as his broad professional contacts would allow, enabling Science's coverage of the most exciting discoveries of the past decades.
At the age of 83, he works as a consultant for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is a contributor to Science.

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration installed its 1996 Board of Directors at the society's annual meeting. Board members include: JOHN F. BURST, President; RICHARD R. KLIMPEL, President-Elect; RAJA V. RAMANI, Past President; GEORGE W. LUXBACHER, Eastern Region Vice President; EILEEN ASHWORTH, Central Region Vice President; BRUCE W. CAVENDER, Western Region Vice President; and TA M. LI, Vice President-Finance.

The Mineralogical Society of America awarded the American Mineralogist Undergraduate Award to the following seven outstanding students: COEN M. BAUDERS, Miami University; ROBIN D. BUTLER, The University of Oklahoma; TONYA EDWARDS, Georgia State University; MARY ANN HIRSHFELD, Williams College; MICHELE MARIE M. PELLETIER, The University of Calgary; JEREMY REINEKE, Georgia State University; and JOHN J. WALSH, Queens College.

GERALD M. FRIEDMAN, professor of geology at Brooklyn College and the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society.

The National Academy of Sciences announced the election of new member NEIL D. OPDYKE, professor of geology at the University of Florida. Opdyke, whose research interests include paleomagnetism, tectonics, and paleoclimatology, chaired the depar tment there from 1981 to 1988. He served previously as senior curator of geological samples and research associate at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and adjunct professor in the geology department at Columbia University, and has been a visiting pro fessor at the University of Paris, a Senior Fulbright Fellow in Australia, and a recipient of Fulbright Travel Grants to France and Australia. Opdyke is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science , and the American Geophysical Union.

W.F. "WILLY" WEEKS, a glaciologist and professor of geophysics at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, was awarded the Emil Usibelli Prize by the university. Weeks, who specializes in the study of sea ice, was recognized for excellence in resea rch. A former president of the International Glaciological Society, he is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.


CARL A. VON HAKE worked for over 30 years as a geophysicist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before retiring in 1987. He also worked on extensive earthquake research projects. Feb. 15, 1996, in Boulder, Colo.

JACK E. HARRISON was a geologist and scientific administrator with the U.S. Geological Survey for more than 40 years. Harrison's studies of the Belt Supergroup in the northwest United States began in 1957 and continued into retirement. He was a uthor and co-author of numerous publications, belonged to many local, national, and international societies, and served as a U.S. representative on the International Union of Geological Sciences Subcommission on Precambrian Stratigraphy. In 1979, he recei ved the Interior Department's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Harrison was a founder of the Belt Association, an organization built around the study of belt rocks; that association dedicated its third decennial symposium to him in Whitefis h, Mont., in 1993. An award of excellence in field work in the northern Rocky Mountains was presented posthumously by the Tobacco Root Geological Society. June 2, 1995, in Lakewood, Colo.

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