October 9, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Nance Honored by Geological Association of Canada With Two-Day Symposium

Distinguished Professor Nance and his wife, Caroline, at the celebratory banquet

Distinguished Professor Nance and his wife, Caroline, at the celebratory banquet.

Dr. Damian Nance, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences at Ohio University, was honored for his 45-year research career on the formation and breakup of Earth’s supercontinents by the Geological Association of Canada at its annual meeting in Quebec City.

The event, entitled “Pannotia to Pangea: Paleozoic orogenic cycles in the circum-North Atlantic Region: A Celebration of the Career of Damian Nance,” was a two-day international symposium organized by Brendan Murphy (Canada), Rob Strachan (United Kingdom) and Cecilio Quesada (Spain) that brought together 33 speakers from the USA, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Germany, Spain, Norway, China, and Australia.

The event was launched with an appreciation by the organizers titled “Damian Nance, the supercontinent cycle and much more.”

Damian Nance stands before a seated crowed in a pub

Distinguished Professor Nance delivers his appreciation at the celebratory banquet.

The invitation sent to the geologic community prior to the meeting read, “The hypothesis that the cyclic amalgamation and breakup of supercontinents has existed for the past 2.5 Ga has profound implications for the evolution of the Earth’s systems. The proposed special session is intended as a celebration of the career of Damian Nance, who was an integral part of the research team that initially proposed the existence of such a cycle more than 30 years ago. We are soliciting presentations that focus on topics and processes related to formation and breakup of supercontinents, the amalgamation of Pannotia/Gondwana, the generation and destruction of Paleozoic oceans, and the development of the Appalachian-Ouachitan-Caledonide-Variscan orogens. The session will be co-sponsored by IGCP 648 (Supercontinent Cycles and Global Geodynamics) and will draw a large international gathering to the conference to celebrate Damian as well as the advances in our understanding of supercontinents over the past 30-35 years. As an outcome of this special session, we will be soliciting contributions to a publication (venue to be decided) in Damian’s honour.” The honorary volume is to be a forthcoming Special Publication of the Geological Society of London.

a candid headshot of Damian Nance

R. Damian Nance

The event was not all shoptalk, however, but included a hilarious celebratory banquet at the 3 Brasseurs on Grande Allée that involved an unforeseen rite of passage called “un mètre de bièrre” and drew a large crowd eager to share stories of Nance’s more formative moments and some he would prefer to forget.

As Nance noted in his speech of thanks “I am not usually short of something to say, but today’s amazing session, this evening’s festivities and another full day tomorrow find me overwhelmed and at a loss for words. I think I can honestly say I have never sat through so many back-to-back talks, and I have certainly never done so without falling asleep, which is a truly profound testament to their very high quality! So suffice to say it is really great to see so many old friends gathered together in one place and I am hugely appreciative and humbled to be honored in this way. And while I may have retired, in the words of Monty Python ‘I’m not dead yet,’ so here’s to hoping our paths will cross again soon and frequently.”

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