Dr. Claude Herzberg retired this past year after 41 years of teaching and research at Rutgers. Claude
began his career as a petrologist, teaching introductory geology and petrology to undergraduates and advanced petrology to graduate students. In later years, as his vision expanded to
cover more aspects of geology, he taught a graduate course in Structure and Formation of the Earth and developed the undergraduate capstone course Major Events In Earth History comprising lectures from a broad spectrum of important topics in modern geology. He was a firm, excellent, and enthusiastic teacher. His love of the field really came through.
Claude’s interest in understanding the Earth’s interior has evolved over time. As a younger researcher, he spent long hours in high pressure laboratories conducting experiments that duplicate conditions in the mantle. He also applied advanced thermodynamic techniques to place the experimental data in context. Over time, Claude recognized the need to assimilate the large amount of experimental and analytical data obtained by scientists around the world and construct models of the Earth’s mantle based on these data. The result has been a wealth of highly-cited and well-regarded publications establishing Professor Herzberg as a preeminent mantle petrologist. He is being awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree (July 5) from the University of Edinburgh for his work on the thermal structure and history of the Earth.
Claude’s early papers were crafted before computer graphics existed; while many of us presented data as simple dots on x-y plots, Claude’s figures were more elaborate and well-drafted, displaying true artistic talent. This talent has served Claude well as he has transitioned to retirement, becoming an adept landscape artist. Even so, he continues to do research in mantle petrology and publish papers that are at the leading edge of the field.