Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Lunar and Planetary Institute



John Lindsay, 1941–2008

Memorial for John Lindsay, 1941-2008

There will be a memorial to celebrate the life and science of John Lindsay
3 pm, Tuesday, July 1
Lunar and Planetary Institute
3600 Bay Area Blvd
Houston TX 77058
Please join us in raising a glass to John. The environment will be casual.

Donations in John’s name to GSA Planetary Division Student Travel Grants Program

If you would like to make a gift to honor John, his family wishes that donations be made to the Geological Society of America, Planetary Division Student Travel Grants Program. John was a preeminent field geologist and strong GSA and student supporter. Al Brandon will be gathering donation checks made out to the GSA Planetary Geology Division in memory of John Lindsay.  Please get your gifts to Al by July 11 so he can forward the donations to GSA.  If you prefer to make a donation separately, the GSA Planetary Geology Division contact information follows.

Contact: Al Brandon  work phone 281-244-6408, office is Room 114 Bldg.
31 JSC.   Al will also be attending the memorial service at LPI on July 1.

The Geological Society of America
Attention:  Mary Kerns
P.O. Box 9140
3300 Penrose Place
Boulder, CO  80301-9140

June 20, 2008

John LindsayIt is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of
John F. Lindsay at the age of 67. John, who was a visiting scientist on the staff of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, died early this morning after a valiant battle against cancer.

John’s education was in soft-rock geology with a solid background in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and statistics, earning his B.Sc. (with Honors) and M.Sc. degrees from the University of New England in New South Wales, Australia, and his Ph.D. in geology from Ohio State University in 1968. One of the original scientists at the Institute in the early 1970s, John’s professional background also included positions as Research Scientist at the Marine Science Institute of the University of Texas; Program Manager at Exxon Production Research; Adjunct Professor at Oxford University, and NRC Senior Research Associate at the Astrobiology Institute at NASA Johnson Space Center, where John worked closely with David McKay and his group.

John LindsayMuch of John’s recent work involved research into the origins of life, especially around ancient and modern hydrothermal systems as universal analogs for planetary environments. John’s work suggested that the assumption that life on Earth developed early, and that all record of the prebiotic-biotic boundary may have been lost, may be incorrect. John came to the conclusion that the early Archean record on Earth provides many parallels with early Mars and is likely to provide a good analog to help plan for the search for life beyond Earth. In the past year, John had worked on lunar dust hazards and mitigation, and had just finished a paper on Archaen concretions and their implications for life. Unfinished projects include a textbook in astrobiology and a major paper on the Warrawoona group of Australia, which includes the oldest sedimentary rocks on Earth.

John received many awards and honors during his career, including the NASA Achievement Award for Work in the Apollo Lunar Program, the U.S. Polar Medal for Antarctic Service, and the Australian Institute of Cartographers award for cartographic excellence.

While John will be remembered for his scientific contributions, he will most fondly be remembered for his gentle and kind personality. With never a cross word, and always a smile and a warm greeting for everyone he ran across, John’s passing will leave a tremendous hole in the hearts of his friends and colleagues.

To his son, Matthew, and other family members and friends, we extend our deepest sympathy. We’ll miss you, John!

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Last updated June 26, 2008