E-news from the Dept. of Earth & Space Sciences

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Robert Winglee
When I think of the 2012 academic year, the word that comes to mind is "exciting". We had an extremely fruitful year, one that kept everyone on their toes helping to advance the activities, research, and teaching associated with our department. Our research efforts continue to make national news—which you can read about on our ESS news website—and other stories about present research are listed throughout this newsletter.

We spent much of our time and energy involved in four new faculty searches in the fields of crustal materials, space sciences, applied geosciences, and geodesy. The department has never been involved in so many searches simultaneously, which of course proved to be demanding. A big thank you needs to go out all the faculty, staff and students who participated in the many different aspects of the interview process. Details of the new hires are listed in the e-newsletter and the department is thrilled to have new capabilities in these arenas.

This year also saw the launching of the new Masters in ESS: Applied Geosciences (MESSAGe) program. The first cohort of students has been selected and will start their studies in the upcoming academic year. This program offers a much needed avenue for students interested in honing their skills that will have direct applications in the private sector. This program is being developed under the auspices of its director, Prof. Juliet Crider.

The department’s alumni, friends, and partners continue to provide significant and much appreciated private support benefiting our faculty and students. Read here to learn about such recent commitments.

If you have not yet made your annual gift please consider supporting the field experience of our students through a gift to the Undergraduate Field Support Fund. This fund helps our students gain invaluable field experience key to their educational and professional growth. To make a gift, please visit the UW Foundation’s secure website here.

Many thanks to all the people who helped organize and participated in the department’s 2nd Annual Family Day, especially to David Rupp who took the lead to formally organize the event into a huge celebration of departmental activities. Over 200 participants joined us for the 2 1/2 hours of interactive displays and demonstrations. I hope to see more of you at the next event—please stay tuned.

It was also a great year for many of our faculty and students, who were acknowledged for their numerous academic achievements. Congratulations to Joshua Bandfield who was promoted to Research Associate Professor, David Catling to Full Professor, Gerard Roe to Full Professor and Terry Swanson to Principal Lecturer, and to Professor Kate Huntington, Geological Society of America’s 2012 Young Scientist Award. Notable student accomplishments are listed in the e-newsletter, including two NSF graduate fellowships, two NASA Earth and Space Science graduate fellowships, College of the Environment Dean’s Undergraduate Medalist, front cover article in Science and in UW Columns Magazine, and student awards from national societies including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Geological Society of America.

Also, a note of good luck and congratulations are in order to Professors Bernard Hallet and Ron Sletten working with JPL on NASA Curiosity rover, and to Professor David Montgomery on his new book The Rocks Don’t Lie.

A few of our talented faculty moved on this year to other enterprises—we are sorry to see them go, but wish them all the best. Associate Professor Bachmann moved to ETH Zurich; Lecturer Brittany Brand will join the University of Idaho as an Assistant Professor; Professor Alan Gillespie resigned to become a Research Professor with Quaternary Research Center so he could dedicate more time to research efforts and to the support of the journal Quaternary Research.

We continue in our teaching efforts to emphasize field and laboratory work. Many of these efforts have now found their way onto YouTube and we hope to see more additions in the near future. Finally congratulations to the class of 2012. Please stay in touch.

I hope you all have a great year. I am sure that within the department there will be more many successes and I look forward to sharing these stories with you again in next year’s newsletter.

Robert Winglee Signature

Robert Winglee, Chair, Department of Earth and Space Sciences


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Short Takes on Capturing Nature Oct. 15

Monday, October 15, 2012

7 pm, The Neptune Theatre

Tickets: $5 at the door; $4 online at stgpresents.org (additional fees apply)


Join the Burke Museum at the Neptune Theatre for an evening of fast-paced talks on the enduring relationship between the human imagination and the natural world. Inspired by the International Conservation Photography Awards exhibit, Short Takes features a stellar lineup of artists, scientists, students, and scholars. Speakers include internationally-renowned photographer Art Wolfe, curators from the Burke and the Seattle Art Museum, and explorers of the seas and the stars. Ten short talks, each illustrated with 20 slides, will take us on a journey from humanities’ first artistic impulses to our latest glimpse into the far reaches of space.

Click here for Short Takes topics and more information.

Short Takes is produced in conjunction with Seattle Theatre Group with support from the Boeing Employees Credit Union.

Photo: Shoal of Life. Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico. Cristobal Serrano.

Speakers Include:

· Art Wolfe, internationally renowned photographer, host of “Travels to the Edge with Art Wolfe”, and founder of the International Conservation Photography Awards

· Katie Bunn-Marcuse, Assistant Director of the Bill Holm Center, and a Curatorial Associate of Native American Art at the Burke Museum

· Allison Fundis, Education and Public Engagement Liaison, Ocean Observatories Initiative/Regional Scale Nodes, University of Washington

· Shaun Peterson, a pivotal figure in the revival of Coast Salish arts

· Ellen Dissanayake interdisciplinary scholar and writer, Affiliate Professor in the University of Washington, School of Music

· Wendy Call, 2012 Writer in Residence for the North Cascades and Joshua Tree National Parks

· Dan Ritzman, Northwest and Alaska Regional Director of the Sierra Club

· Brad Rutherford, Executive Director of the Snow Leopard Trust

· Phil Rosenfield, Graduate Student, Astronomy, University of Washington

· Patricia Junker, the Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum

Looking for Climate Change Fighters

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My name is Cathy Taveras and I work with MTV. I’m looking for students between the 18-28 range, undergraduate or graduate is fine, who are making an impact on climate change. For now I am just seeking information on what students are doing across the country to tackle the issue of climate change, but I do not know what I could turn into in the future. I’ll put all my contact information down below if you want to forward it to the students. Also, I have listed a few questions I would like the students to answer upon contacting me, if that’s ok with you?

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Digital/Social Media Intern at MTV Scratch

Office: (212)846-8493