Geology & Geophysics Milestones

Honoring Earth and Space Scientists

AGU members and others in the news


For the first time in the history of the National Science Foundation, women hold the positions of chair and vice chair of its National Science Board. On 24 May, Maria Zuber, vice president for research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was voted director and chair, and vice provost for research Diane Souvaine of Tufts University was voted vice chair.

As part of the 13th annual European Space Weather Week, nominations will be taken for three medals in space weather. These medals are sponsored by the Belgian Solar-Terrestrial Centre of Excellence, the European Space Agency, and the Space Weather Working Team. To nominate a student or colleague, please send application documents to [email protected] by 12 September 2016. See the European Space Weather Week website for the criteria. The International Kristian Birkeland Medal for Space Weather and Space Climate is awarded for outstanding scientific or technological results. The International Marcel Nicolet Medal for Space Weather and Space Climate rewards efforts to structure the space weather community at an international level. The International Alexander Chizhevsky Medal for Space Weather and Space Climate rewards a young Ph.D. researcher who defended his or her thesis prior to 30 October 2008.

The National Earth Science Teachers Association announced that Cheryl Manning will serve as their new president and Belinda Jacobs will serve as the president-elect. Manning is a science teacher at Evergreen High School in Evergreen, Colo., and Jacobs teaches science at Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock, Texas. The terms run effective 1 May 2016 to 20 April 2018.

More than a dozen Earth scientists received awards at the 2015 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Honor Awards Ceremony held 3 May in Reston, Va. John Galetzka, TLALOCnet project manager at UNAVCO, has been honored with the USGS John Wesley Powell Award, which recognizes an individual or group not employed by the federal government who has made noteworthy contributions to the federal government. Donald A. Swanson received the USGS 2015 Eugene M. Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communications. The 2015 Eugene M. Shoemaker Awards for Communications Excellence in the category of Print Product went to Shad O’Neel of the USGS Alaska Science Center, Eran Hood of the University of Alaska Southeast, and Kristin Timm of the University of Alaska Fairbanks for their poster “From Icefield to Ocean.” The award for the Internet Product category was given to Jolene S. Gittens, Gregory K. Miller, Andrea T. Toran, Laura Z. Torresan, and Ann B. Tihansky for their work on the USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program website. Kevin T. Gallagher, Alexandra Chavez Hadley, and Howard L. Jelks received the USGS Diversity Award. Steven T. Jackson received the Excellence in Leadership Award. James M. Nelson received the Early Career Excellence in Leadership Award. The 2015 USGS and DOI Environmental Achievement Award went to Douglas Channell and John Czarapata of the U.S. General Services Administration for their work on the National Center Storm Water Management Team.

On 2 May, Michael M. Watkins of the University of Texas at Austin was appointed director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and vice president at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Watkins assumed his position 1 July after leaving his past position at the University of Texas (UT) in 2015. Before his time at UT, Watkins spent 22 years at JPL as a mission manager and mission system manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, as a project scientist on the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) Moon-mapping satellites, and as a team developer for the Cassini, Mars Odyssey, and Deep Impact probes missions.

On 1 July Vladimir Smakhtin began his term as director of United Nations University’s Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health, which seeks to resolve pressing global water challenges through the synthesis of existing scientific knowledge, cutting-edge research to identify emerging policy issues, application of on-the-ground, scalable solutions, and relevant public outreach. Smakhtin succeeds Zafar Adeel, who served as director from 2006 and is now the founding executive director at the Pacific Water Research Centre, Faculty of Environment, Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, British Columbia).

Several Earth and atmospheric scientists were among the 84 new electees and 21 foreign associates voted into the National Academy of Sciences on 3 May. Newly elected members and their affiliations at the time of election are as follows: Katharine Cashman, University of Bristol; James Ehleringer, The University of Utah; John Eiler, Caltech Microanalysis Center; Robert P. Sharp, California Institute of Technology; Dennis Hartmann, University of Washington; Marsha Lester, University of Pennsylvania; Claire Parkinson, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Maureen Raymo, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University; Paul Segall, Stanford University; Gary Zank, Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research; Chan Pei-Ling, University of Alabama in Huntsville; Zhisheng An, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Julio Fernández, University of the Republic; Jean Jouzel, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique–Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace; and Arthur McDonald, Queen’s University.

Toby White from the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology has been awarded a Chile Prosperity Fund from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, aimed at developing and delivering continuing professional development (CPD) short courses for the Chilean mining industry. The program will be run as a 1-year blended-learning program in collaboration with the international construction materials company LafargeHolcim. White, a project manager, is responsible for the delivery of a postgraduate certificate program in quarry management and operations.

Correction, 8 August 2016: An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect name. The error has been corrected in the current article.

Citation: AGU (2016), Honoring Earth and space scientists, Eos, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO056319. Published on 25 July 2016.
© 2016. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0