The American Geophysical Union, the world's premiere society of earth and space scientists, has elected Robert B. Smith of the University of Utah to the special rank of fellow.

AGU President Don L. Anderson of the California Institute of Technology announced the election of Smith, professor of geophysics, former chairman of the Department of Geology and Geophysics and one of the nation's leading earth scientists.Anderson says this rank is limited to scientists "who have attained acknowledged eminence in a branch of geophysics." In fact, only one-tenth of 1 percent ofAGU members ever attain the rank. Smith is believed to be the first Utah professor so honored.

With headquarters in Washington, D.C., AGU has a worldwide membership of morethan 23,000 scientists.