Geophysicist Awarded Roebling Medal

UC Riverside’s Harry Green receives the highest award given by the Mineralogical Society of America

Photo shows Harry Green and two others.

Harry W. Green II (center) is the recipient of the 2012 Roebling Medal presented by the Mineralogical Society of America. He is seen here with Michael F. Hocella, Jr. (left), the president of the society, and UC Riverside’s Larissa Dobrzhinetskaya, his citationist. Photo credit: Green Lab, UC Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Harry W. Green II, a distinguished professor of the Graduate Division in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded the 2012 Roebling Medal by the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA).

The medal is the highest award given by the society for scientific eminence as represented primarily by scientific publication of outstanding original research in mineralogy.  It was presented to Green at the annual meeting of the MSA in Charlotte, NC, on Nov. 6.  He also was made a “Life Fellow of the Society.”

Previous winners of the medal include Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, one of the most influential chemists in history, and leaders in mineralogy, petrology and mineral physics.

Early in his career, Green was the first to use transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in geophysics.  As a consequence, he was the first to examine directly the crystal defects that carry the “memory” of the basic physics involved in natural deformations and mineral reactions – information that is stored at the finest scales (micro- and nano-scale).  He accomplished this primarily by comparing high-pressure experimental results with observations of natural rocks.

“I see this recognition as confirmation that my novel approach has borne significant fruit and therefore it is a great honor and brings me great personal satisfaction,” said Green, an eminent geologist and geophysicist.

Green is only the second UC Riverside faculty member to receive the Roebling Medal.  George Tunell (1900-1996), a highly respected research geologist who received the medal in 1973, was a faculty member at UCR for a few years at the end of his career.

At the MSA meeting held earlier this month, Green received a gold medal engraved with his name and the resemblance of Washington A. Roebling, the chief engineer during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, a mineral collector, and a significant friend of the MSA in its early years.

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