AAAS: Coles on Climate Change & the Chesapeake Bay

Victoria Coles of the Center for Environmental Science at the University of Maryland will be speaking on “The Impact of Climate Change on the Chesapeake Bay” at 6:00 p.m. on May 17 in the second floor auditorium of the AAAS Headquarters, 1200 New York Avenue NW in Washington DC.

Her talk will be the main event at the annual meeting of the AAAS STEM Volunteer Program, which has been placing STEM professionals in DC metro area schools since 2004. This school year, around two hundred volunteers assisted teachers and more than six thousand students in nine school districts.

The event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP by e-mail to Betty Calinger at

For more information about the STEM Volunteer Program, visit:

Q?Rius panel discussion on religion and evolution in the classroom

Religious Audiences and the Topic of Evolution: Lessons from the Classroom, a panel discussion taking place from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 30 in the Q?Rius Theater on the ground floor of the National Museum of Natural History, 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW in Washington DC.

A description of the event: “Jamie Jensen, Associate Professor of Biology at Brigham Young University, will discuss the intersection of faith and science in the undergraduate classroom. She will give an overview of the current state of major religious groups on the acceptance of evolution and then offer a 30-year longitudinal view of the transition toward higher acceptance amongst members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e., the ‘Mormons’). Jensen will describe a classroom intervention geared toward offering students a ‘road to reconciliation’ between science and religion, and show its dramatic effects on students’ acceptance of evolution amongst highly religious Christian students. How might this lesson learned transfer into other classrooms and broader audiences across the United States?”

Discussants will be Betty W. Holley, Wes McCoy, Lee Meadows, and Briana Pobiner; the panel will be moderated by Connie Bertka.

The event is free and open to the public, with no advance reservation or ticket required. For further information, visit:

Save the Date: Friday, April 28, 2017, 5:30 PM

Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture

Swells, Soundings, and Sustainability…


Here be Monsters

Mapping oceans of data for a sustainable sea

 Dear Colleague,

You are cordially invited to join the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for the Eighteenth Annual Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture. The Revelle Lecture was created by the Ocean Studies Board in honor of Dr. Revelle’s contributions to the ocean sciences and his dedication to making scientific knowledge available to policymakers.  The 2017 speaker is Dr. Dawn Wright, the chief scientist at Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) and professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University.

This year’s lecture, Swells, Soundings, and Sustainability…but “here be monsters:” Mapping oceans of data for a sustainable sea, will take you on a journey of through the history of ocean mapping and identify major research challenges that still exist today. Dr. Wright will address the growing intelligence of ocean mapping systems along with both the over-abundance and the paucity of ocean data, data multidimensionality, the need to increase data resiliency and the ability to make data more accessible to many audiences.

Please note that this year the Revelle Lecture will  be held at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

The lecture is free and open to the public

Friday, April 28, 2017 at 5:30 PM

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

10th St. and Constitution Ave. NW

Washington, DC. 20560

We hope that you join us this year, and we encourage you to share this information with your colleagues.

To view additional information about the lecture and to register for the event, please go to  Registration is not necessary to attend the lecture, but is requested for planning purposes.

Please contact Pam Lewis ( if you have any questions.

USGS: Martinez on energy resource impacts

Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Seminar

Cericia Martinez, USGS – Denver, CO

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 – 12 Noon

Via WebEx and National Center, Room 3A409

Quantifying potential future impacts of energy resource development

Development of continuous energy resources (often referred to as “unconventional”) is anticipated to continue expanding in the future. In an effort to anticipate and inform natural resource management questions and conservation strategies in areas where oil and gas extraction may occur, a Powell Center Working Group proposed a modeling framework for assessing potential development impacts.  In this Mendenhall presentation, an implementation of the framework will be presented that seeks to quantify the potential impacts of developing continuous oil or gas resources based on information within the USGS petroleum assessments. An illustration of the modeling approach will be shown building from a recent assessment of oil and gas resources in the Mancos Shale in the Piceance Basin of Western Colorado. The illustration will include examples of modeling potential habitat conversion and soil loss.

WebEx Info

Topic: Mendenhall Seminar – Cericia Martinez
Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Time: 12:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Meeting number: 714 237 248
Meeting password: (This meeting does not require a password.)

Please click the link below to see more information, or to join the meeting.

Although no login account is required to use Webex to attend
a meeting, you will need to supply your name, email address,
and a meeting password (if provided) to join the meeting.

When it is time to attend the meeting, please visit this link:

Teleconference: National Center in Reston, VA Dial In: x4848
DOI Dial In Number: 703-648-4848
Non-DOI Toll Free Dial In Number: 1-855-547-8255*
Security Code: 91930 followed by the # sign

*Please* check and prepare your computer a day or two
in advance of the meeting as follows:
1. Start your web browser
2. Visit
3. Select Setup / Meeting manager (left side of page)

For Help with WebEx
– WebEx setup help: 1-866-229-3239
– Info:, click USGS Help (at left)
– USGS account questions:

UMD Geology: Zhang on Fe-Ni-S-C Liquid in the Earth’s Mantle

2017 University of Maryland Geology Colloquium Series

Friday, April 7th 2017 at 3:00 pm
in PLS 1140 (College Park campus)

Johnny Zhang
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Fe-Ni-S-C Liquid in the Earth’s Mantle

Fe-Ni-S-C phases are accessory phases in the Earth’s mantle, but carry important geochemical and geophysical implications due to the contrasting physical and chemical properties between metallic and silicate phases. In the shallow mantle (<200 km), the metallic phase occurs as monosulfide solid solution (mss) or melt with near-monosulfide stoichiometries. To constrain the sulfide melt stability field and its Fe-Ni exchange with mantle silicate minerals, we performed experiments at comparable conditions (P, T, fO2) to Earth’s shallow mantle. In the deeper part of the upper mantle (200-410 km), the mantle become reduced, corresponding to an increase of metal activities in sulfide melt. To contain the composition of Fe-Ni-S melt and its storage of deep carbon, we performed experiments and thermodynamic calculations to show the evolution of Fe-Ni-S-C compositions and mantle silicates at deep upper mantle conditions. Based on the experim! ental and modeling exercise, further discussion will be made on the recent Fe-Ni-S-C liquid from deep diamonds (Smith et al. 2016). In the deepest part of Earth’ mantle (<2900 km), we propose that small quantities of Fe-Ni-S-C liquid is the cause for the two large low shear velocity provinces (LLSVPs). These Fe-Ni-S-C liquid is likely trapped during the crystallization of a dense basal magma ocean and therefore a potential carrier of primordial geochemical signature.

UMD: Viete on metamorphism as earthquake record

2017 Geology Colloquium Series

Friday, March 31st 2017 at 3:00 pm
in PLS 1140, University of Maryland, College Park

Daniel Viete
Johns Hopkins University

Metamorphism can record individual earthquake events in the subduction setting: evidence from the Franciscan Complex, California

Rhythmic major-element zoning has been documented in garnets from high pressure/low temperature (HP/LT) lenses within a number of worldwide subduction mélanges (e.g. California, Chinese Tianshan, Cuba, Greek Cyclades, Guatemala, Japan, Venezuela). These features reflect some fundamental process(es) in the subduction setting. In this talk, conditions of rhythmic zoning acquirement in HP/LT garnets of the Franciscan Complex, California are investigated by use of thermodynamic modeling of phase equilibria, and Raman and synchrotron Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopy.

Hornblende, omphacite and zoisite in the Franciscan rocks are also complexly zoned in major elements. Modeling of phase equilibria shows that modal contours for garnet, amphibole and zoisite are gently dipping in the P–T region that corresponds to the peak-metamorphic mineral assemblage. Metamorphic assemblage diagrams suggest that hydration/dehy! dration reactions involving garnet <—> zoisite (which also involve amphibole exchange or omphacite for glaucophane) are incredibly sensitive to changes in P (e.g. 5–10 vol.% absolute gain/loss of garnet for ΔP = 250 MPa). Major-element zoning in the Franciscan minerals may record repeated growth–partial dissolution cycles in response to P fluctuations in the subduction setting.

Quartz-in-garnet Raman barometry reveals varying P—on the order of 100–350 MPa, over radial distances of 10s of µm—in association with the major-element zoning in the Franciscan garnets. Results from synchrotron FTIR microspectroscopy demonstrate association between zone overgrowths and OH in garnet (a proxy for crystallization pressure in pyrope garnet). The microspectroscopy results confirm changes in P attended development of the rhythmic garnet zoning.

Steep compositional gradients defining the rhythmic major-element zo! ning limit time scales at peak T (and garnet growth–dissolution) conditions to < 1 Myr, requiring that individual growth–partial dissolution cycles were extremely brief. Overpressure on the order of 100s of MPa can develop by tectonic loading of the crust and is relieved with earthquake rupture. Seismic cycles represent ephemeral phenomena capable of accounting for development of rhythmic major-element zoning in HP/LT garnet, during subduction, as a result of fluctuations in P (and garnet stability). Metamorphic rocks may carry detailed records of the catastrophism that punctuates longer-term tectonometamorphic processes.

Technical Forum for Geohazards Impacting Transportation in Appalachia

Colleagues, Researchers, and Friends,

The 17th  Technical Forum for Geohazards Impacting Transportation in Appalachia is coming up, and we’d like you to consider sending in an abstract!  The deadline is June 12th, 2017.

Information on the conference can be found at .

The Forum will be held in Blacksburg, Virginia, from August 15th to 17th, 2017, at Virginia Tech, hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation.  Many of you know about the Forum, but if you don’t:  It’s a two-and-one-half day meeting focusing broadly on the intersection of geohazards and transportation, particularly in the Appalachian states.  It’s a great opportunity to present your recent geotechnical or geohazards research or new work, and for keeping connected with the industrial,  academic, and  public-sector geotechnical industries.

We also expect to have an excellent field trip this year, on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017.  The field trip will include a visit to the Virginia  Tech Transportation Institute Smart Road, which is a world-class facility for testing innovative transportation technology in a controlled environment.  The field trip will also include a demonstration of unmanned aerial vehicles for collecting geotechnical data, analysis of that data, and an update on the current Federal regulations on the use of such vehicles.

Over the years, the focus of the Forum has broadened to include themes of forensic geology, planning, emergency response, remote sensing, karst, seismics, and hydraulics, as well as many other related topics.  If it falls, floods, or fails, it’s something of interest to the Forum – the geographic focus does not need to be Appalachian.  This year’s technical sessions include:

  • UAV and Remote Sensing
  • Mine Hazards
  • Landslide Hazard Assessment and Characterization
  • Rock Reinforcement
  • Risk and Reliability
  • Rockfalls
  • Climate Change, Extreme Events Resiliency
  • GIS, Mapping, and Planning
  • Karst

The Forum has always been a high-value (and very economically reasonable) technical conference, filled with a roster of speakers presenting novel and innovative research, new industry standards and methods, insights into management and best practices, and lessons learned.  I anticipate that this year will be no different.

Please share this Call!  If this email has reached you in error, or you don’t want any further communications regarding the Forum, just notify me and I’ll remove you from the distribution list.

Thank you very much,

Brian Bruckno