Don Francis is well known for his contributions to the elucidation of the composition of Earth’s upper mantle and for his unique ability to integrate field work with mineralogy and geochemistry to solve significant problems in petrology. His research into the composition of the upper mantle, which uses results from mantle xenoliths and mantle-derived volcanic rocks, began early in his career with his doctoral research on the mineralogy and geochemistry of xenoliths from Nunivak Island in the Aleutians. This widely cited research provided some of the earliest information about the nature of the crust and mantle beneath island arcs and...

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