To say that there have been changes in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences since our last newsletter would be an understatement.
I write this on March 23, as the coronavirus pandemic is gaining ground and producing changes in how Indiana University operates on almost an hourly basis. Classes have been moved online through the summer if not longer, graduation has been indefinitely postponed, and the governor has issued a stay-at-home policy for the state. Even our capstone Field Geology in Montana must be taught online this year. We will see where these events lead in our next newsletter.
Meanwhile, a lot of other changes have happened in EAS, many of them quite exciting. The Geological Sciences Building is undergoing a complete renovation. Earlier in 2019, the Indiana Geological and Water Survey moved temporarily to another building while their wing was renovated and in January we moved into their space while work is done on the rest of the building. In addition to a complete makeover, the building will be completely replumbed and rewired. If the IGWS space is an indicator, the building will be a much better place to work.
Several faculty members retired since our last newsletter: Jim Brophy, Ed Ripley, David Bish, Bob Wintsch, and Gary Pavlis. They have made tremendous contributions to the department, both intellectually and as people, and they are greatly missed. Jim Brophy served as department chair until he retired at the end of December. Special thanks to Jim for guiding the department through the last four years.
Over that same time, we recruited several new faculty members: Travis O’Brien, Ben Kravitz, Shelby Rader, Jess Miller-Camp, and, just a few days ago, Andrea Stevens-Goddard. Andrea, who is a basin analyst, will be the inaugural Lee J. Suttner Professor.
We were very sad to learn of the passing of emeritus professor Bob Dodd. Bob was a paleoecologist and pioneer in applying geochemical techniques to the reconstruction of ancient environments. He grew up in Bloomington and attended IU before getting a PhD at CalTech in 1961. He returned to IU as faculty in 1965 after two years at Texaco. Bob was an active emeritus since his retirement in 1997.
The Indiana Geological Field Station in Montana celebrated its 70th Anniversary in 2019. Over 150 alums converged on Deiss Hall, as the Quonset hut is now known, to celebrate with directors Jim Handschy and Bruce Douglas. We look forward to 70 more years of the best geological field school in the country.
Finally, Claudia Johnson and Jim Handschy were both elected Fellows of the Geological Society of America at the fall 2019 meeting. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.
With all of this, it has been hard to keep up since I started as chair in January, but I look forward to an exciting four years to come.
April 6, 2020