2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


KELLEY, Michael S., Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University, Herty Building, Statesboro, GA 30460, mkelley@georgiasouthern.edu

The Planetary Geology Division of GSA presents the G. K. Gilbert Award annually “to an individual who has contributed in an outstanding manner to the solution of a fundamental problem of planetary geology.” The Award is named for Grove Karl Gilbert (1843-1918) who recognized over 100 years ago the need to study other planetary bodies to better understand the Earth. In the spirit of Gilbert, the 2006 recipient of this prestigious award has taken a multidisciplinary approach to his work. Dr. Michael J. Gaffey successfully bridges the gaps between geology and astronomy, and between meteoritics (laboratory measurements) and asteroid spectroscopy (remote sensing). He pioneered data acquisition, calibration, and analysis techniques that are now state of the art for ground-based studies of asteroids. He has helped design instrumentation to optimize mineralogical studies of rocky planetary bodies. He has participated in spacecraft missions and used the Hubble Space Telescope to map the surfaces of asteroids. The Gilbert Award is presented for either “a single outstanding publication or a series of publications that have had great influence in the field.” Dr. Gaffey qualifies on both criteria. His early paper on the spectra of meteorite classes is still the standard publication referenced by asteroid and meteorite spectroscopic analog studies. His seminal papers on laboratory calibration of extraterrestrial analog materials, asteroid-meteorite connections, and sub-hemispheric spectral reflectance analysis of asteroids span three decades and set the standards for subsequent efforts. Asteroids are relatively unchanged since their formation (based on meteorite analyses), so they tell us about the chemical reservoirs they sampled in the solar nebula. Asteroids provide the spatial context for meteorites, and physical studies of them are the ground truth for models of meteorite parent body formation and evolution. Thus Dr. Gaffey's work on asteroid geochemistry, mineralogy, and petrogenesis has implications for anyone developing models of solar system formation. In this presentation we will highlight some of Dr. Gaffey's contributions to the field of Planetary Science. In addition, we will survey recent advances and ongoing projects in asteroid and meteorite studies that benefit from his participation.