News and Research Highlights
David Archer, Professor of Geophysical Sciences, has been elected one of the 2010 AGU Fellows.
Frank Richter, the Sewell Avery Distinguished Service Professor in Geophysical Sciences, is the 2009 Harry Hess medalist of the American Geophysical Union. Richter is pictured with a bust of T.C. Chamberlin, the first chairman of the University of Chicago’s Geology Department.
Science News: Planet orbits a common dwarf star, suggesting more may be out there
Prof. Raymond Pierrehumbert says newly discovered planet is likely habitable. See story
2011 Schuchert Award to Kevin Boyce
Associate Professor C. Kevin Boyce has won the 2011 Schuchert Award of the Paleontological Society, given for promise and accomplishment by a paleontologist under the age of 40, for his contributions to our understanding of the physiology and evolutionary history of land plants and the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems.
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Geophysical Sciences professors earn Macelwane Medal, Nier Prize
The American Geophysical Union has named Nicolas Dauphas, associate professor in geophysical sciences, as a 2011 recipient of the James B. Macelwane Medal. The Meteoritical Society also has awarded the 2011 Alfred O. Nier Prize to his colleague Fred Ciesla, assistant professor in geophysical sciences. The Meteoriticial Society is devoted to the study of phenomena such as meteorites, comets and asteroids.
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David Archer, Professor in Geophysical Sciences, has been elected a 2010 fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
The American Geophysical Union elects fellows as a special tribute to those who have made exceptional scientific contributions and who have attained acknowledged eminence in the earth and space sciences. This designation is conferred upon no more than 0.1 percent of all union members in any given year.
Archer specializes in chemical oceanography, global warming and the human impact on climate. He is the author of The Long Thaw: How humans are changing the next 100,000 years of Earth's climate (Princeton University Press, 2008), which earned him the 2009 Walter P. Kistler Book Award. [Read more]
Frank Richter earns AGU's 2009 Hess Medal for diverse spectrum of geological contributions
The University of Chicago’s Frank Richter, SM’71, PhD’72, has received the 2009 Harry H. Hess Medal for outstanding research on the constitution and evolution of Earth and its sister planets.
“Frank’s mode of research is to identify critical problems, develop a fundamental, first-principles-based understanding, and then to delve deeply into the broader consequences and implications for the earth sciences,” said David Rowley, Professor in Geophysical Sciences, in his nominating citation. (Prof. Rowley had the considerable honor of serving as Richter's citationist at the awards ceremony during the Autumn AGU meeting in San Francisco. Read Rowley's citation here.)
In recent studies, Richter, the Sewell Avery Distinguished Service Professor in Geophysical Sciences, has focused his studies on the isotopic characteristics of rocks and minerals from the continents, oceans and meteorites. Measurements of isotopes, which are varieties of a common element that differ only in their atomic mass, can be used to reconstruct a variety of Earth’s dynamic geological and oceanographic processes.
“His approach is to identify an earth science-related problem where he can make a significant contribution, work rather single-mindedly until he succeeds to some satisfying degree and then move on once he feels that further efforts would not yield as significant results as what he has already achieved,” Rowley said.
Consequently, Richter’s specialization defies classification. At various times in his career, he has conducted in-depth, influential research in fluid dynamics, geodynamics, geochemistry, experimental petrology and cosmochemistry. In each of these areas, Richter has combined theoretical and analytical insight with experimental data “to better understand how physics and chemistry affect the evolution of natural systems,” according to Rowley.
On a personal level, Rowley said, “Frank is also a careful listener and reader, whose questions and input can often be transformative of his friends and colleagues.”
Richter became a research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after completing his UChicago doctoral degree. He returned to the University on a faculty appointment in 1975.
An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, Richter has received many honors for his work. These include the Arthur L. Day Medal and the George Wollard Award, both from the Geological Society of America, and the Norman L. Bowen Award of the American Geophysical Union. He also is a fellow of the GSA, the AGU and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Previous recipients of the Hess Medal include Alexandra Navrotsky, PhD’67, the Edward Roessler Chair in Mathematical and Physical Sciences, University of California at Davis, in 2006; Edward Anders, the Horace B. Horton Professor Emeritus in Chemistry, in 1995; the late George W. Wetherill, PhB’48, SB’49, SM’51, PhD’53, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, in 1991; the late Julian R. Goldsmith, SB’40, PhD’47, the Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Geophysical Sciences, in 1987; and Gerald J. Wasserburg, SB’51, SM’52, PhD’54, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Geology and Geophysics Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, in 1985.
Bob Clayton to receive J. Lawrence Smith Medal
Professor Emeritus Robert N. Clayton has been selected to receive the J. Lawrence Smith Medal of the National Academy of Sciences. This award, which will be conferred 26 April at the Academy's annual meeting, is given for "recent original and meritorious investigations of meteoric bodies" and recognizes Bob's work using oxygen isotopes to understand the genesis of meteorites. Bob joins a list of distinguished University of Chicago faculty (Mark Inghram, Harold Urey, and Edward Anders) and former graduate students (Clair Patterson, John Reynolds, Jerry Wasserburg and George Wetherill) who have received this award.
February 5, 2008
Andrew Z. Krug
November 17, 2008
Steven Simon, lead scientist of a study of particles from comet Wild 2
October 26, 2008
The annual Clemson-Washington University-University of Chicago-Carnegie Institution of Washington presolar grain workshop will be held, all day Saturday November 22nd and half of Sunday November 23rd at The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL) in the Henry Hinds Laboratory for Geophysical Sciences (5734 South Ellis Avenue).
October 23, 2008
Michael Foote (Photo: Dan Dry)
August 18, 2008
George W. Platzman (Photo: University of Chicago)
August 8, 2008
Lawrence Grossman, Professor in Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago, will receive the 2009 Leonard Medal from the Meteoritical Society.
(Photo: Dan Dry)
Eruption Hill in Kilauea Iki crater on the Big Island of Hawaii. In December 1959, lava spurted 1,900 feet high from this location. Working with lava samples from the crater, scientists at the University of Chicago and elsewhere have devised a new tool for reconstructing planetary origins.
(Photo: Steve Koppes)
The European Association of Geochemistry will award the 2008 Houtermans Medal to cosmochemist Nicolas Dauphas
March 20, 2008
February 7, 2008
Rebecca Terry, the recipient of the 2007 Alfred Sherwood Romer Prize from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, examines a fossil in the Hinds Laboratory.
(Photo: Dan Dry)