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News and Outreach Events 2018
Recent EAS Graduate Kevin Webster Collaborated on Methane Study
From the publication EOS: Some Caves Remove Methane from the Atmosphere, New Tests Reveal.
Isotopic signatures pinpoint the sinks and surprising sources of methane in widespread karst caves. Researchers suggest that this type of cave globally removes more methane than it produces. Read about this discovery here.
2018 Crossroads Conference
The Crossroads Planning Committee is excited to announce important information regarding this year’s conference!
Crossroads 2018 will be held March 23-24 (Friday-Saturday). This is a great opportunity for students to practice presentation skills through poster or oral presentations, share their research with peers, and receive meaningful feedback from career professional judges.
Friday March 23: Keynote Speakers,Student Oral and Poster Presentations, and Career Fair.
Saturday March 24: Awards Ceremony, Networking Social, and Panel Discussion with Industry Leaders
- Prizes for best oral and poster presentations
- Interact with industry leaders
- Participate in company panel discussions
- Keynote speakers from various fields
Judges are coming from a range of backgrounds, including oil and gas, environmental consulting, government organizations (including the Indiana Geological Survey, USGS, and the National Weather Service), and weather/atmospheric companies.
In addition to interacting with these professionals through presentation feedback, we are organizing two extra events:
- 1) A career panel (Saturday morning) where you can ask a panel of career professionals your burning career path questions!
- 2) A short career fair (Friday morning), where companies will set up tables where you can talk to professionals one on one and discuss their career and potential jobs at their company or in their specialty in general. This would be a good chance to polish your resumes and business cards, and get a better idea of what you can do with your degree!
We encourage all undergraduate and graduate students doing research to participate as presenters, and prizes will be awarded for best oral and poster presentations in PhD, Masters, and Bachelors degree categories.
Even if you don’t have something to present, we encourage everyone to come see what your peers are researching and to learn about the many career paths available to earth and atmospheric scientists!
Presentation Abstracts are due March 10, and updates on the conference can be found at our website: http://www.indiana.edu/~sgeweb1/
EAS Professor Chen Zhu Honored in AAAS Fellows Reception at IUB
A reception for new AAAS fellows was hosted by IU President Michael A. McRobbie on January 25th, 2018 in IU’s elegant Frangipani room. Amongst the catered delectables, friends and colleagues assembled to show their respect and admiration of L. Jean Camp, Matthew Hahn, Andrew Wiley, Chen Zhu, and Adam Zlotnick who were all newly awarded AAAS fellows.
Dr. Lisa Pratt Is Appointed NASA Planetary Protection Officer
From Frank Groen, Director of NASA Safety and Assurance Requirements Division: "Lisa most recently served as the Provost Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Associate Executive Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research has focused on understanding life’s adaptations to extreme environments on Earth and on working with engineers to solve robotic challenges associated with the search for evidence of past or present life on Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Lisa’s biogeochemical research on microbial transformation of simple inorganic molecules has been funded for two decades by NASA and the National Science Foundation. She is a specialist on detection of metabolic pathways utilized by complex microbial communities in sulfide- and methane-based ecosystems.
From 2003 to 2008, she was director of a NASA Astrobiology Institute Team that investigated biosustaining energy and nutrient cycles in the deep subsurface of Earth and Mars. From 2011 to 2016, she co-directed field campaigns on the western margin of the Greenland ice sheet with Jeff White (School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington), recovering microbial biomass and methane under ice-free and ice-covered conditions in small lakes and then transporting samples back to Indiana where advanced stable-isotopic and genomic analytical methods were used for characterization. Pratt served as chair of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group from 2013 to 2016, and she is currently a member of the Return Sample Science Board for the Mars 2020 Rover mission, which aims to drill and cache strategically collected samples on Mars with the long-term goal of transporting samples back to Earth for investigation by scientists from around the world.
As a faculty member, she has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal papers, largely in co-authorship with 12 postdoctoral fellows, 20 PhD students, and 14 MS students for whom she was the primary advisor over a period of 30 years at Indiana University. She has been a distinguished lecturer for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, a visiting scholar for Phi Beta Kappa, and a recipient of multiple teaching awards.
Lisa has served twice as a member of the NASA Planetary Science Subcommittee, and she has served many times as a chair or member of competitive proposal reviews for NASA and the National Science Foundation. She holds a PhD in geology from Princeton University, an MS in geology from the University of North Carolina, and an MS in botany from the University of Illinois.
As NASA’s PPO, Lisa will be responsible for the leadership of NASA’s planetary protection capability, maintenance of planetary protection policies and oversight of their implementation by NASA’s space flight missions. She supports the Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) Technical Authority and serves as a principal advisory resource for the Chief, SMA and other senior officials. She will be the Agency’s focal point for interactions with external organizations such as COSPAR and the National Academies on matters related to planetary protection. Her office will be located at NASA Headquarters." Deb Gaylan in the College of Arts + Sciences Office of Communications is the contact person for inquiries. | Read more, including an interview with Dr. Pratt in the IU Newsroom.
Grand Staircase, Home to Countless Dinosaur Fossils, Could Be Destroyed by Mining
(Op-Ed) By P. David Polly, President of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology | November 30, 2017
Quoting Live Science Magazine, "President Donald Trump is expected to make a big announcement in Utah this Monday (Dec. 4), where he will detail the government’s plan to shrink two of the state's national monuments: Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears, according to news sources." Read more about Grand Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears
Update to the SVP Lawsuit: In December 2017, the White House announced that it would reduce the boundaries of both monuments, thus removing literally hundreds of scientifically important paleo localities from the protection and the funding associated with monument status. The Society, along with partner organizations, has filed lawsuits to reverse this decision because of its impact on science. Read more about this lawsuit.