Caltech's Kanamori Named Foreign Associate of National Academy of Sciences

Hiroo Kanamori, the John E. and Hazel S. Smits Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus, at Caltech, has been elected one of 21 new foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences. Eighty-four new members were also announced during the 149th annual meeting of the academy in Washington, D.C. 

Caltech Researchers Use Stalagmites to Study Past Climate Change

By analyzing stalagmites, a team of Caltech researchers has determined that the climate signature in the tropics through four glacial cycles looks different in some ways and similar in others when compared to the climate signature at high latitudes. The results suggest that Earth's climate system might have two modes of responding to significant changes. 

From the Ground Up

What's it like to build an entire research program from scratch? It's all about becoming part of a community, according to three brand-new professors who chat about their experiences in "From the Ground Up," an article in the Spring 2012 issue of Caltech's Engineering & Science magazine.

What Triggers a Mass Extinction?

The second-largest mass extinction in Earth's history coincided with a short but intense ice age. Although it has long been agreed that the so-called Late Ordovician mass extinction was related to climate change, exactly how the change produced the extinction has not been known. Now, a team led by Caltech scientists has determined that the majority of extinctions were caused by habitat loss due to falling sea levels and cooling of the tropical oceans.

Looking at the Man in the Moon

Many of us see a man in the moon—a human face smiling down at us from the lunar surface. The "face," of course, is just an illusion, shaped by the dark splotches of lunar maria (smooth plains formed from the lava of ancient volcanic eruptions). Like a loyal friend, the man is always there, constantly gazing at us as the moon revolves around Earth. But why did the moon settle into an orbit with the man facing Earth?

 

 

Caltech Geochemist Wins Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Paul D. Asimow, professor of geology and geochemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has been awarded the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching—Caltech's most prestigious teaching honor. Asimow was selected for his "exceptional energy, originality, and ability to explain complicated concepts effectively," according to the award citation.

 

 

Geological Society of America Honors Jason Saleeby

The Geological Society of America has named Jason Saleeby, professor of geology at Caltech, the recipient of their Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, and Volcanology Division's Distinguished Geologic Career Award for this year. 

Caltech Oceanographer Tests New Technology at the Bottom of the Earth

The field of study of Andrew Thompson, assistant professor of environmental science and engineering at Caltech, presents not only theoretical challenges but logistical ones as well. That's because he is interested in the circulation and ecology of the Southern Ocean and the role it plays in global climate. The hostile environment of this area makes long-term research difficult, so he's part of a team that is seeking to monitor the region with autonomous underwater vehicles called gliders.

Stolper Honored by the Geochemical Society

Edward M. Stolper, Caltech's provost and William E. Leonhard Professor of Geology, has been named the recipient of the Geochemical Society's V. M. Goldschmidt Award for 2012, the highest award of the international geochemical community.

Heather Knutson Receives AAS Cannon Award in Astronomy

Caltech assistant professor of planetary science Heather Knutson has been named the recipient of this year's Annie J. Cannon Award in Astronomy by the American Astronomical Society (AAS). The award is given for outstanding research and promise for future research by a North American female astronomer within five years of receiving her PhD.

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