Assembling a Geoscientist

Perhaps you’ve heard the news. The great tectonicist Eldridge Moores passed away unexpectedly. With great sadness, I reflect on the ways he’s impacted me as a geoscientist.

Eldridge Moores was the main character in Assembling California, the final book of John McPhee’s Annals of the Former World series on geology (an excellent read if you’re not familiar). I remember reading the series when I was first getting into geology and imagining myself doing all of the exciting things recounted in the books. Now I get to do those things and I’m extremely grateful for that.

I met Dr. Moores in 2015. I was attending the meeting of the Geological Society of America in Baltimore, MD. At the time, I had very little understanding of geology and the major players in the field but I had a productive meeting nonetheless. One of the sessions I frequented at the time was on connections between tectonics in the United States and tectonics in Asia. Eldridge Moores was in all of the same sessions and his enthusiasm about the subject resonated with me greatly. I’d like to think he had some influence on my decision to become a Himalayan geologist.

Although I only met Dr. Moores briefly, I’ll never forget him. He was an excellent man and amazing geologist and his death leaves a hole in our tight-knit community.

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