University of Michigan EARTH eNews: May 2017

Dear Alumni and Friends,
We hope our alumni, family and friends are all doing well. May brings to close another wonderful academic year for our department family. Here, we highlight our newest faculty member, our graduating class, field trips, and recognition for teaching innovation. As always, we appreciate your support and ask you to reach out and update us on your current lives.

Sincerely, Adam Simon and Kacey Lohmann

More news, events, and general interest articles can be found on the department web site. You can follow the field trips, research, and Camp Davis on Twitter and Instagram

New EARTH Faculty
We are happy to announce that Jena Johnson will join our faculty in January, 2018, as a tenure-track assistant professor.  Jena is a Geo-biologist who uses the geologic record in ancient rocks in combination with process-based laboratory experiments and investigations of modern analogue environments to answer questions such as:

  • • What were the metabolisms and activities of ancient life in an oxygen-free environment?
  • • How have the products of biology affected the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial chemistry?
  • • How have these biologically-stimulated changes in Earth's environment triggered consequential changes in the biosphere?

Jena is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at CU-Boulder, and earned her PhD from Caltech and BS from Brown University.

Commencement 2017
We celebrated the graduation of 57 seniors who earned their BS, 2 students with a MS degree, and 7 students with a PhD. The department hosted a graduation party where graduates and their families met with folks from across the department. We wish all of our graduates the best as they embark on the next stage of life's journey. We ask that you please keep in touch and let us know where life takes you.

Ohio Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis Field Trip
Associate Professor Naomi Levin led her Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis class to southwestern Ohio to measure section and check out the fossils in outcrops of Silurian carbonates. On the two day trip, the group got glimpses of the nearshore and coastal facies of the Salina Group along the Maumee River near Waterville, OH and then examined lateral variation in near shore and deeper water facies from the lower the Silurian exposures at Yellow Springs and Oakes Quarry Park, east of Dayton.

Maryland Structural Geology Field Trip
Professor Ben van der Pluijm took his 2017 Structural Geology class on a field trip to the Maryland Appalachians. Ben and his 29 students visited classic Appalachian stops on a beautiful April long weekend.  Wonderful stops to see, sketch and discuss structure in "the wild."  We saw lots of folds, cleavage, veins and faults, working from orogenic interior in the east (Blue Ridge) to foreland in the west (Valley and Ridge) along the MD transect of the central Appalachians.

Honors and Awards
Associate Professor Adam Simon and Peter Knoop (LSA IT Information Technology Specialist ) were awarded the Provost's Teaching Innovation Prize, one of five projects to earn the award across the University. In EARTH 380 “Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment,” Simon and Knoop integrated GIS into a semester-long, inquiry-based project that empowers students to understand the technical, social, and financial complexities of transforming the electricity infrastructure of our campus.

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