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Geologist who linked cosmic strike to dinosaurs' extinction takes top prize
Date:10/16/2008

immigrant to the United States who became a leading shipbuilder, World War II military leader and pioneer in transatlantic air travel. Vetlesen passed away in 1955. Designed to recognize sweeping achievements on par with the Nobel (which has no regular prize in earth sciences) it is given every several years by a jury appointed by the president of Columbia University. The most recent awards were in 2004 to climate-change scientists Sir Nicholas Shackleton of the United Kingdom and W. Richard Peltier of Canada. Others among the previous 25 recipients have been the Dutch astrophysicist Jan Hendrik Oort and several scientists at Lamont-Doherty itself, including marine geologist Walter Pitman and seismologist Lynn Sykes.

Alvarez told the story of his discovery in his 1997 book T. Rex and the Crater of Doom. More recently, he has been working on questions relating to plate tectonics, the origins of Italy's Apennine Mountains, and geology's influence on ancient Romesubjects related in his upcoming book The Mountains of St. Francis.

Alvarez will receive the award and accompanying medal from Columbia president Lee Bollinger at the university's Low Library on Nov. 21.


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Contact: Kevin Krajick
kkrajick@ei.columbia.edu
212-854-9729
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert  

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Geologist who linked cosmic strike to dinosaurs' extinction takes top prize
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