Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sudden passing of Bill Dickinson

We just learned from his family that William "Bill" Dickinson, Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, died in his sleep early yesterday morning while doing field work in Tonga.

His bio on Wikipedia notes that Bill was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Prior joining the University of Arizona, Bill was a professor at Stanford University. He joined the UA faculty in 1979.

Dickinson is renowned for his work in plate tectonics, sedimentary geology and Pacific Oceana geology and is considered one of the foremost experts on the geology of the Colorado Plateau. Dickinson is one of the founders of the Gazzi-Dickinson Method and its primary application, QFL diagrams and their use in sandstone provenance.

Dickinson's research includes studying the potsherds (historic or prehistoric fragments of pottery) of Pacific Oceana. Over the years, he has visited hundreds of Pacific Islands collecting and dating sherds.

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