Congratulations, Marcia!published Oct 29, 2009
Congratulations to Marcia McNutt, who has been confirmed by the Senate as the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey.
I trailed a few years behind Marcia in the doctoral program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the 1970's, when women scientists were scarce at Scripps and non-existent in the higher reaches of the profession. Times have indeed changed:
In describing her background during confirmation hearings before the Senate Committee on Energy & Resources, Marcia singled out her undergraduate "Introduction to Geology" course with Professor John Lewis of Colorado College:
High level praise for the importance of field-based learning! High level encouragement for faculty teaching "Introduction to Geology" or your local equivalent starting point course!
Don Woodrow called my attention to Marcia's praise of the impact of a great "Introduction to Geology" course in her Senate confirmation hearing, contrasting this to the nasty and ill-informed dig about "Rocks for Jocks" in a recent NY Times op-ed piece by Calvin Trillin.
Inspiration for my graphic of the USGS Directors:
The reason that T-shirt graphic and the USGS Directors graphic work so well (in my opinion) is given by Edward Tufte in his 1997 book Visual Explanations: "Multiples in Space and Time: Multiple images reveal repetition and change, pattern and surprise--the defining elements in the idea of information. Multiples directly depict comparisons.... Multiples amplify, intensify and reinforce the meaning of images." (p.105)
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