I hope that you find the current edition of the HGR informative and exciting. As a department, we are very proud of our accom-plishments this past year. Some of the highlights include an Atmospheric Sciences program that is growing by leaps and bounds. This year they placed their first graduate in a broad-cast booth as a weather forecaster. David Polly, our newly named Schrock Professor, and several other faculty have been instrumental in landing a multi-disciplinary, multi-department, multi-million dollar Grand Challenges grant entitled “Prepared for Environmental Change.” Chen Zhu, our reigning aqueous geochemist, has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Ad-vancement of Science (AAAS), which is a truly prestigious honor.
We remain committed to providing the finest undergraduate and graduate edu-cation possible. Our undergraduates are moving on to graduate school while our graduate students are all finding jobs. Much of this success is due to the support of alumni like you who have generously given to the department in so many dif-ferent ways.
The near 60-year-old Geology Building is slated for renovation sometime in the next few years (following a complete renovation of Ballantine Hall on the other side of campus). The upside is that we will have modern teaching and research facilities in the end (though much smaller offices). The downside is that we will have to move much of our work to other buildings on campus for at least a year. Come visit us in a few years and see for yourself what the renovation will have accomplished!
All-in-all, it has been a good year for our faculty, staff and students. I am proud to serve as Chair of a department that is full of such fine colleagues and co-workers.