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In Memoriam

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Gerald Rowland (1928-2017)

Gerald Rowland passed away on September 19, 2017 at the age of 89.  He was born August 13, 1928 in Whittier, California, and he attended the University of California, Los Angeles receiving a B.S. in mathematics in 1950.  In order to meet the requirements of his undergraduate teaching minor he needed an upper division science course, and he took a course in astronomy from Frederick C. Leonard, my father.  When another student subsequently dropped out of a field trip to the Barringer Meteorite Crater Gerald took his place.  He became my father's research assistant, co-authoring "A Catalogue of the Leonard Collection of Meteorites" published in Contributions of the Meteoritical Society in 1951. 

After graduation from UCLA Gerald accepted a teaching position in the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico.  He worked under the supervision of Lincoln LaPaz, Director of the UNM Institute of Meteoritics.  He received his M.S. in mathematics from UNM, leaving in 1956 to join the faculty of Long Beach City College.  In that same year he co-authored "An Index Catalog of the Multiple Meteoritic Falls of the World" and "The Classificational Distribution of the Single and Multiple Meteoritic Falls of the World."   Two years later he was elected Secretary of the Meteoritical Society, a position he held from 1958-1966.  These were both challenging times and times of transition for the Society.  Much had changed and much had been accomplished by the time he transferred the Society paperwork to the incoming Secretary, Roy Clarke.

When my father died in 1960, Gerald provided support to our family both during the period of my father's illness and after his death.  He participated in the creation of the Leonard Medal, and was one of those who presented it to my mother, Rhoda Leonard, in 1963.  In that same year he published the final catalog of the Leonard Collection of Meteorites which he had previously inventoried and helped transfer to UCLA.

Gerald loved music and sang in choirs most of his adult life.  As a school-age child I knew him as the family friend who joined us for our Christmas Eve celebrations.  He had a remarkable memory for dates, and he never missed a birthday or anniversary.  To the end of his life I could count on a note from him every year on the anniversary of my father's birth.

Gerald faced a number of serious medical challenges throughout his life.  The first, while a graduate student at UNM, almost took his life.  About the time of his retirement he was stricken with a rare form of Guillain-Barre syndrome that required months of hospitalization and left him with weakness from which he never fully recovered.  Yet he faced these and other obstacles with the grace and good humor that characterized him throughout his life.

Gerald also was the person who wrote the remembrance of my father that appeared in the first issue of Meteoritics when it resumed publication in 1963.  It is a privilege and an honor for me now to be able to write this remembrance of Gerald.

Fred Leonard

18:19 | Obituary

In Memoriam

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Lawrence A. Taylor (1938-2017)

A memorial for Larry Taylor submitted by Clive Neal (PDF)
18:02 | Obituary

2017 McKay and Wiley Award Recipients

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The Gordon A. McKay Award

The McKay Award honors the memory of Gordon A. McKay and is supported by the McKay Fund, established in 2008 as a part of the society's endowment. The award is given each year to the student who gives the best oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of The Society. The McKay Award for the 80th Annual Meeting in Santa Fe is given to Jennika Greer (University of Chicago) for the presentation "Atom Probe Tomography of Lunar Regolith Ilmenite Grain Surfaces".

The Wiley Award

Sponsored by the publisher of Meteoritics and Planetary Science, four Wiley Awards are given each year for outstanding oral presentations by students at the Annual Meeting. For this year’s meeting in Santa Fe the awardees are Daniel R. Dunlap (Arizona State University) for the presentation "26Al-26Mg Systematics of the Ungrouped Achondrite Northwest Africa 11119: Timing of Extraterrestrial Silica-Rich Magmatism", Maximilien J. Verdier (Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris) for the presentation "Temperature Precipitation of Ca-Carbonates in CM Chondrites Inferred from In-Situ Oxygen Isotopes", Jonas Pape (University of Bern) for the presentation "In-Situ 26Al-26Mg Dating of Single Chondrules by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry" and Lionel G. Vacher (Université de Lorraine, France) for the presentation "Petrographic and Isotopic C and O Survey of the Earliest Stages of Aqueous Alteration of CM Chondrites".

Wiley Award recipients (from left): Daniel R. Dunlap, Maximilien J. Verdier, Jonas Pape and Lionel G. Vacher
17:31 | News


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Second edition of David Kring's "Guidebook to the Geology of Barringer Meteorite Crater"

     A second edition of David Kring's "Guidebook to the Geology of Barringer Meteorite Crater, Arizona (a.k.a. Meteor Crater)" was produced for The Society's field trip to northern Arizona following the 80th Annual Meeting of The Meteoritical Society in Santa Fe.  After the field trip, the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) published the guidebook on-line so that it is available to all members of The Society.  The url for the guidebook is listed below:

    The first edition of the guidebook was produced for the 70th Annual Meeting of The Meteoritical Society in Tucson.  The second edition expands the book from 150 to 270 pages and is loaded with over 150 figures and more than 200 photographs of the crater and samples from the crater.  Students and teachers are free to use the work to conduct virtual tours of the crater from their classrooms.

16:43 | News

In Memoriam

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Fara N. Lindsay (1961-2017)

Fara Lindsay, an astute petrologist, inspiring teacher, and talented dancer, died on June 14, 2017 from cancer. A native of Bayonne, NJ, she received a B.A. from SUNY, Brockport in 1983 with a concentration in movement analysis and went on to dance professionally with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and in Europe with the Broadway Musical Company. In the late 1990s, she returned to the academy, enrolling at Rutgers University, New Brunswick where she earned a second bachelor’s degree -- a B.S. this time, with a double major in Chemistry and Geology -- and then in 2009 a Ph.D. under the direction of volcanologist Michael J. Carr (

From 2009 through 2017 Fara did research on extraterrestrial materials with our group at Rutgers, where she was a superb mentor for undergraduates. She was equally at home with the electron microprobe, the petrographic microscope, or a centrifuge tube, although given her ‘druthers she’d always choose the probe. She brought her considerable skills to bear on problems related to the Moon, meteorites, and micrometeorites. Her main focus was 40Ar/39Ar dating of microsamples of meteorites, by means of which she examined a rich chronological landscape not readily accessible from analyses of bulk materials or mineral separates. A study of the achondrite GRA 06128,9 showed how the intrusion of a glass vein could reset the argon clock (Lindsay et al., 2014); the ages of certain grains from the Kapoeta howardite suggested that the RheaSilvia basin on Vesta formed late (Lindsay et al., 2015a); the variability of Chelyabinsk (LL5) ages provided a graphic chronometric demonstration of the heterogeneity of shock effects (Lindsay et al., 2015b); and the diverse ages recorded by the martian breccia NWA 7034 include a dominant signal at 1.4 Ga (Lindsay et al., 2016).

In 2016 Fara joined the MoonDB program at Lamont-Doherty Geological Laboratories with Kerstin Lehnert.

As part of a personal statement in 2011, Fara wrote:
My great uncle left his rock and mineral collection to me in his will.  I was 10 at the time and had no understanding of rock type or mineralogy, but sensibly sorted them into shiny and pretty, shiny, those that glowed under black light and those that were just okay.  With a few basic books form the library, I made several identifications, but many objects remained a mystery to me.  After high school, my uncle’s collection was forgotten while I embarked upon a career in the arts.  Yet even then, my fascination with all things sparkly remained kindled by reading books detailing ancient and historic uses of minerals and stones, and working at the jewelry counter of a department store.  I kept the rock and mineral collection with me across Europe until I returned to college.

Fara leaves behind many friends among whom we are glad to count ourselves. The echo of her laughter resonates in the halls of Rutgers Geology Department.

Gail Ashley
Jerry Delaney
Gregory Herzog
Jisun Park
Carl Swisher
Brent Turrin

12:19 | Obituary