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USGS Sedimentologist David Rubin to Receive Pettijohn Medal

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David Rubin
Above: David Rubin in Grand Canyon. [larger version]

The Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) announced in May that U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist David Rubin will receive the society's 2011 Pettijohn Medal. The Francis J. Pettijohn Medal for Sedimentology is awarded in recognition of excellence in sedimentology, with nominees being persons who have a significant record of outstanding contributions in sedimentary geology, including all aspects of sedimentology and stratigraphy.

SEPM President Paul M. (Mitch) Harris notified Rubin that he had been chosen to receive the Pettijohn Medal, which will be presented at the society's annual meeting in Houston, Texas, April 10-13, 2011. Nominations for the award are submitted from the sedimentary-geology community, by both members and non-members of SEPM. A special committee reviews the submissions and selects the nominee they think is most deserving. The committee's report is then reviewed by the SEPM Council, who grant final approval. See a list of previous award recipients on the SEPM Web site.

A few of Rubin's many accomplishments in the field of sedimentary geology have been highlighted in past Sound Waves articles:

  • Rubin's long-term studies of sedimentation in the Grand Canyon have led to changes in how the Bureau of Reclamation operates Glen Canyon Dam (http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2002/06/research2.html).

  • Partly to facilitate this Grand Canyon work, Rubin, along with colleague Henry Chezar, invented the Underwater Microscope System, affectionately known as the "Eyeball" (http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2001/06/research.html). This revolutionary new tool for conducting grain-size analysis of surficial sediment received a patent in 2004 (http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2004/03/research.html).

  • Rubin's computer animations depicting the formation of bedding structures, particularly cross-beds, have proved extremely valuable in the interpretation of complex bedding patterns exposed in outcrops (http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2006/11/pubs.html).

  • When scientists thought they saw the first firm, direct evidence for flowing water on the surface of Mars in images of cross-beds in a crater rim, they asked Rubin to review their work, invited him to participate in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) press conference in which they announced the discovery (http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2004/04/), and asked him to coauthor some of the resulting scientific papers.

Rubin's center director, Michael D. Carr (USGS Pacific and Coastal Marine Science Center) spoke for many when he wrote to Rubin: "The USGS certainly is fortunate to count you among our most outstanding scientists. Thank you for your continuing leadership in the scientific community and USGS science."

Related Sound Waves Stories
Release of DVD "Bedforms and Cross-Bedding in Animation"
November 2006
USGS Sedimentologist David Rubin Serves as External Expert During NASA Announcement of Evidence for Flowing Water on Mars
April 2004
Patent Awarded to USGS Scientists for Underwater Microscope System
March 2004
USGS Work Is Leading to New Operations for Glen Canyon Dam
June 2002
USGS Patent Pending for a New Underwater Microscope System
June 2001

Related Web Sites
Bedforms and Cross-Bedding in Animation
Society for Sedimentary Geology
not-for-profit organization

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Coastal Erosion at Cape Hatteras, NC

Geological Impacts of the Feb. 2010 Tsunami in Chile

USGS Tracks Sediment on Molokai's Reef

ResearchSignificant Natural-Gas Potential in Nile Delta

Outreach Girl Scouts Explore Geology

Earth Science Day in Menlo Park, CA

Meetings Knowledge Management Workshop

Awards David Rubin to Receive Pettijohn Medal

Staff Students Contribute to Modeling Morphologic Change

Publications July 2010 Publications

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Updated December 02, 2016 @ 12:09 PM (JSG)