The Geological Society of America is holding its annual assembly this week in Portland, Oregon.
On Tuesday, scientists have been scheduled to rejoice the legacy of Joanne Kluessendorf, a revered geologist from Wisconsin, who handed away in 2018.
WUWM reporter Susan Bence met Kluessendorf solely as soon as. It was 5 years in the past on the website of an historic coral reef. The Schoonmaker Reef in Wauwatosa was submerged in water a whole lot of tens of millions of years in the past.
Kluessendorf defined why the reef issues.
“The explanation it’s particular is as a result of it was the primary fossil reef ever outlined as such anyplace in North America in 1862. The geologists got here right here and noticed it within the rocks, which is wonderful,” Kluessendorf stated.
Kluessendorf herself was wonderful. Contained in the Weis Earth Science Museum in Menasha there’s proof of that, based on fellow geologist and Kluessendorf’s husband, Don Mikulic.
“She began working right here in January 2001,” Mikulic stated as he walked by the show and information-packed museum tucked inside the College of Oshkosh-Fox Cities campus.
“When [the museum] opened formally in 2002, it was already designated the state’s official mineralogical museum. Joanne began with an empty shell,” Mikulic stated.
It was Mikulic who launched Kluessendorf to the wonders of rocks again when she was learning artwork and he was learning geology at UW-Milwaukee. “We’d lower courses and seemed for geology stuff,” Mikulic stated.
In the end each turned revered geologists.
Mikulic stated there was by no means any debate about their trip locations. “It was at all times geologically associated. In a way we have been one in the identical. We had lots of enjoyable,” Mikulic stated.
Mikulic stated his spouse typically found the most effective specimens. He pointed to one in all her best fossil finds behind plexiglass. “This can be a worm fossil from Waukesha county. It’s uncommon to discover a soft-bodied fossil,” Mikulic stated.
That was again within the Nineteen Seventies.
Whereas through the years others have sometimes been credited, together with in a latest article in The Atlantic, Mikulic stated Kluessendorf indisputably discovered the fossils.
The truth is, as a part of the Geological Society of America’s celebration of her contributions, one of many Waukesha fossils is to be named in Kluessendorf’s honor.
An extended checklist of scientists have been scheduled to talk about her affect, particularly on ladies within the discipline.
Amongst them can be Beth Johnson, affiliate professor of geology on the College of Oshkosh-Fox Cities campus.
Johnson stated with out query, she wouldn’t have earned tenure with out Kluessendorf’s mentorship.
“I began right here in fall of 2011. Not lengthy after I heard a knock at my workplace door. It was Joanne,” Johnson recalled.
Johnson was new to the realm and Kluessendorf helped her acclimate, geologically. “Saturdays she drove me round to indicate me good discipline journey websites and launched me to the geological neighborhood, nature facilities, museum employees and native geology golf equipment,” Johnson stated.
Kluessendorf additionally helped floor Johnson personally. “She was at all times that individual I might go to for assist and clarification, or simply to go get ice cream,” Johnson stated.
The 2 collaborated till Kluessendorf’s dying.
Beth Johnson anticipated to listen to related tributes from fellow scientists on the geological gathering.
“She was at all times ensuring everyone had entry to schooling and have been acknowledged for his or her work. For these coming earlier than her, she made positive their contributions can be acknowledged,” Johnson stated.
Analysis that Kluessendorf carried out on one other historic reef along with her husband can be highlighted on the convention.
“We have now a paper I’ll be presenting on the convention about what we discovered at a quarry on the south facet of Chicago. It’s not only one reef, you possibly can inform it’s a number of that grew on prime of each other,” Mikulic stated.
The 2 spent their honeymoon there.
Mikulic stated he’ll be persevering with their analysis on the reef.
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