Professor Simon C. Brassell has been awarded a DSc degree (Doctor of Science) from Bristol University in the United Kingdom for his research accomplishments in the area of molecular biogeochemistry. The DSc degree, which is uncommon in the USA, is an advanced degree that is usually awarded by the same university as the recipient’s PhD, recognizing “substantial and sustained contributions to scientific knowledge.” Few people receive them, even at institutions where they are given.
Professor Michael W. Hamburger was recently selected to chair the U.S. Geological Survey’s “Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee”, or SESAC. This Federal Advisory Panel was initially created in 1977 by legislation authorizing the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). SESAC brings together a group of academic experts in fields ranging from seismology to structural geology and engineering to advise the USGS Director on all issues related to the USGS contribution to earthquake hazard mitigation research and application. The committee’s annual report on USGS earthquake hazard efforts is delivered to the USGS Director and to Congress on September 30 of each year. As part of his role as chair of SESAC, Hamburger also serves as liaison to the Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction (ACEHR), which connects the activities of four major federal agencies involved in earthquake hazard activities—the U.S. Geological Survey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards & Technology. According to Hamburger, “In the aftermath of this year’s devastating earthquakes in eastern Turkey, the world turns its attention to the United States for leadership in state-of-the-art earthquake hazard mitigation. I am proud to be part of that effort.”
IU Trustees Teaching awards were awarded to Assistant Professor Shelby Rader and Lecturer Elizabeth Kenderes. The Trustees Teaching Awards are given each spring to honor outstanding teaching during the prior calendar year. The award honors faculty who have had a positive impact on student learning, especially undergraduates.
PhD student Elizabeth M. Sherrill has been awarded a highly competitive College Dissertation Year Fellowship for 2023/24 (advisor Kaj Johnson).
MSc student Sophie Black won the Sedimentary Geology Division’s student poster award at the annual GSA meeting in early October 2022 (advisor Andrea Stevens Goddard). This is a huge achievement, and Sophie was honored at the division banquet at the end of the conference.
PhD student Owen Madsen (advisor Simon Brassell) and MSc student Henry Z.M. Fulghum (advisor David Polly) both received NSF Graduate Research Fellowships (GRFP). In addition, our recent undergraduate student Dylan Seal, who is now at Boston College also received the same kind of award. These highly competitive fellowships provide three years of support with stipends of $37,000.
PhD student (now Dr.) Anne Kort received an award at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, 31 October – 05 November, 2022, for best student paper of the year in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (advisor David Polly). Titled “Postcrania and paleobiology of Patriofelis ulta (Mammalia, Oxyaenodonta) of the Bridgerian (Lower-Middle Eocene) of North America” (https://doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2021.204549), the paper was an expansion of her MSc thesis.
PhD student (now Dr.) Sam Smith was granted our very first PhD in Atmospheric Sciences. While undergraduates and Masters students have completed Atmospheric Science degrees already, Sam is the first to complete the PhD. His work is addresses uncertainties in forecasting climate change at regional levels. Among Sam’s many accomplishments, he received one of a very small number NASA’s FINESST fellowships to support his research.
Our program in Atmospheric Science got fully underway in 2015 when faculty Paul Staten (Sam’s advisor) and Chanh Kieu joined our department (which was still called Geological Sciences at the time). The Atmospheric Science program now has a total of four tenure-track faculty (Ben Kravitz and Travis O’Brien are the other two) and a truly phenomenal Senior Lecturer, Cody Kirkpatrick. The program is now quite well integrated with the Earth Science part of our department, as well as with cognate faculty in Geography and the O’Neill School, and both undergraduate and graduate student numbers are growing quickly.
Undergraduate student Brianna Pinnick received the Drs. Sidney and Becca Fleischer Research Scholarship from the College of Arts + Sciences. The fellowship supports outstanding undergraduate students in their research endeavors.
Undergraduate student Cameron Adams received a Mineralogical Society of America Grant for Student Research in Mineralogy and Petrology for his work “Remobilization of thallium and fluid-mineral interactions during high-pressure metamorphism.” This represents a major achievement since both graduate and undergraduate students are evaluated in the same pool of applicants.