Latest News

(News - Oct 18/16)
Professor Kelly Russell elected Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America

This honor is bestowed every year upon only ~ 10 scientists worldwide who have contributed significantly to the advancement of mineralogy, crystallography, geochemistry and petrology. Kelly was awarded for “admirably holding the banner of petrological approach to the understanding of the Earth”, for being “a constant force on the Canadian, American and European scene where his name and contributions are recognized by the vast majority of practicing petrologists”, and for “his unique combination of enthusiasm, rigor and selflessness” in science.

(News - Sep 29/16)
Professor Philippe Tortell elected member of Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists

Congratulations to Philippe Tortell on his election to the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. The college is Canada’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership. The Members of the College are Canadians and Permanent Residents who have demonstrated a high level of achievement early in their career.

Philippe is a sea-going oceanographer studying the biological, chemical and physical factors that regulate oceanic primary productivity and the concentration of climate-active gases. He and his group have developed innovative methods to characterize dissolved gases in the oceans in real time at high resolution. Philippe was appointed Director of the Peter Wall Institute this year.

(News - Sep 8/16)
Asteroid sampling mission OSIRIX-REx to launch

This Thursday, September 8th, NASA will launch OSIRIS-REx (Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer), a spacecraft that will return a sample of the asteroid Bennu to Earth.

The carbonaceous asteroid is leftover material from our protoplanetary disk, the cloud of gas and dust leftover from the Sun's formation that collapsed to form our solar system. The asteroid's material remains relatively untouched since that event 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists intend to use samples of the asteroid to better understand the origins of our solar system and the chemical precursors to life on Earth.

The Canadian Space Agency's contribution to the mission is the OSIRIS-Rex Laser Altimeter (OLA), an instrument designed to map the shape of Bennu. EOAS professor Catherine Johnson serves as Deputy Instrument Scientist for OLA, assisted by EOAS Research Scientists Lydia Philpott and Manar Al Asad.

"OLA will map the asteroid shape in unprecedented detail, down to a resolution of a few centimeters. This is a first for asteroid studies and will provide insights into the interior structure and origin of the asteroid, as well as help OSIRIS-REx successfully return a sample from the surface", says Johnson.

Catherine will collaborate with an international science team on OLA, including lead instrument scientist Dr. Michael Daly (York University), Dr. Alan Hildebrand (University of Calgary), and teams lead by Dr. Olivier Barnouin (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory) and Dr. Beau Bierhaus (Lockheed Martin Space Systems). Additional support will be provided by the instrument's manufacturer MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. and by Optech.

(News - Sep 8/16)
Professor Dominique Weis elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

Congratulations to Professor Dominique Weis on her election as Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada! Dominique's election to the RSC's Academy of Science honours her research on the chemistry and isotopic signature of Earth's mantle that has shaped our understanding of the world's large igneous provinces, mantle plumes, and volcanic arcs. Her work has revealed connections between terrestrial magmatism and mantle processes across many depths and scales. Dominique's often interdisciplinary work has also pioneered the use of isotopes to trace the origin and fate of metals in the environment.

Dominique and 88 other Fellows will be inducted on Friday, November 18, 2016 at the Isabel Bader Centre in Kingston, Ontario.

(Awards - Jun 8/16)
Susan Allen wins the CMOS President's Prize

Susan Allen has been awarded the 2015 President's Prize by the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for her meritorious work on the dynamics of advection-driven upwelling over submarine canyons. Her research provides long-needed, useful estimates of the flux of water across the shelf-break at canyons. Congratulations Susan

(Awards - Jun 8/16)
Roger Francois awarded the Timothy R. Parsons Medal

Roger Francois has been awarded the Timothy R. Parsons Medal established by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to recognize achievement in ocean sciences. Roger accepted the award at the June, 2016 congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society in Frederickton, NB.

(News - May 19/16)
Philippe Tortell Appointed Director of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies

Congratulations to Dr. Philippe Tortell on his appointment as Director of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies! The Institute, founded at UBC 25 years ago, is committed to excellence in research by supporting collaborative, creative and interdisciplinary initiatives. Prior to this appointment, Philippe was an Early Career Scholar in 2004 and a Wall Scholar in 2014 - 2016 at the Institute. Philippe has been a faculty member of EOAS and Botany since 2002, studying biological and chemical oceanography as it relates to climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic.

(News - May 16/16)
EOAS professor Mark Johnson featured on CBC BC

EOAS professor Mark Johnson featured on CBC BC With Stage 1 water restrictions placed on Metro Vancouver this weekend, Inder Singh, the director of policy and planning for Metro Vancouver water resources, has been treated to a "wake up call." To meet the future of Vancouver's drinking water needs, EOAS professor Mark Johnson called for consideration of the Fraser River as a potential source. While tapping into the river's water supply would require significant infrastructural development, it could effective double Metro Vancouver's drinking water supply. Low extraction volumes would minimize impact, Mark notes. You can find the full story at CBC News, British Columbia.

(Awards - May 11/16)
Ron Clowes wins a visiting fellowship

Emeritus Professor Ron Clowes has been awarded a William Evans Visiting Fellowship at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand for a period of 3-4 weeks between September and November 2016. At the University of Otago, he will present a series of general seminars and a mini-course based on LITHOPROBE and related projects as well as collaborating with the Alpine Fault research group.

(News - Apr 15/16)
Carl Wieman Education Initiatives Featured on NPR

Dr. Carl Wieman and his initiatives at UBC to transform university undergraduate education were featured on National Public Radio News as part of their 50 Great Teachers Series. EOAS Professor of Teaching Dr. Sara Harris was interviewed as part of the story, where she cited specialized science educators as key to transforming faculty teaching practices. You can find the full story and radio segment at NPR. More information on CWSEI and its EOAS members can be found at CWSEI UBC and CWSEI EOAS.

(Award - Mar 30/16)
Stephen Bartlett--this year's Logan prize winner

Stephen Bartlett has been awarded this year's GAC-PDAC Logan Student Prize. The prize is awarded annually to one undergraduate student, in his/her graduation year, at each Earth Science department in Canada. The prize recognizes an excellent academic record as well as leadership skills and proficiency in field techniques.

(Award - Mar 22/16)
Jim Mortensen wins the CIM Sproule Award

The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum has announced that Jim Mortensen is to be given the Sproule Award in recognition of a career in research, exploration and the mentorship of students in Canada's north. The award will be presented at the CIM Convention being held in Vancouver in early May. Congratulations from all of us Jim!

(News - Mar 22/16)
MDRU Members Finalists in Integra Gold Rush Challenge

Congratulations to Fabien Rabayrol, Sara Jenkins, and Craig Hart for their success at the Integra Gold Rush Challenge! PhD Candidate Fabien Rabayrol and his team Data Miners (six students from Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique and UBC) placed second in the competition, while Craig Hart (Director, MDRU), Sara Jenkins (GIS Specialist, MDRU) and their team GoldRX placed fifth. Team RX also earned the Audience Appreciation Award. Integra Gold Corp set up the crowdsourcing challenge to use their more than 6 TB of mining data from Val-d’Or Quebec to prioritize future exploration in the region. The winners were selected from over 100 team and individuals submissions (1,342 participants in total) and were announced at the formal gala associated with the challenge at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in early March. More information on the event can be found at MarketWired website .

(Award - Mar 16/16)
Early Career Ocean Scientist Award goes to Stephanie Waterman

The Canadian National Committee for the international Scientific Committee on Ocean Research (SCOR) has announced that Stephanie Waterman is to receive an early career award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to marine sciences.
Congratulations Stephanie!

Also see past front page entries from   2016,   2015,   2014,   2013

Colloquia & Seminars

Oct27 4:00 PM

Kurt Konhauser Tracing the evolution of oxygen on the Archean Earth

Thesis Defenses

Weather Briefings

Oct21 12:15 PM

Tim Chui Weather Briefing - All are Welcome

Oct28 12:15 PM

Matt Fung Weather Briefing - All are Welcome

Welcome Prospective Students

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The Department administers majors, honours and applied science programs that attract over 300 undergraduate and 220 graduate students. Our programs offer challenges to students at all levels. To learn more see;