I was lucky to have entered the field of Earth science at a very special time. The use of isotopes, which had gained traction during the 1930s, stalled with the onset of World War II. Then, during the late 1940s, armed with technology developed during the war years, isotope research once again picked up with a vengeance so in 1952, when I came to Columbia, it was going full blast. However, there were only a few professionals involved. It was the first wave of PhD students that reaped the initial harvest of new discoveries. We and our graduate students picked...

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