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Committee and Staff Biographies

Robert M. Hamilton retired as Deputy Executive Director of NRC’s Division on Earth and Life Studies in 2004. He had previously served as Executive Director of NRC’s Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources, following 30 years as a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He chaired the Committee on Disaster Reduction for the International Council for Science (ICSU), and chaired the Scientific and Technical Committee of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), a U.N. program for the 1990s. He also served for 2 years with the IDNDR Secretariat in Geneva, including a year as director. He has been a member of the Inter-agency Task Force for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, a follow-on U.N. program to the IDNDR. He also chaired the Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction of the National Science and Technology Council. Dr. Hamilton served as president of the Seismological Society of America, and president and secretary of the Seismology Section of the American Geophysical Union. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr Hamilton has a geophysical engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in geophysics from the University of California at Berkeley.


Berhane Asfaw (NAS) is a palaeoanthropologist who manages the Rift Valley Research Service. Dr. Asfaw has completed extensive survey work on the eastern and western sides of the Awash River in Ethiopia. He was instrumental in explorations that discovered fossils thought to be some of the earliest hominids (called Ardithecus ramidus, dated at about 4 million-plus years). Those same expeditions also led to the discovery of Australopithecus garhi, a 2.5-million-year-old hominid found in association with old bones with cut marks. Dr. Asfaw has held posi-



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