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April-May 2014

Geosciences Congratulates Its Spring 2014 Graduates
The College of Geosciences celebrated its graduates and their accomplishments at the annual reception and awards ceremony. Spring commencement at Texas A&M included 104 undergraduate and eight graduate Geosciences students. 
In This Issue

Dean Kate Miller
Dear Colleagues,


I write to you at the end of the spring semester. We celebrated our annual College awards ceremony on May 9 in Koldus, and the following day, I watched our graduates walk across the stage.  


I recently travels to Washington for the board meeting of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and to attend part of the celebration of a decade of geosciences accomplishments through Earthscope. From there, I flew to Albuquerque to join the WMHS 602 class for a portion of their two-week field trip down the Rio Grande to learn about bridging hydrology, governance, culture and scarcity to achieve effective management of this water resource so critical to our state. I know the geology along the reach from Albuquerque to El Paso well, and I enjoyed learning more about water management in that same area.  


Earlier this month, we held the first meeting of the reconstituted Geosciences Faculty Advisory Council (GFAC). GFAC is one of the ways we implement shared governance. Its role is as a deliberative advisory body to help formulate policies and programs for the improvement and development of the College. During this past academic year, the council by-laws were revised and approved by the faculty. Newly elected members include Rick Carlson, Ethan Grossman, Jonathan Smith, Tony Filippi, John Nielsen-Gammon, Ken Bowman, Shari Yvon-Lewis, and Rob Hetland. For the fall, I have asked the GFAC to engage with me on the broad issue of making sure we have full alignment of our faculty performance-evaluation processes with the collection of data for metrics that we and others are using to evaluate the productivity and impact of our College. Faculty with other questions or concerns about the College, should feel free to contact their GFAC representatives.   


Our College of Geosciences Advisory Council met on April 25. After I gave an overview of recent activities, the council launched into discussion about how to raise funds for increasing our ability to offer high impact learning experiences to our students. Field experiences, research experiences, and internships add great value to our students' education, but are often costly both for students to participate and for the college to support. The goal is to engage our former students in helping produce the next generation of geosciences leaders by supporting these kind of activities.


I am also pleased to announce that Christian Brannstrom has accepted the position of director of the Environmental Programs in Geosciences. He will work with Don Collins over the summer to ensure a smooth transition. I want to thank the Environmental Programs Advisory Committee and John Nielsen-Gammon, who headed the committee, for helping me in the selection. 


One last note, before we all disperse. You should know our students are leading the university in their responses to the the survey of Student Experience in the Research University. The Aggie SERU is sponsored by the Office of the Provost. The opinions expressed by students in this survey will help us assess the quality of a Texas A&M education and improve the educational experience for current and future students in our College. Many thanks to those who have encouraged our students to participate.





Kate Miller


College News

Geosciences Celebrates Parent's Weekend 2014

The College of Geosciences hosted a Parent's Weekend breakfast in the O&M lobby for students and their families. During the breakfast, a student poster presentation on undergraduate research highlighted some of the exciting projects our students are involved in. The academic advisors coordinated the event: Roxanna Russell (Dean's Office), Emily Dykes (ENVP), Missy Mathews (ATMO/OCNG), Suzanne Rosser (GEPL), and Gail Rowe (GEOG).


Dean Kate Miller welcomed guests and gave an overview of the importance of geosciences majors and the impact our students will have on the future of the planet. A panel of students shared how high-impact experiences have benefited them educationally, socially and professionally. The question-and-answer session provided additional insight of how students have grown intellectually from these experiences.  Panel members encouraged all students to seek out similar opportunities.


Student poster presenters were: Dillon Amaya, Lainey Barta, Rachel Sadowsky, Christian Thomas, Kathryn Westerman, and Kathryn Cobb, all Meteorology. The student panel comprised Dillon Amaya (METR), Trey Murphy (GEOG), Julia Cisneros (GEOL), Kaitlyn Simpson (ENVP) and Camille Manning (METR). In addition, we would like to thank the faculty that attended. Your presence at our student events has a huge impact on our students.

Workplace Climate Results Are Now Online
The results from the workplace climate report are now posted on the Geosciences website.

The self-study includes responses from faculty, staff, and graduate students from all units of the college and analysis of the results, according to Dr. Eric Riggs (Dean's Office), who initiated the survey. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), using a modified version of its ClimateQUAL instrument, conducted and analyzed the survey. After initial data analysis through 2012, a task force of faculty and staff conducted a deeper analysis and provided recommendations to the dean.

Task force members were Dr. David Cairns (GEOG), Dr. Rick Carlson (GEPL), Dr. Michael Ewers (GEOG), Wendy Gamble (OCNG), Dr. Rob Korty (ATMO), Dr. Julie Newman (GEPL), Maureen Reap (Dean's Office) and Paul Stine (Dean's Office). Michael Maciel, data analyst from University Libraries, was an ex officio member. Dr. Riggs chaired the task force.   
Annual  Ceremony Honors Geosciences' Newest Former Students
Family, graduates, faculty and staff gathered May 9 to honor its graduates and outstanding students. Student awards recognized students' achievements at the department, college and university levels. For the first time, the ceremony moved from Halbouty to Koldus, which accommodated a larger crowd and provided seating during the reception. 

Dr. Sarah Bednarz (Dean's Office) presented Gail Rowe, academic advisor in the Department of Geography, the Robert C. Runnels Award for Advising. 

Photos from the event are available on the college Flickr site. 
Dr. Sarah Bednarz (Dean's Office) presented Gail Rowe, academic advisor in the Department of Geography, the Robert C. Runnels Award for Advising. Dean Kate Miller presided over the annual reception.

 Professional Activities

*graduate; **undergraduate

Dr. Raffaele Montuoro (ATMO) presented "Jump-Starting the Development of Coupled Climate Models with Minimal Effort Using a New Communication Library," at the UCAR SEA Software Engineering Conference April 7 in Boulder, Colo.

Dr. Piers Chapman (OCNG) presented at UT Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, April 11.

Dr. Pamela Plotkin (TXSG) attended the International Sea Turtle Society's 34th annual symposium on sea turtle biology and conservation in New Orleans, April 10-17. She presented a poster on Kemp's ridley sea turtles revealing nesting decline in Northern to Northeast Mexico since the oil spill.

Rhonda Cummins (TXSG) presented "Wetland Restoration at Little Chocolate Bayou Park," April 23-24, at the Texas Bays and Estuaries Meeting, University of Texas Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas.

Heather Wade (TXSG) presented "Quantitative Modeling of Flood Insurance Claims, Inundation, and Sea Level Rise as a tool for Coastal Planning and Policy" at the same conference.

Heather Wade (TXSG) presented the poster, "Quantitative Modeling of Flood Insurance Claims, Inundation, and Sea Level Rise as a Tool for Coastal Planning and Policy," at the Disaster Resilience Symposium April 4-5 in College Station. She also attended the Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice annual meeting in Orange Beach, Ala., April 6-9. She demonstrated the interactive tabletop weTable at the Tools Café, facilitated a breakout session on the Community Rating System, and presented the Spirit of the Community Award to the City of Corpus Christi. She also appeared on the community panel with a Nueces County representative to discuss the county's approach to sea-level rise adaptation. 

Wade participated and volunteered at the State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit in Houston in late March.
Gary Graham (TXSG) attended the 34th Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation in New Orleans, April 10-17, where he presented "Gaining Trust and Cooperation from Shrimp Fishermen Regarding Sea Turtle Conservation."  

Texas Sea Grant hosted its annual Advisory Committee meeting April 29-30 in Port Aransas at the campus of The University of Texas Marine Science Institute. Presenters included Dr. Pamela Plotkin, Dr. Mona Behl, Josh Gunn, Terrie Looney, Rhonda Cummins, Gary Graham, Rhonda Patterson, Tony Reisinger, Heather Wade, Bill Balboa and Mary Carol Edwards (all TXSG). Also attending were Peggy Foster, Julie Massey, Dr. Russ Miget and Cindie Powell (all TXSG).


American Association of Geographers 2014
The following papers and presentations were given at the 2014 Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting April 8-12 in Tampa, Fla. 

Barrineau, Patrick*, "Characterizing the Holocene Evolution of the South Texas Sand Sheet: Climate and Geologic Framework." 
Bowlick, Forrest*, "The influence of project-based group research on student perceptions of learning GIS in a 'stacked' graduate/undergraduate introductory GIS course." 
Broadstone, Sasha*, "Growing Food is Work: A Spatial and Social Analysis of Urban Agriculture in Houston." 

Castillo, Cesar*, Güneralp, İnci, Güneralp, Burak, "How do changes in developed land and precipitation influence hydrology of a coastal Texas watershed?"
Chhetri, Parveen*, "Population structure and dynamics of Abies spectabilis at treeline ecotone of Barun valley, Makalu Barun National Park, eastern Nepal." 
Dobreva, Iliyana D. and Bishop, Michael P., "Surface Irradiance Partitioning in Complex Mountains: A Comparison of GIS-based Solar Radiation Models." 
Evans, Andrew*, "Developing a Terrain Based Predictive Forest Model for the Southern Appalachians using Multinomial Regression." 
Filippi, Anthony M., Güneralp, İnci, Randall, Jarom*, "Hyperspectral aboveground biomass estimation in a floodplain context."
Ford, Trent*, "Land Surface Impact on Convective Precipitation over the Southern Great Plains." 
Goel, Abhineety, organized the session "Conservation Trade-offs in Developing Countries: Bridging Biodiversity Conservation and Development/Placing Priorities." Abhineety also presented "Trade Offs for Whom? Biodiversity Offsets and Income Dynamics in India." 
Güneralp, İnci, "Bringing in stochasticity for improved process understanding in fluvial geomorphology." 
Hernandez, Manuel*, "Links between regional monsoon circulation and local hydroclimate in Southeast Asia." 
Joslin, Audrey*, "Reworking Payments for Ecosystem Services in the Ecuadorian Andes." 
Labosier, Chris "Spatial Relationships between Southeastern USA Hydroclimate and Wildfire Activity." 
Loder, Thomas*, "An (Un)suitability Analysis for Fracking in North Dakota: Combining Insights from Critical GIS and Political Ecolog." 
McDonald, Yolanda*, "A scalable model for assessing incidence, treatment costs, and sociospatial disparities for diseases with well-documented climate change linkages." 
Naito, Adam*, "Examining the interaction of reproductive traits and landscape characteristics on Arctic shrub expansion using simulation modeling." 
Nam, Souyeon*, "Why is this farm road concrete-covered?" 
O'Reilly, Kathleen, Elizabeth Louis, "The Toilet Tripod: Understanding successful toilet adoption in rural West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh, India." 
Peteru, Swetha, "Linking Institutions to Biodiversity Changes in The Peruvian Amazon." 
Randall, Jarom*, Filippi, Anthony M., Güneralp, İnci, "Landsat and SPOT satellite-based estimation of riparian aboveground biomass." 
Swann, Christy* "Defining the threshold of motion for wind-blown sand." 
Trimble, Sarah*, "Perception of the rip current hazard on Galveston Island and South Padre Island, Texas, USA." 
Walenta, Jayme, "Becoming Carbon Nuetral: Leveraging the Carbon Market to Improve Livelihoods in Costa Rica." 
Vandewalle, Emily*, "From Emergency to Fix: Point-of-Use Water Filtration Technology in Colonias Along the US-Mexico Border." 

Yi, Hoongchong*, Güneralp, Burak, Filippi, Anthony M., "Landuse/ land-cover change in the San Antonio River Basin, TX."
Yi, Hoongchong, "Land-use/land-cover change in San Antonio, Texas." 
Yuan, Shanshui*, "Droughts over the U.S. Great Plains (1980-2012): A comparative study using different potential evapotranspiration module based PDSI." 
Zhao, Panshu*, Bishop Michael P., and Olsenholler, Jeff W. "Integration of spectral and topographic information into an analytical reasoning model to map debris-covered glaciers in the Karakoram Himalaya."  



Adam Naito* (GEOG) has been named a 2014 U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellow. The annual award recognizes outstanding teaching and research by doctoral students whose command of their respective disciplines exemplifies the meaning of scholar mentor in the highest sense. 


Dr. David Cairns accepted the Phil Gramm Fellowship on behalf of Adam Naito. Dr. Karen Butler-Perry presented the award. 


Jennifer Hertzberg* (OCNG) received the 2014 Johanna M. Resig Foraminiferal Research Fellowship from the Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research for the upcoming 2014-15 academic year for her research project, "Mg/Ca Paleothermometry in Planktonic Foraminifera: Proxy Refinement and Applications in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific."

Dr. Nielsen-Gammon (ATMO) has received the 2013 Editors' Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. One of the most important services performed for AGU is the conscientious reviewing of submitted papers. Because of the nature of the reviewing process, this service is also one of the least recognized. The purpose of this citation is to express publicly the gratitude of AGU to those whose reviews have been particularly commendable. He is being cited for his contributions to the journal's program as being invaluable in maintaining a high standard of quality. An announcement is planned for publication in a future issue of EOS.  


The Biogeography Specialty Group chooses one recent paper to recognize with the Henry C. Cowles Award. This year's award was given to a paper written by graduate students Carissa Wonkka, Craig Hutton (GEOG) and Audrey Joslin (GEOG) along with Geography faculty member Dr. Charles Lafon (GEOG). The paper's citation: Wonkka, C.L., Lafon, C.W., Hutton, C.M., and Joslin, A.J., "A classification of CSR tree life history strategies and implications for ice storm damage." Oikos 122:209-222. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2012.20346.x 

This is the second time since 2009 that Texas A&M geographers have won this award.


Audrey Joslin, Carissa Wonkka, and Dr. Charles Lafon (GEOG) were recognized with the Henry C. Cowles Award. 


Three geosciences students were recognized as Texas A&M Distinguished Graduate Students for 2014. Congratulations to Laiyin Zhu (GEOG), teaching, and Christopher Labosier (GEOG), research, both advised by Dr. Steven Quiring (GEOG), and Yuan Wang, honored for teaching while being advised by Dr. Renyi Zhang (ATMO). 

Christopher Labosier (GEOG) received a Distinguished Graduate Student Award for Teaching.


Congratulations to Preston Wahl* and Ivan Maulana* (both GEOL) for being awarded Jones-Amsbury Research Grants from the South Texas Geological Society. Preston was awarded for work on his project on documenting the arrival time of Laramide age sediments to the western Gulf of Mexico, using detrital zircon geochronology, and Ivan was awarded for work on his project on hydrofracturing fluid-rock chemical interactions in the Eagle Ford Group.


Christy Swann* (GEOG) won the Norb Psuty Student Paper Merit Award from the Coastal and Marine Specialty Group. She presented the preliminary results of her dissertation work on the initiation of aeolian sediment transport.

Christy is currently working for the Army Corps of Engineers in Duck, N.C., and plans to defend her dissertation this summer. She will return to College Station this fall to work with Dr. Ryan Ewing (GEOL) on Martian dunes research. 


Charriss York (TXSG) was selected as one of Galveston County Health District's Oustanding Partners for 2014 for coordinating the Dickinson Bayou Watershed Partnership and helping draft the protection plan and obtaining approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. York was honored at a reception April 9 timed to coincide with National Public Health Week. 


The winners of one of the two Texas regional National Ocean Sciences Bowl competitions, which are hosted by Texas Sea Grant, were honored at the national finals in Seattle, Wash., May 1-4. Houston's Langham Creek High School won the James D. Watkins Sportsmanship Award at the national event. Regional Coordinator Terrie Looney (TXSG) traveled with the team and participated in the competition.



Student Research Week (SRW) is a platform for showcasing outstanding research undertaken by graduate and undergraduate students of Texas A&M University. During this week-long event, students present innovative ideas to instill the spirit of research to current and future generations. The event offers an opportunity to meet regarded students in the respective fields of research, interact with and receive valuable feedback from them and their peers. The College of Geosciences had eight students place in the Earth Sciences category. Phil Wernette* (GEOG) and Forrest Bowlick* (GEOG) placed first and second place, respectively, for their oral presentations in the graduate student category. Misti Levy* (ATMO) placed first and Brittany Turner* (ATMO) second for their poster presentations in the graduate category. In the undergraduate category, Dillon Amaya** (ATMO) and Matthew McMahon** (GEOL) placed first and second, respectively, for their oral presentations. Kathryn Westerman** (ATMO) placed first and Kathleen McDaniel** (GEOL) placed second for their poster presentations in the undergraduate category. Congratulations go to these outstanding students. 


Geosciences posters at Student Research Week

"Vertical Error Propagation in Digital Surface Model Differencing." Phil Wernette*  

"Graduate and Undergraduate Student Learning in a Project-Based, 'Stacked' Enrollment Introductory GIS Course." Forrest J. Bowlick*. Research advisors Dr. Dan Goldberg and Dr. Sarah Bednarz (both GEOG) helped Forrest work on a different format for teaching introductory GIS courses.  


"Global New Particle Formation by Organic compounds." Misti Levy*. PI is Dr. Renyi Zhang (ATMO).

"Impact of canonical and Modoki El Niño on tropical Atlantic SST." Dillon J. Amaya**, and Gregory R. Foltz. This research was the result of a summer internship Dillon had in Miami at AOML.

"Precision Fire Intensity Analysis with Thermal Shock Models," Matthew McMahon**. Supervisors were Drs. Bruce Herbert and Andreas Kronenberg (GEOL).

"Micrometeorological Instrumentation of a Green Roof and Living Walls Project." Kathryn J. Westerman** (ATMO), Robert J. Chilton** (ATMO), Kathryn J. Cobb** (ATMO), Lauren E. Seidensticker** (ATMO), Garrett Sims** (ATMO), Logan Gerber-Chavez** (GEOG), Hannah Upton* (ATMO), Dr. Don T. Conlee (ATMO). Interdisciplinary project with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Architecture. 

"Analyzing Porosity using Petrographic Imaging Methods: Key for Petrophysics." Kathleen McDaniel.** Research advisor was Dr. Juan Carlos Laya (GEOL).  


2014 Imperial Barrel Award

Dr. Mike Pope and Texas A&M Imperial Barrel Awards team members David Lewis, Akhil Amara, John Reed, Ivan Maulana and Daniel Elizondo earned second place in the Gulf Coast regional competition.


Amelie Berger (ENVP), junior from Paris, France, has been honored with national, university, and college-level awards and nominations. 


The second annual ATMO 441 Satellite Meteorology and Remote Sensing poster session took place April 29 in the O&M Building lobby. Twenty-two students presented 10 posters. The event was organized by Dr. Shaima Nasiri (ATMO). Bianca Villanueva and Justin Petrutsas presented a poster, "Examining the Intensity of Hurricane Gustav Using GOES Data."




Dr. Mark Lemmon (ATMO) is mentioned in several media outlets, including NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory news, Science Daily, and the TAMU Times for a new image from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, the first ever from the surface of Mars to show an asteroid.  


Dr. Lemmon shares some more of his Martian research in this week's TAMU Times. His research, experience and findings describing nine years of dusty weather on Mars is making headlines around the world.


Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon (ATMO), Texas State Climatologist, is one of the co-authors of a natural resources "roadmap" that will guide research, education and policy decisions in the United States over the next decade. 


Dr. Andrew Dessler (ATMO) and other Texas A&M researchers were featured in TAMU Times and in media nationwide for finding evidence that supported higher rates of climate change and more warming over the coming century. Their work could help end the debate over how much warming the Earth will experience in the future. 


Dr. Pamela Plotkin (TXSG) was quoted in stories in numerous media outlets, most prompted by the release of a report on the ongoing impacts on wildlife from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, about declining numbers of Kemp's ridley sea turtles. Stories were published by the Christian Science Monitor, Houston Chronicle, Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine, the Public News Service, the Associated Press, StateImpact/NPR, and several other radio, television and online outlets. 


Dr. Mona Behl (TXSG) was interviewed by Jason Learning, a nonprofit organization managed by the Sea Research Foundation, Inc., in partnership with the National Geographic Society. Her interview as a STEM role model can be viewed on the Jason site.    


Mary Catherine Harris School is the most recent school in the Brazos Valley to receive an aquarium from Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M in order to teach students more about the Gulf of Mexico.


Texas A&M researchers, in conjunction with Texas Sea Grant have incorporated various kinds of technology to identify the source and control mechanism of red tides (Karenia brevis) along the Texas coast. 


Dr. Carlos Dengo (GEPL) was featured in the Oil and Gas Journal in an article, "Old Basins, New Ideas," that covers key points from his lecture at the American Association of Petroleun Geologists (AAPG) annual meeting April 7. Dengo is director of the Berg-Hughes Center. 


IODP and JOIDES Resolution were the first to be featured for the May theme, exploration, in TAMU Times online newsletter.


Josh Gunn (TXSG) was the subject of a story in the Galveston Daily News. 


Heather Wade (TXSG) was quoted in a story about Corpus Christi winning a Spirit of Community Award from the Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice for the city's leadership in planning for climate change.


Tony Reisinger (TXSG) was featured in a story on KRGV-TV about large masses of seaweed appearing on South Padre Island beaches.

Rhonda Patterson (TXSG) was featured on KAGS-TV while setting up an Aglantis Jr. aquarium at the Mary Catherine Harris School of Choice. 




Dr. Rick Giardino (GEPL) has been awarded a $5,584,912 NASA grant to develop new STEM programs and opportunities for K-20 students and teachers during the next five years. This grant brings a total of $16,885,479 dedicated to STEM programs Giardino is developing and managing for NASA-JSC.  


Dr. Mona Behl (TXSG) was a co-author on a grant proposal, "Gulf of Mexico Teachers on the Estuary Workshops," that has been recommended for full funding ($99,827) by the Gulf of Mexico Bay-Watershed Education and Training Program.



Atmospheric Sciences  

Yuan Wang, Minghuai Wang,Renyi Zhang, Steven J. Ghan,Yun Lin*, Jiaxi Hua, Bowen Pan*, Misti Levy*, Jonathan H. Jiang, and Mario J. Molina, "Assessing the effects of anthropogenic aerosols on Pacific storm track using a multiscale global climate model," PNAS 2014:
Inci Güneralp, Anthony M Filippi, Billy U Hales, "Influence of river channel morphology and bank characteristics on water surface boundary delineation using high-resolution passive remote sensing and template matching," Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, doi: 10.1002/esp.3560.
Dr. Burak Güneralp (GEOG) is a contributing author to Chapter 12 (Human settlements, infrastructure, and spatial planning) of the third installment (Working Group III or WGIII report) of the IPCC's 5th Assessment Report. The WGIII report was accepted by the 39th Session of the IPCC, April 12, in Berlin, Germany. The report is online and slated for publication in September/October 2014. 
Rhonda Patterson (TXSG) installed a BioCube aquarium, part of the Aglantis Jr. Adopt-A-Tank program for K-12 schools, at College Hills Elementary in College Station, where she also gave an ocean animals presentation to Head Start students at College Hills Elementary. Patterson and
Dr. Mona Behl (TXSG) also installed an aquarium at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, where in collaboration with educators and students, Texas Sea Grant is developing an "ocean immersion program," a learning and training project that will cater to the special education needs of these students.  
Heather Wade (TXSG) worked with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Resilience Priority Issue Team to release the CRI Small Community Grants Request for Proposals from coastal communities who wish to address their vulnerabilities to disasters identified during a community self-assessment. 
John Jacob and Mary Carol Edwards (TXSG) participated in the April 12 groundbreaking of the Exploration Green Park in Clear Lake City near Houston. Jacob was a speaker, and Edwards provided information to the public on the use of stormwater wetlands for water quality, flood control and natural habitat. Texas Sea Grant's Texas Coastal Watershed Program is facilitating stormwater wetlands for the 200-acre park to demonstrate this new stormwater management technique. 
Rhonda Cummins (TXSG) was the Adopt-A-Beach Program coordinator for Magnolia Beach during the Texas General Land Office's annual beach cleanup program, April 26. 
Marissa Sipocz (TXSG) hosted a wetland field day at Sheldon Lake State Park in Houston on April 10. The Sheldon Lake prairie wetland restoration is a new approach to restoring critical freshwater wetland systems. Sipocz introduced presentations by local experts and led an in-the-field discussion of the planting portion of the project. 
Dr. Mona Behl and Russ Miget (both TXSG) led a team of 35 teachers on a field trip in Corpus Christi that included a hands-on educational experience aboard Texas Sea Grant's Floating Classroom, a workshop on safe disposal of pharmaceuticals, and a visit to the Coastal Bend estuary. 


Gary Graham (TXSG) conducted turtle excluder device (TED) outreach in Louisiana the week of May 19. At the request of fishermen, he checked TEDs in the New Orleans, Dulac, Grand Island, Leeville and Bayou La Fouche areas. In April, he conducted TED outreach, including at-dock inspections and technology transfer of TEDs, in Ft. Myers, Tampa and Tarpon Springs, Fla.


Terrie Looney (TXSG) joined the Texas Extension Emergency Management Committee in April. The committee develops plans and information for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension's response to emergencies. She also participated in the U.S. Coast Guard South East Texas Waterway Advisory Committee (SETWAC) meeting in Port Arthur as the commercial fisheries representative. She was elected for a three-year term.


Rhonda Cummins (TXSG) attended the Incident Command meeting in Port O'Connor April 3 to learn more about the disaster response to the oil spill that occurred in Galveston and the oil that made its way downshore to Matagorda Island. The next day, she attended an oystermen's meeting and distributed bilingual information on the dinophysis bloom that closed the bays in her area to the harvest of molluscan shellfish.


Rhonda Patterson (TXSG) is collaborating with the Brazos Valley Children's Museum to set up the Summer Super Sleuth Science Camp, which will be held during the first week of July. She made an ocean awareness presentation to kindergarten classes at the Brazos Christian School and distributed "Barney and the TED" sea turtle coloring books to the children.


Julie Massey (TXSG) conducted a 4-H Seafood Workshop for children in Montgomery County on March 31. The children dissected squid, and learned about choosing fish and fish biology.


Rhonda Cummins (TXSG) held an educational field trip at Little Chocolate Bayou Park with fourth graders from Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Schools April 23. Science topics included water quality, weather, insects and salt tolerant plants.


Rhonda Cummins (TXSG) hosted a "Cooking with Seafood" event that featured shrimp and included a presentation on "Why Water Matters," discussing the importance of freshwater inflows for the health of the estuary.


Gilles Guèrin, Logging Staff Scientist, IODP-USIO/LDEO, runs on the helideck during IODP Expedition 350. (Credit: Yang Yang & IODP)

IODP Expedition 350 left Keelung, Taiwan, March 20, and will dock in Yokohama, Japan, May 30. Scientists are

investigating the understand crustal genesis and mantle evolution of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) rear-arc system by examining sediments and crust in the Philippine Sea. More than 100 ship's crew, IODP staff, technicians and scientists from 11 countries are on the expedition. Follow the expedition on Facebook

Andrew Klein and Steven Sweet are all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Dr. Andrew Klein (GEOG), Steven Sweet (GERG) and other researchersfrom Texas A&M and Texas A&M Corpus Christi recently returned from an Island to Ice expedition to McMurdo Station on Ross Island where they studied the impact of human activity on scientific stations in Antarctica. Photos and journal entries can be found on theirwebsiteor theIsland Ice Facebook page.


March 31-Feb. 1, 2015
George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
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