On a hot day in August 2007, I was sitting on a log at the edge of a patch of Amazon forest waiting for the right weather conditions to burn a 100-hectare plot (larger than 180 football fields), when I was approached by a journalist.
Christopher Joyce, a science correspondent from National Public Radio, was visiting our field site, lured by the chance to report on scientists setting fire to the Amazon. It happened to be one of the driest years on recent record, which promised him an exciting story and enabled us to document how drought and fire work together to transform healthy forest fragments into patches of scrubby, invasive grasses.
On Earth Day, we are honored to host Christopher Joyce, science correspondent from NPR. He will be speaking today from 4 to 5 p.m. in Penn State’s HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium on the University Park campus. His talk, “Scientists and Journalists: Codependents in the Age of Disappearing Media,” is free and open to the public.
The Express - Williamsport, PA - Penn State University and the Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research have been at the forefront of shale gas development - providing educational programs to thousands of Pennsylvania residents, elected officials, landowners and business groups as well as engaging in research to promote the protection of Pennsylvania's water and environmental resources from adverse impacts of resource extraction. <<Read Article>>
by: Martin P. Tingley and Peter Huybers, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University <<Nature Story>>
To ordinary folks, stars in the galaxy may seem like tiny specks of light. But to Penn State Brandywine Professor Timothy Lawlor and undergraduate researcher Nick Rufo, one of those bright balls of gas is actually more massive than scientists originally reported and holds implications to the understanding of the universe’s evolution. <<Penn State Brandywine>>
Two summers ago, a group of seasoned doctoral students gathered in a lab at the University of Bern to conduct never-before-done research about the hydrogen isotopic composition of methane. Joining them was Schreyer Honors College Scholar Hailey Mitchell, a meteorology major who, at the time, was only half-way through her undergraduate education. Read the full story from the Schreyer Honors College
Three faculty members and a staff member in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences were among those singled out this year for recognition by the University for excellence in education and research.
Susan Brantley, distinguished professor of geosciences and director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, received the Faculty Scholar Medal for work in the physical sciences. Peter Wilf, associate professor of geosciences, received a George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Robert Crane, professor of geography and director of the Alliance for Education, Science, Engineering and Development in Africa, received the W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award for advancing the university’s international mission. Martha Traverse, administrative assistant, received the Staff Excellence Award.
“Penn State’s strengths in the engineering and physical sciences are its imprimatur. Sue, Peter, Rob and Martha are the latest members of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences to prove that they are a cut above,” said William Easterling, dean of the College.
Three Earth and Mineral Sciences' students were recognized at the 2013 Graduate Exhibition.
Physical Science and Mathematics: Third Place
Andra Jenn Reed. The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences/METEOROLOGY. "Effects of Local Meteorology and Chemistry on Ozone and Nitrogen Dioxide Retrievals: OMI and Pandora Spectrometers during DISCOVER-AQ 2011." CONGRATULATIONS, Andra!
Michael Schmitt. The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences/Materials Science and Engineering. "Novel Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBCs) with Unique Microstructure Resulting in Reduced Thermal Conduction and Degradation." CONGRATULATIONS, Mike!
Engineering: Third Place
SIJUOLA MOYOSOREOLUWA ODUMABO. The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences/Energy and Mineral Engineering. "Gas Flow Hindrance due to Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Invasion in Tight Sandstones." CONGRATULATIONS, Sijuola!
Donald W. Hamer, a 1968 Penn State alumnus, and his wife, Marie Bednar, recently created an endowed professorship in Penn State’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Their commitment of $1 million will establish the Hamer Professorship in Materials Science and Engineering. Hamer is the chairman and founder of State of the Art Inc., in State College, Pa., a leading supplier of film resistive components to the biomedical, communications, aerospace and defense industries. Penn State News
Dr. Long-Qing Chen has been elected as a Fellow of MRS “For contributions to development of the phase-field method and its innovative application to predicting mesoscale microstructural evolution and properties of metallic alloys, oxides and ferroelectrics.”
Dan Richter, Jr., lead scientist of the 56-year old Calhoun Soil-Ecosystem Experiment in South Carolina, will give the 2013 Critical Zone Seminar on April 4, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. in 112 Forest Resources Building. The title of his talk is "The Changing Models of Soil and Earth's Critical Zone".
Two teams of Penn State undergraduate students placed among the top ten percent of finalists at the international CME Group Commodity Trading Challenge. The month-long competition offers graduate and undergraduate students a unique chance to electronically trade crude oil, gold and corn futures in a simulated, real-time professional trading environment. <<MORE>>
Today’s integrated circuits are limited by power dissipation, heat, which limits the packing density of transistors on a computer chip. Penn State is an integral part of The Center for Low Energy Systems Technology (LEAST), led by Notre Dame, which explores new concepts for the transistor to dramatically lower the power requirements for electronics. <<more>>
Meteorology Professor Anne Thompson and Research Associate Doug Martins are leading the Penn State team that's acting as ground control on NASA air pollution research. Read the full story here.
Professors Richard Alley and Jenni Evans offered their insight on climate change in a recent piece in the Harrisburg Patriot-News. The op-ed from Evans, interim director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute, and Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, notes that "the existence of natural climate change does not remove the human finger print" from what is taking place. Read the full story here.
In an opinion piece in the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times, Penn State EESI Director Susan Brantley and Anna Meyendorff, a faculty member at the University of Michigan, discuss the science of natural gas drilling, concerns and economics. Read the full story here.