I want to thank Professor Meyer for the introduction and for nominating me for this most prestigious award. I want to sincerely thank the Paleontological Society for awarding me this honor. I appreciate that a number of professionals wrote letters of support on my behalf and I want to express my gratitude to all who helped me achieve this recognition.

Contingencies direct and redirect us all in life and it is a long series of contingencies that brings me here tonight. There is a common thread though, and that is the people whom I met along my path. These people...

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