This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Reitan named AAAS fellow

Published: January 13, 2005

Reporter Contributor

Paul H. Reitan, professor emeritus in the Department of Geology, College of Arts and Sciences, had been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

He is among 308 AAAS members who have been elevated to the rank of fellow by their peers this year in recognition of their efforts toward advancing science or its applications that have been deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

Reitan and the other new fellows will receive official certificates and a rosette pin during the Fellows Forum to be held next month during the 2005 AAAS annual meeting in Washington.

AAAS members are nominated to be fellows, a tradition begun in 1874, by the steering groups of the association's 24 sections, or by any three fellows who are current AAS members—as long as two of the three are not affiliated with the nominee's institution—or by the chief executive officer. A final list of nominees is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the proposed selections. The AAAS Council is chaired by the AAAS president and consists of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.

Reitan, part of the Section on Geology and Geography, was elected a fellow in recognition of his "distinguished contributions to bringing earth sciences knowledge into the public dialogue on ways to address pressing problems of creating an equitable and sustainable habitat for all inhabitants of Earth."

Reitan, who specializes in environmental science, retired from UB in 1998 after a 32-year career at the university. He developed numerous geology courses designed to provide an appreciation for and understanding of the mutual interactions and interdependence of the physical environment and society. He also served as provost and dean of the former Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics from 1976-79.

A U.S. native of Norwegian ancestry, Reitan was a member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Arts; a fellow of the Geological and Mineralogical Societies of America; Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; and the International Association of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry.

He has authored and presented hundreds of scholarly articles and papers.

Reitan is a graduate of the University of Chicago and earned a doctorate from the University of Oslo, Norway, where he conducted research supported by a Fulbright Fellowship.