Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Voices: L’Aquila Judgment’s Disturbing Details

Much has been written about the court decision passed down earlier this week by an Italian judge, convicting seven members of the Italian Serious Risks Commission to six years in prison. The "L'Aquila Seven" were convicted for inadequate warnings to residents of L'Aquila, Italy, before a magnitude-6.3 earthquake struck the region on April 6, 2009, killing more than 300 people. Though the story has received international attention and ignited
tensions throughout the scientific community, little attention has been paid to the exact roles each of the seven played in delivering the final advice to the public. Now, Max Wyss, a seismologist and director of the World Agency of Planetary Monitoring and Earthquake Risk Reduction (WAPMERR) in Geneva, Switzerland, explains in a comment on EARTH Magazine's website that five of the infamous seven may have been convicted for saying nothing — when they were deprived of the chance of saying anything at all. Read the story online now

The American Geosciences Institute's New Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship for Women

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is accepting applications for the new Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. The scholarship will be awarded to a thesis-based, full time female student pursuing either a Master's or a Doctoral degree in the geosciences, and must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship is merit-based, and applicants will be evaluated on the probability of successfully completing their geoscience graduate program and transitioning into the geoscience workforce following graduation.

The Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholar will receive $5,000 for her first scholarship year, and will be eligible for a second year scholarship of $5,000 upon successful completion of her first year. For more information about the scholarship and how to apply, please visit our website at:

Additionally, AGI will be passing out promotional materials with more information about the scholarship and how to apply at the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, November 4-7, 2012. Please visit AGI’s booth (#940) to talk with the scholarship coordinator and learn

Invitation to Submit Himalaya-Karakoram-Tibet manuscripts in Sp Vol of GSL scheduled in 2014

A ‘Special Volume’ of the ‘Geological Society of London’ on the tentative broad topic: “Tectonics of the Himalaya-Karakoram-Tibet Orogen” is being planned under the editorial handling of Soumyajit Mukherjee, Rodolfo Carosi, Peter van der Beek, Barun Kumar Mukherjee and Delores Robinson.
We invite you and your research group to submit manuscripts covering any tectonic aspects of the Himalaya-Karakoram-Tibet. We welcome both original articles and review manuscripts. Manuscripts will be peer reviewed as per the GSL policy.
In this issue, we will include- besides structural geology- surface, sub-surface and deep earth processes, igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary petrology, geochemistry, geomorphology, and geophysical aspects (plus any other approaches) aimed at unraveling the tectonics of the HKT.
We will receive manuscripts until December 31 2013, and publish the volume around July 2014.  We will appreciate if you could please send us the tentative titles of your manuscripts by 30 Nov-2012, along with a probable manuscript submission date. Please discuss with Soumyajit ( on the length of your manuscripts.
We will be happy to extend any kind of clarification and assistance you may require.We are organizing an HKT Session: TS6*/GM3.6, in the European Geosciences Union-2013, Vienna. We expect the contributors will make presentations there, but this is not a requirement. Please follow:
Kindly circulate this letter amongst the interested researchers.

Soumyajit Mukherjee
(Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, INDIA; e mail:
Rodolfo Carosi
(University of Torino, ITALY; e-mail:
Peter van der Beek
(Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies; FRANCE; e-mail:
Barun Kumar Mukherjee
(Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, INDIA; e-mail:
Delores Robinson
(University of Alabama; USA; e-mail:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The First Edition of the YES Bulletin is NOW ONLINE!

The YES Network has the pleasure to announce the release of the First Edition of its online FREE Journal. Please check it out:


Earth Science Education: A Necessary Tool for Development in Africa. A Product of the YES Africa 2011 Roundtable Discussion. I. Ddamba (Download)  p.5

Hydrostratigraphy. S. Mukherjee (Download)  p.10

Mount Bambouto Caldera (Cameroon Volcanic Line): Formation, Structure and Environmental Impact. G. Zangmo Tefogoum, D.G. Nkouathio, A. Kagou Dongmo, P. Wandji, M. Gountie Dedzo & F.M. Tchoua (Download)  p.14

Flanking Microstructures of the Zanskar Shear Zone, Western Indian Himalaya. S. Mukherjee (Download)  p.21

We would like to thank all who have participated in the release of the first edition of the YES journal and we invite YES members to submit their papers for future editions to the following e-mail address:

AGI Accepting Applications for 2013 Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is accepting nominations for the Edward C. Roy Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching. Given annually, this award is presented to one full-time K-8 teacher
in the U.S. or U.K. whose excellence and innovation in the classroom elevates students’ understanding of the Earth and its many processes.

Applicants will be judged based on their dedication to and enthusiasm for teaching, as well as their expertise in crafting and delivering Earth science instruction to their students. The winner of the Edward C. Roy Award will receive a cash prize and an additional travel grant to attend the 2013 National Science Teachers Association Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, April 11-14, 2013. To be eligible, applications must be postmarked by January 10, 2013.

The Edward C. Roy Award is given in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy Jr., a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. A past president of AGI and former chair of the AGI Education Advisory Committee, Roy was a lifelong supporter of teachers and students of all ages.

For more information on requirements, application procedures and deadlines, please visit

Friday, October 5, 2012

Webcast on Student Recruitment in the Geosciences Now Available from AGI

As part of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) collaboration with American Geophysical Union on its Earth and Space Sciences Heads and Chairs Program, AGI is pleased to announce the availability of a recorded webcast of the September 20, 2012 webinar focused on Student Recruitment strategies for geosciences programs. The session was led by Dallas Rhodes (emeritus) and Charles Trupe (Associate Professor) of Georgia Southern University who discussed particularly successful strategies in student
recruitment in their geosciences program. In addition, the full discussion session with other Earth and Space Science Heads and Chairs follows the presentation which highlights other successes and challenges in recruiting quality students into geosciences programs.

To view this webcast or see the schedule of upcoming webinars, please visit

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

EARTH: Risky Business - Modeling Catastrophes

The probability that a given natural hazard could become a natural disaster is higher today than at any previous point in history, largely because of population growth putting more people and infrastructure in harm's way. Who pays for the damage and how is value and risk assessed? Much of it comes down to insurance and reinsurance agencies, which are relying more and more on sophisticated catastrophe modeling tools to help gauge when the next disaster will strike, and how much it will cost.

Catastrophe modeling has only been around for a couple of decades, but in that time it has changed rapidly. In tandem with worldwide changes in population growth, higher standards of living and climate change, the catastrophe modeling industry — unfamiliar to most people despite its major influence on our lives — is evolving at a breakneck pace. What goes into a catastrophe model, and how will it affect you? Read the story online at and find out.

Make sure to check out the other great stories in this month's issue of EARTH Magazine. Get pumped for renewable energy, learn how monsoons may affect volcanic plumes, and close the case on funky fluorite all in this month's issue.

National Fossil Day to Be Held During Earth Science Week 2012

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the National Park Service (NPS) invite you to participate in the third annual National Fossil Day on October 17, 2012 during Earth Science Week (October 14-20).

National Fossil Day brings together paleontologists, educators, and students from across the country to participate in fossil-related events and activities in parks, classrooms, and online!

AGI and the NPS have developed resources and activities to highlight the scientific and educational value of paleontology, as well as the importance of preserving fossils for future generations. Visit the NPS National Fossil Day website at for standards-based lesson plans, fossil trading cards, a virtual museum exhibit, and more! You can also find fossil-themed activities in the Earth Science Week 2012 Toolkit, available at

The National Park Service is also sponsoring a National Fossil Day Art and Photo Contest. Entries should address the theme "Careers in Paleontology" and be postmarked by October 5, 2012. See complete contest guidelines at

In addition to online resources, local events, and contests, NPS and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History are holding the National Fossil Day kick-off event in Washington, D.C. This celebration on the National Mall will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on October 17, 2012. All are invited to learn how to become a Junior Paleontologist, study the history of life that has been preserved in over 230 NPS units, and take part in a mock fossil dig.

For more information on the kickoff event, visit

View Webcast on Earth Science Week 2012

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to present its first-ever webcast in a series promoting participation in Earth Science Week (October 14-20), the annual celebration of the geosciences organized by AGI. The webcast, "Introduction to Earth Science Week," is now available online.

Whether you are celebrating Earth Science Week for the first time or are a seasoned veteran, the "Introduction to Earth Science Week" webcast will serve as a valuable resource providing an overview of learning activities, instructional materials, career resources, upcoming events, and much more! This interactive
tutorial allows users to view more information with live links throughout the webcast. Viewers may also preview videos and programs available only through Earth Science Week.

To view the webcast, please visit For more about the week and
ways to get involved – including newsletters, local events, and classroom activities – please see the Earth Science Week website at In the coming months, look for additional webcasts
on topics such as promoting Earth Science Week activities through media, the status of Earth science education nationwide, and AGI's geoscience teacher award competition.

AGI Webinar on the National Geoscience Student Exit Survey

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce a free webinar on Friday, October 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm EDT to discuss AGI’s National Geoscience Student Exit Survey. The webinar will address the results from the spring 2012 deployment of the Exit Survey, as well as plans for a nationwide implementation in spring 2013.

With the recent national focus on the economy and job availability, AGI has taken the initiative to develop a survey instrument to ascertain the relevant experiences in school and immediate career plans of graduating geoscience students. Over the last decade, evidence has mounted through informal and formal channels that a growing gap exists between recruitment strategies for the geosciences workforce and the awareness and preparedness of graduating students for these positions. The National Geoscience Student Exit Survey was created to identify three things: the knowledge and skills students acquired in school that helped secure employment; students’ decision points for entering geoscience careers; and graduating students’ preferred employment, including those positions and careers not considered part of the traditional geosciences

To learn more about the Exit Survey and take part in the discussion, please register for the webinar at:

To learn more about the status of the geosciences workforce, please visit

SEPM Announces New Book on Martian Geology

Even as Curiosity begins its Martian adventure, the group that finalized that program has published everything that we knew about Martian sedimentary geology prior to the historic landing event.

SEPM Special Publication #102
Sedimentary Geology of Mars

Edited by: John P. Grotzinger and Ralph E. Milliken

Often thought of as a volcanically dominated planet, Mars, over the last several decades of exploration, has revealed with increasing clarity the role of sedimentary processes in its formation. Data from recent orbiters have highlighted the role of sedimentary processes throughout the geologic evolution of Mars by providing evidence that such processes are preserved in a rock record that likely spans a period of more than four billion years. Rover observations have provided complementary outcrop-scale evidence for ancient eolian and fluvial transport and deposition. Data have also shown surprisingly Earth-like patterns of diagenesis that involve recrystallization and the formation of concretions. In addition, the detection of clay minerals and sulfate salts on Mars, coupled with large-scale morphologic features indicative of fluvial activity, indicate that water-rock interactions were once common on the Martian surface. This is in stark contrast to the dry and cold surface environment that exists today, in which eolian processes appear to be the dominant mode for
sediment transport on Mars.

These issues and others were discussed at the First International Conference on Mars Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, held in El Paso, Texas in April of 2010. The papers presented in this volume are largely an extension of that workshop, and cover topics ranging from laboratory studies of the geochemistry of Martian
meteorites, to sediment transport and deposition on Mars, as well as studies of terrestrial analogs to gain insight into ancient Martian environments. These papers incorporate data from recent orbiter and rover missions, and are designed to provide both terrestrial and planetary geologists with an overview of our
current knowledge of Mars sedimentology, as well as outstanding questions related to sedimentary processes on Mars.

More information about the Society’s publications can be found at: