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  • richardmitnick 9:41 am on December 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Geosciences,   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH): “Heatwaves thawing Arctic permafrost” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH)

    7.28.22 [Retrieved from 2022 year-end wrap-up.]
    Marianne Lucien

    Satellite data affords ETH Zürich researchers a new method for quantifying carbon mobilization in Arctic permafrost. Their findings also reveal how summer heatwaves accelerate the rate of Arctic landslides in thawing permafrost.

    Retrogressive thaw slump, Mackenzie River Delta, Canada. (Image: ETH Zürich / Simon Zwieback)

    In the northernmost region of the earth the arctic permafrost is melting at an accelerated rate. For more than a decade, an international team of researchers from ETH Zürich, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the German Aerospace Center have observed topographical pock marks – large depressions referred to as, “retrogressive thaw slumps”. The slumps occur when permanently frozen layers of soil (ice-​rich permafrost) melt leaving arctic hillslopes vulnerable to landslides. The landslides signal a risk for the potential release of carbon that has been stored in the permafrost for tens of thousands of years.

    Risk for release of organic carbon

    Their findings, recently published in the European Geosciences Union journal, The Cryosphere [below], reveal substantial changes to the topography of Siberia’s Taymyr peninsula, in northern Russia. The study’s results reveal a strong, 43-​fold increase in retrogressive thaw slump activity and a 28-​fold increase in carbon mobilization. The increase also happens to coincide with an extreme heatwave that occurred in northern Siberia in 2020 in which temperatures reportedly reached 38 degrees Celsius (more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit) – record-​breaking temperatures for the Arctic region.

    “The strong increase in thaw slump activity due to the Siberian heatwave shows that carbon mobilization from permafrost soils can respond sharply and non-​linearly to increasing temperatures,” asserts the paper’s lead author, Philipp Bernhard, Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich.

    Measuring changes to Arctic permafrost

    Using satellite data, the research team has been able to develop a new method to quantify carbon mobilization in permafrost soil. Currently no other large-​scale method exists that measures, to such a high level of spatial and vertical resolution, the changes in permafrost regions. This method allows researchers to provide a more accurate estimate of the state of the carbon cycle to the global carbon budget.

    Building on an earlier field and airborne flight study conducted in Canada’s Mackenzie River Delta, the researchers collected pre-​study data that they later used to compare and analyze with satellite acquired data over the same region. Since 2010, the German Aerospace Center has been operating an innovative satellite mission using single-​pass synthetic aperture radar, the TanDEM-​X mission, to collect 3-​dimensional elevation data over the earth surface. In addition to the radar data, from 2015, researchers analyzed data obtained from the optical Sentinel-​2 satellites deployed as part of the European Space Agency’s Earth Observation mission, Copernicus Programme with the focus on the arctic landscape.

    TanDEM-​X radar elevation comparison between 2010 – 2017 of Mackenzie River Delta, Canada. (Image: ETH Zürich )

    Neglected part of Arctic carbon cycle

    Siberia’s Taymyr peninsula, like many areas of the arctic, is a remote and nearly inaccessible region making scientific field studies a challenging, if not impossible, operation. The findings of this study indicate; however, that summer heatwaves and warming arctic regions pose a significant environmental risk that are worth monitoring.

    The Arctic permafrost reportedly encases approximately 1.5 trillion metric tons of organic carbon, about twice as much as currently contained in the atmosphere. Bernhard agrees that the potential risks associated with this type of carbon mobilization is “a major, but largely neglected component of the Arctic carbon cycle”. The research team anticipates that satellite remote sensing will be an indispensable tool for continuous monitoring of carbon mobilization resulting from melting permafrost across the Arctic.

    Science paper:
    The Cryosphere
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich [ETH Zürich] [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH) is a public research university in the city of Zürich, Switzerland. Founded by the Swiss Federal Government in 1854 with the stated mission to educate engineers and scientists, the school focuses exclusively on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Like its sister institution The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH) , it is part of The Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain (ETH Domain)) , part of the The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research [EAER][Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung] [Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche] (CH).

    The university is an attractive destination for international students thanks to low tuition fees of 809 CHF per semester, PhD and graduate salaries that are amongst the world’s highest, and a world-class reputation in academia and industry. There are currently 22,200 students from over 120 countries, of which 4,180 are pursuing doctoral degrees. In the 2021 edition of the QS World University Rankings ETH Zürich is ranked 6th in the world and 8th by the Times Higher Education World Rankings 2020. In the 2020 QS World University Rankings by subject it is ranked 4th in the world for engineering and technology (2nd in Europe) and 1st for earth & marine science.

    As of November 2019, 21 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 2 Pritzker Prize winners, and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the Institute, including Albert Einstein. Other notable alumni include John von Neumann and Santiago Calatrava. It is a founding member of the IDEA League and the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and a member of the CESAER network.

    ETH Zürich was founded on 7 February 1854 by the Swiss Confederation and began giving its first lectures on 16 October 1855 as a polytechnic institute (eidgenössische polytechnische schule) at various sites throughout the city of Zurich. It was initially composed of six faculties: architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, forestry, and an integrated department for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences, literature, and social and political sciences.

    It is locally still known as Polytechnikum, or simply as Poly, derived from the original name eidgenössische polytechnische schule, which translates to “federal polytechnic school”.

    ETH Zürich is a federal institute (i.e., under direct administration by the Swiss government), whereas The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ] (CH) is a cantonal institution. The decision for a new federal university was heavily disputed at the time; the liberals pressed for a “federal university”, while the conservative forces wanted all universities to remain under cantonal control, worried that the liberals would gain more political power than they already had. In the beginning, both universities were co-located in the buildings of the University of Zürich.

    From 1905 to 1908, under the presidency of Jérôme Franel, the course program of ETH Zürich was restructured to that of a real university and ETH Zürich was granted the right to award doctorates. In 1909 the first doctorates were awarded. In 1911, it was given its current name, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. In 1924, another reorganization structured the university in 12 departments. However, it now has 16 departments.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    Reputation and ranking

    ETH Zürich is ranked among the top universities in the world. Typically, popular rankings place the institution as the best university in continental Europe and ETH Zürich is consistently ranked among the top 1-5 universities in Europe, and among the top 3-10 best universities of the world.

    Historically, ETH Zürich has achieved its reputation particularly in the fields of chemistry, mathematics and physics. There are 32 Nobel laureates who are associated with ETH Zürich, the most recent of whom is Richard F. Heck, awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010. Albert Einstein is perhaps its most famous alumnus.

    In 2018, the QS World University Rankings placed ETH Zürich at 7th overall in the world. In 2015, ETH Zürich was ranked 5th in the world in Engineering, Science and Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of Cambridge (UK). In 2015, ETH Zürich also ranked 6th in the world in Natural Sciences, and in 2016 ranked 1st in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences for the second consecutive year.

    In 2016, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked ETH Zürich 9th overall in the world and 8th in the world in the field of Engineering & Technology, just behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Cambridge(UK), Imperial College London(UK) and University of Oxford(UK) .

    In a comparison of Swiss universities by swissUP Ranking and in rankings published by CHE comparing the universities of German-speaking countries, ETH Zürich traditionally is ranked first in natural sciences, computer science and engineering sciences.

    In the survey CHE Excellence Ranking on the quality of Western European graduate school programs in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, ETH Zürich was assessed as one of the three institutions to have excellent programs in all the considered fields, the other two being Imperial College London (UK) and the University of Cambridge (UK), respectively.

  • richardmitnick 8:24 pm on December 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Sedimentary rock "chert" records cooling of the Earth over billions of years", , , , Geosciences, ,   

    From The University of Göttingen [Georg-August-Universität Göttingen] (DE) And The GFZ German Research Centre Helmholtz Centre for Geosciences-Potsdam (DE): “Sedimentary rock “chert” records cooling of the Earth over billions of years” 

    From The University of Göttingen [Georg-August-Universität Göttingen] (DE)


    The GFZ German Research Centre Helmholtz Centre for Geosciences-Potsdam (DE)

    Junior Professor Michael Tatzel
    University of Göttingen
    Geoscience Centre
    Goldschmidtstraße 1, 37077
    Göttingen, Germany
    +49 (0)551 39-21791

    Scientists analyzed circa 550 million-year-old chemical sedimentary rocks, known as “cherts”, which form from seawater and the remains of silica-secreting organisms. Photo: Michael Tatzel.

    The researchers’ calculations of heat flow for oxygen isotopes in “cherts” means that the light Archean “cherts” are indicative of a temperate to warm climate on the early Earth – hot oceans at this time seem very unlikely. Photo: Michael Tatzel.

    Several billion years ago, the oceans were probably not as hot as often assumed, but were instead at much more moderate temperatures. This is the conclusion of a research team from the University of Göttingen and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Potsdam. The scientists analyzed “cherts” – sedimentary rocks that form from seawater and the remains of silica-secreting creatures. Using these “time capsules”, the team showed that the oxygen isotope ratios are determined by the cooling of the solid Earth and depend less on the temperatures of seawater. The results were published in PNAS [below].

    How can it be that ancient “cherts” – between 3.85 and 2.5 billion years old – are so highly enriched with the lighter oxygen isotope (oxygen-16 or 16O)? What information do these valuable time capsules actually record about the history of our Earth? To investigate this decades-old mystery in the Geosciences, the research team examined circa 550 million years old “cherts” from southeast China. These samples document that after the deposition of sedimentary mud, the amorphous precursors of “cherts” recrystallize hundreds of metres below the Earth’s surface, recording temperatures at depth – and not the temperature of the ocean above them. This finding sparked the idea that oxygen isotope ratios could depend on the heat flow from the Earth’s interior – a completely new angle on the old mystery.

    “Our calculations show that when the flow of heat is higher, the proportion of oxygen-16 becomes higher, because recrystallization takes place at higher temperatures,” says Junior Professor Michael Tatzel from the Geosciences Centre of the University of Göttingen. At the same time, seawater is enriched with oxygen-16 under these conditions. This solves the puzzle of why there is a large proportion of the lighter oxygen isotope in ancient “cherts”: heat flow on the early Earth was approximately double modern values. ” ‘Cherts’ are obviously no accurate recorders of seawater temperatures in the past. Our findings mean that we need to interpret oxygen isotopes in cherts in a whole new way,” says Tatzel.

    Co-author Patrick Frings from GFZ Potsdam adds: “I think this work will open the door to some exciting new developments in the coming years, because our understanding of the heat flow effect will allow more accurate reconstructions of seawater temperatures in deep geological time. In addition, we will be able to decipher the thermal structure and tectonic history of ancient sedimentary basins.” The calculated effect of heat flow on oxygen isotopes in cherts also means that the isotopically light Archean cherts are indicative of a temperate to warm climate on early Earth – hot oceans seem very unlikely. This conclusion is central to understanding the evolution of life on the young Earth.

    Science paper:

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam – Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ campus.

    The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (DE)

    Our vision

    The future can only be secured by those who understand the System Earth and its interactions with Man: We develop a profound understanding of systems and processes of the solid Earth together with strategies and options for action to address global change and its regional impacts, to understand natural hazards and to minimize associated risks, as well as to assess the human impact on System Earth.
    Earth System Science for the Future

    The GFZ is Germany’s national research center for the solid Earth Sciences. Our mission is to deepen the knowledge of the dynamics of the solid Earth, and to develop solutions for grand challenges facing society. These challenges include anticipating the hazards arising from the Earth’s dynamic systems and mitigating the associated risks to society; securing our habitat under the pressure of global change; and supplying energy and mineral resources for a rapidly growing population in a sustainable manner and without harming the environment.

    These challenges are inextricably linked with the dynamics of planet Earth, not just the solid Earth and the surface on which we live, but also the hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere, and the chemical, physical, and biological processes that connect them. Hence, we view our planet as a system with interacting components. We investigate the structure and history of the Earth, its properties, and the dynamics of its interior and surface, and we use our fundamental understanding to develop solutions needed to maintain planet Earth as a safe and supportive habitat.

    Our expertise

    In pursuit of our mission, we have developed a comprehensive spectrum of expertise in geodesy, geophysics, geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, physics, geomorphology, geobiosciences, mathematics, and engineering. This is complemented by our deep methodological and technological know-how and innovation. We are responsible for the long-term operation of expansive instrument networks, arrays and observatories, as well as data and analytical infrastructures. To accomplish our large-scale tasks, we have established MESI, the worldwide unique Modular Earth Science Infrastructure.

    Our research is organized in a matrix structure, with disciplinary competences grouped in four scientific departments. The departments guarantee the development and continuity of disciplinary skills, methods, and infrastructures. This is an indispensable foundation for our ability to engage with evolving scientific insights, new technologies, and unexpected, pressing challenges of societal relevance.

    The grand challenges and the complexity of system Earth on the other hand, require a close multidisciplinary interaction and integration across scientific competence fields to secure advances in understanding and solutions. For these reasons, and to achieve our scientific mission, we coordinate our research via five Research Units (RU) that foster the required long-term research collaborations and that transcend the organizational / management units. These five RUs are:

    Global Processes – Integrated monitoring and modelling: How are linked processes controlling the global dynamics of the Earth and change in the Earth System?

    Plate Boundary Systems – Understanding the dynamics that affect the human habitat: How do the dynamic processes of the solid Earth’s most dynamic systems function and how do they control related hazards and resource formation?

    Earth Surface and Climate Interactions – Probing records to constrain mechanisms and sensitivities: How does climate change today and in the past affect the Earth surface and how do surface processes, in turn, influence the atmosphere and climate?

    Natural Hazards – Understanding risks and safeguarding the human habitat: How can we better predict and understand natural hazards, their dynamics, and their consequences?

    Georesources and Geoenergy – Raw materials and contributions to the energy transition: How can georesources and the geological subsurface be used in a sustainable way?

    The University of Göttingen [Georg-August-Universität Göttingen] (DE) , is a public research university in the city of Göttingen, Germany. Founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and starting classes in 1737, the Georgia Augusta was conceived to promote the ideals of the Enlightenment. It is the oldest university in the state of Lower Saxony and the largest in student enrollment, which stands at around 31,600.

    Home to many noted figures, it represents one of Germany’s historic and traditional institutions. As of October 2020, 44 Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with the University of Göttingen as alumni, faculty members or researchers.

    The University of Göttingen was previously supported by the German Universities Excellence Initiative, holds memberships to the U15 Group of major German research universities and to the Coimbra Group of major European research universities. Furthermore, the university maintains strong connections with major research institutes based in Göttingen, such as those of the MPG Society (DE) and the Leibniz Association [Leibniz-Gemeinschaft or Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz] (DE). With approximately 9 million media units, the Göttingen State and University Library ranks among the largest libraries in Germany.

    Partner institutions

    Within the Göttingen Campus the university is organizationally and personally interlinked with the following independent and semi-independent institutions:

    Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Karl Friedrich Bonhoeffer Institute)
    Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine
    Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, formerly Max Planck Institute for Flow Research
    Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, formerly Max Planck Institute for History
    Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, formerly Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy
    German Primate CenterLeibniz Institute for Primate Research
    German Aerospace Center

  • richardmitnick 9:40 pm on December 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Changes in Earth’s orbit may have triggered ancient warming event", A 6000 year onset coupled with estimates indicates 10000 gigatons of carbon were injected into the atmosphere as the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide or methane., , Astrochronology, , Changes in Earth’s orbit that favored hotter conditions may have helped trigger a rapid global warming event 56 million years ago., , , Earth’s orbit-or eccentricity-and the wobble in its rotation-or precession-favored hotter conditions at the onset of the PETM., Geosciences, Scientists analyzed core samples from a well-preserved record of the PETM at the Maryland coast using astrochronology-a technique for dating sediments against orbital patterns: Milankovitch cycles., The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum is the closest thing we have in the geologic record to anything like what we’re experiencing now and may experience in the future with climate change.,   

    From The Pennsylvania State University College of Earth and Mineral Sciences At The Pennsylvania State University: “Changes in Earth’s orbit may have triggered ancient warming event” 

    From The Pennsylvania State University College of Earth and Mineral Sciences


    Penn State Bloc

    The Pennsylvania State University

    Matthew Carroll

    Patricia Craig

    Victoria Fortiz (right), then a graduate student at Penn State, and Jean Self-Trail, a research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, work on a core sample from the Howards Tract site in Maryland Credit: Penn State . All Rights Reserved.[Used under “Fair Use” for academic teaching purposes.]

    Changes in Earth’s orbit that favored hotter conditions may have helped trigger a rapid global warming event 56 million years ago that is considered an analogue for modern climate change, according to an international team of scientists.

    “The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum is the closest thing we have in the geologic record to anything like what we’re experiencing now and may experience in the future with climate change,” said Lee Kump, professor of geosciences at Penn State. “There has been a lot of interest in better resolving that history, and our work addresses important questions about what triggered the event and the rate of carbon emissions.”

    The scientists analyzed core samples from a well-preserved record of the PETM near the Maryland coast using astrochronology, a technique for dating sediments against orbital patterns that occur over tens to hundreds of thousands of years, known as Milankovitch cycles.

    They found the shape of Earth’s orbit, or eccentricity, and the wobble in its rotation, or precession, favored hotter conditions at the onset of the PETM and that these orbital configurations together may have played a role in triggering the event. 

    “An orbital trigger may have led to the carbon release that caused several degrees of global warming during the PETM as opposed to what’s a more popular interpretation at the moment that massive volcanism released the carbon and triggered the event,” said Kump, the John Leone Dean in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

    The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications [below], also indicated the onset of the PETM lasted about 6,000 years. Previous estimates have ranged from several years to tens of thousands of years. The timing is important to understand the rate at which carbon was released into the atmosphere, the scientists said.

    “This study allows us to refine our carbon cycle models to better understand how the planet reacts to an injection of carbon over these timescales and to narrow down the possibilities for the source of the carbon that drove the PETM,” said Mingsong Li, assistant professor in the School of Earth and Space Sciences at Peking University and a former assistant research professor of geosciences at Penn State who is lead author on the study.

    A 6,000-year onset, coupled with estimates that 10,000 gigatons of carbon were injected into the atmosphere as the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide or methane, indicates that about one and a half gigatons of carbon were released per year.

    “Those rates are close to an order of magnitude slower than the rate of carbon emissions today, so that is cause for some concern,” Kump said. “We are now emitting carbon at a rate that’s 5 to 10 times higher than our estimates of emissions during this geological event that left an indelible imprint on the planet 56 million years ago.”

    Core sample from the Howards Tract site in Maryland. Credit: Penn State. All Rights Reserved. [Used under “Fair Use” for academic teaching purposes.]

    The scientists conducted a time series analysis of calcium content and magnetic susceptibility found in the cores, which are proxies for changes in orbital cycles, and used that information to estimate the pacing of the PETM.

    Earth’s orbit varies in predictable, calculable ways due to gravitational interactions with the sun and other planets in the solar system. These changes impact how much sunlight reaches Earth and its geographic distribution and therefore influence the climate.

    “The reason there’s an expression in the geologic record of these orbital changes is because they affect climate,” Kump said. “And that affects how productive marine and terrestrial organisms are, how much rainfall there is, how much erosion there is on the continents and therefore how much sediment is carried into the ocean environment.”

    Erosion from the paleo Potomac and Susquehanna rivers, which at the onset of the PETM may have rivaled the discharge of the Amazon River, carried sediments to the ocean where they were deposited on the continental shelf. This formation, called the Marlboro Clay, is now inland and offers one of the best-preserved examples of the PETM.

    “We can develop histories by coring down through the layers of sediment and extracting specific cycles that are creating this story, just like you could extract each note from a song,” Kump said. “Of course, some of records are distorted and there are gaps — but we can use the same types of statistical methods that are used in apps that can determine what song you are trying to sing. You can sing a song and if you forget half the words and skip a chorus, it will still be able to determine the song, and we can use that same approach to reconstruct these records.”

    Timothy Bralower, professor of geosciences at Penn State, also contributed to this research.

    Other contributors were James Zachos, distinguished professor at the University of California Santa Cruz; William Rush, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science at the University of Colorado Boulder; and Jean Self-Trail and Marci Robinson, research geologists at the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center, United States Geological Survey.

    The National Key R&D Program of China and the Heising-Simons Foundation provided funding for this work.

    Science paper:
    Nature Communications
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.

    The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University boasts a storied history, one that started in 1859 with the University’s first earth sciences courses and stretches today to the borders of the Commonwealth and beyond. Talented students come to the college from across the country and around the globe to be part of the discoveries and decisions that will shape our planet’s future.

    All five of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ undergraduate engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

    The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences is a constituent, semi-autonomous part of Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

    The College was founded in 1896 as a School of Mines, but, over time, diversified becoming the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The college has five departments: Energy and Mineral Engineering, Geography, Geosciences, Materials Science and Engineering, and Meteorology.

    The Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, as of fall 2007, now offers an undergraduate program in energy engineering, the first of its kind in the country.

    The College also includes The Alliance for Earth Science, Engineering, and Development in Africa (AESEDA), The Energy Institute, The Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI), The John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, and The Peter R. Gould Center for Geography and Outreach.

    It is currently the smallest college (in terms of student enrollment) at the University Park campus.

    According to the latest United States National Research Council rankings (1995), The Department of Geography is ranked number one in the United States. The U.S. News Best Graduate Schools 2007 ranked the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ Meteorology graduate program number one in the US. According to U.S. News rankings for 2009, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering program ranks 5th in the nation and the Geology program ranks 3rd in the nation.

    Penn State Campus

    The The Pennsylvania State University is a public state-related land-grant research university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania, Penn State became the state’s only land-grant university in 1863. Today, Penn State is a major research university which conducts teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. In addition to its land-grant designation, it also participates in the sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant research consortia; it is one of only four such universities (along with Cornell University, Oregon State University, and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa). Its University Park campus, which is the largest and serves as the administrative hub, lies within the Borough of State College and College Township. It has two law schools: Penn State Law, on the school’s University Park campus, and Dickinson Law, in Carlisle. The College of Medicine is in Hershey. Penn State is one university that is geographically distributed throughout Pennsylvania. There are 19 commonwealth campuses and 5 special mission campuses located across the state. The University Park campus has been labeled one of the “Public Ivies,” a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League.
    The Pennsylvania State University is a member of The Association of American Universities an organization of American research universities devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research and education.

    Annual enrollment at the University Park campus totals more than 46,800 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the United States. It has the world’s largest dues-paying alumni association. The university offers more than 160 majors among all its campuses.

    Annually, the university hosts the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), which is the world’s largest student-run philanthropy. This event is held at the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus. The university’s athletics teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Penn State Nittany Lions, competing in the Big Ten Conference for most sports. Penn State students, alumni, faculty and coaches have received a total of 54 Olympic medals.

    Early years

    The school was sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society and founded as a degree-granting institution on February 22, 1855, by Pennsylvania’s state legislature as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania. The use of “college” or “university” was avoided because of local prejudice against such institutions as being impractical in their courses of study. Centre County, Pennsylvania, became the home of the new school when James Irvin of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, donated 200 acres (0.8 km2) of land – the first of 10,101 acres (41 km^2) the school would eventually acquire. In 1862, the school’s name was changed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, and with the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts, Pennsylvania selected the school in 1863 to be the state’s sole land-grant college. The school’s name changed to the Pennsylvania State College in 1874; enrollment fell to 64 undergraduates the following year as the school tried to balance purely agricultural studies with a more classic education.

    George W. Atherton became president of the school in 1882, and broadened the curriculum. Shortly after he introduced engineering studies, Penn State became one of the ten largest engineering schools in the nation. Atherton also expanded the liberal arts and agriculture programs, for which the school began receiving regular appropriations from the state in 1887. A major road in State College has been named in Atherton’s honor. Additionally, Penn State’s Atherton Hall, a well-furnished and centrally located residence hall, is named not after George Atherton himself, but after his wife, Frances Washburn Atherton. His grave is in front of Schwab Auditorium near Old Main, marked by an engraved marble block in front of his statue.

    Early 20th century

    In the years that followed, Penn State grew significantly, becoming the state’s largest grantor of baccalaureate degrees and reaching an enrollment of 5,000 in 1936. Around that time, a system of commonwealth campuses was started by President Ralph Dorn Hetzel to provide an alternative for Depression-era students who were economically unable to leave home to attend college.

    In 1953, President Milton S. Eisenhower, brother of then-U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, sought and won permission to elevate the school to university status as The Pennsylvania State University. Under his successor Eric A. Walker (1956–1970), the university acquired hundreds of acres of surrounding land, and enrollment nearly tripled. In addition, in 1967, the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, a college of medicine and hospital, was established in Hershey with a $50 million gift from the Hershey Trust Company.

    Modern era

    In the 1970s, the university became a state-related institution. As such, it now belongs to the Commonwealth System of Higher Education. In 1975, the lyrics in Penn State’s alma mater song were revised to be gender-neutral in honor of International Women’s Year; the revised lyrics were taken from the posthumously-published autobiography of the writer of the original lyrics, Fred Lewis Pattee, and Professor Patricia Farrell acted as a spokesperson for those who wanted the change.

    In 1989, the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport joined ranks with the university, and in 2000, so did the Dickinson School of Law. The university is now the largest in Pennsylvania. To offset the lack of funding due to the limited growth in state appropriations to Penn State, the university has concentrated its efforts on philanthropy.


    Penn State is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. Over 10,000 students are enrolled in the university’s graduate school (including the law and medical schools), and over 70,000 degrees have been awarded since the school was founded in 1922.

    Penn State’s research and development expenditure has been on the rise in recent years. For fiscal year 2013, according to institutional rankings of total research expenditures for science and engineering released by the National Science Foundation , Penn State stood second in the nation, behind only Johns Hopkins University and tied with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , in the number of fields in which it is ranked in the top ten. Overall, Penn State ranked 17th nationally in total research expenditures across the board. In 12 individual fields, however, the university achieved rankings in the top ten nationally. The fields and sub-fields in which Penn State ranked in the top ten are materials (1st), psychology (2nd), mechanical engineering (3rd), sociology (3rd), electrical engineering (4th), total engineering (5th), aerospace engineering (8th), computer science (8th), agricultural sciences (8th), civil engineering (9th), atmospheric sciences (9th), and earth sciences (9th). Moreover, in eleven of these fields, the university has repeated top-ten status every year since at least 2008. For fiscal year 2011, the National Science Foundation reported that Penn State had spent $794.846 million on R&D and ranked 15th among U.S. universities and colleges in R&D spending.

    For the 2008–2009 fiscal year, Penn State was ranked ninth among U.S. universities by the National Science Foundation, with $753 million in research and development spending for science and engineering. During the 2015–2016 fiscal year, Penn State received $836 million in research expenditures.

    The Applied Research Lab (ARL), located near the University Park campus, has been a research partner with the Department of Defense since 1945 and conducts research primarily in support of the United States Navy. It is the largest component of Penn State’s research efforts statewide, with over 1,000 researchers and other staff members.

    The Materials Research Institute was created to coordinate the highly diverse and growing materials activities across Penn State’s University Park campus. With more than 200 faculty in 15 departments, 4 colleges, and 2 Department of Defense research laboratories, MRI was designed to break down the academic walls that traditionally divide disciplines and enable faculty to collaborate across departmental and even college boundaries. MRI has become a model for this interdisciplinary approach to research, both within and outside the university. Dr. Richard E. Tressler was an international leader in the development of high-temperature materials. He pioneered high-temperature fiber testing and use, advanced instrumentation and test methodologies for thermostructural materials, and design and performance verification of ceramics and composites in high-temperature aerospace, industrial, and energy applications. He was founding director of the Center for Advanced Materials (CAM), which supported many faculty and students from the College of Earth and Mineral Science, the Eberly College of Science, the College of Engineering, the Materials Research Laboratory and the Applied Research Laboratories at Penn State on high-temperature materials. His vision for Interdisciplinary research played a key role in creating the Materials Research Institute, and the establishment of Penn State as an acknowledged leader among major universities in materials education and research.

    The university was one of the founding members of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), a partnership that includes 17 research-led universities in the United States, Asia, and Europe. The network provides funding, facilitates collaboration between universities, and coordinates exchanges of faculty members and graduate students among institutions. Former Penn State president Graham Spanier is a former vice-chair of the WUN.

    The Pennsylvania State University Libraries were ranked 14th among research libraries in North America in the 2003–2004 survey released by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The university’s library system began with a 1,500-book library in Old Main. In 2009, its holdings had grown to 5.2 million volumes, in addition to 500,000 maps, five million microforms, and 180,000 films and videos.

    The university’s College of Information Sciences and Technology is the home of CiteSeerX, an open-access repository and search engine for scholarly publications. The university is also the host to the Radiation Science & Engineering Center, which houses the oldest operating university research reactor. Additionally, University Park houses the Graduate Program in Acoustics, the only freestanding acoustics program in the United States. The university also houses the Center for Medieval Studies, a program that was founded to research and study the European Middle Ages, and the Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE), one of the first centers established to research postsecondary education.

  • richardmitnick 9:49 am on December 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Surveilling carbon sequestration - A smart collar to sense leaks", , California Institute of Technology is making the glitter-sized CO2 sensors., , Carbon sequestration is an active approach to mitigating climate change., Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing CO2 — a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere., , CO2 sensors, CO2 would typically be stored 3000 to 12000 feet below the surface in an area that once contained oil or gas or water., , , Embedding glitter-sized CO2 sensors-about an 1/8 of an inch by an 1/8 of an inch-in the concrete surrounding the borehole., Geosciences, Making sure that the CO2 remains underground long term, Sandia will be monitoring CO2 wirelessly., Sandia’s role is to make an electronic device charging the CO2 sensors and receiving information about the presence or absence of CO2 and sending that information up to operators at the surface., The communication with the CO2 sensors works like the radio-frequency identification chip in a tap-to-pay credit card. There is no power or battery., , The goal is to demonstrate the whole system — Caltech’s chips and Sandia’s smart collar — first at Sandia’s above-ground testing facility and then at UT Austin’s underground test facility., The Sandia team designed the prototype to use supercapacitors to store power rather than batteries that only last for a couple of years., The smart collar needs to work for 20 to 40 years., The University of Texas-Austin plans to embed glitter-sized CO2 sensors in the concrete surrounding the borehole., There is way too much CO2 in the atmosphere right now and it’s only getting worse.   

    From The DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories: “Surveilling carbon sequestration – A smart collar to sense leaks” 

    From The DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories

    Mollie Rappe

    A smart collar to catch carbon dioxide leaks” Sandia, 12.8.22

    Sandia National Laboratories engineers are working on a device that would help ensure captured carbon dioxide stays deep underground — a critical component of carbon sequestration as part of a climate solution.

    Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing CO2 — a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere — from the air or where it is produced and storing it underground. However, there are some technical challenges with carbon sequestration, including making sure that the CO2 remains underground long term. Sandia’s wireless device pairs with tiny sensors to monitor for CO2 leaks and tell above-ground operators if one happens — and it lasts for decades.

    “The world is trying a whole lot of different ways to reduce the production of CO2 to mitigate climate change,” said Andrew Wright, Sandia electrical engineer and project lead. “A complementary approach is to reduce the high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere by collecting a good chunk of it and storing it deep underground. The technology we’re developing with the University of Texas at Austin aims to determine whether the CO2 stays down there. What is special about this technology is that we’ll be monitoring it wirelessly and thus won’t create another potential path for leakage like a wire or fiber.”

    Storing and sensing CO2

    In carbon sequestration, CO2 would typically be stored 3,000 to 12,000 feet below the surface in an area that once contained oil, gas or water, Wright said. A hole would be bored down through an impermeable layer of rock called cap rock that can prevent CO2 from percolating up toward the surface. Pressurized CO2 heated to around 175 degrees Fahrenheit would be pumped down this borehole. In some cases, it will be heated up to prevent it from freezing when it expands into the area, Wright said. Once the storage area is full, the borehole would be plugged, and in some cases, the trapped CO2 would react with the rock and bind permanently.

    The team, led by geoscientist David Chapman at The University of Texas-Austin , plans to embed glitter-sized CO2 sensors, about an 1/8 of an inch by an 1/8 of an inch, in the concrete surrounding the borehole, above and below the cap rock layer. Electrical engineer Axel Scherer at the California Institute of Technology is leading the group making the glitter-sized CO2 sensors. Chemist Jeff Mecham at the Research Triangle Institute is leading the group making a coating to protect the sensors from the harsh environment of concrete, while still allowing CO2 to reach the sensors.

    Sandia’s role is to make an electronic device that charges the CO2 sensors, receives information from them about the presence or absence of CO2 and sends that information up to operators at the surface. This device, called a smart collar, needs to work for 20 to 40 years, Wright said.

    Making a smart collar

    The communication with the CO2 sensors works like the radio-frequency identification chip in a tap-to-pay credit card, Wright said. The smart collar emits energy at one radio frequency to power the CO2 sensors. The sensors collect data on the amount of CO2 around them and send that information to the smart collar at a different radio frequency.

    “There’s no power or battery in your credit card,” Wright said. “Instead, when you tap it onto the reader at the supermarket, the reader energizes the chip. The chip relays some information to the reader, and that’s what allows you to buy your groceries.”

    One of the biggest technical challenges the team had to overcome was the fact that RFID chips aren’t designed to be embedded in concrete, said Alfred Cochrane, another Sandia electrical engineer on the project.

    In order to power the sensors through concrete, the team needs to “shine” very intense radio waves of a certain frequency at the sensors. However, much of these radio waves reflect off the concrete, drowning out any information from the sensors at that frequency, Cochrane said. He suggested they try to power the sensors with one frequency and then use far less intense radio waves of a different frequency to query the sensors and receive information back from them. This worked well in their tests, he added.

    Recently, the Sandia team successfully showed the smart collar prototype powering and communicating with off-the-shelf RFID chips embedded in an inch of cement, a major component of concrete. For the smart collar to last for decades, the team designed the prototype to use supercapacitors to store power rather than batteries that only last for a couple of years. Next, the team will test the smart collar prototype with Caltech’s CO2 sensing chips.

    The Sandia team has also tested powering and communicating with their smart collar prototype through 160 feet of commercially available wired pipe. This pipe has coaxial cable, very similar to that used in cable TV, embedded within it, so that the system won’t need any other wires or cables that could introduce new escape routes for the CO2, Cochrane said.

    Later next year, the goal is to demonstrate the whole system — Caltech’s chips and Sandia’s smart collar — first at Sandia’s above-ground testing facility and then at UT Austin’s underground test facility. UT Austin geoscientist Mohsen Ahmadian is the lead for the underground testing part of the project.

    While the focus of this project is on carbon sequestration, the technology could also be used to monitor storage areas for natural gas or even hydrogen, Wright said.

    “There’s way too much CO2 in the atmosphere right now and it’s only getting worse,” Cochrane said. “Along with all the other technologies like renewable energy, carbon sequestration is an active approach to mitigating climate change. If you capture carbon from a coal-fired power plant or a cement plant and store it indefinitely, you could make those processes carbon neutral or even allow us to go carbon negative and remove more CO2 than we emit.”

    The project is funded by the Department of Energy and managed by the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management and the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


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    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia National Laboratories managed and operated by the National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia (a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International), is one of three National Nuclear Security Administration research and development laboratories in the United States. Their primary mission is to develop, engineer, and test the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and high technology. Headquartered in Central New Mexico near the Sandia Mountains, on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, Sandia also has a campus in Livermore, California, next to DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and a test facility in Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii.

    It is Sandia’s mission to maintain the reliability and surety of nuclear weapon systems, conduct research and development in arms control and nonproliferation technologies, and investigate methods for the disposal of the United States’ nuclear weapons program’s hazardous waste.

    Other missions include research and development in energy and environmental programs, as well as the surety of critical national infrastructures. In addition, Sandia is home to a wide variety of research including computational biology; mathematics (through its Computer Science Research Institute); materials science; alternative energy; psychology; MEMS; and cognitive science initiatives.

    Sandia formerly hosted ASCI Red, one of the world’s fastest supercomputers until its recent decommission, and now hosts ASCI Red Storm supercomputer, originally known as Thor’s Hammer.

    Sandia is also home to the Z Machine.

    The Z Machine is the largest X-ray generator in the world and is designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure. It is operated by Sandia National Laboratories to gather data to aid in computer modeling of nuclear guns. In December 2016, it was announced that National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, under the direction of Honeywell International, would take over the management of Sandia National Laboratories starting on May 1, 2017.

  • richardmitnick 8:51 am on December 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The University of Washington brings field geology to students with ‘Virtual Field Geology’ ", , , , , Geosciences,   

    From The University of Washington : “The University of Washington brings field geology to students with ‘Virtual Field Geology’ “ 

    From The University of Washington

    Hannah Hickey

    The former Bear Valley Strip Mine in Pennsylvania is the site of the “Whaleback anticline,” named because the 30-foot-tall hump of bedrock looks like a whale. Decades of coal mining exposed folds in the bedrock, that offer clues to the landscape’s history. The Virtual Field Geology project uses drone photography to create a virtual field visits on a web browser or virtual reality headset. Credit: University of Washington.

    University of Washington geologists had set out to create computer-based field experiences long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Juliet Crider, a UW associate professor of Earth and space sciences, first got a grant from the National Science Foundation to send a former graduate student and a drone to photograph an iconic Pennsylvania geological site and pilot a new approach to field geology.

    Her team has now completed a virtual field visit to that site, the Whaleback anticline, where decades of coal mining have exposed 300-million-year-old folds in the bedrock. A pilot version of the web-based tool was used during the pandemic, and a version that allows people to wear virtual reality headsets to explore the geological site just launched. A UW field class used both tools in an undergraduate summer course that for the first time blended virtual and in-person field trips.

    The UW Virtual Field Geology project has many goals: to make geology field experiences accessible to more people; to document geological field sites that may be at risk from erosion or development; to offer virtual “dry run” experiences that complement field courses and help new students acclimate to the field; and to allow scientific collaborators to virtually visit a field site and explore it together. 

    Max Needle, a UW doctoral student in Earth and Space Sciences, used his background in geology to help develop the virtual field experiences. He is lead author of a paper [Geoscience Communication (below)] published this fall that presents the first two sites: the Whaleback site and a fictional site called “Fold Islands.”

    The fictional ‘Fold Islands’ experience is a cartoon-based field geology site that lets students practice their skills using a geodetic compass and other tools of field geology. Credit: Needle et al./Geoscience Communication.

    “Virtual experiences provide access to more people, they let us visit sites that are completely inaccessible, and we think everyone can benefit from a new way to interact with the tools of field geology,” Needle said. 

    Last summer, instead of the traditional UW geology six-week field course in Montana, the department held a hybrid version led by Crider and Cailey Condit, a UW assistant professor of Earth and space sciences. It combined classroom teaching and digital experiences with day trips to the many geologic sites within driving distance of the Seattle campus.

    “Moving forward, these virtual field trips are likely going to play a key part in making the geosciences more accessible and more equitable,” Condit said. “They provide the opportunity for all students to be able to begin experiencing fieldwork remotely, and learn about how vital the geologic field context is for the geosciences.”

    The pandemic altered the project’s trajectory. When COVID canceled field trips, the team put the virtual reality programming on pause and focused on creating a web-based version that would be accessible most quickly to the most people. Since the site launched, it’s been accessed more than 1,700 times by UW undergraduates and, after sharing among the geology teaching community, around the world. The team recently completed the VR version.

    Even though people can now travel and assemble, the team believes virtual experiences could become part of a “new normal” for geology research and education. 

    “Part of increasing access to the field is to help people know what to anticipate,” Crider said. “To the extent that we can help students anticipate both the outdoors experience and the science experience, then the uncertainty and maybe anxiety is reduced, and people can focus on the learning goals.”

    The virtual experiences allow people to visit the field site and use common geology tools to measure angles in the rock layers or orientation of cracks that explain a landscape’s history. While a virtual option benefits anyone challenged by the travel and access to a remote field site, it also lets all students and researchers have a “dry run” experience and review techniques before reaching the actual location.

    In the web-based virtual experience, keyboard commands let a user walk across the landscape. Users can try various tools to measure distances and angles. Selecting three points creates a virtual plane and displays its orientation. Data can be downloaded into a spreadsheet or directly into a popular geology software program.

    “What’s unique about this experience is that it’s open-ended, which allows instructors to tailor the lessons and the goals,” Crider said. “Students decide what to measure, and where to measure, to answer the questions — it’s not predetermined. Making those decisions is an important thing to learn.”

    Tutorial: Whaleback Anticline Field Adventure.

    The virtual experience also gives the scientist superhuman powers to instantly swoop from one place to another, zoom in and out to explore a site at different scales. 

    “One of the cool advantages of the game is that you can fly. There’s a little jetpack icon and then you go up in the air, and all of a sudden your perspective changes, and you can travel quickly from place to place,” Needle said. 

    It also provides access to sites that have limited or risky access. 

    “At the Whaleback anticline a lot of the interesting, curved rock geometry is exposed at a height of 30 feet, where you can’t walk without risking fatality,” Needle said.

    The team recently demonstrated the virtual reality version of the Pennsylvania site. Although VR requires a special headset, the field of view is larger, and VR offers a sense of scale that’s helpful at sites like the 30-foot-tall Whaleback anticline. An interactive feature lets the user pick up a rock hammer and split open a 3D model of a rock.

    Max Needle (far right) and Jacky Mooc (center in blue sweater) at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting, in Denver in October. Two meeting attendees explore the Whaleback anticline geologic site by donning an Oculus Quest 2 headset. Credit: University of Washington.

    “As a teaching assistant, I’ve seen students confronted with challenges in the field that go beyond the academic aspect,” Needle said. “Or maybe someone can’t go into the field because they have bad asthma, or a particular field site can only be accessed with specialized climbing gear. We think a lot of people can benefit from these tools.”

    Needle ran a short course at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in October showing other geologists how to use the UW software to create other virtual field visits. This was the third such workshop he’s given, and the largest so far. All the software used for the UW experiences are freely available.

    Max Needle presents the Virtual Field Geology project at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Denver in October. Credit: University of Washington.

    Projects are under way for sites in Pennsylvania, Vermont and California. Needle hopes that someday the software might be used to visit the bottom of the ocean or the surface of another planet. 

    “I think this is a prototype of where the field of geology could be headed in the future,” Needle said.

    The lead designers are Jacky Mooc, a recent UW graduate in computer science and engineering who is now a software engineer at Lockheed Martin, and John Akers of the UW Reality Lab. It was one of the first projects of the Reality Lab Incubator, which pairs UW undergraduates with projects needing augmented-reality or virtual-reality programming. The effort and required tools for this work was funded by the National Science Foundation, UW Research Royalty Fund, UW Department of Earth and Space Sciences, UW Student Technology Fund, and the Geological Society of America.

    For more information, contact Needle at mneedle@uw.edu, Crider at criderj@uw.edu and Condit at ccondit@uw.edu

    Science paper:
    Geoscience Communication
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    Stem Education Coalition


    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.

    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

    The University of Washington is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, University of Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast; it was established in downtown Seattle approximately a decade after the city’s founding to aid its economic development. Today, the university’s 703-acre main Seattle campus is in the University District above the Montlake Cut, within the urban Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. The university has additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Overall, University of Washington encompasses over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square footage of space, including one of the largest library systems in the world with more than 26 university libraries, as well as the UW Tower, lecture halls, art centers, museums, laboratories, stadiums, and conference centers. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through 140 departments in various colleges and schools, sees a total student enrollment of roughly 46,000 annually, and functions on a quarter system.

    University of Washington is a member of the Association of American Universities and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation, UW spent $1.41 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 5th in the nation. As the flagship institution of the six public universities in Washington state, it is known for its medical, engineering and scientific research as well as its highly competitive computer science and engineering programs. Additionally, University of Washington continues to benefit from its deep historic ties and major collaborations with numerous technology giants in the region, such as Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and particularly Microsoft. Paul G. Allen, Bill Gates and others spent significant time at Washington computer labs for a startup venture before founding Microsoft and other ventures. The University of Washington’s 22 varsity sports teams are also highly competitive, competing as the Huskies in the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA Division I, representing the United States at the Olympic Games, and other major competitions.

    The university has been affiliated with many notable alumni and faculty, including 21 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars and Marshall Scholars.

    In 1854, territorial governor Isaac Stevens recommended the establishment of a university in the Washington Territory. Prominent Seattle-area residents, including Methodist preacher Daniel Bagley, saw this as a chance to add to the city’s potential and prestige. Bagley learned of a law that allowed United States territories to sell land to raise money in support of public schools. At the time, Arthur A. Denny, one of the founders of Seattle and a member of the territorial legislature, aimed to increase the city’s importance by moving the territory’s capital from Olympia to Seattle. However, Bagley eventually convinced Denny that the establishment of a university would assist more in the development of Seattle’s economy. Two universities were initially chartered, but later the decision was repealed in favor of a single university in Lewis County provided that locally donated land was available. When no site emerged, Denny successfully petitioned the legislature to reconsider Seattle as a location in 1858.

    In 1861, scouting began for an appropriate 10 acres (4 ha) site in Seattle to serve as a new university campus. Arthur and Mary Denny donated eight acres, while fellow pioneers Edward Lander, and Charlie and Mary Terry, donated two acres on Denny’s Knoll in downtown Seattle. More specifically, this tract was bounded by 4th Avenue to the west, 6th Avenue to the east, Union Street to the north, and Seneca Streets to the south.

    John Pike, for whom Pike Street is named, was the university’s architect and builder. It was opened on November 4, 1861, as the Territorial University of Washington. The legislature passed articles incorporating the University, and establishing its Board of Regents in 1862. The school initially struggled, closing three times: in 1863 for low enrollment, and again in 1867 and 1876 due to funds shortage. University of Washington awarded its first graduate Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt in 1876, with a bachelor’s degree in science.

    19th century relocation

    By the time Washington state entered the Union in 1889, both Seattle and the University had grown substantially. University of Washington’s total undergraduate enrollment increased from 30 to nearly 300 students, and the campus’s relative isolation in downtown Seattle faced encroaching development. A special legislative committee, headed by University of Washington graduate Edmond Meany, was created to find a new campus to better serve the growing student population and faculty. The committee eventually selected a site on the northeast of downtown Seattle called Union Bay, which was the land of the Duwamish, and the legislature appropriated funds for its purchase and construction. In 1895, the University relocated to the new campus by moving into the newly built Denny Hall. The University Regents tried and failed to sell the old campus, eventually settling with leasing the area. This would later become one of the University’s most valuable pieces of real estate in modern-day Seattle, generating millions in annual revenue with what is now called the Metropolitan Tract. The original Territorial University building was torn down in 1908, and its former site now houses the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

    The sole-surviving remnants of Washington’s first building are four 24-foot (7.3 m), white, hand-fluted cedar, Ionic columns. They were salvaged by Edmond S. Meany, one of the University’s first graduates and former head of its history department. Meany and his colleague, Dean Herbert T. Condon, dubbed the columns as “Loyalty,” “Industry,” “Faith”, and “Efficiency”, or “LIFE.” The columns now stand in the Sylvan Grove Theater.

    20th century expansion

    Organizers of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition eyed the still largely undeveloped campus as a prime setting for their world’s fair. They came to an agreement with Washington’s Board of Regents that allowed them to use the campus grounds for the exposition, surrounding today’s Drumheller Fountain facing towards Mount Rainier. In exchange, organizers agreed Washington would take over the campus and its development after the fair’s conclusion. This arrangement led to a detailed site plan and several new buildings, prepared in part by John Charles Olmsted. The plan was later incorporated into the overall University of Washington campus master plan, permanently affecting the campus layout.

    Both World Wars brought the military to campus, with certain facilities temporarily lent to the federal government. In spite of this, subsequent post-war periods were times of dramatic growth for the University. The period between the wars saw a significant expansion of the upper campus. Construction of the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, known to students as “The Quad,” began in 1916 and continued to 1939. The University’s architectural centerpiece, Suzzallo Library, was built in 1926 and expanded in 1935.

    After World War II, further growth came with the G.I. Bill. Among the most important developments of this period was the opening of the School of Medicine in 1946, which is now consistently ranked as the top medical school in the United States. It would eventually lead to the University of Washington Medical Center, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top ten hospitals in the nation.

    In 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry in the Seattle area were forced into inland internment camps as part of Executive Order 9066 following the attack on Pearl Harbor. During this difficult time, university president Lee Paul Sieg took an active and sympathetic leadership role in advocating for and facilitating the transfer of Japanese American students to universities and colleges away from the Pacific Coast to help them avoid the mass incarceration. Nevertheless, many Japanese American students and “soon-to-be” graduates were unable to transfer successfully in the short time window or receive diplomas before being incarcerated. It was only many years later that they would be recognized for their accomplishments during the University of Washington’s Long Journey Home ceremonial event that was held in May 2008.

    From 1958 to 1973, the University of Washington saw a tremendous growth in student enrollment, its faculties and operating budget, and also its prestige under the leadership of Charles Odegaard. University of Washington student enrollment had more than doubled to 34,000 as the baby boom generation came of age. However, this era was also marked by high levels of student activism, as was the case at many American universities. Much of the unrest focused around civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. In response to anti-Vietnam War protests by the late 1960s, the University Safety and Security Division became the University of Washington Police Department.

    Odegaard instituted a vision of building a “community of scholars”, convincing the Washington State legislatures to increase investment in the University. Washington senators, such as Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson, also used their political clout to gather research funds for the University of Washington. The results included an increase in the operating budget from $37 million in 1958 to over $400 million in 1973, solidifying University of Washington as a top recipient of federal research funds in the United States. The establishment of technology giants such as Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon in the local area also proved to be highly influential in the University of Washington’s fortunes, not only improving graduate prospects but also helping to attract millions of dollars in university and research funding through its distinguished faculty and extensive alumni network.

    21st century

    In 1990, the University of Washington opened its additional campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. Although originally intended for students who have already completed two years of higher education, both schools have since become four-year universities with the authority to grant degrees. The first freshman classes at these campuses started in fall 2006. Today both Bothell and Tacoma also offer a selection of master’s degree programs.

    In 2012, the University began exploring plans and governmental approval to expand the main Seattle campus, including significant increases in student housing, teaching facilities for the growing student body and faculty, as well as expanded public transit options. The University of Washington light rail station was completed in March 2015, connecting Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to the University of Washington Husky Stadium within five minutes of rail travel time. It offers a previously unavailable option of transportation into and out of the campus, designed specifically to reduce dependence on private vehicles, bicycles and local King County buses.

    University of Washington has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in Greene’s Guides since 2001, and is an elected member of the American Association of Universities. Among the faculty by 2012, there have been 151 members of American Association for the Advancement of Science, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 67 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 53 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 29 winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 21 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, 15 MacArthur Fellows, 9 winners of the Gairdner Foundation International Award, 5 winners of the National Medal of Science, 7 Nobel Prize laureates, 5 winners of Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, 4 members of the American Philosophical Society, 2 winners of the National Book Award, 2 winners of the National Medal of Arts, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 1 winner of the Fields Medal, and 1 member of the National Academy of Public Administration. Among UW students by 2012, there were 136 Fulbright Scholars, 35 Rhodes Scholars, 7 Marshall Scholars and 4 Gates Cambridge Scholars. UW is recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, ranking 2nd in the US in 2017.

    The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has consistently ranked University of Washington as one of the top 20 universities worldwide every year since its first release. In 2019, University of Washington ranked 14th worldwide out of 500 by the ARWU, 26th worldwide out of 981 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 28th worldwide out of 101 in the Times World Reputation Rankings. Meanwhile, QS World University Rankings ranked it 68th worldwide, out of over 900.

    U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Washington 8th out of nearly 1,500 universities worldwide for 2021, with University of Washington’s undergraduate program tied for 58th among 389 national universities in the U.S. and tied for 19th among 209 public universities.

    In 2019, it ranked 10th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. In 2017, the Leiden Ranking, which focuses on science and the impact of scientific publications among the world’s 500 major universities, ranked University of Washington 12th globally and 5th in the U.S.

    In 2019, Kiplinger Magazine’s review of “top college values” named University of Washington 5th for in-state students and 10th for out-of-state students among U.S. public colleges, and 84th overall out of 500 schools. In the Washington Monthly National University Rankings University of Washington was ranked 15th domestically in 2018, based on its contribution to the public good as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

  • richardmitnick 1:17 pm on December 5, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researchers’ study accurately predicted location of Mauna Loa eruption", A year before the largest active volcano in the world erupted research by two University of Miami scientists revealed which of the two rift zones of the Mauna Loa volcano would spew magma., , , , Geosciences, , Mauna Loa is located on The Big Island, Mauna Loa-the world’s largest active volcano-began erupting on Nov. 27 for the first time in nearly 40 years spewing lava 100 feet to 200 feet into the air., Professor Falk Amelung and Research Assistant Bhuvan Varugu., The Geohazard Supersites and Natural Laboratory-an international partnership of NASA and five other space agencies that pool their satellite resources to make SAR data of geohazard sites readily avail, , The two researchers proposed last year that the next movement of magma would be upwards into the volcano’s summit and then northward opening fissures in Mauna Loa’s northeast rift zone., The two researchers used data supplied by the The Italian Space Agency A.S.I. - [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana] (IT), ,   

    From The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science At The University of Miami: “Researchers’ study accurately predicted location of Mauna Loa eruption” 


    From The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science


    The University of Miami

    Robert C. Jones Jr.

    Mauna Loa on the Big Island. https://www.freeworldmaps.net

    Aerial image of fissure 3 on Mauna Loa’s Northeast Rift Zone erupting the morning of Nov. 30, 2022. Fissure 3 remains the dominant source of the largest lava flow being generated during the eruption. Photo: K. Mulliken/U.S. Geological Survey.

    A year before the largest active volcano in the world erupted, research by two University of Miami scientists revealed which of the two rift zones of the Mauna Loa volcano would spew magma.

    Research conducted by a University of Miami scientist and his graduate assistant accurately predicted which of the two rift zones of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano would erupt. 

    The Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, began erupting on Nov. 27 for the first time in nearly 40 years, spewing lava 100 feet to 200 feet into the air.

    Using a satellite-based technique called interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) to measure surface displacements and to estimate how much magma was accumulating under the volcano during a six-year period (2014-2020), the two researchers proposed last year that the next movement of magma would be upwards into the volcano’s summit and then northward, opening fissures in Mauna Loa’s northeast rift zone. 

    “And that’s exactly what happened. We predicted it,” said Falk Amelung, a professor of marine geosciences at the University’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science, who once lived on Oahu, part of the Hawaiian island chain, and has studied Mauna Loa extensively. “This represents years of hard work and intensive research paying off and shows that the precise evaluation of stress changes can be a powerful tool for informed forecasts of future activity.” 

    Amelung and research assistant Bhuvan Varugu published their research in Scientific Reports [below], a peer-reviewed open-access journal published by Nature Portfolio. The study was funded by NASA’s Earth Science Division.

    Figure 1
    (a) InSAR LOS Velocity from January 2014 to May 2020 over Mauna Loa from ascending Cosmo-SkyMed imagery together with seismicity. (b) Cumulative GPS horizontal velocities for the 2010–2014 and the three 2014–2020 time periods. (c) InSAR LOS and GPS horizontal displacement time series. (d–f) monthly number of earthquakes (> M 1.0) for three sections of Mauna Loa: (d) under the summit (0–6 km depth), (e) near the eastern basal decollement (7–15 km depth), (f) near the western decollement fault (7–15 km depth). East–west horizontal and vertical velocities from ascending and descending InSAR during (g,h) 2002–2005, (i,j) 2014–2015, (k,l) 2015–2018, and (m,n) 2018–2020. Color scale is adjusted to enhance the shift in locus of deformation. In (a): white and purple rectangles: sections for seismicity counts; black dots: seismicity; purple star: reference point; blue triangle: location of InSAR timeseries in (c); vertical lines in (c–e): time periods discussed in paper; horizontal lines in (g–n): to highlight the southward shift of deformation during 2015–2018.

    Figure 2
    InSAR and GPS data together with modelling results for the three time periods. (a–f) Ascending and descending InSAR velocities, (g–l) best-fitting model predictions, (m–r) data and model predictions in a profile perpendicular to the rift zone, (s–u) GPS data (red) and model predictions (blue). (v) GPS data and model prediction for the 2010–2014 period. (w) Potency rates of the dike-like magma body. Bottom values in (w): total potency for the time period. White line: opening dislocation; White circle: mogi source; black rectangles: dislocation along decollement; blue dotted line: profile location for m-r; purple corners: Area shown in (a–l).

    When Amelung learned of the eruption, “I was terribly worried that the dike would spread southward because of the lava flow hazards. But once it became clear that the dike had propagated to the north, I was relieved to know that no one would be in harm’s way and that the many years of our hard work and research had produced accurate results.”

    Late last week, lava flows from the Mauna Loa eruption were moving toward a main highway. And an update issued on Dec. 1 by the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed that the lava flows “are traveling to the north toward the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) but have reached relatively flatter ground and have slowed down significantly as expected.” 

    At the time Amelung and Varugu initiated their Mauna Loa study nearly seven years ago, data from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites was not easy to acquire, making it a challenge for the scientists to get a complete picture of the volcano’s ground movements, according to Amelung. 

    To clear that hurdle, Amelung helped create the Geohazard Supersites and Natural Laboratory, an international partnership of NASA and five other space agencies that pool their satellite resources to make SAR data of geohazard sites more readily available to the scientific community. For their Mauna Loa study, the two researchers used data supplied by the Italian Space Agency. “Now, we can do complex geohazard assessments of volcanic sites within a few hours,” Amelung said. “It’s a splendid example of scientific progress.” 

    When Amelung lived on Oahu, he would visit the big island of Hawaii every few months to study Mauna Loa, hiking up to its summit several times.

    “It is fascinating because it is so big,” he said. “It’s a natural laboratory to understand earthquake-volcano interactions. But it’s important to remember that it is hazardous. This time, we seem to have been lucky as far as the eruption not causing much damage. An eruption in the south would have reached populated areas within hours.” 

    Amelung and Varugu responded to questions to explain their research and the nature of volcanic eruptions in greater detail.

    Detail the exact nature of your Mauna Loa study and how it predicted the location of this latest eruption.

    Varugu: As magma recharges under a volcano, it often exhibits ground deformation at the surface. We derived the ground deformation on Mauna Loa volcano from satellite images over six years (2014-2020) and mathematically inverted it to infer the magma body’s location, shape, and growth. We studied the factors affecting the magma growth as it reaches the shallow level under the volcano and as stress accumulated due to magma pressurization. In 2015 the area of magma accumulation moved southward but there was no eruption, and then it returned to the original location. Overall, from six years of magma pressurization, we identified significant stress accumulation in the upward and northward of the shallow magma body and determined them as future directions of magma growth. The magma recharge continued ever since (2014 to 2022), and the current eruption occurred as the magma first moved upward into the summit and then north, opening fissures into the northeast rift zone of the volcano. So, our study helped identify zones of stress accumulation that can be potential future eruption zones.

    What early signs, such as increased earthquake activity, indicated that the Mauna Loa was going to erupt?

    Amelung: In August and September, the number of shallow earthquakes as well as the rate of inflation increased by a factor of about three.  
    Could we potentially see a large earthquake result from this eruption?

    Amelung: Yes. Hawaiian volcanoes have horizontal décollement faults under the flanks which occasionally rupture in large earthquakes. This eruption started with the intrusion of a blade-like magma body into the volcanic edifice known as a dike. This dike loaded the fault under the eastern flank. However, inflation in the prior 20 years primarily loaded the fault under the western flank. Unfortunately, we don’t know at what threshold stress the fault will rupture. A significant earthquake, magnitude 6 or greater, can occur at any time. But it may also require additional loading after the eruption by new magma intrusion.

    What’s unique about the Mauna Loa?

    Varugu: Mauna Loa is the largest subaerial volcano on Earth and has had a rich eruption history, approximately 33 times in the past 200 years. Its mammoth size is an indication of historic lava flows. And it is fascinating that many eruptions at Mauna Loa have been preceded or succeeded by an earthquake. So, a strong correlation exists between earthquakes and eruptions there. 
    How are volcanic eruptions and earthquakes linked? Can earthquakes trigger volcanic eruptions and can volcanic eruptions trigger earthquakes?

    Amelung: Every eruption is associated with volcano-tectonic seismicity, but these small earthquakes represent the breakage of the rock in response to ascending magma. They are different from tectonic earthquakes that occur on tectonic faults. If there is a tectonic fault near an active volcano, it might be triggered. There are two possible triggering mechanisms. The first is the removal of magma from the magma reservoir that unclamps the fault. The second is magma intrusions into the volcanic edifice that can load the fault. This second mechanism is at work at Mauna Loa.

    Science paper:
    Scientific Reports
    See the science paper for instructive material with more images.

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is an academic and research institution for the study of oceanography and the atmospheric sciences within the University of Miami. It is located on a 16-acre (65,000 m^²) campus on Virginia Key in Miami, Florida. It is the only subtropical applied and basic marine and atmospheric research institute in the continental United States.

    Up until 2008, RSMAS was solely a graduate school within the University of Miami, while it jointly administrated an undergraduate program with UM’s College of Arts and Sciences. In 2008, the Rosenstiel School has taken over administrative responsibilities for the undergraduate program, granting Bachelor of Science in Marine and Atmospheric Science (BSMAS) and Bachelor of Arts in Marine Affairs (BAMA) baccalaureate degree. Master’s, including a Master of Professional Science degree, and doctorates are also awarded to RSMAS students by the UM Graduate School.

    The Rosenstiel School’s research includes the study of marine life, particularly Aplysia and coral; climate change; air-sea interactions; coastal ecology; and admiralty law. The school operates a marine research laboratory ship, and has a research site at an inland sinkhole. Research also includes the use of data from weather satellites and the school operates its own satellite downlink facility. The school is home to the world’s largest hurricane simulation tank.

    The University of Miami is a private research university in Coral Gables, Florida. As of 2020, the university enrolled approximately 18,000 students in 12 separate colleges and schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami’s Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.

    The university offers 132 undergraduate, 148 master’s, and 67 doctoral degree programs, of which 63 are research/scholarship and 4 are professional areas of study. Over the years, the university’s students have represented all 50 states and close to 150 foreign countries. With more than 16,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, The University of Miami is a top 10 employer in Miami-Dade County. The University of Miami’s main campus in Coral Gables has 239 acres and over 5.7 million square feet of buildings.

    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. The University of Miami research expenditure in FY 2019 was $358.9 million. The University of Miami offers a large library system with over 3.9 million volumes and exceptional holdings in Cuban heritage and music.

    The University of Miami also offers a wide range of student activities, including fraternities and sororities, and hundreds of student organizations. The Miami Hurricane, the student newspaper, and WVUM, the student-run radio station, have won multiple collegiate awards. The University of Miami’s intercollegiate athletic teams, collectively known as the Miami Hurricanes, compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The University of Miami’s football team has won five national championships since 1983 and its baseball team has won four national championships since 1982.


    The University of Miami is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. In fiscal year 2016, The University of Miami received $195 million in federal research funding, including $131.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and $14.1 million from the National Science Foundation. Of the $8.2 billion appropriated by Congress in 2009 as a part of the stimulus bill for research priorities of The National Institutes of Health, the Miller School received $40.5 million. In addition to research conducted in the individual academic schools and departments, Miami has the following university-wide research centers:

    The Center for Computational Science
    The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS)
    Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy
    The Miami European Union Center: This group is a consortium with Florida International University (FIU) established in fall 2001 with a grant from the European Commission through its delegation in Washington, D.C., intended to research economic, social, and political issues of interest to the European Union.
    The Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies
    John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics – studies possible causes of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration.
    Center on Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE)
    Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research

    The Miller School of Medicine receives more than $200 million per year in external grants and contracts to fund 1,500 ongoing projects. The medical campus includes more than 500,000 sq ft (46,000 m^2) of research space and the The University of Miami Life Science Park, which has an additional 2,000,000 sq ft (190,000 m^2) of space adjacent to the medical campus. The University of Miami’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute seeks to understand the biology of stem cells and translate basic research into new regenerative therapies.

    As of 2008, The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science receives $50 million in annual external research funding. Their laboratories include a salt-water wave tank, a five-tank Conditioning and Spawning System, multi-tank Aplysia Culture Laboratory, Controlled Corals Climate Tanks, and DNA analysis equipment. The campus also houses an invertebrate museum with 400,000 specimens and operates the Bimini Biological Field Station, an array of oceanographic high-frequency radar along the US east coast, and the Bermuda aerosol observatory. The University of Miami also owns the Little Salt Spring, a site on the National Register of Historic Places, in North Port, Florida, where RSMAS performs archaeological and paleontological research.

    The University of Miami built a brain imaging annex to the James M. Cox Jr. Science Center within the College of Arts and Sciences. The building includes a human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) laboratory, where scientists, clinicians, and engineers can study fundamental aspects of brain function. Construction of the lab was funded in part by a $14.8 million in stimulus money grant from the National Institutes of Health.

    In 2016 the university received $161 million in science and engineering funding from the U.S. federal government, the largest Hispanic-serving recipient and 56th overall. $117 million of the funding was through the Department of Health and Human Services and was used largely for the medical campus.

    The University of Miami maintains one of the largest centralized academic cyber infrastructures in the country with numerous assets. The Center for Computational Science High Performance Computing group has been in continuous operation since 2007. Over that time the core has grown from a zero HPC cyberinfrastructure to a regional high-performance computing environment that currently supports more than 1,200 users, 220 TFlops of computational power, and more than 3 Petabytes of disk storage.

  • richardmitnick 9:39 am on November 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Mapping rock glaciers to understand their future on Earth and Mars", A better understanding of water resources on both Earth and Mars., , , Beyond a certain thickness insulation basically turns off the melting allowing for the ice to be preserved and slowly move or flow down a valley at elevations where clean ice may be completely melted., Both pure ice glaciers and rock glaciers can move across landscapes – very slowly., Creating maps of four rock glaciers in Colorado and Wyoming and Alaska., , , Geosciences, Martian rock glaciers are still not well understood., One of the big challenges for scientists is determining the thickness of the surface rock covering the glaciers on Mars., , Rock glaciers are hidden and insulated by debris on top of the ice., Rock glaciers are so named because unlike pure ice glaciers they are a mix of frozen water and sand and rocks., The debris in rock glaciers causes them to flow even more slowly than ice glaciers as the inclusion of rocks makes them much stiffer., , The researchers are continuing their analysis to understand signs of past climate change in rock glaciers and how these glaciers might have evolved through past climate changes., The researchers used ground-penetrating radar to measure both the radar wave speed and the angle at which the wave was reflected from the subsurface., , University of Arizona researchers developed a new method for analyzing rock glaciers which could help scientists better understand these "hidden giants" on Earth and Mars.   

    From The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory At The University of Arizona: “Mapping rock glaciers to understand their future on Earth and Mars” 

    From The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory


    The University of Arizona


    Media contact(s)
    Mikayla Mace Kelley
    Science Writer, University Communications

    Researcher contact(s)
    Tyler Meng
    Planetary Sciences

    Jack Holt
    Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

    University of Arizona researchers developed a new method for analyzing rock glaciers, which could help scientists better understand these “hidden giants” on Earth and Mars.

    Lead author and graduate student Tyler Meng standing with radar equipment on the Sourdough rock glacier in Alaska in August 2021. Credit: Stefano Nerozzi.

    Standing on a rock glacier is what Tyler Meng imagines it would be like to stand on the surface of Mars. The glacier’s barren and wrinkled landscape looks like Silly Putty that’s drooped under gravity’s pull, offering few clues that a frozen, debris-laden giant lurks beneath the surface.

    Rock glaciers are so named because unlike pure ice glaciers, they are a mix of frozen water, sand and rocks. They are generally found at the base of steep mountainsides or cliffs that have slowly dropped rock debris, which then mixes with glacier ice and refrozen snowmelt. Rock glaciers also exist on Mars.

    Meng – who is pursuing a doctoral degree in planetary science at the University of Arizona, with a minor in geosciences – is lead author of a study in the Journal of Glaciology [below] that describes a new method to determine rock glaciers’ ice thickness and the ratio of ice to debris, allowing for more precise measurements of these glaciers than previously possible. Meng and his adviser and co-author Jack Holt, a UArizona planetary sciences and geosciences professor, used this information to create maps of four rock glaciers in Colorado, Wyoming and Alaska.

    Their work, and future work that uses this method, will allow scientists to better understand water resources on both Earth and Mars, as well as how resilient this type of buried ice will be to the changing climate on both planets.

    More than ice

    A drone image of the Sourdough Rock Glacier flowing down from Sourdough Peakvin August 2021. Credit: Michael Christoffersen.

    Rock glaciers are hidden and insulated by debris on top of ice, and their movement is affected by the rocks trapped inside of them.

    “You can think of the rocks like an insulating blanket,” Meng said. “Beyond a certain thickness, insulation basically turns off the melting, allowing for the ice to be preserved and slowly move or flow down a valley at elevations and temperatures where clean ice may be completely melted.”

    Both pure ice glaciers and rock glaciers can move across landscapes – very slowly. However, the debris in rock glaciers causes them to flow even more slowly than ice glaciers, as the inclusion of rocks makes them much stiffer. They’re also typically smaller and thinner than clean ice glaciers, measuring just a couple miles in length, a few hundred or thousand feet wide and between 50 and 200 feet thick. Ice glaciers, in contrast, can be many miles in length and thousands of feet thick.

    To collect the information needed to map and characterize these hidden giants, Meng, Holt, other UArizona students and their collaborators hiked rugged mountain terrain in the western U.S., lugging computers, battery packs and radar antennas on their backs. They navigated steep landscapes with loose rocks ranging in size from grains of sand to houses.

    “Standing on a debris-covered glacier is pretty surreal, because it’s in this barren area on a mountainside, and each rock glacier seems to have its own personality,” Meng said. “They each have a slightly different type of bedrock supplying debris, and the valley geometry dictates its shape and appearance.”

    Using two different antenna configurations, the researchers used ground-penetrating radar to measure both the radar wave speed and the angle at which the wave was reflected from the subsurface. In the same way that humans have two eyes to see in three dimensions, two antenna configurations allowed the researchers to better calculate the dimensions of the rock glacier. They also estimated the ratio of ice to rock at each survey location using radar wave velocity.

    “In the process, we made the most precise estimates of rock glacier geometry and composition to date,” Meng said.

    From Earth to Mars

    Understanding rock glaciers on Earth is important because they are essentially water reservoirs, Meng said.

    “Our research gives us a better idea of the total water budget in mountainous regions, where major rivers have headwaters,” he said. “Snow is a year-to-year accumulation that covers an entire landscape, whereas rock glaciers are a more localized but permanent water reservoir that actually stores water for what could be hundreds to a few thousand years.”

    The researchers are continuing their analysis to understand signs of past climate change in rock glaciers and how these glaciers might have evolved through past climate changes.

    “By having a map of the debris thickness and ice concentration, we can essentially characterize the ability of rock glaciers to withstand effects of a warming climate compared to clean ice glaciers,” Meng said.

    Other scientists also recognized rock glaciers on Mars by their wrinkled putty-like flow pattern, even before radar data detected them.

    Martian rock glaciers are still not well understood, Meng said, but it is known that they are typically found between 30 and 60 degrees latitude in both of the planet’s hemispheres and are much older than the Martian polar ice.

    “These Martian rock glaciers are potential targets for water resources on Mars, too, because they’re actually really large compared to the ones on Earth, like hundreds of meters thick,” Meng said. “They’re also more accessible than polar ice because spacecraft wouldn’t have to change their orbits as much as they would if they were to land on a pole, which requires a lot more fuel to reach.”

    One of the big challenges for scientists is determining the thickness of the surface rock covering the glaciers on Mars. If there is 30 feet of rock and debris on rugged Martian terrain, then it might not be worth the trouble for astronauts to attempt to access the ice for water resources, Meng said.

    “Our goal is to use these rock glaciers on Earth as an analog for processes on Mars,” Meng said. “By mapping the patterns of debris thickness on Earth, we’re trying to understand how that debris thickness may also vary on Mars. Also, by learning about the differences in flow parameters between clean ice and debris-rich ice, that will help simulations for the Martian case as well.”

    Moving forward, Holt’s research group is continuing to make similar measurements using surface-based radar while collecting new data using drones. This drone-based data collection will help the group to gain a more complete understanding of rock glacier flow and subsurface characteristics, while also testing new geophysical methods that may be used in future exploration of Earth and Mars.

    Science paper:
    Journal of Glaciology
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is a research center for planetary science located in Tucson, Arizona. It is also a graduate school, constituting the Department of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona. The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is one of the world’s largest programs dedicated exclusively to planetary science in a university setting. The Lunar and Planetary Lab collection is held at the University of Arizona Special Collections Library.

    The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory was founded in 1960 by astronomer Gerard Kuiper. Kuiper had long been a pioneer in observing the Solar System, especially the Moon, at a time when this was unfashionable among astronomers. Among his contributions are the discovery of Miranda and Nereid, the detection of carbon dioxide on Mars and of methane on Titan, and the prediction of the Kuiper Belt.

    Kuiper came to Tucson looking for greater independence than he had enjoyed at The University of Chicago, the chance to build a community dedicated to solar system studies, and also to be closer to southern Arizona’s many potential sites for world-class observatories, such as Kitt Peak National Observatory (founded in 1958)[below]. LPL was established under the auspices of the University of Arizona, with Kuiper serving as director until his death.

    The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory’s endeavors are truly interdisciplinary. The accumulated knowledge and techniques of astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, geophysics, geochemistry, atmospheric science, and engineering are all brought to bear upon the single goal of studying planetary systems. Many students come to The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory having studied only one or two of these subjects in detail, so a broad-based curriculum is essential.

    In 1973, the university established a graduate Department of Planetary Sciences, operating continuously with The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. This provided an administrative framework for The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory to admit graduate students and take a greater role in teaching. The Lunar and Planetary Laboratory’s chief officer is simultaneously “head” of the department and “director” of the laboratory.

    As of 2019, The University of Arizona enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including The University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). The University of Arizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association . The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), The University of Arizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. The University of Arizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved The University of Arizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university. (Arizona State University was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by the time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.


    The University of Arizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration for research. The University of Arizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea][Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)/ASI Italian Space Agency [Agenzia Spaziale Italiana](IT) Cassini Spacecraft.

    The University of Arizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. The University of Arizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

    U Arizona NASA Mars Reconnaisance HiRISE Camera.

    NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

    While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, University of Arizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. The University of Arizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, The University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    NASA – GRAIL Flying in Formation (Artist’s Concept). Credit: NASA.
    National Aeronautics Space Agency Juno at Jupiter.

    NASA/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.


    NASA Parker Solar Probe Plus named to honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration Wise /NEOWISE Telescope.

    The University of Arizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    The University of Arizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy , a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory just outside Tucson.

    National Science Foundation NOIRLab National Optical Astronomy Observatory Kitt Peak National Observatory on Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O’odham Nation, 88 kilometers (55 mi) west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona, Altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft), annotated.

    Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at The University of Arizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope (CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    GMT Giant Magellan Telescope(CL) 21 meters, to be at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s NOIRLab NOAO Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.

    GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at The University of Arizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Agency mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, The University of Arizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory , a part of The University of Arizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory , operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    University of Arizona Radio Observatory at NOAO Kitt Peak National Observatory, AZ USA, U Arizona Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory at altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft).

    The National Science Foundation funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.

    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why The University of Arizona is a university unlike any other.

    University of Arizona Landscape Evolution Observatory at Biosphere 2.

  • richardmitnick 12:33 pm on November 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Columbia Engineering Arts and Sciences and Columbia Climate School to Launch $25M Climate Modeling Center", "LEAP": Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence and Physics, , , , Data Sciences, Geosciences, , Many parts of the world have been buffeted by extreme weather events., The expertise and deep knowledge of Columbia researchers and their partners will be the driving force behind the Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence and Physics Center., The Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence and Physics Center will capitalize on the broad and comprehensive expertise we have at Columbia in climate science and machine learning., The researchers aim to transform climate projection by converging geoscience with machine learning and training a new generation of scientists and engineers proficient in climate science.   

    From The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science At Columbia University: “Columbia Engineering Arts and Sciences and Columbia Climate School to Launch $25M Climate Modeling Center” 

    From The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science


    Columbia U bloc

    Columbia University

    Funded by the National Science Foundation, the new center will integrate Columbia’s expertise in geoscience, AI, and data science to revolutionize climate projections both locally and globally.

    9.9.21 [In social media today]

    Image By: Kiel Mutschelknaus/Columbia Engineering

    The ability to make accurate climate projections has never been more urgent, as we look back at a year when many parts of the world have been buffeted by extreme weather events–droughts, floods, wildfires, rising seas. While there is an ever-growing avalanche of raw data taken from the proliferation of observational technologies continuously monitoring the Earth’s system components–the atmosphere, ocean, land, and cryosphere–the sheer volume of the data has been very difficult to mine.

    Now, thanks to a $25 million five-year grant from the National Science Foundation Columbia University and partners are ready to launch a new Science and Technology Center focused on climate modeling, where Columbia researchers will get closer to building better climate models for a safer planet. The center, Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence and Physics (LEAP), will be led by Pierre Gentine, Maurice Ewing and J. Lamar Worzel Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia Engineering, who also has a joint appointment in Earth and Environmental Sciences in Arts and Sciences and is affiliated with the Earth Institute in the Climate School.

    “This NSF grant addresses a grand challenge facing our global society with long-term impact in many areas. Columbia University is uniquely positioned to develop transformative solutions by leveraging our transdisciplinary strengths and successful track records in convergent research. We are thrilled to be leading this important effort, together with our colleagues across the university and nationwide,” said Shih-Fu Chang, interim dean of Columbia Engineering. “Columbia University has long been at the forefront of climate science and AI research and we are excited to see where our work will take us.”

    The expertise and deep knowledge of Columbia researchers and their partners will be the driving force behind the Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence and Physics Center. Gentine will be joined by Deputy Director Galen McKinley, a professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences who is based at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, part of the Columbia Climate School.

    They will collaborate closely with Columbia faculty at the Engineering School, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Teachers College, and Business and Social Work schools. The team will also collaborate with peers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York University (NYU), and Universities of California-Irvine, Minnesota, and Montreal to provide a leap in the quality of the NSF-funded Community Earth System Model.

    “The Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence and Physics Center will capitalize on the broad, comprehensive expertise we have at Columbia in climate science and machine learning,” Gentine said. “Our goal is to eliminate some of the uncertainty about extreme weather across the globe–how hot the Earth will get and what this will mean for any one of us.”

    The researchers aim to transform climate projection by converging geoscience with machine learning and training a new generation of scientists and engineers proficient in climate science and data science, and by using AI to better understand and analyze the vast amount of data being collected. The center’s innovative approach to Earth system modeling is the first to use machine learning to address model structural deficiencies with new parameterizations, and develop new data products and model skill metrics. By embedding physical and biological knowledge into machine learning, the researchers expect the new center to revolutionize Earth system modeling.

    “This integration will spawn a new era of machine learning algorithms using physical knowledge to robustly extrapolate to future conditions,” McKinley added. “Our research will support climate adaptation around the world, as well as train the next generation of diverse students in the emerging new discipline of climate data science.”

    The Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence and Physics Center will be housed in Columbia Engineering and physically located in the School’s new Innovation hub on 125th street, just across from the Manhattanville campus. Joining Gentine and McKinley from Columbia Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Lamont-Doherty are an interdisciplinary group of members actively contributing to data science, AI, and geoscience. Carl Vondrick from computer science at Columbia Engineering will serve as Director of Data Science of the center. Laure Zanna of NYU will serve as the Geoscience Director.

    At this highly collaborative center, Tian Zheng, chairperson and professor of statistics in Arts and Sciences, will serve as the Chief Convergence Officer and Education Director. Courtney Cogburn, a professor at Columbia’s School of Social Work, will lead the center’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Ryan Abernathey, an Arts and Sciences professor also based at Lamont-Doherty will lead development of data and computational tools. Vanessa Burbano, a professor at Columbia Business School, will lead the corporate engagement program.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science is the engineering and applied science school of Columbia University. It was founded as the School of Mines in 1863 and then the School of Mines, Engineering and Chemistry before becoming the School of Engineering and Applied Science. On October 1, 1997, the school was renamed in honor of Chinese businessman Z.Y. Fu, who had donated $26 million to the school.

    The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science maintains a close research tie with other institutions including National Aeronautics and Space Administration, IBM, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and The Earth Institute. Patents owned by the school generate over $100 million annually for the university. Faculty and alumni are responsible for technological achievements including the developments of FM radio and the maser.

    The School’s applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, computer science and the financial engineering program in operations research are very famous and ranked high. The current faculty include 27 members of the National Academy of Engineering and one Nobel laureate. In all, the faculty and alumni of Columbia Engineering have won 10 Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine, and economics.

    The school consists of approximately 300 undergraduates in each graduating class and maintains close links with its undergraduate liberal arts sister school Columbia College which shares housing with SEAS students.

    Original charter of 1754

    Included in the original charter for Columbia College was the direction to teach “the arts of Number and Measuring, of Surveying and Navigation […] the knowledge of […] various kinds of Meteors, Stones, Mines and Minerals, Plants and Animals, and everything useful for the Comfort, the Convenience and Elegance of Life.” Engineering has always been a part of Columbia, even before the establishment of any separate school of engineering.

    An early and influential graduate from the school was John Stevens, Class of 1768. Instrumental in the establishment of U.S. patent law. Stevens procured many patents in early steamboat technology; operated the first steam ferry between New York and New Jersey; received the first railroad charter in the U.S.; built a pioneer locomotive; and amassed a fortune, which allowed his sons to found the Stevens Institute of Technology.

    When Columbia University first resided on Wall Street, engineering did not have a school under the Columbia umbrella. After Columbia outgrew its space on Wall Street, it relocated to what is now Midtown Manhattan in 1857. Then President Barnard and the Trustees of the University, with the urging of Professor Thomas Egleston and General Vinton, approved the School of Mines in 1863. The intention was to establish a School of Mines and Metallurgy with a three-year program open to professionally motivated students with or without prior undergraduate training. It was officially founded in 1864 under the leadership of its first dean, Columbia professor Charles F. Chandler, and specialized in mining and mineralogical engineering. An example of work from a student at the School of Mines was William Barclay Parsons, Class of 1882. He was an engineer on the Chinese railway and the Cape Cod and Panama Canals. Most importantly he worked for New York, as a chief engineer of the city’s first subway system, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. Opened in 1904, the subway’s electric cars took passengers from City Hall to Brooklyn, the Bronx, and the newly renamed and relocated Columbia University in Morningside Heights, its present location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

    Columbia U Campus
    Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

    University Mission Statement

    Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

    Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. Columbia is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications.

    Columbia was established as King’s College by royal charter from King George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton College. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolution, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.

    Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in scientific breakthroughs including brain-computer interface; the laser and maser; nuclear magnetic resonance; the first nuclear pile; the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas; the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift; and much of the initial research and planning for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including four undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. The university’s research efforts include the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. With over 14 million volumes, Columbia University Library is the third largest private research library in the United States.

    The university’s endowment stands at $11.26 billion in 2020, among the largest of any academic institution. As of October 2020, Columbia’s alumni, faculty, and staff have included: five Founding Fathers of the United States—among them a co-author of the United States Constitution and a co-author of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign heads of state; ten justices of the United States Supreme Court, one of whom currently serves; 96 Nobel laureates; five Fields Medalists; 122 National Academy of Sciences members; 53 living billionaires; eleven Olympic medalists; 33 Academy Award winners; and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

  • richardmitnick 8:31 pm on October 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Metamorphic core complexes", "Study Shows Gravitational Forces Deep Within the Earth Have Great Impact on Landscape Evolution", , , Collaborative national research centers on integrating tectonics climate and mammal diversity., , , Geosciences,   

    From Stoney Brook University – SUNY : “Study Shows Gravitational Forces Deep Within the Earth Have Great Impact on Landscape Evolution” 

    Stoney Brook bloc

    From Stoney Brook University – SUNY


    Collaborative national research centers on integrating tectonics climate and mammal diversity.

    Stony Brook University is leading a research project that focuses on the interplay between the evolution of the landscape, climate and fossil record of mammal evolution and diversification in the Western United States. A little explored aspect of this geosciences research is the connection between gravitational forces deep in the Earth and landscape evolution. Now in a newly published paper in Nature Communications [below], the researchers show by way of computer modeling that deep roots under mountain belts (analogous to the massive ice below the tip of an iceberg) trigger dramatic movements along faults that result in collapse of the mountain belt and exposure of rocks that were once some 15 miles below the surface.

    The origin of these enigmatic exposures, called “metamorphic core complexes,” has been hotly debated within the scientific community. This study finding may alter the way scientists attempt to uncover the history of Earth as an evolving planet.

    Lead principal investigator William E. Holt, PhD, a Professor of Geophysics the Department of Geosciences in the School of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University, first author Alireza Bahadori, a former PhD student under Holt and now at Columbia University, and colleagues found that these core complexes are a fossil signature of past mountain belts in the Western United States that occupied regions around Phoenix and Las Vegas. These mountain areas left traces in the form of gravel deposits from ancient northward and eastward flowing rivers, found today south and west of Flagstaff, Arizona.

    These visuals from the modeling illustrate metamorphic core complex development showing crustal stresses and strain rates, faults, uplift of deeper rocks, and sedimentation from surface erosion. These processes of core complex development occur after a thickened crustal root supporting topography is weakened through the introduction of heat, fluids, and partial melt. Credit: Alireza Bahadori and William E. Holt.

    The work articulated in the paper highlights the development of what the research team terms as a general model for metamorphic core complex formation and a demonstration that they result from the collapse of a mountain belt supported by a thickened crustal root.

    The authors further explain: “We show that gravitational body forces generated by topography and crustal root cause an upward flow pattern of the ductile lower-middle crust, facilitated by a detachment surface evolving into a low-angle normal fault. This detachment surface acquires large amounts of finite strain, consistent with thick mylonite zones found in metamorphic core complexes.”

    The work builds on research also published in Nature Communications [below] in 2022. Holt and colleagues published a first-of-a-kind model in three dimensions to illustrate the linkage between climate and tectonics to simulate the landscape and erosion/deposition history of the region before, during and after the formation of these metamorphic core complexes.

    This modeling was linked to a global climate model that predicted precipitation trends throughout the southwestern U.S. over time. The 3-D model accurately predicts deposition of sediments in basins that contain the mammal fossil and climate records.

    The group also published a paper in Science Advances [below] in November 2021, led by team member Katie Loughney.

    This research showed that a major peak in mammal diversification can be statistically tied to the peak in extensional collapse of the ancient mountain belts. Thus, the collaborative study is the first of its kind to quantify how deep Earth forces combine with climate to influence the landscape and impact mammal diversification and species dispersal found within the fossil record.

    The study required the vast computing resources provided by the High-Performance Computing Cluster SeaWulf at Stony Brook University. The climate modeling, produced by Ran Feng, University of Connecticut, was supported by the Cheyenne supercomputer maintained at NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center.

    Much of the research that led to these findings reported each of the papers was supported by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, including grant number EAR-1814051 to Stony Brook University.

    In addition to Holt, the national collaborative team included several researchers from Stony Brook University: Drs. Emma Troy Rasbury, Daniel Davis, Ali Bahadori (now at Columbia University) and Tara Smiley. Other colleagues include researchers from the University of Michigan (Drs. Catherine Badgley and Katie Loughney – now University of Georgia); University of Connecticut (Dr. Ran Feng); Purdue University (Dr. Lucy Flesch), as well a researcher from a consulting business, e4Sciences (Dr. Bruce Ward).

    Science papers:
    Nature Communications
    Nature Communications
    Science Advances 2021
    See the science papers for instructive material.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Stoney Brook campus

    Stony Brook University-SUNY’s reach extends from its 1,039-acre campus on Long Island’s North Shore–encompassing the main academic areas, an 8,300-seat stadium and sports complex and Stony Brook Medicine–to Stony Brook Manhattan, a Research and Development Park, four business incubators including one at Calverton, New York, and the Stony Brook Southampton campus on Long Island’s East End. Stony Brook also co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, joining Princeton, the University of Chicago, Stanford, and the University of California on the list of major institutions involved in a research collaboration with a national lab.

    And Stony Brook is still growing. To the students, the scholars, the health professionals, the entrepreneurs and all the valued members who make up the vibrant Stony Brook community, this is a not only a great local and national university, but one that is making an impact on a global scale.

  • richardmitnick 9:27 am on August 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researchers create 3D seismic array at SURF", Air Force Research Laboratory, Geosciences, , The 3D DAS experiment is studying digital acoustic sensing techniques with a novel three-dimensional seismic array at SURF., ,   

    From The Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF: “Researchers create 3D seismic array at SURF” 

    From The Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF

    Erin Lorraine Broberg

    The 3D DAS experiment is studying digital acoustic sensing techniques with a novel three-dimensional seismic array at SURF.

    Underground at SURF, the 3D DAS experiment is studying digital acoustic sensing techniques with a novel, three-dimensional seismic array. Photo by Adam Gomez.

    The ground beneath our feet is awake with a constant, imperceptible tremor. Induced by traffic, construction, earthquakes, even water running above and below ground, this incessant “seismic noise” is difficult to escape. But at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), the seismic soundscape is muted.

    “What’s unique about this facility is that it’s away from the surface wave noise of the Earth. It’s a very quiet place,” said Neal Lord, geoscience instrumentation technologist at The University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    This made the facility an attractive site for 3D DAS, a research group studying distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology. DAS uses fiber optic cable—the same medium that transmits internet, cable television and telephone data across the globe—to study minute movements in the Earth.

    SURF’s quiet background gives the researchers a chance to test and further develop DAS technology without an overwhelming background of surface noise. But SURF offers more than just peace and quiet. Taking advantage of the facility’s vast underground footprint, the research group created a three-dimensional (3D) DAS array.

    “Rather than laying the fiber along a single axis, we’re going up and down, north and south, east and west—taking advantage of that geometry,” Lord said.

    “This was our opportunity to demonstrate a new application of the technology in an underground, three-dimensional array,” said Herb Wang, professor emeritus at UW-Madison and co-principal investigator (PI) on the project. An Air Force Research Lab project, the 3D DAS is led by Stanford University and includes industry partners and seven universities.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About us: The Sanford Underground Research Facility-SURF in Lead, South Dakota, advances our understanding of the universe by providing laboratory space deep underground, where sensitive physics experiments can be shielded from cosmic radiation. Researchers at the Sanford Lab explore some of the most challenging questions facing 21st century physics, such as the origin of matter, the nature of dark matter and the properties of neutrinos. The facility also hosts experiments in other disciplines—including geology, biology and engineering.

    The Sanford Lab is located at the former Homestake gold mine, which was a physics landmark long before being converted into a dedicated science facility. Nuclear chemist Ray Davis earned a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2002 for a solar neutrino experiment he installed 4,850 feet underground in the mine.

    Homestake closed in 2003, but the company donated the property to South Dakota in 2006 for use as an underground laboratory. That same year, philanthropist T. Denny Sanford donated $70 million to the project. The South Dakota Legislature also created the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority to operate the lab. The state Legislature has committed more than $40 million in state funds to the project, and South Dakota also obtained a $10 million Community Development Block Grant to help rehabilitate the facility.

    In 2007, after the National Science Foundation named Homestake as the preferred site for a proposed national Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) began reopening the former gold mine.

    In December 2010, the National Science Board decided not to fund further design of DUSEL. However, in 2011 the Department of Energy, through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, agreed to support ongoing science operations at Sanford Lab, while investigating how to use the underground research facility for other longer-term experiments. The SDSTA, which owns Sanford Lab, continues to operate the facility under that agreement with Berkeley Lab.

    The first two major physics experiments at the Sanford Lab are 4,850 feet underground in an area called the Davis Campus, named for the late Ray Davis. The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment is housed in the same cavern excavated for Ray Davis’s experiment in the 1960s.

    In October 2013, after an initial run of 80 days, LUX was determined to be the most sensitive detector yet to search for dark matter—a mysterious, yet-to-be-detected substance thought to be the most prevalent matter in the universe. The University of Washington MAJORANA Neutrinoless Double-beta Decay Experiment Demonstrator experiment, also on the 4850 Level, is searching for a rare phenomenon called “neutrinoless double-beta decay” that could reveal whether subatomic particles called neutrinos can be their own antiparticle. Detection of neutrinoless double-beta decay could help determine why matter prevailed over antimatter. The Majorana Demonstrator experiment is adjacent to the original Davis cavern.

    The LUX Xenon dark matter detector | Sanford Underground Research Facility mission was to scour the universe for WIMPs, vetoing all other signatures. It would continue to do just that for another three years before it was decommissioned in 2016.

    In the midst of the excitement over first results, the LUX collaboration was already casting its gaze forward. Planning for a next-generation dark matter experiment at Sanford Lab was already under way. Named LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ), the next-generation experiment would increase the sensitivity of LUX 100 times.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory physicist Tom Shutt, a previous co-spokesperson for LUX, said one goal of the experiment was to figure out how to build an even larger detector.

    “LZ will be a thousand times more sensitive than the LUX detector,” Shutt said. “It will just begin to see an irreducible background of neutrinos that may ultimately set the limit to our ability to measure dark matter.”

    We celebrate five years of LUX, and look into the steps being taken toward the much larger and far more sensitive experiment.

    Another major experiment, the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE)—a collaboration with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) and Sanford Lab, is in the preliminary design stages. The project got a major boost last year when Congress approved and the president signed an Omnibus Appropriations bill that will fund LBNE operations through FY 2014. Called the “next frontier of particle physics,” LBNE will follow neutrinos as they travel 800 miles through the earth, from FermiLab in Batavia, Ill., to Sanford Lab.

    The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR will contain 40 kg of germanium; up to 30 kg will be enriched to 86% in 76Ge. The DEMONSTRATOR will be deployed deep underground in an ultra-low-background shielded environment in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. The goal of the DEMONSTRATOR is to determine whether a future 1-tonne experiment can achieve a background goal of one count per tonne-year in a 4-keV region of interest around the 76Ge 0νββ Q-value at 2039 keV. MAJORANA plans to collaborate with Germanium Detector Array (or GERDA) experiment is searching for neutrinoless double beta decay (0νββ) in Ge-76 at the underground Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) for a future tonne-scale 76Ge 0νββ search.

    Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR). Credit: Nick Hubbard.

    [caption id="attachment_58675" align="alignnone" width="632"] Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR). Credit: Nick Hubbard.

    CASPAR is a low-energy particle accelerator that allows researchers to study processes that take place inside collapsing stars.
    The scientists are using space in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota, to work on a project called the Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research (CASPAR). CASPAR uses a low-energy particle accelerator that will allow researchers to mimic nuclear fusion reactions in stars. If successful, their findings could help complete our picture of how the elements in our universe are built. “Nuclear astrophysics is about what goes on inside the star, not outside of it,” said Dan Robertson, a Notre Dame assistant research professor of astrophysics working on CASPAR. “It is not observational, but experimental. The idea is to reproduce the stellar environment, to reproduce the reactions within a star.”

    [caption id="attachment_207839" align="alignnone" width="632"] SURF- the 3D DAS experiment is studying digital acoustic sensing techniques with a novel, three-dimensional seismic array. The University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Air Force Research Laboratory. Photo by Adam Gomez. The 3D DAS is led by Stanford University and includes industry partners and seven universities.

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