Latest News and Announcements

Stephan's work essential for Rosetta mission

Senior Scientist Thomas Stephan helped build and prepare the Cometary Secondary Ion Mass Analyzer (COSMICA) on the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission, which recently intercepted a comet. The mission will sample organic molecules and noble gases on the comet to reveal solar system history. Read more about it here.

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DoGS alumnus wins prestigious young scientist award

Shanan Peters (PhD 2003) is the 2014 recipient of the Charles Schuchert Award of the Paleontological Society. Shanan is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to global geology and the mutual interactions between Earth and life. 

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Professor Pierrehumbert writes climate article in Slate

Professor Ray Pierrehumbert wrote an article in Slate pointing out the serious flaws in a recent Wall Street Journal article arguing against action to address climate change.

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Grad Student Rebecca Fischer Investigates How Rare Earth Is

Rebecca Fischer, a graduate student in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences, studies how the Earth formed and evolved to the planet we see today. In a recent study, highlighted by Astrobiology Magazine, Rebecca explored whether the chemical evolution of the Earth was a natural consequence of how the Solar System formed, or if it resulted from a set of rare circumstances.

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Yang and Abbot show habitable zone depends on planetary rotation rate

In a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters and covered by Astrobiology Magazine, postdoc Jun Yang and assistant professor Dorian Abbot have made calculations with global climate models showing that the habitable zone may depend strongly on the planetary rotation rate.

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Kite estimates atmospheric pressure on Mars 3.6 billion years ago

Edwin Kite, who will be joining the faculty in January, was able to estimate the atmospheric pressure on Mars 3.6 billion years ago through a statistical analysis of observable impact craters dating from that era. This work is important because it constrains the total pressure of carbon dioxide, which was previously believed to have kept early Mars warm enough to allow liquid water, to be relatively low.

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Faculty Positions in Geophysical Sciences

The Department of the Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago invites applications for positions at the Assistant Professor and Associate Professor ranks. We are interested in outstanding scientists who address fundamental questions about the physics, chemistry, biology, and history of Earth and other planetary bodies.

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Davis and Stephan help confirm interstellar origin of dust particles

Professor Andrew Davis and senior scientist Thomas Stephan were members of a team that analyzed dust grains collected by the Stardust spacecraft and determined that some were of interstellar origin. Their work was published in the journal Science.

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T. C. CHAMBERLIN POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS IN GEOPHYSICAL SCIENCES

The Department of the Geophysical Sciences at The University of Chicago invites applications for the T.C. Chamberlin Postdoctoral Fellowships. We are interested in outstanding scientists who probe the fundamental nature of Earth and other planetary bodies, their physics, biology, chemistry, and history, and who have a desire to participate in the broad intellectual life of the Department and the University. Start date is negotiable, but our target is 1 October 2015. The initial term of the Fellowships will be one year, renewable for a second year. Salary will be $55,500 per year, plus benefits. Research funds are also available. Consideration of applications will begin 1 October 2014. Please email a single pdf file containing a CV, research plans, and names and contact information for at least three references, to: chamberlin2014@geosci.uchicago.edu. The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Employment Opportunity / Disabled / Veterans Employer.

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Chamberlin postdoc Sora Kim studies shark teeth

A study published in Geology by Chamberlin postdoctoral scholar Sora Kim analyzed the isotopic composition of shark teeth to reveal increased freshwater runoff to the Arctic Ocean during the Eocene greenhouse (38 - 50 million years ago). A article in UChicagoNews on the work can be found here.

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Professor Pierrehumbert featured in NYTimes

Professor Pierrehumbert was featured in an article in the New York Times about the tradeoffs between limiting methane and carbon dioxide emissions as part of the strategy for limiting climate change.

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Fred Ciesla Elected Fellow of the Meteoritical Society

DoGS Associate Professor Fred Ciesla was elected as a Fellow of The Meteoritical Society in recognition of his contributions to the study of meteoritics.  This is a rare honor only given to 1% of members every two years. Ciesla's research focuses on using meteorites to understand the physical processes that control the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

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Abbot featured in PSD Inquiry magazine

DoGS Assistant Professor Dorian Abbot was featured in the Spring/Summer edition of the Physical Sciences Division magazine Inquiry. The article can be found on page 6 of this pdf.

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PNAS paper shows dynamical downscaling not worth it

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by graduate student Michael Glotter and Associate Professor Liz Moyer suggests little benefit to expensive dynamical downscaling methods to bridge the gap between climate model resolution and the finer-spatial-scale projections needed for agricultural assessments.

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Graham Slater accepts assistant professorship

Graham Slater will join Tiffany Shaw, Malte Jansen, and Edwin Kite as new members of the faculty next year. Graham is a macroevolutionary biologist who uses sophisticated statistical techniques to combine information obtained from genetic dating and the fossil record to make inferences about evolutionary radiation.

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Professor Tiffany Shaw to Join Department

Professor Tiffany Shaw will join the Department of the Geophysical Sciences next year, along with other new members of the faculty Malte Jansen and Edwin Kite. Tiffany studies gravity wave drag parameterization, stratosphere-troposphere coupling and its role in tropospheric climate variability and anthropogenic climate change, and tropospheric moisture and momentum transport between the tropics and the midlatitudes.

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Professor Grossman Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Professor Lawrence Grossman has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (read more). Professor Grossman is a meteoriticist who studies the origin of solid matter in the solar system. His many other honors include membership in the Royal Society of Canada, having an asteroid named after him (Asteroid Grossman), and having a mineral named after him (grossmanite).

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Rebecca Fischer awarded American Fellowship by AAUW

Graduate student Rebecca Fischer was awarded the prestigious American Fellowship by the American Association of University Women.  This award, which dates back to 1888, is highly competitive, with only about 70 recipients this year across all areas of scholarship.  The fellowship is intended to support outstanding graduate students during the final year of their dissertation research.  Many alumnae have gone on to distinguished academic careers, including Hanna Holborn Gray, President Emerita of the University of Chicago.

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Graduate Students Awarded NSF Fellowships

DoGS graduate students Nadia Pierrehumbert and Lily Thompson were awarded 2014 NSF graduate research fellowships. These fellowships are extremely competitive, with a success rate of only 14%. Way to go Nadia and Lily!

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2014 Chicago Magazine Green Award to Liz Moyer

DoGS associate professor Liz Moyer, codirector of the University’s Center for Robust Decision Making on Climate and Energy Policy, received a Green Award from Chicago Magazine for her work on the economics of climate change and stratospheric water vapor.

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Rebecca Fischer awarded Plotnick Fellowship

Graduate student Rebecca Fischer is one of two students in the Physical Sciences Division chosen to receive the Plotnick Fellowship for the 2013-14 academic year. This is in recognition of her outstanding achievement in our graduate program. The fellowship is named for Harvey Plotnick, who provided funding for the award and who is a long-time friend of the Division, member of the PSD Visiting Committee, and member of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees. Congratulations Rebecca!

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Professor LaBarbera highlighted in the University of Chicago Magazine

Professor LaBarbera, who has a joint appointment with DoGS, was highlighted in an article in the University of Chicago magazine.

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Maureen Coleman and Dan Fabrycky awarded Sloan fellowships

Maureen Coleman and Dan Fabrycky have been selected for 2014 Sloan Research Fellowships in recognition of their exceptional achievements and potential. Maureen is a DoGS assistant professor and will receive an Ocean Sciences fellowship. Dan is an assistant professor in astronomy who is part of the planetary group, and will receive a Physics fellowship.

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Hannah Diamond-Lowe wins best poster!

DoGS undergraduate Hannah Diamond-Lowe won the best poster award for her poster, "A New Look at the Thermal Inversion of HD209458b" at the Exoclimes III conference in Davos, Switzerland. Her prize-winning poster can be viewed on the fourth floor opposite room 451. Awesome work Hannah!

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DoGS alumna wins 2014 Houtermans award

Former DoGS graduate student, Liping Qin, PhD 2007, was awarded the 2014 Houtermans award from the European Association of Geochemistry. Liping Qin is now a professor at School of Earth and Space Sciences, the University of Science and Technology of China. Click here to read an interview with Liping in Nature.

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DoGS alumnus wins Mineralogical Society of America Award

Former DoGS postdoc (2006-2007), Fang-Zhen Teng, won the Mineralogical Society of America Award. Fang-Zhen Teng is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington.

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Ray Pierrehumbert awarded prestigious King Carl XVI Gustav Professorship in Environmental Science by the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences

This is considered Sweden's highest award in environmental science.  Ray plans to spend the 2014-15 academic year at Stockholm University.  Read more here (i Svenska). Also, see coverage in UChicago News.

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Super-Earth's Need Not be Waterworlds

A paper co-authored by Northwestern University postdoc Nick Cowan and Assistant Professor Dorian Abbot suggesting that super-Earth exoplanets will not always be waterworlds was covered in a recent issue of The Economist. Previous research had suggested that super-Earths should have smaller topography and deeper oceans than Earth, and should therefore tend to have no exposed land.

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Popular Science: Early Earth should have been a snowball, but wasn't

Post doctoral scholar Robin Wordsworth and Professor Raymond Pierrehumbert find that nitrogen and hydrogen may have been greenhouse gases that warmed earth to a habitable level.

Popular Science

Science

Science: Perspective

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Exploding star missing from formation of solar system

A new study published by University of Chicago researchers Haolan Tang and Nicolas Dauphas challenges the notion that the force of an exploding star prompted formation of the solar system. Read the article.

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GeoSci grad student featured in Inquiry

Geophysical Sciences graduate student Rebecca Fischer is featured in the Fall/Winter 2012 issue of Inquiry, the Physical Sciences Division newsletter. Read the article.

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Titanium paternity test fingers Earth as moon's sole parent

A new chemical analysis of lunar material collected by Apollo astronauts in the 1970s conflicts with the widely held theory that a giant collision between Earth and a Mars-sized object gave birth to the moon 4.5 billion years ago.

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