A to Z of Earth Scientists

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A to Z of Earth Scientists was originally intended
to include only Earth scientists who have made
contributions to our understanding of the Earth
since World War II, with emphasis on those who
are currently active or were recently active. It was
intended that there should be a relatively even
distribution across the subdisciplines as well as
geographically, although it was realized from the
outset that there would be more American scientists included. However, many of the society and
government agency awards are named in honor
of previously active Earth scientists so many of
them are included as well.
Research for this book showed that there is
very little biographical information available for
currently active Earth scientists. There is basic
information on employment, awards, and date of
birth available for most living individuals in the
volumes American Men and Women of Science.
The American Geological Institute’s Bibliography of Geology also contains their publications.
The information on their contributions to the
Earth sciences, however, is very difficult to obtain and commonly must come from award citations from societies, if available. In many cases,
the only information available is that on web
sites and even that is usually scant. As a result,
information had to be solicited directly from the
Earth scientists to be included in the book. In
some cases, it took several solicitations to obtain
the information and in others, because of a lack
of response, the individual could not be included
in the book. As a result of the exhaustive amount
of effort required in research, unavailability of
information, and a major change in the structure
of the book during writing, the list of biographies changed radically during the writing of the
book and is generally shorter than planned. The
choices may almost seem arbitrary and capricious to some readers. The number of biographies could easily be doubled to include those
who deserve recognition for their contributions
to Earth science. Language problems made it especially difficult to obtain information on scientists outside of the United States. In no way
should the final list of Earth scientists included
in this book be construed to indicate that these
are the only people who made contributions to
the field or that their contributions are of greater
importance than many other exceptional scientists in the profession. The hope is that this book
will be popular enough to warrant a second edition in which many more deserving Earth scientists might be included.