It is my sincere pleasure and honor to introduce Tom Olszewski as winner of the 2009 Charles Schuchert Award. Tom has made significant and lasting scientific contributions over the last decade, addressing a wide range of important questions on the nature of time-averaging and the formation of death assemblages, the question of ecological stability, the mathematical framework of richness and evenness, and the stratigraphy of Carboniferous cyclothems.

Growing up just outside Philadelphia, the son of Polish immigrants, Tom's path to the Schuchert Award was neither straight nor inevitable. Tom recalls reading books by Stephen J. Gould in high school. This...

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