Geology & Geophysics Milestones

Honoring Earth and Space Scientists

AGU members and others in the news


Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water

On 2 November, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, the 7th Awards Ceremony for the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) recognized several researchers whose work addresses water scarcity in innovative ways. HRH Prince Khaled Bin Sultan announced the winners of this year’s Creativity Prize and other PSIPW awards on 5 October.

The Creativity Prize honored two teams of researchers for their water scarcity work. Rita Colwell of the University of Maryland, College Park, and Shafiqul Islam of Tufts University received the prize for developing a model to predict cholera outbreaks as much as 6 months in advance. Their method uses chlorophyll information from satellite data to make these predictions. Peter J. Webster of the Georgia Institute of Technology was selected for his research on monsoon strength. His work on ocean-atmosphere interactions has made it possible to forecast monsoonal floods as early as 1 or 2 weeks before they strike.

Other PSIPW awards include the Surface Water Prize, awarded to Gary Parker of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Groundwater Prize was awarded to Tissa H. Illangasekare of the Colorado School of Mines. The Alternative Water Resources Prize recognized Rong Wang and Anthony G. Fane of Nanyang Technological University, and Daniel P. Loucks of Cornell University received the Water Management and Protection Prize.

Mineralogical Society of America Distinguished Public Service Award

This October, David Mogk, a metamorphic petrologist at Montana State University in Bozeman, received the 2017 Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) Distinguished Public Service Medal. Mogk has long been interested in educational outreach in the geosciences. He has worked on many geoscience education projects: His efforts include serving a term as program officer at the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education and involvement, where he oversaw programs including On the Cutting Edge and Bringing Research on Learning to the Geosciences. The 2000 AGU Excellence in Geophysical Education Award also recognized Mogk’s outreach efforts.

New Society of Exploration Geophysicists President-Elect Announced

Nancy House assumed her position as president-elect of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) for the 2016–2017 term after SEG’s 2016 annual meeting on 16–21 October in Dallas, Texas. SEG announced its selection of House this summer. House will become SEG president after SEG’s 2017 Annual Meeting, which will be held in Houston, Texas, next September. She will be the second woman to serve in that office since SEG was founded in 1930.

The 2016–2017 board includes several other newly elected members, including Madeline Lee (second vice president), M. Lee Bell (treasurer), and Paul Cunningham and Ruben Martinez (directors at large). Incumbents rounding out the board of directors are Bill Abriel (current president); Jie Zhang (first vice president); John Bradford (past president); Mauricio Sacchi (editor); Maurice Nessim, Xianhuai Zhu, Rocco Detomo Jr., and Vladimir Grechka (directors at large); and Lee Lawyer (chair of the SEG Council).

L’Oréal USA 2016 For Women in Science Fellows

L’Oréal USA announced the recipients of the 2016 For Women in Science Fellowship, which grants as much as $60,000 apiece to female scientists to be applied toward their postdoctoral research. The fellowship, whose recipients were announced on 26 September, recognizes women for their contributions to the advancement of science and for their commitment to supporting women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

L’Oréal USA selected Anela Choy, a postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, to continue her research into ocean food webs and how pollution and environmental change affect them. Shruti Naik, a postdoctoral scientist at The Rockefeller University, received the award to conduct interviews with prominent female scientists as part of a project to inspire girls and women interested in pursuing STEM careers. Amy Orsborn, a postdoctoral scientist at New York University, received the fellowship to update her laboratory equipment so that she can develop new treatments, including state-of-the-art prosthetics, for people with motor disabilities.

Laura Sampson, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics, received the award to continue her research on gravitational wave algorithms and to work on a music-based outreach program. Moriel Zelikowsky, a postdoctoral neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology, will use her award to support a young female research mentee. The mentee will work with Zelikowsky on her research to identify the neuronal populations responsible for the effects of stress, with an eye toward mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

MacArthur “Genius Grants”

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards fellowships to individuals who show a history of accomplishment that foreshadows continued advances and who demonstrate creativity in their work. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced this year’s awardees in September. Among them were two geobiologists at the California Institute of Technology: Dianne Newman, a professor of biology and geobiology, and Victoria Orphan, a professor of environmental science and geobiology. See the full list of fellows here.

Council on Undergraduate Research Fellows Award

Jill Singer of the State University of New York–Buffalo State and Jeffrey Osborn of The College of New Jersey both received the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Fellows Award. The CUR Fellows Award recognizes their research, in particular their programs involving undergraduate students. Both Singer and Osborn have encouraged undergraduate research at their institutions and at the national level.

Citation: AGU (2016), Honoring Earth and space scientists, Eos, 97, Published on 08 December 2016.
© 2016. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0