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ESD mourns the passing of Paul Witherspoon (1919–2012), the division’s first leader, this past Friday, February 10, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. As ESD Director Don DePaolo noted, upon hearing of Paul’s death, “Paul was the founding Director of the Earth Sciences Division from 1977 to 1982, and was instrumental in defining the initial roles of Earth Sciences in DOE and at LBNL.  He remained closely involved with the Division for many years until very recently, and was always a strong supporter of our activities and an invaluable resource for many of us.”

Paul was an energetic participant in ESD affairs well into his 80’s, and his good cheer, active intelligence, and wealth of experience were always appreciated by his friends and colleagues. For more on Paul's research, life, and the history of ESD, we’ve provided a few links from the ESD website, which includes an engaging narrative provided by Paul himself, on his own many-faceted life, written for the ESD 30-year anniversary celebration in 2007.

“I encourage you to visit it, to enrich your appreciation of our history and as a reminder of the debt we all owe to Paul.” – Don DePaolo

Paul's Memorial Service will be held May 3, 2012. More details »

We’ve opened up the commenting feature below so that those people whose lives Paul’s has touched throughout the world can express their condolences.

Source:  Dan Hawkes