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School of Earth and Climate Sciences

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Kimberley Miner awarded Switzer fellowship

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Kimberley Rain Miner, Ph.D. student in the UMaine School of Earth and Climate Sciences, was selected as a Switzer Environmental Fellow by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. Miner will add her Switzer fellowship to a remarkable list of awards and grants she has received for her research, including a Fulbright Award, a SMART grant from the Department of Defense, and an IGERT fellowship. Congratulations, Kimberley!

Aaron Putnam’s work on Asia climate history receives notice

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The history of the Mongol empire captures people’s attention. In recent years, paleoclimate research has shed more light on some of the military decisions of that time. Most notably, the changing climate of the 1200s may have resulted first in the spread of grasslands, allowing the consequent spread of the Mongol empire. Later, drying could have led to less grass available to sustain the Mongol army, and thereby changed the course of the Mongol invasion. Aaron Putnam is one of the leaders of studying events of this time, and his was recently asked to comment on new research, through interviews in New Scientist and the Christian Science Monitor.

SECS Annual student awards announced

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The 2016 awards from the School of Earth and Climate Sciences were announced on Friday May 6th. Congratulations to:

Zachary Mason (Kupfer Field Camp Scholarship, Golden Field Camp Scholarship, George H. Stone Award, Outstanding Senior Award)
Marissa Bovie (Golden Field Camp Scholarship, Edward Sturgis Grew Scholarship, Outstanding Senior Award)
Adam Rogers (Golden Field Camp Award, Edward Sturgis Grew Scholarship, Outstanding Senior Award)
Erika Bubar (Golden Field Camp Award, Edward Sturgis Grew Scholarship)
Frank Haferland (Golden Field Camp Scholarship)
Justin Leavitt (George H. Stone Award)

Erik Anderson (M.S. Brown Bag)
Peter Strand (Ph.D. Brown Bag)

Mineralogical Magazine publishes official citation and acceptance texts for Collins Medal awarded to Ed Grew in 2015

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Mineralogical Magazine, one of the top international scientific journals for mineralogy, has just published the official citation and acceptance texts for the Collins Medal presented to Research Professor Edward Grew at the award ceremony in Edinburgh, Scotland, in July 2015. The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland awards the Collins Medal each year to a scientist who, “during a long and active career, has made an outstanding contribution to pure or applied aspects of Mineral Sciences and associated studies.” In the citation. Frances Wall, then President of the Mineralogical Society, praised Ed as a “formidable mineralogist” who has made “outstanding contributions to the mineralogy of some of the elements that most people would prefer to avoid, because of the difficulty of their analysis –namely boron and then beryllium.” She especially cited Ed’s dedicated service to the mineralogical community– his “22 combined years as associate editor for the journals Mineralogical Magazine, American Mineralogist, The Canadian Mineralogist, and Lithos” – and for how “helpful he is to authors on the path towards publication.” She continued, “peer review and editing and teaching are essential for science but perhaps not always so well rewarded as they might be.”

Source: Mineralogical Magazine, April 2016, Vol. 80(2), pp. 207–211.

Paul Mayewski wins Hans Oeschger Medal in recognition of his outstanding contributions to ice core and climate research

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See details here:

Aaron Putnam wins NSF CAREER Award!

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PhD Candidate Kimberley Miner awarded a Fulbright Research Grant & The SMART Grant from DoD

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Kimberley Miner has been awarded a year-long Fulbright research grant to work in partnership with researchers at the University of Ottawa on glacial pollutant monitoring related to her dissertation.  “The mandate of Fulbright Canada is to enhance mutual understanding between the people of Canada and the people of the United States of America by providing support to outstanding individuals. These individuals conduct research, lecture, or enroll in formal academic programs in the other country. In doing so, Fulbright Canada aims to grow intellectual capacity, increase productivity, and assist in the shaping of future leaders.”

Kimberley has also been awarded The SMART grant which is a Department of Defense sponsored award that will provide stipend and work placement at a DOD facility after graduation. ” The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program has been established by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.” She will be working at the Geospatial Research Lab in Arlington, VA.

GSA grant awarded for dating Antarctic metamorphism

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Steven Spreitzer, a SECS master’s student and teaching assistant has been awarded funding for his research from the Geological Society of America through the Graduate Student Research Grant. For his master’s thesis, Steven is using a radiometric dating technique, called in-situ monazite dating, in order to find the ages of metamorphic rocks from the Larsemann Hills in East Antarctica. This technique will allow the dates of grains of the mineral monazite to be linked to the formation of individual metamorphic minerals, thus relating the variables of time, temperature and pressure. Steven will use this funding to travel to the University of Massachusetts Amherst in order to work with faculty at the Ultrachron Geochronology Lab. This lab has an electron microprobe specifically built for the types of high precision analysis needed for in-situ monazite dating. His thesis advisor is Dr. Ed Grew.

Geological Society of Maine Spring Meeting

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Spring Meeting April 1, 2016

Location: Bryand Global Science Center
University of Maine
Orono, Maine


1:00pm Registration

1:00-2:30pm Poster Presentation, 2nd Floor Bryand Global Science Center and School of Earth and Climate Sciences Open House

2:30-4:00 Student Oral Presentations, 100 Nutting Hall

4:00 pm Keynote Speaker, 100 Nutting Hall
Katherine Allen: School of Earth and Climate Sciences, University of Maine

5:00 pm Business Meeting, 100 Nutting Hall

~5:15 Social Hour, 2nd Floor Bryand Global Science Center

Call for Abstracts for Student Presentations

Submit abstracts by email to: Martin Yates,

Please indicate in the subject line if it’s a GSM poster abstract or GSM oral abstract.

Abstract Deadline: must be received by Friday, March 25, 2016

Image Description: GSM

Geology Club 2016 California Field Trip

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The University of Maine School of Earth and Climate Sciences Geology Club recently returned from its Spring Break field trip to California.  The trip, led by staff advisers Dr. Alicia (Cici) Cruz-Aribe and Marty Yates, traveled round trip to San Francisco, visited Big Sur, the Tiburon Peninsula, and Point Reyes, and toured the Monterrey Aquarium.  Thirteen undergraduate students participated in the trip, which was made possible with grants from the Golden Fund, the Geological Society of Maine, the UMaine Student Government and Geology Club fundraising.

Image Description: Point Reyes sandstone and conglomerate

Image Description: Green Stone, bedded chert, and garnet beach sand, Pfeiffer State Park

Image Description: Jenner Beach, California

Image Description: Geology Club California 2016 Field Trip

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Contact Information

School of Earth and Climate Sciences
5790 Bryand Global Sciences Center
Orono, ME 04469-5790
Phone: (207) 581-2152 | Fax: (207) 581-2202E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469