Hatten S. Yoder, Jr.
Carnegie Institution of Washington
March 20, 1921 - August 2, 2003
Election Year: 1958
Scientific Discipline: Geology
Membership Type: Member
Hatten S. Yoder was an experimental petrologist who made profound contributions to the field, serving as director of the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory for over fifteen years. Yoder began his career in science as a meteorologist for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Serving in the Pacific and Europe, he established weather-monitoring stations for the USSR before its planned invasion of Japan. Yoder explored the physical chemistry of silicates and sulfides; studied energy in molten systems as well as several rock-forming minerals like grossular, analcine, phlogopite, muscovite, and ternary feldspars; served as an expert on volcanic basalt; and observed the abiotic synthesis of organic compounds. His collaboration with Frank Schairer and Ikuo Kushiro on synthetic systems at elevated and low temperatures advanced the awareness of igneous petrogenesis within the Earth’s crust and upper mantle. In 1959 the mineral Yoderite (Mg2(Fe3+,Al)6Si4(O,OH)20) was named in his honor.
Yoder received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1941. He went on to earn a certificate of professional proficiency in meteorology from the University of Chicago in 1942. He obtained a PhD in petrology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1948. After his graduate work, he joined the faculty at Carnegie Institute and focused his research on the effects of high pressure and temperature on minerals. Yoder served as president of the American Geophysical Union as well as president and vice president of the Mineralogical Society of America.