Sunday, January 19, 2014

Postdoctoral research position at the Department of Geology, University of Maryland, College Park

We invite applicants for a postdoctoral researcher to work on a multidisciplinary project aimed at constraining crustal structure and composition using seismic data. The project entails close collaboration between geochemistry/petrology (Rudnick and McDonough) and seismology (Lekic). Therefore, the ideal applicant will have research interests spanning these fields of study.
This full-time position is for a one year appointment starting by Fall 2014, with the possibility of extension.
A Ph.D. in geophysics, geology, or a related discipline is required. The candidate should have research experience in seismology, petrology, and/or geochemistry, and must demonstrate a strong computational background needed for seismic data processing, inversion, and/or imaging. Applicants should submit a letter of application addressing scientific and technical qualifications along with a curriculum vita and list of references to Ved Lekic ( Review of applications will begin immediately, with a decision anticipated during Spring, 2014.
The University of Maryland, College Park, actively subscribes to a policy of equal employment opportunity, and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

Application deadline 2/28/2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

International Bachelor Permafrost Summer Field School

Time: 19 June- 11 July 2014, at the University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS, Longyearbyen, Svalbard 

The University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Permafrost offers an International Bachelor Permafrost Summer Field School in Svalbard, 19 June to 11 July 2014. We welcome senior bachelor students, who are interested in obtaining an overall knowledge about permafrost. The course will offer insights into:
·       Permafrost history and its distribution globally.
·       Permafrost temperatures in various parts of the World – climatic and other controls.
·       Methods of permafrost observations, focusing on drilling, coring and instrumentation.
·       Permafrost databases and their use in permafrost analyses.
·       How does permafrost affect local community infrastructure and cultural life? 
·       Interaction between carbon and water in permafrost landscapes.
·       How sensitive are permafrost landforms towards climate change?
 You can take this course either as a 5 ECTS point course, finishing with an oral graded presentation in the summer school. Or you can do in addition an individual science project based on the course knowledge, to be submitted by the end of the autumn/fall semester following the summer field school, and then graded, and you will obtain 10 ECTS. Students doing 10 ECTS will be given preference to the course.
 Application deadline: 15 April 2014, using the UNIS online application system (
 There is no tuition fee for this course. There will be a possibility for non-European students to apply for a travel stipend to attend this course. Accommodation for students during the course will be in student housing in Longyearbyen, and it will cost app. 3125 NOK corresponding to app. 370 Euro.
 The course will be taught by partners of the Thematic Network on Permafrost:
·       Prof. Dr. Kenji Yoshikawa, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA
·       Prof. Dr. Hanne H. Christiansen, The University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS, Norway & Center for Permafrost, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
·       Prof. Dr. Mikhail Prisyazhniy, North-Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk, Russia
·       Prof. Dr. Atsuko Sugimoto, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
·       Prof. Dr. Ole Humlum, The University of Oslo and UNIS, Norway
·       Prof. Arne Instanes, The University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS, Norway and Instanes Polar
·       Dr. Guido Grosse, The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Science, Germany
·       Dr. Paul Overduin, The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Science, Germany
·      PhD. Student Samuel Faucherre, Center for Permafrost, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
 Contact for further questions: Hanne H. Christiansen ( and Kenji Yoshikawa (

PhD opportunities in metamorphism and structure at Oxford

The Hard Rock Group at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford is offering three DPhil (PhD) project titles for 2014 entry under the NERC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership in Environmental Research:

1. Metamorphism, melting and structural evolution of the Himalayan crust; kyanite, sillimanite and cordierite-bearing migmatites of the Nepal Himalaya (Supervisors: Searle, Waters)

2. The P-T record in zoned garnet porphyroblasts, with application to the Himalaya and Karakoram (Waters, Searle)

3. The role of interface processes in prograde metamorphic change (Waters)

In addition there is an externally funded project “Structure, metamorphism of the North Oman thrust sheets, from Semail ophiolite to foreland fold-thrust belt” (Funded by Abu Dhabi Petroleum, Supervisors: Searle, Waters, M. Ali)

We’d be grateful if you could bring these to the attention of any students who might be interested. More information can be found on the Hard Rock Group’s web site, the Department web site and on the DTP site, where you can also find details of the application procedure.

Applications close on Jan 24th

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Postdoc position in experimental petrology in The Laboratory of Geology at Lyon (University Lyon1 & ENS de Lyon, France)

Research will focus on the experimental investigation of hydrothermal alteration of ultramafic minerals under conditions relevant for natural systems with emphasis on CO2conversion and carbon speciation during reactions. Our institution has facilities for high-pressure/high-temperature fluid-rock experiments (large volume autoclaves with fluid sampling, low-pressure diamond-anvil cells) and for extensive fluid and rock characterization (GC-MS, ICP-MS, Raman spectroscopy). Complementary techniques are available on the campus (e.g. X-Ray Diffraction, electron microscopy). Synchrotron-based experiments or analyses are also considered. The successful applicant will work in close collaboration with an international group of scientists of the Deep Carbon Observatory science network (

The candidate should hold a PhD in Earth Sciences or Chemistry. An experience or a strong affinity for laboratory experimental work and analytical techniques is mandatory. Experience in thermodynamic modeling of fluid-rock reactions and/or of organic chemistry will be appreciated. The initial appointment will be for a period of one year and may be extended depending on the funding situation.

To apply, submit the following materials via email in Adobe PDF format: current CV that includes education, employment history, awards, publications; and the names and contact information for 3 references. The position is available immediately and will remain open until filled. Applicants should send applications electronically (in PDF form) as an email attachment to  Dr Muriel Andreani ( 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"NASA Sends “Big Data” in to the Cloud" by Melissa Prior

There is exciting news for earth scientists everywhere, and particularly web-savvy ones, with NASA’s announcement that they are to release a large amount of satellite data through a cloud storage facility. The data is concerned with the biggest earth science issue of the age – climate change - and is the product of the NASA Earth Exchange (NEX), which is part of the NASA Advanced Supercomputer Facility in Moffett Field, California. The data is being made available thanks to a partnership between NASA and Amazon Web Services Inc., the cloud storage arm of the world’s largest online retailer. The purpose of the project is not only to educate young scientists but also to open the data to researchers from around the world.

A New Way to Use Data
NASA and AWS say that the agreement will showcase a new way of providing data services. The remote storage of the cloud has become a powerful force in computing in the last decade. The idea is much older than that, dating back to the early days of computing when remote terminals could be used to access the powerful, but usually extremely large, mainframe computers of the time. The internet has facilitated this process on a vast scale and allowed owners of large data centers – which often boasted huge amounts of spare capacity – to make their power available to users anywhere with access to the web. This networking can allow scientists to link up networks of computers to work on problems at vast distances and also allows access to the vast amount of data supercomputers can store to ordinary citizens and citizen scientists. NASA says it is uploading terabytes worth of data. A terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes and the average home computer has around eight gigabytes of memory.

What is Available?
Despite the end of its manned space programs, NASA remains one of the most powerful and well-resourced space exploration and observation projects on the planet. In recent years, the agency has turned its focus on its network of satellites and has put a particular focus on contributing to the understanding of climate change. This new service will release data from the Earth Observing System, NASA’s 1997-launched project to monitor the planet through a network of satellites and orbiting scientific instruments. Among the data sets that will be opened up are temperature, rain fall and forest cover observations. As well as the raw data, researchers and educational users will have access to some of the processing tools from NEX.
The Power of Networking, the Power of Knowledge
NASA also believe that they will gain through the process too. Sharing data opens it to researchers from around the world who may have new ideas and approaches which can shed light on climate change. Essentially, the space agency gains access to a massive network of possible collaborators – a human resources cloud. It is also a huge opportunity to educators and students, who can see earth science data from one of the best sources on the planet and concerning the biggest environmental issue of our time. Among the releases are NEX downscaled climate simulations, which predict, in high resolution, climate changes on the mainland USA. It is also possible to view the entire planet in images captured over one to two days by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. Perhaps most exciting is the release of the entire Landsat data record, the US Geological Survey’s data of history’s longest lasting space observation of the planet.

More to Come

NASA says that this new partnership is part of what will be a continuing process of release of data to the world community. Cloud computing, says NASA, has made this data available for the first time to those who do not have access to powerful computers. This is a program of the Obama administration to open up US Government but in this case could benefit the whole world. You can learn more and find out how to access the data at AWS’s Open Data Set page and their NASA Nex link. Some educators, in the United States, may be eligible for grants to help them use the data and information on these are available on the site.