At the 33rd International Geological Congress in Oslo, Norway, August 6, University of Cincinnati Professor of Geology Carlton Brett will be presented the medal by the International Commission on Stratigraphy at a special meeting of the ICS. Brett is a key part of UC's nationally ranked paleontology program in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.
The Digby McLaren Award recognizes a significant body of internationally important contributions to stratigraphy. The medal celebrates Digby Johns McLaren, a Canadian paleontologist, biostratigrapher and former president of the Geological Society of America, who died in 2004. When the medal was awarded for the first time in 2004, McLaren was able to attend the conference, although in failing health at the time. Carl Brett is only the second recipient of the medal.
"He was a well-known stratigrapher and an advocate of impact theory as a cause of the big extinctions," Brett recalls. "Very early on, I remember him arguing that some extinctions might have been caused by an asteroid impact and people didn't believe him. He was vindicated, of course."
It is completely fitting that Carl Brett should receive the award named after someone who was known for his passion and advocacy, for those are two things that Carl brings to his teaching and research. Even in an interview intended to focus on an award he is about to receive (ahem), he is thinking about his students and his studies. And what could be a better testimonial to his dedication?
Carl Brett's influence began early: His father, Wesley Brett, was a professor of design and art at the University of New Hampshire and later at the State University College at Buffalo.
"Dad was a wonderful teacher," Brett exclaims. Clearly that teaching bug was passed from father to son. He was a wonderful craftsman, too, as evidenced by a beautiful cabinet that Carl proudly displays in his office. An intricate set o
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