Issue 16-23, June 26, 2016
- IN MEMORIAM: GERALD J. WASSERBURG (1930-2016)
- HARTMANN STUDENT TRAVEL GRANTS FOR DPS 48/EPSC 11
- EUROPLANET TRAVEL BURSARY FOR DPS48/EPSC11
- SBAG 15th MEETING REMOTE PARTICIPATION INFORMATION
- UPCOMING MEETINGS
- JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
IN MEMORIAM: GERALD J. WASSERBURG (1927-2016)
Gerald J. Wasserburg was an American geologist. At the time of his death,
he was the John D. MacArthur Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Emeritus,
at the California Institute of Technology. He was best known for his work in the
fields of isotope geochemistry, cosmochemistry, meteoritics, and astrophysics.
After leaving the U.S. Army, where he received the Combat Infantryman Badge,
he attended college on the G.I. Bill. Wasserburg completed his Ph.D. from the
University of Chicago in 1954, with a thesis on the development of krypton-argon
dating. He joined the faculty at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in
1955 as Assistant Professor. He became Associate Professor in 1959 and Professor
of Geology and Geophysics in 1962, and in 1982, became the John D. MacArthur
Professor of Geology and Geophysics, retiring in 2001. Along with Typhoon Lee
and Dimitri Papanastassiou, he discovered the presence of short-lived radioactive
aluminum-26 in the early solar system and short-lived palladium-107.
Wasserburg was deeply involved in the Apollo program with the returned lunar
samples, and was the last living member of the so-called “Four Horsemen,” whose
other members were Bob Walker, Jim Arnold, and Paul Gast. He pioneered the
precise measurement of ultra-small samples under strict clean room conditions with
minimal contamination. He was also the co-inventor of the Lunatic Spectrometer
(the first fully digital, mass spectrometer with computer controlled magnetic field
scanning and rapid switching) and founder of the “Lunatic Asylum” research
laboratory at Caltech, which specialized in high-precision, high-sensitivity isotopic
analyses of meteorites and lunar samples. He and his co-workers were major
contributors to establishing a chronology for the Moon and proposed the hypothesis
of the late heavy bombardment (LHB) of the whole inner solar system.
Wasserburg’s research led to a better understanding of the origins and history of the
solar system and its component bodies and the precursor stellar sources contributing
to the solar system. This research established a timescale for the development of the
early solar system, including the processes of nucleosynthesis and the formation and
evolution of the planets, the Moon, and the meteorites.
Wasserburg was a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science, the American
Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Norwegian
Academy of Science and Letters. He was also the recipient of numerous awards,
including the Arthur L. Day Medal in 1970, the NASA Distinguished Public Service
Medal in 1972 and 1978, the Wollaston Medal in 1985, the Gold Medal of the Royal
Astronomical Society in 1991, the Bowie Medal in 2008, the H. Hess Medal of the
American Geophysical Union in 1985, the Leonard Medal of the Meteoritical Society
in 1975, the J. Lawrence Smith Medal of the National Academy of Science in 1985,
the Holmes Medal of the European Union of Geosciences in 1986, and the V. M.
Goldschmidt Medal of the Geochemical Society in 1978.
HARTMANN STUDENT TRAVEL GRANTS FOR DPS 48/EPSC 11
A generous contribution from William K. Hartmann, supplemented by member
contributions and matching funds from the DPS Committee, has enabled a limited
number of student travel grants to assist participation by early-career scientists at
the annual DPS meeting.
Application details are at meetings/travel_grant_application
Travel grants are primarily intended for students, but post-doctoral scientists
without other means of support will also be considered.
The due date for applications is July 8, 2016 11:59 PM.
The DPS Leadership is also soliciting additional contributions from members
for the Hartmann Fund. Your tax-deductible gift promotes the careers of our next
generation of planetary scientists. Thanks so much for your generosity.
EUROPLANET TRAVEL BURSARY FOR DPS48/EPSC11
Europlanet through its Research Infrastructure and support from ESA will
support a limited number of Travel Bursaries for Early Stage Researchers
(PhD Students) presenting oral or poster papers at the DPS-EPSC meeting.
To apply, please send the following in a single email to Steve Miller :
- A copy of your meeting abstract
- A cover letter
- Your educational institution, with contact detail
- A brief (one page) CV
- The name and email address of your supervisor.
- Details of any funding you have already been allocated to attend the meeting
- Whether you received a previous travel grant from Europlanet for the 2015 meeting (Nantes).
- Please attach a letter of recommendation from your Supervisor
These should be received by Friday July 8, 2016.
Results of applications will be announced by end of July.
SMALL BODIES ASSESSMENT GROUP 15TH MEETING:
REMOTE PARTICIPATION INFORMATION
The 15th meeting of the Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) will be
held Tuesday, June 28, to midday Thursday, June 30, at the Johns
Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD. Remote
participation via Adobe Connect will be available from this link:
The meeting agenda and other items are available on the SBAG website:
We are looking forward to a productive meeting, starting on Tuesday!
A) GSA 2016 SESSION T164: GEOLOGY OF THE PLUTO SYSTEM
We invite contributions to a special session on the geology of Pluto,
its large moon Charon, and the smaller satellites Styx, Nix, Kerberos,
and Hydra, at the 2016 GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, September
The New Horizons mission has revealed surprisingly complex geology
on the surfaces of Pluto and Charon. This session highlights the
geological diversity of both bodies, as well as evidence for vigorous,
ongoing activity on Pluto. By meeting time, most of the encounter data
will be on the ground, providing an ideal opportunity to synthesize
what we have learned of the geology of these remote worlds, and to
compare and contrast processes with those on the Earth, Mars, and icy
satellites. This session also serves as a companion to the special
Pardee Symposium on Exploring the Third Zone: The Geology of Pluto,
Charon, and the Kuiper Belt (P3).
Please consider submitting an abstract for this session. For more
The submission deadline is July 12, 2016.
William B McKinnon (Washington University in St. Louis)
Jeffrey M Moore (NASA Ames Research Center)
We hope to see you in Denver!
JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
A) POST-DOCTORAL POSITION IN SMALL BODY SOLAR
SYSTEM SCIENCE AT QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY, BELFAST
Dr. Wesley Fraser invites applications for a post-doctoral position at
Queen’s University, in Belfast Northern Ireland. This post is available
for 1.5 years from 1 October 2016 to work as part of the Solar System
Group within the Astrophysics Research Centre. Faculty members of the
QUB Solar System Group are current leaders of large telescope surveys,
including an ESO large program on Kuiper Belt Object lightcurves
(PI: Pedro Lacerda), the Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey
using the Gemini-North and Canada-France-Hawaii Telescopes
(PI Wesley Fraser), and the Pan-STARRS Solar System Survey
(Co-lead Alan Fitzsimmons).
The successful candidate will exploit these three datasets to study outer
Solar System targets. Analysis of these data will focus on the following
projects: searches for activity, photometric variability, and colour studies.
Further details of the post can be found here.
To apply for the position, please visit the application page.
Informal enquiries may be directed to Dr. Wesley Fraser
(telephone: +44 02890976354; email: [email protected]).
Anticipated interview date: 27 July 2016
Salary: £31,656 – £41,255 per annum.
Closing date: 11 July 2016
Send submissions to:
Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([email protected])
To change your address email [email protected].