Department News

Anya Hess awarded dissertation development funding

Anya Hess sqAnya Hess has been awarded $2,000.00 in Off-Campus Dissertation Development funding by the School of Graduate Studies. This funding will go towards the cost of attending IsoCamp this summer, a 2-week intensive program on isotope geochemistry hosted at the University of Utah. Anya is currently studying sediments from the New Jersey continental shelf to better understand Oceanic Anoxia Event 2 in the Late Cretaceous (~100 million years ago)—the most widespread anoxic event in the geologic past. She will compare carbon isotope data for this event to I/Ca, a more direct proxy for anoxia, and test the hypothesis that upwelling waters along the continental margin created anoxic conditions at shallow water depths.

Yu wins Cushman Foundation, GSA awards

yu cushman foundationCongratulations to Mark Yu (third year Ph.D. student), who received two research awards this summer. The William V. Sliter Research Award is sponsored by the Cushman foundation for foraminiferal research. Mark also received a Geological Society of America Graduate Research award. Mark’s work focuses on understanding the dynamics in the tropical thermocline waters of the Indian Ocean during the late Pleistocene. At play is separating the relative influences to the central equatorial Indian Ocean from the subantarctic mode waters from the Arabian Sea unpwelling.

Read more: Yu wins Cushman Foundation, GSA awards

Rutgers geologists and oceanographers return from Pacific Ocean coring expedition

threeopleReturning from JOIDES Resolution Expedition 379T, the science team has sought to study the oceanographic and hydrologic history of the northern margin of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the South American continent. The aim was to collect six 100 meters long sediment cores from ocean water depths of 829-3858 m near the Chilean margin (36-46°S) to understand variability of the Patagonian icefields. The next step in the research will be to evaluate rapid (100 to 1000 year) changes in ocean water chemistry, composition, and temperature that will not only help reconstruct climate over the last 200,000 years but also inform us about how Earth will respond to a warmer than present climate. Rutgers postdoc Samantha Bova and professor Yair Rosenthal served as co-chief scientists, and were joined by Hailey Riechelson (graduate student, Rutgers), Mark Yu (graduate student, Rutgers), Vincent Clementi (graduate student, Rutgers), Anya Hess (graduate student, Rutgers), Stanley Ko (graduate student, Rutgers), William Biggs (undergraduate student, Rutgers), and Jim Wright (professor, Rutgers). More info at: 

Professor Gross to become NASA Deputy Curator of Apollo Moon samples and reflects to USA Today and National Geographic on the significance of the 50-year anniversary of the Moon landing

nasa positionNASA has offered Professor Juliane Gross an 18 month IPA (Intergovernmental Personnel Act) position to help open the Apollo Moon samples that were sealed 50 years ago. She will be the new "Deputy Apollo Sample Curator" at NASA JSC in Houston and will work in curation next to Dr. Ryan Zeigler (Apollo Sample Curator and the Branch Chief of the Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office) to oversee the preparations to open the samples and assist in the preliminarily examination, as well as assist in the curation of all other Apollo samples. As well as working in the Apollo lab, Professor Gross will be conducting experiments at NASA JSC, which also will allow Rutgers students a prestigious opportunity to help conduct research a NASA facility. Additionally, Professor Gross recently was interviewed for the special "50 years ago - One Giant Leap" magazine, jointly published by National Geographic and USA Today. In the article "Rocks unlocked", she is quoted together with NASA civil servant Sarah Noble about the importance of the samples collected during the Apollo mission and how study of lunar basalt rocks can help understand the origins of Earth. For further reading, check out his link:

Benaroya wins prestigious NASA-LPI internship

sophie b articleSophie Benaroya wins prestigious NASA and Lunar and Planetary Institute Summer Internship: Congratulations to Sophie Benaroya! Sophie has been selected for the highly prestigious and highly competitive 10-week summer intern program at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) - NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, TX. This is a remarkable achievement for Sophie (and Rutgers as well!) as only 10 to 12 students worldwide are selected to participate in this program. As intern, Sophie will experience cutting-edge research in lunar and planetary sciences, work one-on-one with LPI and JSC scientists on a research project, and be able to preview possible career pathways in planetary science. Sophie will work with Dr. Julia Semprich to model low-grade metamorphic minerals for sedimentary bulk rock compositions which have been measured by the rover “Curiosity” at Gale Crater on Mars. Sediments on Mars at Gale Crater are expected to have significant low-grad metamorphic phases. Sophie’s project will help to identify these mineral phases and help to distinguish between those formed as a result of volcanic- or impact-induced hydrothermal systems or burial that exceeds diagenetic temperatures. We are excited that our own Rutgers EPS undergraduate student, Sophie, gets to experience such a wonderful opportunity. Well done and congratulations, Sophie, we are very proud of you!

Galochkina selected as Goldwater Scholar

Mariya techCongratulations to Mariya Galochkina who was selected as a 2019 Barry Goldwater Scholar by the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation and the Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs. The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

Sherman accepts NASA internship

Sherman sqUndergraduate major, Elisheva Sherman (School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020), was offered a summer internship with NASA at the Ames Research Center in California! She will be heading out west at the start of June for a 10-week program to study algae blooms off the coast of Chile using satellite data. Elisheva is also the recipient of the Aresty Undergraduate and EPS Sparks Research grants for her research project “Changing Oceans and Changing Climates” working on stable isotopes and Mg/Ca ratios on deep-sea sediment cores from the Gardar Drift in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Galochkina earns prestigious award and internship

Mariya posterMariya Galochkina has been selected to receive the Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award at the New Brunswick Chancellor’s Student Leadership Gala. Mariya was also awarded a summer internship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution working with Delia Oppo, Senior Scientist in the Department of Geology and Geophysics. The Woods Hole summer internship is one of the oldest and most storied internships in the country. Congratulations to Mariya for both of these achievements!

Xiaoran Chen awarded dissertation development funding

thumbnail XiaoranChen bannerXiaoran Chen has been awarded $2,000.00 in Off-Campus Dissertation Development funding by the School of Graduate Studies. This award will facilitate her research off the project "Seismic Data Analysis and Interpretation in West Australia Craton” which she will conduct over the summer of 2019 at the branch of Macquarie University in Perth, Australia. The project is a key element of the PhD thesis research project that Xiaoran has developed, aimed at comparing interior structure of two areas of extremely old continental lithosphere, one in North America and one in Australia. The work will be done in collaboration with Dr. Huaiyu Yuan of Macquarie University, and will be based on a set of seismological observations he has accumulated in the past decade, and which are not widely available for study by scientists outside Australia.

Lepre awarded $87,000 from NSF

Lepre NSFDr. Christopher Lepre has been awarded $87,000 from the National Science Foundation to conduct a three-year project in the Turkana Basin of Kenya. The project will focus on using magnetic minerals in paleosols to reconstruct the impacts of Pliocene-Pleistocene rainfall variations on paleo-ecosystem change and human evolution. NSF programs Sedimentary Geology & Paleobiology and Archaeometry are jointly funding the award. For more information follow this link to NSF announcement & project abstract: