A lovingly crafted tribute to the first 53 professors who served MIT's geology department.
After an opening salute to the teaching assistants, research associates, librarians, secretaries, and shop personnel who were mainstays of the geology department over the years, Professor Shrock proceeds to the heart of his mammoth undertaking: he presents biographies of all 53 professors who served the department for its first century, along with their portraits and bibliographies of their publications. Chronologically, they range from William Rogers, the geologist who founded MIT, to Gene Simmons (who as an authority on the minerals of the moon, reflects the giant steps that science has taken in recent years) and Frank Press, in recognition of the department's second century. In between are the biographies of such notable earths scientists as Alpheus Hyatt, Thomas Sterry Hunt, Thomas Jaggar, Hervey Shimer, Reginald Daly, Waldemar Lindgren, Martin Julian Brueger, and Patrick Hurley.Of course, Professor Shrock's own autobiographical sketch appears in this series. His permanent place in the history of his science derives from his work in paleontology and sedimentology. In 1944, The MIT Pres published his Index Fossils of North America, written with his faculty colleague Hervey Shimer, and it has been in steady demand ever since, with its tenth reprinting in 1977. Professor Shrock was also Head of the Department of Geology and Geophysics from 1950 to 1965. The department has since been renamed the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences to reflect man's new capacity to explore extraterrestrial geologies and possible biologies, but the core of its activities remains solidly down to earth. That one of Shrock's successors was named by President Carter to be his science advisor is in part recognition of the increasing importance of the earth sciences and their attendant environmental concerns in all o our lives. The scientists whose careers are outlined in this massive and lovingly prepared work devoted their lives to increasing man's understanding of the earth and its resources, and they are worthy of the tribute their colleague has paid them, whether they have long before entered the earth or still probe its surface, discovering ever more about its nature, character, and riches.