Geology & Geophysics Milestones

Honoring Earth and Space Scientists

AGU members and others in the news


The U.S. government’s Science Envoy Program has selected five preeminent scientists to use their scientific expertise to forge international cooperation. As a science envoy, Margaret Leinen, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and president of the American Geophysical Union, will focus on building international relationships with Latin America, East Asia, and the Pacific. Other scientists chosen include Daniel Kammen, distinguished professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, and founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, who will concentrate on energy innovation in the Middle East and Africa; Thomas Lovejoy, professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation, who will handle biodiversity and wildlife conservation in Latin America, East Asia, and the Pacific; Linda Abriola, former dean of the Tufts University School of Engineering, Medford, Mass., who will devote her attention to the Middle East, North Africa, and south and central Asia; and Mark Hersam, director of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., who will focus on eastern Europe.

“Hubble repairman” John Grunsfeld will retire from NASA on 30 April, the agency announced on 4 April. Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, previously served as a five-time space shuttle astronaut and as the agency’s chief scientist. Grunsfeld flew more than 100 science missions, according to NASA. Notable science achievements under his leadership include the Curiosity rover Mars landing in 2012 and the July 2015 New Horizons Pluto flyby, which completed the initial reconnaissance of the solar system. Grunsfeld was the lead spacewalker during the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing flight in 2009, which successfully upgraded the observatory. Geoff Yoder, currently the directorate’s deputy, will serve as acting associate administrator until a successor is named.

Lucy Jones, dubbed the “earthquake lady,” retired from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on 30 March following a 33-year tenure during which she helped to demystify earthquakes for the general public. Jones, a seismologist with USGS and a visiting research associate at the Seismological Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology since 1983, served as science adviser for risk reduction in the USGS natural hazards mission and as lead for the agency’s Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR) project. However, she is not leaving the earthquake world. In a 3 April tweet, Jones wrote, “I’m retiring from @USGS, not going out to pasture. I’m writing a book, then starting a center to promote community resilience.”

Xyoli Pérez-Campos of the Department of Seismology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City has become the 2016–2017 president of the Mexican Geophysical Union (UGM), after serving 2 years as vice president and president-elect of UGM’s 2014–2015 council. Ligia Pérez-Cruz, chair of the Department of Geomagnetism and Exploration Geophysics at UNAM, has become president-elect and vice president of UGM’s new 2016–2017 council, which took office on 5 January. Pérez-Campos and Pérez-Cruz, who are both members of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), participated in the Convocation of International Societies at the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting last December in San Francisco, Calif.

Citation: AGU (2016), Honoring Earth and space scientists, Eos, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO049823. Published on 7 April 2016.

© 2016. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0