Earth Scientists

Bascom, Florence (earth scientist)

  (1862-1945) American Field Geologist, Petrologist Florence Bascom is considered the “Grand Dame of American Geology.” She was truly a pioneer who enabled women to make a name for themselves in the traditionally male-dominated field of geology. Even though she was the second woman in the country to earn a Ph.D. in geology (following Mary […]

Bethke, Craig M. (earth scientist)

  (1957- ) American Hydrogeologist One of the most important applied aspects of geology today is the study of how fluid flows through rock and soil. It not only dictates our ability to find clean sources of groundwater for drinking and industrial uses, but because there is such a close interaction between ground and surface […]

Bodnar, Robert J. (earth scientist)

  (1949- ) American Geochemist When a mineral crystallizes, it can trap a minute bubble of fluid, melt, and/or vapor that is present during the crystallization process, whether igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary during dia-genesis (lithification). This encapsulated bubble is called a fluid inclusion. The fluid within it tells geologists something about the composition of the […]

Bloss, F. Donald (earth scientist)

  (1920- ) American Mineralogist For many years, the analysis of minerals was done using a microscope and then wet chemical methods for further resolution if necessary. With the advent of X-ray analysis and spectroscopy, these old optical methods, although still used to give general results and to guide the choice of further analysis, were […]

Birch, A. Francis (earth scientist)

  (1903-1992) American Geophysicist Francis Birch is famous not only for his contributions to geophysics and geology but also to the World War II effort in his role in development of the atomic bomb. He is considered one of a few founders of the science of solid Earth geophysics. His most famous research was to […]

Billings, Marland P. (earth scientist)

  (1902-1996) American Structural Geologist When John McPhee contrasted mountain building events from the East Coast of the United States with those from the West Coast in his book In Suspect Terrain, he did so metaphorically by describing geologists. In contrast to the glitzy modern image portrayed for the geologically young mountains of the West […]

Bowring, Samuel A. (earth scientist)

(1953- ) American Isotope Geochemist The Cambrian-Precambrian boundary is the most profound transition in the geologic record in terms of life. This boundary marks the demise of a rich diversity of invertebrate fauna that lack shells, including some jellyfish and worms, but also some complex forms. They were replaced by a whole new group of […]

Bowen, Norman L. (earth scientist)

  (1887-1956) Canadian Petrologist, Geochemist Norman L. Bowen was the greatest petrologist of the 20th century and one of the most influential geologists of all time. His name is known by anyone who has attended a college course in physical geology by virtue of the famous Bowen’s ReactionSeries which appears in every physical geology and […]

Bouma, Arnold H. (earth scientist)

  (1932- ) Dutch Sedimentologist Unstable accumulations of sediments at the shelf edge and especially in submarine canyons can slide down the continental slope in essentially an underwater avalanche. This flow of unconsoli-dated debris is called a turbidity current or tur-bidite and it involves no movement of water, just material (sediments). During the Grand Banks […]

Bredehoeft, John D. (earth scientist)

  (1933- ) American Hydrogeologist With the mounting pressure to find clean sources of groundwater as the population of the world increases, hydrogeology has emerged from the shadows of the Earth sciences to become perhaps its most important discipline. Indeed, protection of water resources is one of the most pressing needs of society today. One […]