Today the University formally announced that Dr. Brenda Hall will be promoted to Professor and that Dr. Christopher Gerbi will be granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor. You can read more at the UMaine news site.
Hall, whose main research focus is in glacial geology, joined the faculty as a Research Professor in 2001 and as an Assistant Professor in 2004. Gerbi, who runs the electron microscopy laboratory and focuses his research on rheology, joined the faculty in 2007.
A Magnitude 7.4 Earthquake occurred on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 18:02:48 UTC time (2:02:48 Eastern Daylight time). The shaking was significant enough to be measured on the seismometer at the University of Maine. The quake occurred at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles) at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles). The epicenter was located 322 km (200 miles) south-southeast of Mexico City. The earthquake is a result of thrust faulting on or near the plate boundary between the Cocos and North American plates. The characteristics of the earthquake are thought to be consistent with subduction zone activity in the area. In the impacted area, the Cocos plate moves to the northeast at a rate of 60 mm/year (approx. 0.1 inch/year). Damage appears to be primarily structural, with no deaths and relatively few injuries reported.
We send out our congratulations to Eliza Kane and Audra Norvaisa for scholarships we learned about recently!
Eliza is using a $5000 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, to support her studies in Brazil this semester. This is a nationally competitive award aimed at supporting travel abroad for Pell grant-funded students. More information is at their website.
Audra won a $4500 Vydunas Fund Scholarship – also a nationally competitive award. This is an award given to students of Lithuanian descent who are active members in the Lithuanian Scouts organization. Audra used the award to support her participation in the University of Oregon Geoarchaeology Field School last summer.
On February 23, Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative and the Department of Earth Sciences are hosting a seminar with Dr. Robert Jacobson, a supervisory research hydrologist with the United States Geological Survey (http://www.cerc.usgs.gov/Staff.aspx?StaffId=268) . The event will include two presentations by Dr. Jacobson, both of which will take place in Wells Conference Center, Room 2. For more information, please contact Ruth Hallsworth at email@example.com and 581-3196.Conceptualizing and Communicating River Restoration 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm
In this presentation, Dr. Jacobson will discuss his recent book chapter that presents a model for communicating aspects of river management. The model includes a decision-making structure in which managers, stakeholder and scientists interact to define management objectives and performance evaluations.Re-engineering the Lower Missouri River for Ecosystem Recovery: A Long, Strange Trip
This presentation will focus on some of the details of Dr. Jacobson’s work investigating physical processes on the Missouri River. He will highlight some of the measurements used to describe water flow, sediment transport and river morphology that are at the heart of the aquatic habitat restoration activities currently underway in the Missouri River. Co-sponsored by the Department of Earth Sciences.
The Museum’s exit survey asked visitors what they liked best about the event. Among the responses: “the pretty rocks” (from a 5 year old girl); “crystals”; “different than the usual museum”; “I like seeing scientists”; and “awesome”!
Assistant Professor Amanda Olsen is partnering with colleagues at Penn State and St. Francis University to create a database of environmental reactions in order to more comprehensively investigate rates of weathering, carbon sequestration, and other chemical processes that occur at Earth’s surface. The work is funded by the National Science Foundation.
The late Charles V. Guidotti, Professor in the U Maine Department of Earth Sciences from 1981 to his untimely death in 2005, was honored in 2010 with having a new mineral, guidottiite, named after him. Stephen Guggenheim recently sent us photograph of guidottiite taken by Ludi von Bezing. Guidottiite is the black, shiny columnar material near the center of the photograph. The column band is about 1 mm in width. The scientific paper officially reporting guidottiite was published in Clays and Clay Minerals, vol. 58, p. 364-376 under the title “Guidottiite, the Mn-Analogue of Cronstedtite: A New Serpentine-Group Mineral from South Africa,” by Michael Wahle, Thomas Bujnowski, and Stephen Guggenheim from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and by Toshihiro Kogure from the University of Tokyo.
Guidottiite is a new manganese mineral in the serpentine group discovered in the Kalahari manganese deposit in South Africa, and to date is only known from this locality. Serpentine-group minerals belong to the class of layer or sheet silicates, which also includes micas, chlorites, and clays, and were a special focus of Prof. Guidotti’s mineralogical career. He co-authored many scientific papers on sheet silicates, which are familiar to many residents of Maine as the shiny flakes of mica found in schist and granite throughout the state. He also had an interest in manganese minerals found in small deposits in Maine, so a manganese serpentine is a particularly appropriate choice for a mineral to bear his name.
Paul Mayewski, Director of the Climate Change Institute and Professor of Earth Sciences, along with Michael Cope Morrison of Opsin Imaging, has released a beautiful new book entitled Journey Into Climate: Adventure, The Golden Age of Climate Research, and the Unmasking of Human Innocence. They use stories and period photographs to follow a number of threads about the history of climate change research and their personal journeys. Read more at: http://climatechange.umaine.edu/news/article/2011/10/26/journey_into_climate__mayewski_book
Kaitlyn Anderson, an Anthropology major with minors in Earth Science and Spanish, is featured in the Center for Undergraduate Research (CUGR) website! Anderson conducted research with the Climate Change Institute under Professor Karl Kreutz collecting bivalve shells from the ocean bottom off the coast of Maine. She focuses on chondrophores, which are decay-resistant components of clam shells. By investigating the changes in the chondrophores to changes observed in growth patterns of bivalve shells, she will learn how cultural practices, which are reflected in ancient shell middens, and climate change intersected. She uses instruments such as a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and an electric microprobe to test the effectiveness of two methodologies in determining climate change with these organisms by viewing differences in structure, color and chemical analysis of the shells. Congratulations, Kaitlyn!
Earth Science Professor George H. Denton is a coauthor of a recently published book “The Fate of Greenland”, which depicts the scientific escapades of a group of distinguished climate scientists sponsored by billionaire philanthropist Gary Comer. Comer, the former head of Lands’ End Company, once sailed his yacht through the Northwest Passage and upon experiencing no troubles with sea ice, was intrigued with the idea of climate change and how it is reflected in polar environments. Since then he has devoted much of his time and wealth to scientific investigations of the ongoing changes in polar landscapes. Along with Denton, Comer also sought the advice of Richard B. Alley of Pennsylvania State University and Wallace S. Broeker of Columbia University, one of climate science’s premier researchers most known for his discovery of the role played by the global “conveyer belt” oceanic circulation in triggering abrupt shifts in climate. On these trips, mainly to Greenland, researchers were able to take advantage of Comer’s vast assets during these expeditions, most notably his 150-foot, staffed yacht and private helicopter. “The Fate of Greenland” makes it possible for all interested in climate change and polar research to go on the expedition with the researchers and marvel at the landscape that is crucial to our understanding of Earth’s past and future climate. This book has received a number of favorable reviews, including: