Philosophical Society of Washington

Where Is That Collection?

Finding Geological Specimens for Research

J. Thomas Dutro, Jr.
Research Associate, Museum of Natural History

2210th Meeting Abstract
Friday, October 20, 2006 at 8:15 PM


Collections of fossils, rocks, minerals, and drill cores form the basis of geological research. Today, many geologic results are digitally developed and announced on the Web to an eagerly awaiting geologic community. This sometimes presents a problem, in that the basic geologic evidence is hardly ever reexamined. This gives an important role to pattern recognition in historical and archival activity.

About the Author:

Tom Dutro is a Research Associate with the Smithsonianís Museum of Natural History. As an octogenarian earth scientist, he has become a living data bank for all the geologic lore he gathered in a half century of field and laboratory work.

Tom retired from the U.S. Geological Survey in 1994 and is now a Scientist Emeritus. Much of his research was in Alaska and the northwestern United States. His geological and biostratigraphic research earned him the Department of Interiorís Distinguished Service Award and Meritorious Service Award.

He has served as Trustee and President of the Paleontological Research Institution. He also served as President and Board Member of the Association of Earth Science Editors. He was President of the Pacific Division of the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is a member of the Cosmos Club.

He holds a B.A. from Oberlin College (1948). He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. from Yale. He was awarded an honorary D.Sc. from Denison University in 1993.

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