HONORS AND AWARDS
Duan receives CAREER award from NSF
Dr. Benchun Duan (GEPL) received an NSF CAREER award for his proposal "Numerical Investigation of Controls on Megathrust Earthquakes Along the Japan Trench Subduction Zone." The five-year, $600,000 grant will enable Duan to model the physical processes of earthquakes to better understand how large earthquakes along subduction zones are generated. The educational components of the grant include training students in High Performance Computer modeling, sponsoring a workshop for high school science teachers on earthquakes, and teaching a course on earthquake physics.
The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a National Science Foundation program that offers its most prestigious awards to support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
Conlee receives advising award at graduation ceremony
At the College graduation reception, Dean Kate Miller presented the 2013 Robert C. Runnels Excellence in Advising Award to Dr. Don Conlee, described by one of his students as "a great professor, advisor, friend and role model."
Conlee has contributed to the quality of the undergraduate experience by
- designing and building (with help from the department) the Weather Center on the 12th floor of O&M, made specifically for undergraduates to view and discuss what is happening in the atmosphere as well as apply the knowledge students learn from courses.
- developing a green roof project with the College of Architecture, engaging students in this cutting edge technology, and
- working with students to develop the summer SOAP project.
Don mentors the TAMSCAMS and Texas Aggie Storm Chasers student organizations and stays in contact with students when they are out in stormy weather to ensure their safety.
Another student wrote: "his most notable accomplishment is his advising. . . It is hard for me not to get teary-eyed when I start to talk about how Dr. Conlee has helped me grow as an individual. He is more than just a professor; he is that friend you desperately need during rough times. . . No one will compare to the insight and inspiration that
Dr. Conlee provides on a day-to-day basis."
The annual award recognizes a faculty or staff member in the College of Geosciences whose undergraduate advising fosters the academic and personal growth of students. It was named after Dr. Robert C. Runnels, whose 32 years of dedication to the undergraduate students in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences earned him respect from both students and colleagues.
EXPEDITIONS AND FIELD WORK
Deepwater Canyons: Pathways to the Abyss
Dr. Brendan Roark (GEOG) was a Principal Investigator on the Deepwater Canyons: Pathways to the Abyss cruise in April and May 2013. The scientific crew were on board the NOAA research vessel, Ronald H. Brown. The cruise is the third for a four year-project to study the biology, geology and oceanography of a series of canyons off the middle Atlantic coast. Of particular interest are areas of hard substrate that could support deep-water coral ecosystems and other rare habitats, such as methane seeps. The cruise also has a marine archeology component, which is to look for historically significant shipwrecks.
Roark used the ROV Jason II to collect water chemistry to help characterize biogeochemical cycling within the Canyons and deep-sea corals to reconstruct paleoclimates.
The cruise websites are Deepwater Canyons and NOAA Explorations. The blog--or mission log--can also be found on the NOAA site.
Advisor's blog records Geology field trip experience
Suzanne Rosser, academic advisor for GEPL, accompanied Dr. Andreas Kronenberg and GEOL 330 students on a field to New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, May 12-24. Read about the experience on her blog, Advisor on the Rocks.
Dr. Debbie Thomas (OCNG/GEPL) gave the Shell Science keynote, "When the World Was Warm, Looking Back to the Future," at the National Association of Science Teacher's annual meeting in San Antonio on April 12.
She also gave the keynote talk at the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society induction ceremony at Texas A&M, April 14.
Thomas also was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Texas A&M
University - Central Texas Graduate Research Recognition Banquet on
Dr. Terry L. Wade (GERG) gave an oral presentation at the Texas Bays and Estuaries Meeting at the University of Texas Marine Sciences Institute in Port Aransas. GERG co-authors were Steve Sweet, Dr. Jose Sericano, David Shi and Dr. Norman Guinasso. The presentation was "Gulf Integrated Spill Consortium (GISR): Petroleum in the Water Column in the Vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill."
Dr. Eric Riggs (GEPL/Dean's Office) visited King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, for the 10th meeting of the Saudi Society for Geosciences, April 15-18. He gave an invited keynote address at the conference, "Educating the Next Generation of Geoscientists: Recruitment, Retention & Student Success." More information on the SSG10 conference can be found on the website. While in the region he also visited TAMU Qatar and Qatar University to discuss the potential growth of College programs in the area.
Drs. Rick Giardino (GEPL/GEOG) and Chris Houser (GEOG) are editing a forthcoming volume, Principles and Dynamics of the Critical Zone, of the Elsevier series on Developments in Earth Surface Process. The book, involving several faculty members from the College of Geosciences, will be the first to summarize the current state of Critical Zone research. The National Research Council (2001) defines the Critical Zone as the "heterogeneous, near surface environment in which complex interactions involving rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms regulate the natural habitat and determine the availability of life-sustaining resources."
B. Guneralp and K.C. Seto, Futures of global urban expansion: uncertainities and implications for biodiversity conservation.
Environ. Res. Lett. 8 014025 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/014025
Cho, Hyoun-Myoung*, Shaima L. Nasiri, Ping Yang, Istvan Laszlo, Xuepeng "Tom" Zhao, 2013: Detection of Optically Thin Mineral Dust Aerosol Layers over the Ocean Using MODIS. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 30, 896-916. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-12-00079.1
Hu*, L., S.A. Yvon-Lewis, J.H. Butler, D.B. King, J. Lobert and S.A. Montzka (2013), An Improved Oceanic Budget for Methyl Chloride, J. Geophys. Res., VOL. 118, 1-11, doi:10.1029/2012JC008196.
Liu*, Y., S. A. Yvon-Lewis, D.C.O. Thornton, L. Campbell and T.S. Bianchi (2013), Spatial Distribution of Brominated Very Short-Lived Substances in the Eastern Pacific, J. Geophys. Res., 118, doi 10.1002/jgrc.20183.
F. Ziska, B. Quack, K. Abrahamsson, S. D. Archer, E. Atlas, T. Bell, J. H. Butler, L. J. Carpenter, C. E. Jones, N. R. P. Harris, H. Hepach, K. G. Heumann, C. Hughes, J. Kuss, K. Krüger, P. Liss, R. M. Moore, A. Orlikowska, S. Raimund, C. E. Reeves, W. Reifenhäuser, A. D. Robinson, C. Schall, T. Tanhua, S. Tegtmeier, S. Turner, L. Wang, D. Wallace, J. Williams, H. Yamamoto, S. Yvon-Lewis, and Y. Yokouchi (2013), Global sea-to-air flux climatology for bromoform, dibromomethane and methyl iodide, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 13, 5601-5648, doi:10.5194/acpd-13-5601-2013.
Dr. Chris Houser (GEOG) assumed the position of associate editor for Earth Surface Processes and Landforms for a five-year term.
Dr. Wilf Gardner (OCNG) participated in a two-day UNOLS Council meeting in San Diego, Calif., March 5-6, to consider issues regarding the U.S. academic research vessel fleet. NSF awarded Oregon State University the contract to construct as many as three new Regional Class vessels, one of which is scheduled to operate in the Gulf of Mexico. The first vessel should be launched in 2019.
For the second year in a row, Dr. Sonia Garcia (Recruitment) has been invited by Dr. Christine Stanley, (Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity) to be a co-P.I. on a qualitative research study on Hispanic students who are admitted to Texas A&M but chose not to matriculate. The objective of the study is to learn how Texas A&M can enhance the matriculation of Hispanic students, and provide strategic recommendations to academic and non-academic departments in its recruitment efforts.
Dr. Rick Giardino (GEPL/GEOG), Dr. Chris Houser (GEOG) and Bill Barkhouse, department advisory council member, have established Geoscience Students and Teachers Without Borders®. The mission of this new organization is to support the education and application of the geosciences around the world. The goal of the new organization is to facilitate multidisciplinary partnerships to strengthen education and research in the geosciences by bringing students and teachers from various countries and backgrounds together to learn and to solve geoscience problems together.
"It is through such joint projects that lasting cooperations and friendships are created," Giardino said. Many of the projects focus on the use and application of the geoscientists' toolbox to address needs of disadvantaged schools and communities to address geoscience problems that impact humans in the critical zone of Earth.
Dr. Wendy Jepson (GEOG) received The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research Faculty Research Fellowship for 2013-2014 ($5,000) to support the project "Colonias Biopolitics: Mobilizing a 'Health Crisis' for Water Development." This work is part of her monograph on the politics of drinking water provision in south Texas colonias.
The Geochemical and Environmental Research Group has received contracts totaling $578,000 from the Texas General Land Office to supplement the Texas Automated Buoy System. The funding will allow GERG to build an additional TABS 2.25m buoy and two additional coastal monitoring buoys. The Coastal Monitoring Buoy (CMB) was designed by John Walpert under a separate project funded by the TGLO. The Coastal Monitoring Buoys are intended to replace the TABS I Buoys.
This supplemental funding also paid for 50% of the cost of a new forklift for GERG. This replaces GERG's 60-year old forklift, obtained as surplus from the Air Force decades ago. The forklift supports TABS, GERG and Oceanography programs. Dr. Norman Guinasso is the PI of the TABS program and Dr. Steve DiMarco and John Walpert are Co-PIs.
The prototype Coastal Monitoring Buoy, center, is being tested at GERG. The left buoy is one of three TABS 2.25m buoys. Behind are TABS I and II buoys.
In with the new: 60 years later GERG gets a new forklift.
Drs. Andrew Klein and Anthony Filippi (GEOG) accompanied seven geography students to the ESRI Petroleum GIS Conference held annually in Houston. Their students took home two of the three awards given at the poster and map competition sponsored by the Association of Petroleum Surveying and Geomatics.
Panshu Zhao won first place for his poster "Using object-oriented approach to map debris-covered glaciers in Himalaya and relevant analysis." Joni Kincaid and Iliyana Dobreva took third for their poster "Charquini Glacier Southeast Ice Thickness Measured in 2012 Using Ground Penetrating Radar to Inform Tropical Glacier Volume-Area Scaling."