In the summer of 1982, I arrived safely in New Haven from Ohio, with all my worldly possessions packed into the back of my 1969 International Harvester pickup truck. After unloading my things at the graduate student dorm, Helen Hadley Hall, a boxy 1950’s Eastern-block-inspired construction, I parked my truck in the student garage1. My project was to study the rate of pyrite formation in marine sediments, and eager to get started, I walked briskly across the parking lot to Kline Geology labs. Here I met my advisor, Bob Berner, who, after showing me around, introduced me to...

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