Paleontologist Named Dean Of Science At Natural History Museum

In this post, Novacek will coordinate the research efforts of the scientific staff members, who are conducting investigations in more than 50 areas of biology, mineralogy, and anthropology. He will also advise the president on all matters dealing with the direction of research at the museum, and will act as the chief spokesman on the museum’s scientific programs, both internally and externally. Novacek, who joined the museum staff in 1982 as an assistant curator, will continue his rese

Oct 16, 1989
The Scientist Staff

In this post, Novacek will coordinate the research efforts of the scientific staff members, who are conducting investigations in more than 50 areas of biology, mineralogy, and anthropology. He will also advise the president on all matters dealing with the direction of research at the museum, and will act as the chief spokesman on the museum’s scientific programs, both internally and externally.

Novacek, who joined the museum staff in 1982 as an assistant curator, will continue his research in systematics and evolution, fossil history, and relationships of placental mammals.

A native of Evanston, Ill., Novacek is the author of some 100 publications on systematic methods, evolution, and morphological and biochemical phylogeny of animals; mammalian auditory evolution; vertebrate biogeography; and faunal history. His work in the Andes Mountains, where he discovered the fossil remains of prehistoric whales and other mammals, led to new investigations of South American continental drift, biogeography, and Andean mountain building.

Novacek earned his Ph.D. in paleontology in 1978 at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received the Lauderback Award for outstanding research in earth sciences. From 1977 to 1979, he served as an assistant professor of zoology at San Diego State University, where he received the Times Award as the outstanding assistant professor. In 1979, he was awarded early tenure and promoted to associate professor.

Novacek has received grants from the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, the Eppley Foundation, and the American Museum's Theodore Roo sevelt Memorial Award Program. Most recently, he received support from the Sloan Foundation. He is using this money to organize a symposium on the molecular and morphological evidence for mammalian phylogeny, which will be held at the museum in June 1990.

Women in Aerospace (WIA), a non-profit professional society based in Washington, D.C., presented its third annual Lifetime Achievement and Outstanding Achievement awards on September 12. Jill Tarter received the 1989 WIA Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of her contributions to the field of exobiology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, her melding of engineering and science, and her dedication to public education. Tarter, who is on the staff of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute of the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., and a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley, was appointed project scientist for the SETI Microwave Observing Project this summer. Estelle Condon and Margaret Finarelli shared the 1989 WIA Outstanding Achievement award. Condon, who is the project manager of the Airborne Antarctic and Arctic Ozone Experiments and chief of the earth science projects and planning at Ames Research Center, was honored for her leadership in global change research and her excellence in chemistry, physics, and engineering. Finarelli, who is deputy associate administrator for external relations at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was recognized for her role in space policy and international space cooperation. In her previous role as head of the NASA team for international space station cooperation negotiations, Finarelli was instrumental in ensuring agreements were reached.

The Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., has selected the scientists responsible for the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 missions and inventor Edwin Land to receive the 1989 National Air and Space Museum Trophy. The trophy is awarded annually for acvhievement in air and space science and technology. The Voyager team, represented by Edward Stone, project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, was selected for its current contributions to space science, particularly the new data on the outer solar system. Land, who founded the Land Committee, which advises the president on reconnaissance and intelligence matters, was honored for his longstanding contributions to the American overhead reconnaissance program and to the space program. Land developed the cameras used in the U2 aircraft and Discoverer series of satellites. He also invented the stereo camera used on one of the lunar missions and the first synthetic light polarizer, which led to his founding of the Polaroid Corp.

Harold M. (“Hub”) Hubbard, former managing director of the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) in Golden, Cob., received the Charles N. Kimball Award from the Midwest Research Institute (MRI) for maintaining and expanding MRI’s relationships with the leadership of the community and the Midwestern region. Hubbard received the annual award, which was established in 1977, in recognition of his tenure as president of MRI from 1950 to 1975. He remains active at MRI, where he is president emeritus at MRI as well as senior vice president for operations. Prior to his involvement with MRI and SERI, he worked for the Du Pont Co. for 18 years. Hubbard received both his B.S. in chemistry and his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He is a member of several professional associations and has re ceived numerous recognitions and honors.

Hubbard’s successor, Gene Mannella, was the former director of Washington operations for the Electric Power Research Institute. Mannella, who has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y, will be responsible for all of the day-to-day operations at SERI.

He brings to SERI his background in management, research, and energy technologies.

John Cairns, Jr., founder and director of the Center for Environmental Studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, received the American Fisheries Society (AFS) award for excellence. Cairns, who earned his Ph.D. in 1953 in protozoology from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, was honored for his work in applied aquatic ecology, particularly in tbe field of environmental hazard evaluation. Cairns also initiated the tiered testing system used to register pesticides and new chemicals. AFS, founded in 1870, is the world’s oldest and largest organization for fisheries science professionals.

Phillips V. Bradford has been named director of the Colorado Advanced Technology Institute (CATI) in Denver. Bradford, who began his appointment on September 5, will be responsible for the overall management, planning, and direction of CATI’s staff and five research programs. Bradford was the associate director of the Center for Advanced Technology, Computer and Information Systems at Columbia University in New York. He is also an active member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the Institute of Electronic Engineering; the New York Academy of Sciences; and Sigma Xi..

Maria Simpson has been named conference director of the New York Academy of Sciences. Simpson, who previously was an administrator at the New York School for Social Research and the City University of New York, will be responsible for the overall direction of the academy’s international scientific conference program, including the acquisition, funding, and management of more than 20 conferences each year, as well as a number of invitational workshops.

Ronald Galyean, former director of research and development at Griffith Laboratories in Alsip, Ill., became head of the food sciences department at Clemson University, S.C., in September. Galyean, who supervised research and development of food products at Griffith since 1985, taught in the food technology department at Texas Tech University in Lubbock from 1977 to 1985. A member of the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Society of Testing and Materials, he received his bachelor’s degree from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, and his doctorate, from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Jon Mearns McChesney, a recent graduate of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, received the American Physical Society’s (APS) Simon Ramo Award for outstanding doctoral thesis in plasma physics. In his thesis, McChesney described the technique he used to measure the velocity distribution and temperature of argon ions in the CalTech Encore tokamak plasma. McChesney found that the ions were being heated for a brief time about 50 times faster than could be explained by conventional theory. He explained this vanation by fitting chaotic behavior into the equations used to describe ion motion in the wave field. Computer simulations verified what he observed experimentally. McChesney, who is currently working at General Atomics in San Diego, will receive $1,500 and a certificate at the annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics next month in Anaheim, Calif. The award, which was established in honor of Simon Ramo, director emeritus of TRW Inc., is supported by the Cleveland-based company.

The Western Amateur Astronomers, a group that encompasses the amateur astronomy clubs of the Pacific region. of the United States, presented its 1989G. Bruce Blair Award to Harold Weaver, professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, and treasurer of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Weaver, who formerly directed the Radio Astronomy Laboratory at Berkeley, received the award in recognition of his contributions to astronomy, having among other things fostered cooperation between professional and amateur astronomers in the western U.S. by initiating outreach programs and by encouraging amateur astronomers to contribute to astronomy and astronomy education.

Richard Rosenblatt, an ichthyologist and marine biologist, has been appointed chairman of the Marine Biology Research Division Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. As chairman, Rosenblatt will oversee research and graduate studies in biochemistry, physiology, and ecology of marine animals, plants, and bacteria. In addition to his teaching, Rosenblatt will continue to function as curator of the marine vertebrate collection at Scripps.A member of several professional societies, Rosenblatt joined the oceanography institution in 1958. In 1968, he was named associate professor, he was appointed full professor in 1972. He served as chairman of Scripps’ graduate department from 1980 to 1985.

Rush D. Holt has joined the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) as assistant director. Holt, who earned his Ph.D. in physics from New York University, will be responsible for a number of internal and external administrative duties, including government relations. Prior to joining PPPL, Holt served as chief of the Nuclear and Scientific Division of the Office of Strategic Forces Analysis in the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C. Holt, whose principal areas of research interest have been solar physics and fluid mechanics, has been a visiting researcher at a number of institutions, including Woods Hole (Mass.) Oceanographic Institution, the National Solar Observatory at Kitt Peak in Arizona, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

The American Institute of Physics (AlP) presented its 1989 Science Writing Award to Mark Littmann for his book Planets Beyond: Discovering the Outer Solar System. Littmann, who is a visiting professor of astronomy at Loyola College in Baltimore, is president of Starmaster Corp., an educational publications company. In addition to writing books, he has also written, produced, and directed several planetarium theater programs and has won several awards for his contributions to the planetarium profession. The ALP award was presented to Littmann at the institute’s Corporate Associates Meeting in Detroit on October 3. The author received a $3,000 prize, a certificate, and an engraved Windsor chair.

Allen Rothwarf, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Drexel University, Philadelphia, has been named director of the newly established Ben Franklin Superconductivity Center. The center, which is a consortium of local universities, corporations, and Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Partnership, will conduct multidisciplinary research on the development and applications of superconductors. Rothwarf will coordinate the center’s research efforts. Peter Davies, professor of materials science at the University of Pennsylvania, and Robert Salomon, professor of chemistry at Temple University, both in Philadelphia, have been appointed associate directors of the center.

Gary A. Lorden, professor of mathematics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, has been appointed vice president for student affairs at the Institute. Lorden, who has been on the CalTech faculty for 21 years, will be responsible for the welfare of the students. He will also oversee the activities, which supplement the academic program. Lorden graduated from CalTech in 1962 with a B.S. in mathematics. He received his Ph.D. in 1966 from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. In 1968, he returned to CalTech as an assistant professor of mathematics; becoming a full professor in 1977. In addition to teaching, Lorden has served as dean of students from 1985 to 1988. He has also acted as a consultant in probability and statistics at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1968. Lorden succeeds James J. Morgan, the Marvin L. Goldberger Professor of environmental sciences, who has returned to full-time teaching and research.