Earth scientist Luna Leopold dead at 90

Scientist Luna Leopold died Feb. 23 at his Berkeley, Calif., home at the age of 90, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Leopold, known for his study of rivers, suffered from emphysema and congestive heart failure, his daughter told the newspaper.

The son of wildlife ecologist Aldo Leopold, he conducted groundbreaking research into the dynamics of rivers and streams and their role in the ecosystem.

"How does water move, and when it moves, what happens? How does land shape water flow and how does water flow shape land? These are among the central issues that Luna solved," Char Miller, an environmental historian at Trinity University in San Antonio, told The Times.

Leopold served as the U.S. Geological Survey's chief hydrologist for two decades, transforming its water resources division into one of the nation's leading water research agencies, The Times said. He was the author of nearly 200 scholarly papers and later during his career later taught Earth and planetary science and landscape architecture at the University of California-Berkeley.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1991.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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