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Israelis You Should Know: Leo Picard

Leo Picard, Israeli geologist (Photo: wikicommons/Etan J. Tal)

Lived: June 3, 1900 - April 4, 1997

Known for: Israeli geologist and expert in hydrogeology

Why you should know him: Born in Germany, Leo Picard made aliyah (immigrated) to the Holy Land in 1924. Once there, he established the Department of Geology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Picard's book, Structure and Evolution of Palestine, became a primary book for the study of Israel's geology. He wrote about paleontology, structural geology, mineralogy, and was an expert on the tectonics of the Dead Sea.

In 1955 he was appointed the U.N.'s president of a committee on arid areas, and his expertise helped in the development of many African and Latin American countries.

Among Picard's many honors were his service as the first president of the Israeli Geological Society, his Israel Prize in life sciences in 1958, being named Worthy Citizen of Jerusalem in 1981, having a Jerusalem street named in his honor, as well as having Hebrew University's Leo Picard Groundwater Research Center named after him.

Tags: Life in Israel

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