|HISTORY OF GEOLOGY|
|Volume 30, Number 3||
History groups celebrate anniversaries
History of Geology Division Activities:
Friday, October 20, 2006
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Ellis L. Yochelson (1928-2006)
Meetings of interest � future
Requests for assistance
Publications of interest
Ideas to consider
2006 HoG Division Officers
PHILADELPHIA � October 20-25, 2006
HISTORY GROUPS CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARIES
The Geological Society of America�s History of Geology Division (HoG) and the History of Earth Sciences Society (HESS) are celebrating milestone anniversaries at the 2006 GSA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
The History of Geology Division/GSA
George W. White, University of Illinois, who had played a significant role in establishing the International Union of Geological Sciences' International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO), was interested in getting a similar group started within GSA. White was joined in this effort by Cecil J. Schneer of the University of New Hampshire. The result of this joint effort was the creation of our History of Geology Division which was approved by the GSA Council in November 1976 at the GSA Annual Meeting in Denver: "It is with real pleasure that the officers, Council, and headquarters staff welcome the newly established History of Geology Division" (John C. Frye, GSA Executive Director; Division Newsletter, v. 1, no. 1, February 1977).
The stated purpose of the Division has changed little over the past 30 years: "Purpose. The purpose of the division is to provide a suitable forum for presentation of papers on history of geology and discussion of problems of interest in the study of the history of geology and the development of the geological sciences, and to act as an organized group in promoting these objectives within the framework of the Geological Society of America" (Division Bylaws, February 1977).
The Division's first slate of officers, along with White and Schneer, are representative of the forces behind the creation of the Division. The first officers were: Chair, Claude C. Albritton, Jr., Southern Methodist University; First Vice-Chair, C. Gordon Winder, University of Western Ontario; Second Vice-Chair, Robert H. Dott, Jr., University of Wisconsin; Secretary-Treasurer-Editor, Clifford M. Nelson, USGS. Please refer to the Division web site for a complete list of past officers: http://www.www.gsahist.org/notices/celebrate.htm.
Since that founding at the 1976 meeting, there has been at least one session, and often several sessions, devoted to the history of our science at each of the GSA Annual Meetings, and at many GSA Section meetings as well. It was a History of Geology Division session at a Northeastern Section meeting in 1980 that ultimately led to the creation of the History of Earth Sciences Society, which is now an Affiliated Society of GSA. The first publication of the DNAG series was devoted to the history of geology in North America and was edited by Division members (Geologists and Ideas: A History of North American Geology: Eds. Ellen T. Drake and William M. Jordan, Centennial Special Volume No. 1, 1985). Many of the papers in the volume had been presented in Division sessions at GSA meetings.
One of the many highlights of Division activity was the March 19-21, 1994, GSA Penrose Conference, "From the Inside and the Outside: Inter-disciplinary Perspectives on the History of the Earth Sciences." The Conference was organized by L�o F. Laporte, Naomi Oreskes, and Kenneth L. Taylor and was held at the Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island in San Diego, California. As the announcement described it, the idea was, "�to bring together people who write on the history of the earth sciences in order to discuss key methodological issues arising out of the different approaches taken in this field. A basic premise of the conference is that a deep schism separates the insider and outsider perspectives in the history of earth sciences" (emphases in the original) (HoG Division Newsletter, v. 16, no. 2, June 1993, p. 1). In other words, the scientist-historian and the historian of science did not always understand each other's point of view, and the conveners hoped that this GSA Penrose Conference would bring people from these two worlds together for a few days to bridge the schism. And as conferences go, it was a real bargain; the estimated cost for registration, all meals, double occupancy room/per person, coffee breaks, and airport transportation was $525.00.
Part of the fascination of the Conference was trying to determine just who was an insider and who was an outsider. However, in all regards, the hopes of the conveners were realized, and the Conference was a rousing success. Later it was reported that, "�a new spirit of understanding, enthusiasm, and cooperation was developed and that great progress can be expected in the future" (HoG Division Newsletter, v. 18, no. 1, July 1994, p. 1). A new group, "Friends of GeoClio" was formed, a group bound by mutual interest in the history of earth sciences. It was agreed that there would be no officers and no dues. The Friends flourished for a while, even creating a web site clearinghouse for activities in the history of earth sciences. Although that web site was a very popular one, funding difficulties eventually forced it to close, and the site was subsumed into the History of Geology web site. The "GeoClio" members who were active in the History of Science Society (HSS) were among the founding members of HSS's "Earth and Environmental Forum," which hears annual reports from HESS and HoG Division members. Those who were fortunate to attend this Conference remember it fondly, and many feel that the time is right for another such gathering.
In 1982, the Division awarded its first History of Geology Award, which was "�created to recognize individual contributions of fundamental importance to the understanding of the history of the geological sciences." With the passing of a dear and long-time member, Mary C. Rabbitt (USGS) in 2002, the Division received a bequest from her estate, and in 2005 the award was renamed The Mary C. Rabbitt History of Geology Award. There have been 25 honorees over the years, and Mary Rabbitt was the third recipient in 1984.
The Rabbitt bequest also provided the Division with the resources to create the Student Award in the History of Geology. The student awardee is invited to present his or her winning paper at the GSA Annual Meeting, and there is a cash award of $500.00 to assist with the awardee's meeting expenses.
Because there are so many dedicated people who work behind the scenes to further the cause of the history of geology, in 2005 the Division created its Distinguished Service Award which recognizes, "�exceptional service in the advancement of our knowledge of the history of geological sciences." Robert N. Ginsburg, University of Miami, is the first recipient of this award, which will be presented at the upcoming Philadelphia meeting.
History of Earth Sciences Society (HESS)
At the Northeastern Section/GSA meeting in 1980, William M. Jordan, Millersville University, organized and chaired a symposium on the History of Geology in the Northeast. In the spring of 1981, many of the papers from that session were published in Northeastern Geology (v. 3, no. 1), which proved to be a very popular issue, and all copies were sold before the end of that year. This heightened interest and enthusiasm led to discussion about a separate journal devoted exclusively to the history of the earth sciences, an idea championed by Gerald M. Friedman, then at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Director/Founder of the Northeastern Science Foundation (HoG Rabbitt Award 2005). There were continued discussions with members of the History of Geology Division/GSA, e.g., George W. White, and with non-members, some from overseas, including Hugh S. Torrens (Keele University, UK) and Joan Eyles. (Note: George White was the first recipient of the HoG Division's History of Geology Award and Hugh Torrens received the Award in 2000).
At the November 1981 GSA Annual Meeting, a group of interested persons, Ellis L. Yochelson (HoG Award 2003), Claude C. Albritton, Jr. (HoG Award 1983), Michele L. Aldrich (HoG Award 1992), Douglas A. Bassett, and Walter O. Kupsch (HoG Award 2001), and led by Gerald M. Friedman (HoG Rabbitt Award 2005) and Sue T. Friedman, sought responses from various friends of the history of geology. Claude C. Albritton, Jr., presided over a small meeting in which the first constitution was drafted, and Ellis L. Yochelson was designated to begin seeking the non-profit status application with the U.S. IRS. The result of this activity was the formal founding of the History of Earth Sciences Society (HESS) in 1982, with its primary function that of publishing Earth Sciences History. A complete list of officers can be found at the History of Geology Division/GSA's web site http://www.www.gsahist.org/notices/celebrate.htm.
Due to its small membership at that time, there was some reluctance to even sponsor meetings. But with the assistance of the Northeastern Science Foundation in Troy, New York, and the Pacific Division/AAAS, occasional HESS meetings with accompanying field trips, were held and the papers from the symposia were published in the journal. The field trips provided the participants with not only a look at historically significant geological locations, such as the Helderbergs and Emmon's Line, but they also were shown the final resting places of some of the founders of North American geological understanding. The irony of seeing two bitter enemies, Ebenezer Emmons and James Hall, with strongly held opposing geological views, lying next to each other in their graves was not lost on the HESS group.
There was also even hesitance on the part of the membership to affiliate with a larger organization, such as the Geological Society of America, for fear this would weaken the international spirit of HESS. This fear proved to be ill-founded, and in the Fall of 1999, through the combined effort of Kennard B. Bork, President of HESS, and Kenneth L. Taylor, Chair of HoG Division, HESS formally became an Associated Society of GSA. This has resulted in many jointly sponsored programs at the GSA Annual Meetings and has proven to be a benefit to both HESS and the HoG Division/GSA. HESS is now affiliated with the American Geological Institute and looks forward to future affiliations with other groups and organizations interested in the history of any aspect of the earth sciences.
One of the main functions of HESS is still the publication of the journal Earth Sciences History, a journal which appeals to a wide range of scientists, historians, especially historians of science/geology, and archivists. Kennard B. Bork, Denison University and later a President of HESS (HoG Award 1997), was the first of many guest editors, and he organized Volume 1, no. 1, published in 1982. Gerald M. Friedman (HoG Rabbitt Award 2005) was the founding editor and remained editor until 1993. He was followed by Mott Greene (University of Puget Sound) and Gregory Good (West Virginia University. Beginning in only its second year, Earth Sciences History moved to two issues per year. By 1987, the journal was reaching about 500 members and 100 institutions and is now in volume 24. The current editor is Patrick N. Wyse Jackson, at Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
Even thought HESS received its non-profit (501c3) status from the United States Internal Revenue Service, from its inception HESS has viewed itself as an international organization. HESS, by its very nature, has more international membership and scope than the HoG Division. And HESS is more broadly defined than the HoG Division in that HESS includes the history of all aspects of earth sciences, including oceanography and meteorology. Also, several past issues of the journal have been devoted to topics in the history of earth sciences in areas well beyond North America.
Make plans to join us at the Philadelphia meeting and help celebrate these two anniversaries.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I am indebted to the following, all of whom have better memories than I, and they all have made valuable contributions to this article: Michele L. Aldrich, Kennard B. Bork, Robert H. Dott, Jr., Gerald M. Friedman, Alan Leviton, Clifford M. Nelson, Kenneth L. Taylor, Hugh S. Torrens, and Ellis L. Yochelson. My thanks to all for their help.
- Bill Brice
GSA ANNUAL MEETING - PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
Friday, October 20, 2006
GSA Field Trip #2: Behind the Scenes at the American Philosophical Society, the Library Company, and the Academy of Natural Sciences: Research Collections in the History of Geology and Paleontology PCC Departs from the 12th and Arch Street shuttle lane [TOC]
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
7:00 AM-9:00 AM
12:30 PM-3:30 PM
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
5:30-7:30 PM Tuesday, October 24 � Philadelphia Convention Center Room 201A
HISTORY OF GEOLOGY DIVISION AND HESS
ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AND FRIENDS RECEPTION
GSA History of Geology Division and History of the
Earth Sciences Society Student and Friends Reception
PCC 201 A
PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING ITEMS FOR OUR RAFFLE!!! We need your help to make this a success. Please notify Steve Rowland firstname.lastname@example.org if you have something to bring. PLEASE BRING AN ITEM!!!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
GSA Field Trip #31: History and Geology of Gettysburg
Don't miss this great trip through one of the truly historic sites of our country, led by someone who knows both the history of the events and the geology that helped control those events. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.
During the night of August 29-30, 2006, all of us in the History of Geology Division lost one of our strongest supporters, Ellis L. Yochelson, who died in his sleep sometime during the night. Ellis had not been particularly ill, but since the death of his wife, Sally, last December, he had just slowly declined. In a note from his daughter, Abby Yochelson, she said one of the medical examiners told her that it looked like he just died of a broken heart. I spoke by telephone with Ellis only a week or so before his death. In our conversation he was his usual charming self, and we had a great conversation. But Ellis was concerned about the lack of formal guidelines for selecting our Rabbitt Awardee, and we discussed the issue at some length. He felt that the Division should take a look at this procedure, and some of his concerns are in a note in this Newsletter (pages 17-18).
Ellis received the Division History of Geology Award in 2003, and it is fitting that we reprint the citation written by Michele Aldrich. When Michele prepared the citation for Ellis' award, we did not realize that it would later serve as his memorial as well. Here is the citation and Ellis' response as they appeared in March 2004. - Bill Brice (Editor)
Citation for Ellis Yochelson - Citationist Michele Aldrich
"Ellis was born in Washington DC in 1928. He enrolled at the University of Kansas and the University of Maryland, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in geology in 1949, the Master of Science degree from Kansas in 1950, and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1955. The most important event of his adult life occurred in 1950, when he married Sally Witt, who has anchored his professional and personal life ever since, including helping organize numerous scientific and historical meetings.
"He was affiliated with the Paleontology and Stratigraphy Branch of the Unites States Geological Survey from 1952 to 1985, after which he served on WAE status, senior scientist emeritus, and volunteer ever since. During his USGS tenure, Ellis has been headquartered at the National Museum of Natural History, where he has served as Research Associate since 1967.
"His Smithsonian connection resulted in historical as well as scientific achievements, reflected in his advice on the content and narrative text of several exhibits. Ellis had also taught at American University, George Washington University, University of Maryland and University of Delaware. He has been active in promoting science education in the schools in Washington DC and Prince Georges County in Maryland.
"As a paleontologist, Ellis specializes in gastropods and trace fossils. Like other successful paleontologists, he has an uncanny ability to sense which field localities are apt to yield specimens, just as good historians develop an intuition for which manuscript collections to search (although both phenomena may be self-fulfilling prophecies, of course). Anyone who has done fieldwork with Ellis can attest to his enthusiasm for the science � friends had to drag him off a Northern California beach where, for the first time, he saw masses of by-the-wind sailors, creatures whose relatives he knew well from traces in the fossil record.
"His field work led Ellis to undertake significant overseas travel. He has visited Norway several times but his most exotic expedition was to the Ellsmere Mountains (Antarctica) in 1979-1980, which resulted in a record number of slide trays with which to wow his audiences, the most remarkable being a half carousel of white-out slides akin to the monochrome paintings of Robert Rauschenberg.
"Ellis is noteworthy for his energetic activities in professional groups to support paleontology and history of geology through the sponsorship of symposia and the publication of books and articles. He has served as an officer in several paleontological organizations, including President of the Paleontology Society in 1975. He was a cofounder of the History of Earth Sciences Society, persuading people that it was crucial to have such a group to support Gerry Friedman�s journal, Earth Sciences History. Ellis was secretary treasurer of HESS in 1982�1984 and President in 1989.
"Officially connected to the organizing body of the USGS Centennial during 1975-1979 but unofficially active in planning long before that, Ellis is responsible for much of the scholarly luster that shined from that event, making it a time for cerebration as well as celebration. He has also advised Canada and the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia on anniversaries of their geological surveys. He also actively promoted history of earth science as part of the Smithsonian Institution�s recent 150th anniversary, most notably through sessions at the North American Paleontology Conference held in Washington DC that year.
"But it is primarily for his scholarly achievements in the history of geology that the Division is honoring him with this award. His first publication on the topic was a biographical sketch in 1960 of J. B. Knight. Ellis�s seventy page biography of Charles Doolittle Walcott appeared as a National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoir in 1968; this is an analytic piece on Walcott�s scientific and administrative life based in part on Walcott�s papers, not the usual blah commemorative essay that appears in this series.
"His interest in biography has continued through essays on geologists in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Dictionary of American Biography, and American National Biography. These series have very high editorial standards for accuracy, and demand the ability to compress lifetimes of scientific achievement into a few pages. Ellis is also an accomplished book reviewer for scientific and historical journals, submitting fair-minded work on time, of the right length, and properly formatted.
"Ellis has written and edited several items of great use to our field. He coauthored Images of the USGS with Cliff Nelson in 1979; 15,000 copies of this 56 page booklet were issued. Ellis produced a history of the National Museum of Natural History building in 1984 in celebration of its 75th anniversary, a topic to which he has returned several times. In 1980, he edited a GSA Special Paper on the ideas of Grove Karl Gilbert, and in 1982 he coedited Frontiers of Geological Exploration of North America, arising from a USGS centennial symposium held in Idaho.
"But this award is given mainly in recognition of Ellis�s massive two volume biopgraphy of Charles D. Walcott. For three decades, Ellis shared his research on Walcott through papers at scientific meetings as he worked on this opus. This gave him feedback on all aspects of Walcott�s life. We have had Walcott sliced, diced, curried, chicken-fried, sauteed, sweet and sour, mole, marsala, Florentine, hash, stew, and Walcott Wellington. A history of geology session was incomplete without a Yochelson paper on some aspect of Walcott. This has led to the definitive work on the man, but at a price � the manuscript was much too long. Tom Dutro said to cut it. John Pojeta said to cut it. Alan Leviton said to cut it. Most important, the publisher, Kent State University Press, said to cut it � in half. In despair, Ellis said he could not part with another word and asked me to look at it. I chopped out about a third of the first several chapters and told him he could see how to do the rest. He accepted about half my suggestions, and the Press went to print with it.
"The book has many merits, but I will mention only two here. First, Ellis dealt masterfully with Stephen Jay Gould�s presentist attack on Walcott�s work on the Burgess Shale fauna. Instead of a wild ad hominem counter-attack, Ellis stuck to the issues and laid out exactly what Walcott did accomplish. Second, the biography places Walcott in his historical context. Ellis explains Walcott�s continued administrative service as reflecting the Progressive vision of science as a way to solve human problems. While there are many disjunctions between Ellis and Walcott (Ellis has never been noted for his patience with bureaucracy despite or perhaps because of his life in Washington DC), they shared a faith that science could be a force for good on this earth."
- Michele Aldrich
(Certainly his response has to rank as the most imaginative we have ever had. - Bill)
RESPONSE - by Ellis L. Yochelson
"Because of �Oscar� Awards, public acknowledging is a well-known activity, and it is virtually impossible to prevent becoming a clich�. As a change, I will skip through the alphabet acknowledging a few people and places. The list is a small sample of the many to whom appreciation should be rendered.
Z � for Karl von Zittle, a chronicler of history of geology.
Y � is for three Yochelson kids, an investment which has paid grandchild dividends.
X � for Latin "Ex" (strange) as in expert and "spurt" as in drip under pressure-my feeling now surrounded by me peers and betters.
W � for the late Alexander Wetmore, who presented opportunity and challenge to consider the life of Walcott.
V � for varied, as in my publication record (also eclectic or disorganized).
U � for USGS for which I worked hard, but also stole time to do important things.
T � for Taylor, Ken, an exemplar for any history of science graduate student who aspires toward earth sciences.
S � for Sally who has put up with an incredible amount of aggravation for an incredible number of years; (not all aggravation is from history of geology).
R � for retirement; (with the formerly generous plan of the government this was my best career move).
Q � to be forgotten; (quest for knowledge is too dorky to include).
P � for publication, carrying with it certainty of mistakes; (the way to avoid them is not to publish, which is the biggest mistake).
O � for opportunity, granted me by many people for more than five decades.
N � for the Natural History Library, its librarians and all other libraries and librarians consulted; my appreciation includes archives and archivists.
M � for George Perkins Merrill, the ultimate source of why we are gathered.
L � for Leviton, Al, who provided unexpected opportunities to talk and publish.
K � for Kent State University Press, who actually sent a royalty check, which averaged out to $1.26 per year of investigation/writing, but moved me from mere author to professional writer.
J � to be ignored; (oldest son Jeffrey forced me from my KayPro to real computer
I � for Institution, Smithsonian (the "S" is for more important purpose), for providing research associateship and for its archival staff.
H � for History of Geology Division and what more can I state other than THANKS.
G � for Gastropoda, the fossils of which provided my toehold into geology.
F � for Friedman, Gerald (and Sue) who made Earth Sciences History both evolve and progress.
E � for evaluation, as in book review, some of which make you quell with joy and others make you quake with dismay.
D � for deadline, a devise of fiendish editors � an oxymoron � and, because the world is not fair, who are always right.
C � for Claude Albritton, a senior man who went out of his way to be gracious to a greenhorn.
B � for Bork, Kenneth, who should know already why he is appreciated.
A � for Aldrich, Michele, who went through a book-length manuscript with both fine-tooth comb and hobnail boots, yet, despite all, was willing to be a citationist.
I appreciate this honor more than I can express. Insufficient as is the letter "H," conversely it conveys my all."
- Ellis L. Yochelson
Ellis is survived by his daughter, Abby Yochelson (Washington, DC); and two sons, Jeffrey Yochelson (Woodstock, Maryland); and Charles (Chip) Yochelson (Sheridan, Oregon); and five grandchildren; Casey and Emma (Abby), Christopher and Dan (Jeffrey) and Lee (Charles). And, as his daughter, Abby, related, he is forever survived by Charles Doolittle Walcott.
As Ellis loved celebrating organization anniversaries, and as the Paleontology Society's centennial is in 2008, what more fitting tribute can there be than to create a memorial fund in Ellis' name for that centennial celebration. A fund of $10,000 will create a permanent "Ellis L. Yochelson Annual Award" as part of the student research fund. Please mark your contributions with the notation: "Centennial Campaign/Yochelson," and send them to: Dr. Mark E. Patzkowsky, Treasurer, The Paleontological Society, Department of Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802-2714. And the HESS 25th Anniversary meeting in Troy, NY, June 24-26, 2007 (for details see the June issue of the Newsletter) will be dedicated to Ellis.
Two reports on the INHIGEO meeting:
Meeting of the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences
First, a report from Kennard Bork:
After considering the evolution of geophysics at last year�s meeting in Prague, the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO) turned its attention to surface geology for its 2006 meeting and field excursions. Our venue was the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Two days of technical sessions focused on "History of Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology." The talks and business meeting were held in the Museum of Applied Arts in Vilnius, Lithuania. Sessions were organized into three categories: "Geomorphology," "Theory of Glaciation," and "Regional Aspects." Keynote speakers were Vic Baker (University of Arizona), Anto Raukas (Institute of Geology, Tallinn, Estonia), and Evgeniy Milanovsky (Moscow State University). In sum, twenty-five papers were given, covering a broad spectrum of geomorphic topics. A volume featuring many of the papers, plus supplemental material, is to be developed as a Special Publication of the Geological Society of London.
Geologists can sit for only so long, so on Sunday, 30 July, we had an interesting field trip through the glaciated belt around Vilnius. The tour included a noteworthy visit to the Medieval castle of Trakai. Then from Monday through Friday we were treated to an informative tour through Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. In Lithuania we visited such sites as the famous Curonian Spit and a museum of glacial erratics from all over northern Europe. In Latvia we saw complexly folded glacial strata along the River Letiza, the Hanseatic city of Riga, with its natural history museum, and the Medieval castle of Cesis. Estonia continued to display glacial landscapes forested in conifers and birch, but also included the historic urban and academic centers of Tartu and Tallinn. Karl Ernst von Baer, noted embryologist and supporter of Darwin, worked in Tartu, and we visited his home and study, as well as the noteworthy collections in the Department of Geology at Tartu University. Drumlin fields, oil-shale quarries, the Cambrian-aged Kunda "blue clay," with its possible benthic foraminifera, and the famous Baltic Klint (escarpment of Cambrian and Ordovician strata) were other attractions in Estonia. Our last afternoon, under cloudless skies, featured an enjoyable and informative walk through the Old City of Tallinn.
The sixty-some participants, from eighteen different countries, came away from the meeting with an enriched sense of the development of geomorphology and glacial geology, as well as a much deeper feeling for the complex history and current situations within the Baltic States.
- Kennard B. Bork
And now, a report from Sally Newcomb:
The 2006 meeting of INHIGEO (International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences) was held in three countries and five cities. The main topic was the spectacular glacial geomorphology of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, with inclusion of the complex history of the region. Under the inspired planning of Algimantas Grigelis, with the able assistance of his geomorphologist wife, Leonora Zivile Gelumbauskaite and a number of geologists and museum personnel from each of the three countries, participants from sixteen countries listened to papers, went on walking tours, attended the business meeting, all in Vilnius, then went on a one-day field trip in the surrounding region. In Vilnius we were welcomed at a reception and listened to papers at the three sessions in the Applied Art Museum of the city, in the grounds of the Ruler�s Castle. Session titles were: geomorphology; theory of glaciation; and regional aspects. The lovely terrace was the site of lunches and the farewell dinner for this first part of the meeting. That one-day field trip took us to the geographical center of Europe, a late Pleistocene moraine, lunch followed by a tour of the medieval castle in the lake at Trakai, and the Devil Pit, site of a meteorite impact.
The bus called for us at 7:00 a.m. for the post-meeting trip that took most of the participants through Lithuania to Latvia, and ending in Estonia. We had lunch in the courtyard of the Museum of Clocks in the bustling port of Klaipeda before the short ferry ride to the Curonian Spit. The lower part of the spit is part of Russia, but we stayed in the Lithuanian area seeing Amber Bay, a museum, sites of aeolian processes, and �live� and dead dunes. After staying the night in Klaipeda, we continued to the spectacular Museum of Stones in the little settlement of Mosedis, NW Lithuania. The museum itself is in an old mill, but the favorite of all was the collection of glacial erratics laid out on the grounds, organized as to point of origin, each with a polished area so that the mineralization could be seen. We then crossed into Latvia with three more field stops before arrival for an overnight stay in Riga. In the morning we had a tour of the medieval Hanseatic city and the Museum of Natural History. On the bus again, after a stop in the storied city of Cesis, we crossed the border into Estonia, to stay in Tartu. After dinner there was a walk through the University of Tartu, the premier university in Estonia. The next day our Estonian guides took us to the fourth largest lake in Europe, Lake Peipsi, the Saadjarve drumlin field, an oil shale mining site, and the Kochtla-J�rve mining museum. After lunch we saw the Kunda Cambrian blue clay quarry and the Palmse Manor and Museum before arriving at Tallinn, and our hotel. The final day we went to the coast to see the Baltic Paldiski Klint and a waterfall at the shore. After returning to Tallinn for lunch and a guided trip around the old city of Tallinn, we were taken to the Open Air Museum of Estonian history, and were treated to a final dinner in the pub there.
At all times we had geologists and geomorphologists explaining the landscape we saw through the bus windows and outside, as well as political history (when asked) of the country or region we were traveling through. We were impressed by the economic recovery demonstrated since the latest conqueror left in 1991, in these countries which have had wave after wave suppression over several thousand years. They have chosen to reconstruct their cities and institutions, and give serious attention to national parks, and museums. We have learned about both their geology and their resilient people.
- Sally Newcomb
MEETINGS OF INTEREST � FUTURE
(Note: Due to space limitations, not all meeting are listed here; only ones that have timely deadlines are included. See the June issue for others. � Bill)
The History of Science Societywill hold its 2006 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, November 2-5, 2006. This will be a joint meeting with the Philosophy of Science Association and the Society for Social Studies of Science. Check the HSS web site for details:
GSA Northeastern Section MeetingCALL FOR PAPERS: The 2007 GSA Northeastern Section Meeting will be held in Durham, New Hampshire in the conference complex at the University of New Hampshire during "spring break," March 11-14, 2007. The GSA History of Geology Division and HESS will be sponsoring a session on the History of Geological Ideas and Understanding of the Northern Appalachians (W. R. Brice, Chair). This session will focus on our understanding and interpretation of the geology of the Northern Appalachian Mountains and on the people who developed these ideas. Please submit an abstract by December 5, 2006, and join us in New Hampshire next spring. http://www.geosociety.org/sectdiv/northe/07nemtg.htm - Bill
International Conference - Histoires de la Terre -University of Sheffield, Fri 30th March � Sun 1st April 2007. CALL FOR PAPERS. CONFIRMED KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Ceri Crossley (Birmingham), Tim Unwin (Bristol), Gr�gory Quenet (Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines). The publication of Buffon�s Th�orie de la Terre in 1749 heralded the advent of an era in which thinkers would seek a new understanding of the earth and humanity�s relationship with its physical environment. This conference invites exploration of how Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment developments in the earth sciences and related fields (e.g. cartography, oceanography, mining, tunnelling, palaeontology, evolution) have informed French and Francophone literatures of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Proposals are invited for papers in English or in French, on the conference theme from any of the periods cited above and from any discipline of French and Francophone studies. Proposals (300 words maximum) for 20-minute papers should be sent to the conference organizers Dr Louise Lyle email@example.com and Dr David McCallam firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st October 2006. Conference organizers intend to publish a volume of selected essays from the papers presented.
BICENTENARY OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON. The Geological Society, founded 13 November 1807, is the oldest national geological society in the world. The History of Geology Group (HOGG) will be holding an international two-day conference on 12-13 November 2007 to celebrate the Geological Society�s bicentenary.
Conference: The conference will focus on the achievements of the Society, the founders, and some of its members and their activities over the past 200 years.
Field Trip: The conference will be preceded by a field trip to the Isle of Wight on 10-11 November 2007 to visit some of the classic geological localities of historic interest.
Dinners: On the evening of 12 November 2007 a dinner will be held in the Connaught Rooms, which now incorporates the Free Mason�s Tavern where the Geological Society was founded. A plaque commemorating the founding of the Society will be unveiled.
On the evening of the 13 November, 2007, the Geological Society will be holding a dinner in the Natural History Museum.
Call for papers: Anyone interested in offering a paper should send an abstract of not more than 300 words to email@example.com to arrive not later than 15 October 2006. Please clearly state which theme your paper addresses. As we anticipate a large number of papers to be offered, we regret we will not be able to include every one. However, we intend to publish a Geological Society Special Publication based on the conference proceedings in which we will be able to include a much larger number of papers, subject to the normal peer review process.
Register your interest: Anyone wishing to go on the mailing list to receive further information about this event should email firstname.lastname@example.org putting �HOGG bicentenary event� in the subject line.
For information on this and other HOGG events, go to: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/HOGG
REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE
Russian Academy of Science: Irena Malakhova, Department Chair of History of Science at the Vernadsky State Geological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is working on three volumes of biographies of members of the Russian Academy of Sciences from its inception to the present. The first two are nearly finished. The third volume is concerned with foreign members of the Academy. Dr. Malakhova is particularly requesting information that any History of Geology Division members may have on members from the U.S.A. She would like to know why they were elected to the Academy, how, and when, as well as who nominated them. This specific information is hard to find. The deceased members are: Harlan, Richard (1796-1843); Bauer, Lewis A. (1865-1932); Dana, James D. (1813-1895); Daly, Reginald A. (1871-1957); Agassiz, J. L. R. (1807-1873); Washington, Henry S. (1867-1934); Walcott, Charles D. (1850-1927); Day, Arthur L. (1869-1960); Hall, James (1811-1898); Lindgren, Waldemar (1860-1939); Osborn, Henry F. (1857-1935); Rogers, John. Members who are still living: Coleman, Robert G.; Press, Frank; Chilingar, George; and Wyllie, Peter J. Dr. Malakhova�s email address is: email@example.com.
John Joly Letters: Dear all: I am working on a biography of John Joly (1857�1933), the Irish geologist/geophysicist, and am keen to locate any correspondence to or from him. There is material in Trinity (incoming letters) but I don't know where many of his out-going correspondence ended up. Has anyone come across any Joly correspondence/material? If so please let me know the whereabouts of this material, or better still, if you have copies of the letters I would be delighted to see them. Many thanks, Patrick Wyse Jackson, Department of Geology, Trinity College, Dublin 2, IRELAND; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Descendents' Information: I am trying to trace the descendents of the
geologists (and a few archaeologists) listed below, to ask their permission to
quote from personal, unpublished material in my forthcoming book. If you can
help in any way, I would be most grateful to hear from you.
[TOC]email@example.com; website http://www.tcd.ie/Geology/.
PUBLICATIONS OF INTEREST(Other items will be in the November issue � Bill)
Rosenberg, Gary D., 2006, Nicholas Steno's Chaos and the Shaping of Evolutionary Thought in the Scientific Revolution, Geology, September 2006, v. 34, p. 793-796 plus additional online Data Repository item 2006164 (appendix, Nicholas Steno's Chaos and Ole Worm's Wunderkammer). Kudos to Gary on getting a history of geology paper into Geology.
The Chronologers' Quest: Episodes in the Search for the Age of the Earth
Patrick Wyse Jackson, Trinity College, Dublin; Hardback; 296 pp; $30.00. Order from: http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521813328. The debate over the age of the Earth has been ongoing for over two thousand years, and has pitted physicists and astronomers against biologists, religious philosophers against geologists. The Chronologers' Quest tells the fascinating story of our attempts to determine the age of the Earth. This book investigates the many novel methods used in the search for the Earth's age, from James Ussher and John Lightfoot examining biblical chronologies, Comte de Buffon and Lord Kelvin determining the length of time for the cooling of the Earth, to the more recent investigations of Arthur Holmes and Clair Patterson into radioactive dating of rocks and meteorites. The Chronologers' Quest is a readable account of the measurement of geological time. It will be of great interest to a wide range of readers, from those with little scientific background, to students and scientists in a wide range of the earth sciences.
1906 San Francisco Earthquake Centennial Field Guide
Edited by: Judith G. Prentice, Judith G. Scotchmoor, Eldridge M. Moores, and Jon P. Kiland.
GSA Bookstore, Product Code FDL007; $35.00 (Mbrs); $55.00 (Non-mbrs). The field trip guide for the 100th Anniversary Conference.
Saxa Loquntur (Rocks Speak): The Life and Times of the Geologist Gerald M. Friedman
By Gerald M. Friedman; SEPM Foundation, Inc. 2006. $18.00. (All sales go to SEPM Foundation.) This autobiography, "...reveals his love of geology, teaching, history, his many students and colleagues, judo and most of all family" [from a review by Donald Clark, Northeastern Geology and Environmental Sciences, v. 28, no. 3, p. 308 (2006)]. Order from: SEPM Foundation; Suite 308, 6128 E. 28th Street, Tulsa, OK 74135; 1-800-865-9765; Fax 1-918-621-1685.
IDEAS TO CONSIDER
1. A note from Bob Ginsburg: "I would like to revive an idea I have suggested earlier to expand our Division's outreach to students of geology. It has to do with providing ingredients to celebrate key events in the history of Geology. For example, I have organized what I called Hutton Day three or four times here (University of Miami). It was scheduled for a time in April near the date of the reading of Hutton's abstract. One year, three students presented short talks on Hutton and his contribution. Another year the students made a chronology of earth history some 100 feet long on the floor of our breezeway on which some of the highlights of geological history were illustrated. So what I suggest is that we consider developing one or two kits that would provide source material and suggestions for activities. For example Hutton's Abstract and the publication of Lyell's volume or Darwin's Beagle Report. These would be distributed to geology departments nationwide for faculty and students to use in organizing such celebrations." - Bob
2. Suggestions from Ellis Yochelson (NOTE: The following is based on a telephone conversation I had with Ellis only a few weeks before his death. The ideas and suggestions are his, the words are mine. - Bill). Ellis said that he wished the Division Bylaws would reflect more about why the Rabbitt Award is given and less about what is actually presented. Also, is the Rabbitt Award given to a person for a major single achievement or as a lifetime achievement? We should, he felt, make this distinction clear, or indicate that both are possible. Ellis felt our Bylaws say more about why the new DSA is given than it does about the Rabbitt Award. Also he felt the Division should consider making the Rabbitt Award selection committee a formal standing committee, in fact have an Awards Committee for all three Division awards. At the present time, the awards review committee is chaired by the Past Chair and consists of the last three Rabbitt awardees. But lately as we seem to be having more non-Division awardees, this method has generated some problems which a more formal Division committee with rotating three-year terms would avoid, or at least minimize. Also, Ellis felt the actual committee voting process should be standardized in some manner rather than each chair creating a system that is only used once or twice. He suggested that we have a three-person "Award Review Committee" with staggered three-year terms to be elected by the membership, with one person being elected each year. In case of a vacancy on the Review Committee, the Division Executive Board can appoint a person to complete the three-year term. Past awardees can serve (and are encouraged to serve) on the Review Committee, but they would gain membership on the Review Committee only through the election process. The Past Chair can act as the coordinator of the review process. This Review Committee would select the persons for the Rabbitt Award, the Student Award, and the Distinguished Service Award. The Committee's voting on these selections would be by a technique approved of by the Division Executive Board (Division officers) and should be uniform each year. The selections are to be submitted to the Division Executive Board for final approval. There may other ways to do this, perhaps the committee should be more than three members, etc., but these suggestions can serve as a beginning for discussion.
2006 HoG Division Officers
CHAIR: Gary D. Rosenberg, Department of Geology, Indiana University-Purdue University, 723 W. Michigan Street, SL118, Indianapolis, IN 46202; (317) 274-7468 (Office); (317) 274-7484 (Department); Fax (317) 274-7966; firstname.lastname@example.org.
FIRST VICE-CHAIR: Julie Newell, Social & International Studies, Southern Polytechnic State University, 1100 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta, GA 30060-2896; (678) 915-7481; Fax (678) 915-4949; email@example.com.
SECOND VICE-CHAIR: Steve Rowland, Department of Geoscience, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4010; (702) 895-3625; firstname.lastname@example.org.
SECRETARY-TREASURER-EDITOR: William R, Brice, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Geology & Planetary Science, Johnstown, PA 15904; (814) 269-3950; Fax (814) 269-2022; email@example.com.
PAST CHAIR: Charles W. Byers, Dept. Geology & Geophysics, University of Wisconsin, Weeks Hall, 1215 W. Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53706-1692; (608) 262-8960 (Dept); Fax (608) 262-0693; firstname.lastname@example.org. (NOTE: Due to the resignation of Ed Rogers in 2005, Charles Byers will continue as Past Chair for 2006.)
WEB MASTER: Hugh Rance, 4310 Kissena Blvd, 11 H, Flushing, NY 11355; email@example.com.