Pembroke J. Hart
Pembroke J. Hart (Family Photo - Family Photo)
  Enlarge Photo    
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pembroke J. HartGeophysicist

Pembroke J. Hart, 79, a retired geophysicist at the National Academy of Sciences, died Feb. 6 of complications from a stroke at Capital Hospice in Arlington County. He lived in Washington.

Dr. Hart was born in Evanston, Ill., and grew up in Nashville. He graduated from Harvard University in 1950 and received a master's degree and doctorate in geophysics from Harvard in 1952 and 1955, respectively.

As a postdoctoral fellow in the department of terrestrial magnetism at the Carnegie Institution in Washington in the 1950s, he helped develop ways of examining the Earth's crust by measuring seismic waves generated by explosions set off by the U.S. Navy.

He also served in the Army Ordnance Corps and was a geology instructor at Vanderbilt University.

In 1958, Dr. Hart became a staff officer at the National Academy of Sciences and helped coordinate programs associated with that year's International Geophysics Year, which led to decades of scientific projects.

He also participated in research programs to study the Earth's mantle and crust and was active in such scientific efforts as the International Geodynamics Project and the International Lithosphere Program.

Dr. Hart was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Geological Society of America and received many awards for his work. In 1995, he was elected a lifetime member of the International Commission on the Lithosphere.

In 1963, a geographical feature in Antarctica -- the Hart Hills -- was named in his honor.

To aid in his international scientific research, Dr. Hart became fluent in Russian. He received the 2006 Edward A. Flinn III Award of the American Geophysical Union.

His wife of 27 years, Grace Marshall Hart, died in 2004.

Survivors include two sisters, Alice Cortner of Clarksville, Tenn., and Page Boteler of Rockville.

CONTINUED     1                 >

© 2008 The Washington Post Company