October 7, 2011

Biweekly Briefing head

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Dear Colleagues,

In this edition of the Biweekly Briefing, we are instituting a new approach to the "message from the dean." The assistant and associate deans and I will take turns writing the message, so that you will get a better idea of the scope of the projects and priorities we are each working on in our efforts to support you. Today, I am pleased to hand over this issue's message to Dr. Jack Baldauf, executive associate dean and associate dean for research. Since joining the College leadership nearly a year ago, Jack's energy, vision, and extensive management experience have resulted in major progress on several exciting initiatives, which he summarizes below. Please contact Jack with any questons or comments you may have about these.

Have a great week.

Kate Miller
Dean, College of Geosciences

Office of Sponsored Research Services
The Office of Sponsored Research Services, resulting from the shared services initiative, now administers contracts and provides grants-research assistance for Texas A&M System members based in Brazos County. The proposal routing process remains the same. Michele Lacey oversees the College of Geosciences proposals. Krista Rozonvsky (Geosciences except Geography) and Chris Salpe (Geography) support the College's efforts and are our main contacts. OSRS is located in the Valley Park Center at 400 Harvey Mitchell Parkway.

Contact information is:

Mr. Mark Smock, Executive Director, 979.845.8626 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Ms. Michele Lacey 979.862.4444 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Krista Roznovsky 979.862.1462 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Chris Slape 979.845.6280 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Geochemical and Environmental Research Group
The GERG working group provided a review and recommendations as how to better integrate GERG into the research and academic mission of the College. During the summer the recommendations were reviewed and a draft implementation plan developed. This implementation plan is currently being reviewed and refined based on numerous discussions. At present, input has been provided by the Oceanography and GERG executive committees. The intention is to finalize the overall strategy followed by a one-time funding request to the VPR.

Brazil Collaboration
The College of Geosciences is organizing a conference and workshop in cooperation with Brazilian institutions, the University of São Paulo and the Federal University of Pernambuco, to be held in Porto de Galinhas, Brazil, March 26–29, 2012. Workshop participants will develop a series of white papers on scientific and academic themes, articulate a strategic plan and implement a strategy for long-term collaboration. The planning group earlier identified these research themes: climate and oceanography, coastal and shelf process, and ecosystems.

High Performance Computing Capacity
A working group has been established in response to the initial G&G request to Chevron for enhanced High Performance Computing Capacity. The working group will define specific goals, requirements, and strategies to improve overall capacity. Although this initiative is primarily a G&G initiative, the working group has representatives from each department. The working group will present its initial assessment to the GEODAC meeting in mid-October.

Collaboration with TAMUG and TAMUCC
Representatives from the College of Geosciences, Texas A&M Galveston, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will meet in the coming weeks to discuss strategic plans and possible areas of future collaborations. The goal of this meeting is to strengthen interactions and research and academic collaborations between these units.

Agreement with INOCAR
Renewal of the memorandum of agreement with INOCAR, the Ecuadorian navy's oceanographic institute, is in the final stage of completion with the document currently routed for final signature both here and at INOCAR. Once signed, the MOA provides continued opportunities for College representatives to engage in research and academic collaboration with the Ecuadorian navy.

Agreement with PB&A, Inc.
The College of Geosciences is negotiating an agreement with PB&A, Inc., an engineering and environmental services company. The agreement calls for the College to team with the firm on environmental studies in Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste, compliance, cultural resources, natural resources, military munitions response, sustainability, and restoration and modernization.

GeoResearch
The College Research web site continues to be enhanced to better reflect the research portfolio of the College. Initial effort focused on site layout and content. Current effort is enhancing specific research themes as defined in the strategic plan and linking specific researchers to those themes in an effort to increase overall visibility

Climate Center Proposal
A final decision concerning the USGS climate and ecosystem center proposal is still pending. An announcement concerning the award is anticipated in the coming few weeks.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments on these projects.

Jack Baldauf
Executive Associate Dean and Associate Dean for Research

TEXAS A&M ANNOUNCEMENTS

25TH ANNUAL PRESIDENT'S MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARDS
The nomination process for the President's Meritorious Service Awards opened on Wednesday, Sept. 28. At a ceremony on Feb. 21, 2012, 20 individual Texas A&M staff employees and one work team will be recognized for their service to the university. Individual honorees will receive a cash award of $700, a commemorative plaque, and a gold lapel pin. Each member of the winning work team will receive a framed certificate and a $200 cash award, and the team will be awarded a commemorative plaque.

To be eligible for this award, individual nominees must be members of the Texas A&M University staff below the level of director, department, or unit head, with a minimum of two years of service. Nominees must also be budgeted at least 50 percent and not be past recipients of this award. Similar restrictions apply to members of nominated teams.

Any Texas A&M faculty or staff member can nominate candidates for these awards. Nominations must be received by Wednesday, Nov. 2. To submit a nomination or get more information about the awards, such as detailed award criteria, visit the President's Meritorious Service Awards website.

TAMUTIMES
For more information about university events visit TamuTimes. 

COLLEGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

TEXAS SEA GRANT CELEBRATES 40 YEARS
Join the College of Geosciences in congratulating Texas Sea Grant on its 40 years of service to the state and the nation. The reception is from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 17, in the Rudder Tower Mezzanine. For more information or to reserve, please call or email Peggy Foster at 979-845-1245, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

NBC LEARN: CHANGING PLANET
NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, in partnership with the National Science Foundation has put together an award-winning series of videos for teachers and students on the impact of climate change. 

Page Jones (G&G) and Dr. Bowen Loftin at the Aggie Fan Marketplace Geosciences boothPage Jones (G&G) and Texas A&M University president Dr. Bowen Loftin at the Aggie Fan Marketplace Geosciences booth.

AGGIE FAN MARKETPLACE
 Graduate student Page Jones (G&G) ran the College of Geosciences booth at the Aggie Fan Marketplace in Arlington, Texas the weekend of the Arkansas game. The purpose of the booth was to provide information about the College and reach out to future geosciences students.

GEOSCIENCES COLLABORATOR NAMED PRESIDENT
Jose Manuel Cabrera Sixto, a Texas A&M engineering graduate who worked closely with Dr. Wendy Jepson (GEOG) on the May research workshop, Water, Climate, and Society, has been selected to be president of the University of Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico.

For more information, see the news release by the Texas A&M University College of Engineering.

GEOGRAPHY PROF NAMED INTERIM ASSISTANT PROVOST
Dr. James Kracht (GEOG) has been named the new interim assistant provost for undergraduate studies, effective Oct. 1. Kracht, who has a joint appointment with the Colleges of Education and Geosciences, will work to help students sucessfully complete their undergraduate studies. For more information about his appointment, see the news release on TAMUtimes.

Professional Activities

PUBLICATIONS

IODP 2011 OCEAN DRILLING CITATION REPORT
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program 2011 Ocean Drilling Citation Report was published Friday, Sept. 30. The report covers more than 27,000 citations related to Deep Sea Drilling Project, Ocean Drilling Program, and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program research spanning from 1969 through 2010.

The study is available online at http://iodp.tamu.edu/publications/AGI_studies/AGI_study_2011.pdf.

For more information about accessing and searching the Ocean Drilling Citation Database, a subset of the American Geological Institute's GeoRef database, see http://iodp.tamu.edu/publications/citations/database.html.

Dr. Gunnar Schade giving his talk at the Moving Planet event in San AntonioDr. Gunnar Schade giving his talk at the Moving Planet event in San AntonioPRESENTATIONS

MOVING PLANET
Drs. Gunnar Schade and Gerald North
(ATMO) gave talks about climate science at the Moving Planet event in San Antonio on Sept. 24. Videos of their presentations are available on the San Antonio Current blog.

EXPEDITIONS AND FIELD TRIPS 

MID-ATLANTIC MICROBIOLOGY
To read about the trials and tribulations of the CORK system, follow Heath Mills's Mid-Atlantic Ridge Microbiology blog.

IN THE NEWS

DROUGHT AND OTHER NEWS
Texas A&M atmospheric scientists Drs. Ken Bowman, Gerald North, John Nielsen-Gammon, and Andrew Dessler have received heavy media attention over the past few weeks.

The current drought, one of the worst on record, has been the subject of news coverage for quite a while now. Nielsen-Gammon, atmospheric sciences professor and Texas state climatologist, recently stated the possibility of the drought lasting for the next 5 to 15 years. This statement led to stories by state, national, and international news outlets such as the Austin American-Statesman, The New York Times, and Reuters, and even earned a mention in the Jay Leno's monologue on The Tonight Show. Nielsen-Gammon later wrote a post on his blog, Climate Abyss, to clear up confusion about what this meant for Texas.

Another topic of attention was Texas A&M's ongoing excellence in climate research. A&M's work was recognized in an article in the Natural Resource Defense Council's magazine On Earth. The article by George Black, titled Ask an Aggie: Climate Change is Real, talks about A&M's work in the often politically charged field of climate science and features Bowman, North, Dessler, and Nielsen-Gammon.

IODP AND GEOSCIENCES RESEARCH FEATURED ON TAMU YOUTUBE CHANNEL
The Division of Research produced three videos of varying length featuring IODP and Dr. Franco Marcantonio and his graduate students. Tom Hargis, assistant vice president for communications and public relations, and his communications team in the Division of Research oversaw the videography, script and production.

Texas A&M: Discover the World (IODP)

Texas A&M's Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is part of the world's largest, longest-running, and most successful international scientific research drilling program. IODP offers students and faculty-researchers a unique opportunity to participate in meaningful international research that offers hands-on learning and research opportunities.  

Texas A&M: Expand Your Horizons

Texas A&M offers uncommon research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, who receive the opportunity to work with some of the top minds in their fields. The College of Geosciences has one of the largest research programs in The Texas A&M University System. 

Texas A&M: Dig Deep, Expand Your Horizons

Texas A&M offers uncommon research opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students, who receive the opportunity to work with some of the top minds in their fields. The College of Geosciences has one of the largest research programs in The Texas A&M University System. Texas A&M's Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is part of the world's largest, longest-running, and most successful international scientific research drilling program.  

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CALENDAR

Calendar items are also posted on the College of Geosciences Facebook page. 

Oct. 10
4 p.m., O&M: "Paradox revisited: What happens to terrestrial DOM in the the ocean?" Peter J. Hernes, University of California, Davis.

Oct. 11
3:55 p.m., O&M: "A need to deal with 3-D radiative transfer in the atmospheric sciences." Larry DiGirolamo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Oct. 12
9 a.m., O&M 203: "Investigation of the dynamical, macrophysical, and radiative properties of high clouds combining satellite observations and climate model simulations." Yue Li, Texas A&M University, Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

2 p.m., O&M 1209: "Definitions of clear-sky fluxes and implications." Abhishek Verma, Texas A&M University, Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

3:30 p.m., Scoates Foyer: "Biogeochemistry." Bayani Cardenas, University of Texas.

Oct. 17
4 p.m., O&M: "How Moored Ocean Observing Systems (OOS) are influencing our understanding of biological and physical processes in the Arabian Sea." Zhankun Wang, Texas A&M University, Department of Oceanography.

Oct. 18
3:55 p.m., O&M: "Measurements of visible light depolarization by single aerosol and cloud particles: Theory and application." Darrel Baumgardner, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.

Oct. 19
3:30 p.m., Scoates Foyer: "Air quality." Daniel Cohan, Rice University.

The next issue is Oct. 21. Please submit items of general interest to the College to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it no later than Wednesday, Oct 19. 

 
College of GeosciencesAtmospheric ScienceGeographyOceanographyGeology & GeophysicsEnvironmental ProgramsWater Degree Program