2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM

Truth in Minerals, Integrity in Science—the Legacy of Bernard W. Evans

MOGK, D.W., Dept. Earth Sciences, Montana State Univ, Bozeman, MT 59717, mogk@montana.edu

The product of a scientist's life work is measured not only by research outcomes, but also, by the impact on the larger scientific community. Through his personal example, Bernard W. Evans set the highest standards for training generations of petrologists. Key attributes include: asking critical and important questions about Earth materials and processes; a keen and unbiased ability to observe rocks and minerals in the field and to “read” their story; careful petrographic analysis as an antecedent to further analytical studies; use of emerging analytical techniques to characterize the composition and structure of Earth materials (electron microprobe, heating-freezing stage, TEM); care in sampling, sample preparation, standardization and data reduction to produce high quality analytical results; building on a firm foundation of “first principles” and theory (crystal chemistry, thermodynamics) to describe and interpret natural phenomena; engaging experimental techniques to reveal chemical and physical properties of minerals; clear and concise reviewing, editing, and compiling of the scientific literature; and, collaborative research that includes unselfish sharing of expertise, insights and knowledge. This set of geological skills that include field, analytical, theoretical and experimental approaches requires students to develop both analytical and integrative modes of thinking across many scales of observation. Students who are practiced in these approaches are well-prepared to become contributing members of the geoscience community as instructors, researchers and in service. By persevering to find “petrologic truth in minerals”, Bernard W. Evans has demonstrated how a mineralogical approach to petrology can be applied to diverse topics such as tectonics, ore petrogenesis, mineral spectroscopy, material science, and geomicrobiology. The legacy of Bernard W. Evans is an uncompromising dedication to honest and accurate characterization of minerals and rocks to address important geological questions—a legacy that has made important contributions to the corpus of scientific knowledge AND to the training of next-generation scientists.