Rob Van der Voo is deserving of a Franklin Institute award for his outstanding contributions to pre-Mesozoic paleomagnetism and plate tectonics. He has shaped the field of paleomagnetism for the past 30 years. He and his students have made groundbreaking discoveries in many important areas. He is at the forefront of reconstructing the pre-Mesozoic paleogeography of the continents.
His work has shown the importance of microplates in continental collisions in mountain building events. He has shown the mechanism and geographical extent of a continent- wide remagnetization event associated with mountain building in North America 300 million years ago. He has investigated and shown the importance of true polar wander at distant times in Earth history (300-400 million years ago).
He is currently pushing back the scientific frontiers in delineating the timing and extent of a late Precambrian age (750 million years ago) supercontinent, a critical time in Earth history. Eight letters of reference from an international group of distinguished scientists familiar with Van der Voo's work agree unanimously that he has made outstanding contributions to paleomagnetism and plate tectonics and is a worthy recipient of a Franklin Institute award.
Information as of April 2001