Geology & Geophysics Milestones


Earth and space scientists in the news


John W. Hess has been appointed the new president of the Geological Society of America Foundation beginning in 2015, succeeding Geoff Feiss. Hess is currently the executive director of the Geological Society of America.

Christopher R. German, senior scientist in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is the recipient of the Humboldt Research Award. Given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the award recognizes lifetime achievements in research. It provides the opportunity to conduct research projects of the awardee’s choice in collaboration with German specialists.

A team of scientists has won a 2014 Creativity Prize from the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water for their work on water resources. The research team consisting of John Braun from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; Kristine Larson and Eric Small from the University of Colorado, Boulder; and Valery Zavorotny from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory developed a way to use GPS technology to measure soil moisture, snow depth, and vegetation water content.

Nathaniel Putzig, a senior research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute’s Space Science and Engineering Division, has been selected as NASA’s Planetary Science Early Career Fellow. Putzig will continue his research efforts to find ground ice within sand dunes on Mars.

Franklin Orr has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as under secretary for science and energy at the Department of Energy. In this position, Orr will oversee all of the department’s science research programs. Orr, an associate professor in Stanford University’s Department of Energy Resources Engineering, previously directed the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford.

Eric Barron was appointed president of the Pennsylvania State University. Previously he was president at Florida State University.

Charles Weschler, adjunct professor at the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute at Rutgers University, was presented with the 2014 Pettenkofer Award sponsored by the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate. The award is given in recognition of outstanding work in advancing the indoor air sciences.

Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and explorer, has received a lifetime leadership award from the United Nations Environment Programme for developing global “hope spots” to safeguard the living systems underpinning global processes that maintain biodiversity.

Mario Molina, Nobel Prize winner and professor at the University of California, San Diego, has received a lifetime leadership award from the United Nations Environment Programme for spearheading one of the most significant climate-related global agreements ever made.

Citation: AGU (2014), Milestones, Eos Trans. AGU, 95(51), 488, doi:10.1002/2014EO510005.

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