Latest News and Announcements
Glotter Awarded Congressional Science Fellowship
Michael Glotter, who expects to finish his PhD this year, was awarded a Congressional Science Fellowship sponsored by the American Geophysical Union. As part of this fellowship, which will start next fall, Michael will make significant contributions to public policy by working in the office of a member of congress.
MBL semester in environmental science now open to undergraduates
The semester in environmental science at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is now open to undergraduates at the University of Chicago as part of the University's partnership with MBL. Read more about it here.
Shaw Awarded Sloan Fellowship
Assistant Professor Tiffany Shaw has been awarded a Sloan Fellowship in Physics. These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. Congratulations Tiffany!!
Yang and Abbot Find Water on Tidally Locked Planets Won't Necessarily be Trapped
Tissot wins LPI Career Development Award
Graduate student Francois Tissot has been awarded a Career Development Award by the Lunar and Planetary Institute for one of the best graduate student abstracts at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Way to go Francois!
Kidwell wins Thompson Medal
William Rainey Harper Professor Susan Kidwell has won the 2015 Mary Clark Thompson Medal of the National Academy of Sciences. This medal is awarded every three years for achievements in geology and paleontology. Susan is being recognized for her fundamental work on the nature of the stratigraphic and fossil records and our understanding of the history of life on Earth.
Ciesla Explores How First Solar System Solids Became Rocks
In a paper published in Nature Communications and covered here, Associate Professor Fred Ciesla and his collaborators used hydrodynamic simulations to understand how the building blocks of the planets transitioned from porous, fluffy, dust balls to the solid rocks we see as meteorites.
Shaw co-authors paper on clouds and circulation
In a paper published in Nature Geoscience post doc Aiko Voigt and Assistant Professor Tiffany Shaw used global climate models and the cloud and water vapor locking method to show the response of the intertropical convergence zone, Hadley circulation and trade winds to global warming is fundamentally connected to radiative changes of water vapor and tropical ice clouds and their coupling with the circulation.
Coleman receives Vision grant from the Big Ideas Generator
Assistant Professor Maureen Coleman and co-PI Sean Crosson (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) were awarded a Vision grant from the Big Ideas Generator (BIG) at the University of Chicago.
Archer delivers 521st Convocation Address: "The Great Carbon Conspiracy"
Glotter wins Outstanding Student Paper Award
Congratulations to graduate student Michael Glotter, who won an outstanding student paper award at the 2014 fall AGU meeting for his talk "Evaluating the Reliability of Reanalysis as a Substitute for Observational Data in Large-scale Agricultural Assessments."
Yokochi co-authors groundwater 4He paper
Reika Yokochi co-authored a Nature Geoscience paper entitled “Continental degassing of 4He by surficial discharge of deep groundwater”. The study of Guarani Aquifer, one of the world’s largest freshwater aquifer systems, revealed that deep groundwater accumulates 4He produced in the crust over a one-million-year time scale, and plays a major role in transporting 4He to the atmosphere.
Fischer receives Graduate Research Award
The Mineral and Rock Physics section of the American Geophysical Union recognized graduate student Rebecca Fischer with its 2014 Graduate Research Award. The award will be presented at the AGU meeting in San Francisco.
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.
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.
Professor Pierrehumbert writes climate article in Slate
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: email@example.com. The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Employment Opportunity / Disabled / Veterans Employer.
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.
Professor Pierrehumbert featured in NYTimes
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.
Abbot featured in PSD Inquiry magazine
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
Rebecca Fischer awarded Plotnick FellowshipGraduate 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.