Mapping in Italy, 1977


 Penn State


In 1977 the guy next door spent the summer mapping in Italy with Walter Alvarez. During the course of the field season the two geologists visited an outcrop 65 million years old containing a layer of clay deposited at the time of the extinction of dinosaurs. Walter wanted a sample to see if there was any indication of why the dinosaurs suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth. Walter's work with his (Nobel Laureate physicist) father back at the University of California at Berkeley resulted in the famous impact theory for dinosaur extinction. Although not part of the discovery team at Berkeley, the guy next door was one of the first two people to touch the famous sample that gave rise to the modern theory of dinosaur extinction.

Now, another guy upstairs wants us to believe that the dinosaurs were in big trouble anyway, and were losing genera rapidly with time, probably because of "Geoenvironmental" changes! So, when the impact struck, they had little resistance for survival.

Back to Geosciences homepage
Back to Penn State homepage