GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 141-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


TAYLOR, Lawrence, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Planetary Geosciences Institute, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1410,

Harry Y. McSween, Jr., better known to all of us as “Hap”, is a Professor of the first magnitude,

combining the properties of his cutting-edge research and science, with his massive education of hundreds of Planetary Geoscientists. He does this with his multi-component recipes of enthusiasm and optimism; fashion clothes; deadlines and organization; neat suits; punctuality and proposals; cool ties; meetings and publications; nice duds; books and professional societies, Joe Cool, comradery, et cetera. He is the envy of all who know him. His persona, consisting of science and education and perfection and leadership, is world renown and were evident at a young age. Indeed, when he was born, he immediately cleaned up the delivery room and rearranged the furniture.

As a Ph.D. student of John Wood at Harvard, he joined his fellow students, including Tim Grove, Ed Stolper, and Dave Walker in ‘brainstorming’ science, while playing bridge. He attributes this atmosphere of massive amounts of mental calories to his ever-growing success as a scientist and Professor, even now. In 1977, Hap joined the author in the beginning of their Planetary Geosciences Institute in the Department of Planetary and Earth Sciences at The University of Tennessee. His dissertation on carbonaceous chondrites and achondrites led him to suspect that some of the achondrites actually represented samples from the only other petrologically active body in the Solar System = Mars (McSween, Taylor, and Stolper, Jan. 1979 Science). This was the beginning of his quest for ever more Martian Meteorites and led his mental juices to continually dwell on the origin and evolution of Mars.

Hap has been a scientific magnet, ever attracting high-quality under-graduate and grad students, including some 14 Ph.D. students, many of whom have gone on in academia, including the two young ladies, who chair this session, Professors Tasha Dunn and Rhiannon Mayne. As President of GSA last year, Hap has carried on in his dedicated tradition of service and education of our entire scientific community.