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Betsy Nicholls Memorial



I'm passing this along from the vrtpaleo list. DV:

Betsy Nicholls, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, passed away on October 
18, 2004, after a prolonged and courageous battle with cancer.

Betsy has been the marine reptile specialist at the Royal Tyrrell Museum 
since 1990.  She was one of Alberta and Canada's most celebrated and 
accomplished 
vertebrate palaeontologists.  She was internationally known for discovering 
and describing new species of marine reptiles. A sampling of her career 
highlights includes:

§         Collecting and researching the world's largest known ichthyosaur 
found in the Pink Mountain region of northeastern British Columbia. In 2000, 
Nicholls received the Rolex Award for Enterprise for her pivotal role in 
recovering the remains of the 23-metre-long reptile.  

§         Collecting and studying new primitive marine reptiles from the 
Wapiti Lake area of northeastern British Columbia, a project that established 
western Canada as one of the world's most important localities for Triassic 
marine 
reptiles.

§         Collecting and studying North America's oldest known plesiosaur 
discovered north of Crowsnest Pass. 

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Betsy was born in Oakland, California, in 1946.  At the age of 10, she moved 
with her family to Melbourne, Australia.  She later returned to the U.S. where 
she completed her undergraduate studies in palaeontology at the University of 
California at Berkeley in 1968 under the direction of Sam Welles.  In 1969, 
Betsy moved to Canada with her husband, Jim, who had accepted a position with 
the University of Calgary.  She completed her M.Sc. in biology (palaeontology) 
at the University of Calgary in 1972 and in 1989, after completing her thesis 
on marine reptiles from Morden, Manitoba, she received her Ph.D.  Throughout 
her 14 years at the Tyrrell Museum, Betsy called Calgary home and made the 170 
kilometre commute to Drumheller and back every day, rain, snow or shine.  She 
touched all those who were fortunate enough to have known her.  She will be 
remembered for her positive and realistic outlook, tireless efforts, and deep 
commitment and dedication to her work.  She is survived by husband Jim and 
daughters Jennifer and Kat.



There will be a retrospective and tribute to Betsy at the SVP Meeting in 
Denver on November 6, 1:30 pm, Technical Session XIX, Governor's Square 14.  
All 
are welcome.



Dave Eberth