Back Results for: Faculty

Professor Arvidson: Mars Opportunity Rover in the Dust Storm

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Arvidson's interview with HEC TV about the Mars Rover Opportunity, its silence due to the large dust storm, and prospects for the recovery and continued operations.

Professor Jeff Catalano: Heavy Metals in the Wetlands

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Scientists from cross disciplines at Washington University in St. Louis are investigating how the abundance of heavy metals in natural wetlands affects how much of these gasses are produced in aquatic systems.

Professor Bob Criss On Our Rivers

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Criss has championed the Mississippi, Missouri and Meramec rivers, among others, in more than 25 years of work in earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

On the Radio: Professor Alian Wang: Mars Research in Harsh Places on Earth

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But since the Martian landscape is too harsh to support most kinds of life, some scientists in St. Louis travel to remote places to study life that thrives in extreme environments.

Mantle xenon has a story to tell

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The Earth has been through a lot of changes in its 4.5 billion year history, including a shift to start incorporating and retaining volatile compounds from the atmosphere in the mantle before spewing them out again through volcanic eruptions.

Professor Ray Arvidson: Organic Compounds on Mars

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What ‘warm and wet’ planetary history means for prospects of life on Mars

Dr. Helene Couvy receives Outstanding Staff Award, given out by the Graduate Student Senate.

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The Graduate Student Senate and the OFSA Committee are proud to announce the recipients of the 2017-18 Outstanding Faculty & Staff Awards

In the News: Arvidson about Mars Rover Mission

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When Opportunity’s 5000th day dawned in February, it was a meaningful milestone for the team, and it led to a personal first for the veteran robot field geologist that has chalked up so many firsts she’s set the standard for Mars rovers.

In the News: Criss about the Mississippi River

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“To understand America at this time,” says R.D. James, a Missouri farmer and new Army assistant secretary overseeing its Corps of Engineers, “you have to understand the river.”

Wysession to speak on climate change for Assembly Series on 7 March 2018 at 5pm

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If you like Frankenstein, thank a volcano!

Arvidson to receive Weidenbaum Center Award for Excellence

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The Weidenbaum Award for Excellence was established in 2014 by the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy

Small Distant World with Ring

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Professor Bob Criss receives Lewis C. Green Environmental Service Award

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The award is named after Green, the late founder of the law center and a leading environmental litigator in Missouri for decades.

Special Delivery for Noble Gas Research

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This summer, WashU received a new and very special instrument: a noble gas isotope ratio mass spectrometer.

The struggle to control the Mississippi River can help us understand the U.S.

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A picaresque tour of infrastructure reveals a struggle for control all along America’s great river, full of questions about what it once was, doubts about what it will become and who will pay for any of.

The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Logs 5000th Day, Snaps Selfie, and Roves On

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Arvidson to receive Weidenbaum Center Award for Excellence

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Raymond E. Arvidson, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences will receive the Weidenbaum Center Award for Excellence Medal at a ceremony held during the Weidenbaum Center's Annual Dinner in April 2018. The Weidenbaum Award for Excellence was established in 2014 by the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy founded in 1975 by Murray Weidenbaum. This award is given to honor individuals who have made major contributions to both scholarship and public service.

Distant dwarf planet near Pluto has a ring that no one expected

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A ring has been found around Haumea, a world more than 2 billion kilometres beyond Pluto. The ring is the most distant ever seen in our solar system.

How prepared is our area for an earthquake?

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Doctor Douglas Wiens, the Robert S. Brookings Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Science at Washington University, said there are two fault lines that can affect our area: The well-known New Madrid seismic zone, which is the most active in our area, and the Wabash Valley seismic zone in Illinois.

Professor Bob Criss receives Lewis C. Green Environmental Service Award

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Robert E. Criss, professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has received this year’s Lewis C. Green Environmental Service Award in recognition of his long-term commitment to raising awareness of increased flooding risks and the dangers of floodplain development and inaccurate flood studies.

Special Delivery for Noble Gas Research

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This summer, WashU received a new and very special instrument: a noble gas isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Rita Parai, an assistant professor in earth and planetary sciences, was there to greet the machine and see it properly installed.

Professor Bronwen Konecky Member of Climate Change Panel

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For the first of two programs on climate change, the wise and wonderful host of NPR’s Science Friday, Ira Flatow, will discuss with distinguished climate scientists Bronwen Konecky and Gavin Schmidt how studying past and present climate conditions can lead to the development of future strategies to protect the Earth.

The Other Total Eclipse - Far in the Kuiper Belt

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William McKinnon, a planetary scientist in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and a co-investigator on the NASA science team of New Horizons cheered on the the occultation team for catching MU69’s fleeting shadow in precisely the right place at the right time on July 17.

Professor McKinnon testifies at House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

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Dr. William B. McKinnon, professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Washington University in St. Louis, Co-Chair of National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science, explained the planetary science decadal survey and its relation to flagship and other planetary missions.

Curiosity, Opportunity Mars Rovers: Sol Sisters for Science

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Ray Arvidson, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, deputy principal investigator of the rover mission, explained the current situation and plan for the veteran Opportunity rover.

A Spillway on Mars?

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Ray Arvidson, Opportunity Deputy Principal Investigator of Washington University in St. Louis, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences, describes a geological puzzle rover is trying to solve.

Death by volcano

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David Fike, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, described what happened when pulses of atmospheric carbon dioxide and sulfate aerosols were intermixed at the end of the Ordovician geological period more than 440 million years ago.

Professor Wiens Named Robert S. Brookings Distinguished Professor

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Douglas Wiens was installed as the Robert S. Brookings Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences at a ceremony held Feb. 21 in Holmes Lounge at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the second faculty member to hold this professorship, which was established in 2006.

See our Virtual Geology Lab

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Washington University's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is transforming education with the opening of the Virtual Geology Lab. Associate Professor Philip Skemer is building his own 3D holographic models that can be viewed with Microsoft HoloLens.

Seismic Sleuthing

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Dr. Ghassan Aleqabi and Dr. Michael Wysession, Seismologists in Washington University in St. Louis, investigates enemy attacks, terrorism and nuclear tests by seismic sleuthing.

MoonRise mission to the Moon

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Bradley Jolliff, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and the leader of the proposed MoonRise mission, commented on his team's proposal for a NASA mission to go back to the moon's unexplored far side.

Sending Humans to Mars

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What will it take to get humans to Mars? Science writer Andrew Fazekas sits down with two Mars experts, Jedidah Isler and Ray Arvidson, to talk about the challenges we face getting to and establishing a permanent settlement on the red planet.

Pathfinder Program in Environmental Sustainability

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Dr. Raymond Arvidson, a prominent Mars researcher, created the Pathfinder Program for incoming freshmen at Washington University. Every year, 18 freshmen become Pathfinders, embarking on adventures outside the classroom as they learn about environmental sustainability. Eventually, some Pathfinders play a significant role in Mars research.

Life on Pluto?

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William McKinnon, professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and a co-author on two of four new Pluto studies published Dec. 1 in Nature, argues that beneath the heart-shaped region on Pluto known as Sputnik Planitia there lies an ocean laden with ammonia.

Professor McKinnon on YouTube with Pluto

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Dr. Bill McKinnon of Washington University suspected a liquid ocean beneath the surface of Pluto, published remarkable findings about Pluto that surpassed expectations about the dwarf planet and explained how a large section of Pluto’s nitrogen ice surface is renewed by a process called convection.

Reaching the Final Frontier: NASA’s New Horizons Mission to Pluto…and Beyond!

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William McKinnon of Washington University has a long career as a planetary scientist that has been marked by a series of exciting discoveries and new explorations.

A terrible rift

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Doug Wiens, professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and Weisen Shen, a postdoctoral research associate with Wiens, installed a seismometer to investigate the Midcontinent Rift and presented seismic images of the rift at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) Sept. 25-28.

Professor Arvidson wins Lester W. Strock Award from the Society of Applied Spectroscopy

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Raymond Arvidson, earth and planetary science professor at Washington University in St. Louis, received the Lester W. Strock Award, which is given by the New England Section of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy in recognition of a selected publication of substantive research in/or application of analytical atomic spectrochemistry in the fields of earth science, life sciences, or stellar and cosmic sciences.

Moon condensed from Earth's mantle

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Kun Wang, assistant professor in Earth and Planetary Sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, reported isotopic differences between lunar and terrestrial rocks that provide the first experimental evidence that can discriminate between the two leading models for the moon’s origin.

Steaming a planet

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Bruce Fegley and Katharina Lodders-Fegley, respectively professor and research professor in earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, published models of the chemistry of a steam atmosphere in equilibrium with a magma ocean at various temperatures and pressures, which provided some suggestions for planet hunters.

Mapping sinkholes

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Washington University geologists mapped the huge, branching drainage system that underlies the plain that is called Fogelpole Cave, located just below the notch in the west side of Illinois, where Mississippian limestones are exposed at the surface.

Professor Wysession receives Press Award of the Seismological Society of America

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Michael E. Wysession is a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. In his nomination for the Press award, his colleagues praised the far-reaching impact of his work on Earth and space sciences education from K-12 to university faculty training.

Mongibello Mons

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William McKinnon, professor of earth and planetary science in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, published a computer model that is able to make numerical mountains that look much like the jutting rock slabs on Io.

Exploring the Moon from Orbit – Paving the Way for Future Astronaut Explorers

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Dr. Ryan Clegg-Watkins, McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences Postdoctoral Research Associate, Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, used Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images to study the effects of rocket exhaust on lunar soil and to investigate silicic volcanic regions of the Moon.

Rites & Wrongs

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Randy Korotev, a lunar geochemist from Washington University in St. Louis, helped people distinguish between meteorites and "Meteorwrongs", chunks of rock and metal that masquerade as meteorites.

How to Create a Neuroscience Pipeline

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Erik Herzog shares some of his outreach efforts to support and encourage younger neuroscience researchers.

Forensic Seismology: Watch this video!

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A Baghdad seismometer picked up on Earth-shaking explosions in Iraq. Using the 2006 seismic record, Washington University seismologists distinguish wartime mortars, rockets, improvised explosive devices, helicopters and drones.

Martian water: Watch this video!

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Washington University’s Dr. Raymond Arvidson, a prominent Mars researcher, breaks down new information about liquid water flowing on the surface of Mars. Arvidson explains his involvement analyzing the data and discusses the next step.

Don't Panic Geocast - Learn about the Moon

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Brad Jolliff, earth and planetary science professor at Washington University in St. Louis, talks about lunar rocks and meteorites. The moon turns out to be a fascinating place, but probably won’t break up like in Seveneves.

Record Missouri flooding was manmade calamity

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At the end of December 2015, a huge storm named “Goliath” dumped 9-10 inches of rain in a belt across the central United States, centered just southwest of St. Louis, most of it in a three-day downpour. Robert Criss, PhD, professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, says there is more to the flood than the rain.