It is not easy to witness the departure of so many talented and dedicated geologists. Every month, we read of more losses within our ranks, and it’s very painful to see how fleeting one’s impact is, particularly when juxtaposed with the almost unfathomable unfoldings of geological time.

Our life spans are nano-blinks of the eye. The scientific and technological ideas can be an even briefer nano-instant.

How does one go about honoring the memory of those we’ve lost? Just thinking of the last year alone, there are Arnold Bouma, Wayne Ahr, Gerald Friedman, Coy Squyres, and Douglas Strickland.  There are even more, but these are ones I had met and interacted with.

It’s hard to find a geologist who is not also a mentor.

In fact, the transfer of knowledge – and wisdom – is probably what characterizes geoscientists of all stripes.

This is what makes me aware that sharing of knowledge and wisdom are what seems to persist in our transitory, impermanent world.

The ultimate legacy is education. If you want to make a mark, find a way to contribute to a scholarship fund, or set up one yourself. Or alternatively, you may wish to make resources available to a school or program. The AAPG Foundation has funds in place, and almost all the geologists we lost last year have either established a fund, or have designated an education fund.

Do it before it’s too late. Education is the ultimate legacy. You’ll change lives and perhaps the destiny of entire communities and nations.

Last 5 posts by Susan Nash

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