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Former NASA scientist Donald Wise will give two lectures on geology topics at Lafayette College March 29. He will speak on “Topographic Lineament Swarms and Appalachian Seismicity” at noon in Van Wickle Hall room 108. Lunch may be brought or purchased for $3. He will speak on “Creationist Propaganda and the Geologic Record” at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Kirby Hall of Civil Rights.

Sponsored by the Department of Geology, the talks are free and open to the public.

Wise holds degrees in geology at Franklin and Marshall College (1953), the California Institute of Technology (1955), and Princeton University (1957). His Ph.D. dissertation in 1957 on tectonic heredity among Precambrian and Laramie structures in the Betroth Mountains of Montana started him on the research on tectonics and fracture problems that he continues today. Wise taught at Franklin and Marshall from 1957-1968, publishing on many aspects of Appalachian and Laramie structure, “outrageous hypotheses” of western tectonics involving continental drift, multiple folding, and even a theory for the origin of the moon. He served on many NASA committees during the 1960s, finally taking a leave of absence from teaching to serve before and during the first Apollo moon landing as chief scientist and deputy director of the office linking NASA’s scientific and engineering halves.

Wise returned to academia at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to work on Appalachian and Rocky Mountain geology, tectonic controls of sea level, a geologic quadrangle map on mars, crater dating of planetary surfaces, tectonic evolution of mars, and the fracture behavior of planetary crusts. Other work has included a tongue-in-cheek critique of “linesmanship,” techniques of lineament detection and analysis, rift structure of the Red Sea Coast of Egypt, seismic risk analysis, fracture lineament swarms of Italy, tectonic studies of New Zealand, and classification of mylonites and other fault-related rocks.

Wise was founding chair of the Structure and Tectonics Division of the Geological Society of America, chaired the planetary geology division of that society, and served as head of the geology/geography department of the University of Massachusetts. In 1993, he returned to the Franklin and Marshall faculty. Recent publications have included work on cleavage formation in Italy, a synthesis of Betroth tectonics, and critiques of creationist interpretations of the geologic record.

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