2020 Awards & Notables

Faculty Awards

Ray Arvidson, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, and the Mars Exploration Rover (Spirit and Opportunity) team received the Distinguished Science Award from the Huntsville chapter of the National Space Club. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in research and discovery that expand knowledge and understanding of space.

Anne M. Hofmeister, research professor, won a 2020 Professional Excellence Award from the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG). The award recognizes Hofmeister's career contributions to academia and research.

Bradley Jolliff, Scott Rudolph Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, was appointed director of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences. Jolliff was also named a member of the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Evaluating Volatile Origins (ICE Five-O) team, which will investigate the life cycle of water and other volatiles on the surface of the Moon as one of NASA’s eight new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institutes (SSERVI). In addition, Jolliff was awarded the 2020 Eugene Shoemaker Distinguished Scientist Medal by SSERVI. The award recognizes Jolliff’s significant contributions to planetary science throughout his career.

Bronwen Konecky, assistant professor, won a grant from the National Science Foundation for collaborative research on neotropical climate and environmental change over 400ka of glacial-interglacial cycles from Lake Petén Itzá.

Michael J. Krawczynski, assistant professor, received a grant from NASA for a project titled “Investigating Mechanisms for Producing Metallic Fe Enrichments and Magnetic Anomalies within Planetary Crustal Materials.” Krawczynski also won support from the National Science Foundation for collaborative research on the Earth’s deep interior titled “Experimental Partitioning of Highly Siderophile Elements at Ultratrace Level for Understanding the Conditions of Core Formation.”

Katharina Lodders, research professor, was selected for the 2021 Leonard Medal by the Meteoritical Society for her work on the condensation of presolar grains in stellar atmospheres as well as her compilation of the solar system abundances of the elements and the condensation temperatures of the elements.

Claire Masteller, assistant professor, won an early-concept grant for exploratory research (EAGER) from the National Science Foundation to support collaborative research titled “Invisible Floods on the Mississippi River Floodplain: Unravelling the Causes of Urban Flooding in a Community-Centered Approach to Geomorphology.”

Philip Skemer, associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences and associate director of the Institute of Materials Science & Engineering, received a grant from the National Science Foundation for the acquisition of a rock deformation apparatus to study rheology and microstructure.

Alian Wang, research professor, was named a member of the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Evaluating Volatile Origins (ICE Five-O) team, which is charged with investigating the life cycle of water and other volatiles on the surface of the Moon. The consortium is one of NASA’s eight new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institutes (SSERVI). Wang also won a grant from the Jet Propulsion Lab for adapting the compact integrated Raman spectrometer (CIRS) for lunar exploration.

Kun Wang, assistant professor, won the European Association of Geochemistry’s 2020 Houtermans Award. The F.G. Houtermans Award recognizes exceptional contributions to geochemistry by scientists within 12 years of starting their PhD.

Douglas A. Wiens, Robert S. Brookings Distinguished Professor, won several grants from the National Science Foundation for collaborative research projects. Wiens was also appointed to the Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction, a governmental advisory committee under the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Michael Wysession, professor of Earth and planetary sciences and executive director of Washington University’s Center for Teaching and Learning, was appointed editor in chief of Perspectives of Earth and Space Scientists, a new peer-reviewed journal from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The journal is unique in that its primary goal is to collect and share the stories of the people of AGU.

 

 

Also Noted

Clara P. McLeod, Earth and planetary sciences librarian, received the 2019 Mary B. Ansari Distinguished Service Award of the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS). The honor recognizes significant contributions to the field of geoscience information.

Scott VanBommel, research scientist, won a grant from NASA for a project titled “Enhancing the Scientific Return of the Mars Exploration Rovers: Improved Characterization of Trace Elements and Heterogeneous Matrix Effects in Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer Data through Comprehensive Spectral Modeling.”

Ryan Watkins, a research scientist with the Planetary Science Institute, won the Susan Mahan Niebur Early Career Award, an annual award given to a scientist within ten years of receiving their PhD. The award recognizes Watkins’ excellence in her field and meaningful contributions to the scientific and exploration communities.