News and Updates

08/31/2011

Philip R. Christensen, the principal investigator for numerous instruments of Mars exploration carried on NASA spacecraft, will receive the 2011 Eugene Shoemaker Memorial Award Oct. 13 at Arizona State University.

The award, established five years ago by ASU's BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, is given annually to a leading scientist in honor of his or her life and work. It is named for Shoemaker, who is known for pioneering research with his wife, Carolyn, in the field of asteroid and comet impacts.

As part of the honor of receiving the award, Christensen will deliver the annual Shoemaker Memorial Lecture co-sponsored by the ASU Center for Meteorite Studies, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Christensen’s talk, titled "Unlocking the Mysteries of the Red Planet,” will be presented at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 13, in Neeb Hall on ASU's Tempe campus.

"Phil Christensen is the perfect example of the visionary scientist, who dreamed of exploring the cosmos in his early childhood," says Paul Davies, a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and founding director of the BEYOND Center. "And he's no armchair dreamer. Christensen designs and builds innovative instruments and sends them into space. He has contributed ideas and hardware to nearly every NASA Mars mission since the early 1970s, and is one of the world's pre-eminent experts on the Red Planet."

Christensen is a Regents' Professor of Geological Sciences in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE), an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He knew Shoemaker for many years.

"Gene Shoemaker was a giant in the field of planetary science, going back even before the Apollo Moon program of the 1960s," says Christensen. "He also had a great influence on me, though not directly, as he did little work specifically involving Mars. Instead, he was a strong mentor for Sue Kieffer, a Caltech grad student of his, and she in turn became a mentor for me."

As a graduate student in the late 1970s, Christensen worked on NASA's Viking project, which sent two orbiters and two non-roving landers to Mars. He earned a doctorate in geophysics and space physics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and joined the ASU faculty in 1981.

Most of his research has involved the design and development of spaceborne infrared remote-sensing instruments. Christensen is the principal investigator for the Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) instrument, and the Thermal Emission System (TES) instrument on Mars Global Surveyor. He is a co-investigator on the Mars Exploration Rover missions (Spirit and Opportunity), responsible for building and operating the Mini-TES mineral scouting instruments.

Since the mid-1990s he has also pursued using spacecraft observations to study environmental and urban development problems on Earth.

Christensen was awarded NASA's Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 2003 for his pioneering scientific observations of Mars in the infrared and won NASA's Public Service Medal in 2005. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2004 and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2009.

"Phil Christensen's research is helping to unlock the mysteries of other worlds in our solar system by means that are highly complementary to laboratory studies of meteorites," says Meenakshi Wadhwa, professor of geology in SESE and director of ASU’s Center for Meteorite Studies.

"Moreover," she says, "Phil's instrument on the Mars Exploration Rovers — Mini-TES — helped discover the first meteorites ever found on another world. So it's highly appropriate that we're honoring him with the Shoemaker Memorial Award this year when we're also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ASU Center for Meteorite Studies."

The center is home to the world's largest university-based meteorite collection.

The Eugene Shoemaker Memorial Lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. More at 480-965-3240 or http://beyond.asu.edu. Online maps of ASU’s Tempe campus and parking structures at www.asu.edu/map.

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Center for Meteorite Studies will hold a symposium Oct. 21, on the topic of "Meteoritics and Cosmochemistry: Past, Present and Future." On the program for the symposium, Christensen will give a talk on how remote sensing and laboratory analyses complement each other in planetary studies.

Christensen is the fifth recipient of the ASU Eugene Shoemaker Memorial Award. Previous recipients are Steve Squyres, H. Jay Melosh, Walter Alvarez, and Harrison Hagan Schmitt.

The BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science is a pioneering international research center established in 2006 at ASU. This "cosmic think tank" is specifically dedicated to confronting the big questions raised by advances in fundamental science, and facilitating new research initiatives that transcend traditional subject categories.
 

Caption: Philip R. Christensen is a Regents' Professor of Geological Sciences in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also is director of the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Photo by Tom Story/Arizona State University

 

(Carol Hughes, Robert Burnham)

08/31/2011

It is summer but this group of students in Field Geology 2 in the rugged Mogollon Rim country were not on vacation

It’s 6:00 a.m. on a June morning and the sun is just starting to filter through the pines in Ponderosa Campground in the Tonto National Forest. In one loop of the campground, 15 undergraduate ASU geology students are already awake, eating breakfast and getting ready for a long day of hiking. It might be summer, but for these students, it’s no vacation. They are in Field Geology II (GLG452), a required course that teaches students field skills in the rugged Mogollon Rim country near Payson, AZ. Each summer, 15-30 geology majors, mostly juniors and seniors, spend three weeks here, camping and learning how to be field geologists.

“We get up at 5:30, the students are up by 6:00, breakfast from 6-6:30, and we’re off to the field by 6:45.” Tom Sharp, SESE professor of geology, is describing a typical day for the students in Field Geology II. He continues, “We come back from the field by 3:30, usually relax a little bit and have a snack, and then [the students] start working. We serve dinner at 6:00, have a meeting at 7:00, and then they work until 10:00 or 11:00.”

Field 2, as the class is known to faculty and students, has been part of the geology curriculum at ASU for 10 years. It is a three-week version of the previous field camp ASU ran for 30 years. Sharp has taught the class since 1998, and took over the position of main faculty in 2001. “We do a lot in three weeks,” he says. “We spend the first four days introducing the rocks in the area, and then we set [the students] free. Students hike in pairs, they carry radios, and they work independently.” Sharp divides the study area up like a checkerboard. Each square on that imaginary board is a sector for students to map. At the end of Field 2, each student turns in geologic maps, cross-sections, and written reports for four adjacent sectors.

“The sectors are large enough that you can spend all day in a sector with half the class,” remarks Sharp, “And not see anyone.”

Field 2 is an immersion experience in geologic fieldwork that many undergraduate students don’t get in a geology degree at other colleges and universities. It isn’t the first time SESE geology majors do fieldwork: Field 1 (GLG451), a spring semester class that includes three weekend field trips and a spring break trip known as mini camp, is a pre-requisite for Field 2, and SESE offers a variety of other field-based classes. Hands-on field training is integral to SESE’s geology curriculum, with many of the core classes including fieldtrips and field-based lab activities. “Geology is fundamentally a field-based science,” says Professor Steve Semken, who also serves as faculty for Field 2. “Field-geology education is an indispensable aspect of the preparation of a fully functional professional or academic geologist.”

Brett Carr, a Ph.D. student and teaching assistant for Field 2 this summer, agrees. “Doing geology in the field is what makes geology relevant to the rest of our lives. Being able to identify limestone is good, but being able to put it in the context of where it was found tells you so much about how the rock formed, how it got to the surface, and its influence on the local and regional topography and geologic hazards.”

For Field 2 students, “Proficient mapping skills are a valuable take away,” says Scott Robinson, another Ph.D. student and teaching assistant. More importantly, students learn “an appreciation for the process of designing and carrying out independent field work aimed at answering focused questions. […] Their experience is relevant to any number of field disciplines.”

Geologists can carry a literally staggering array of tools into the field: topographical maps on which to locate themselves and mark geologic contacts and structures; map cases and clip boards; field journals; small radios or GPS units; magnifying lenses for mineral identification; geologic hammers (a normal hammer on one side of the head, a wickedly sharp pick on the other); pocket transit compasses, generally known as “Bruntons” after the preeminent manufacturer, with which to map geologic structures. Budding geologists learn to use these tools in classes like Field 1 and 2; learning how to carry them all while leaving one’s hands free for scrambling in steep terrain is generally an individual and life-long endeavor.

“Students start [reading topo maps and using Bruntons] in structural geology, and we continue that in Field 1,” says Sharp. “Field 1 is where you really learn how to locate yourself and take […] measurements.” In Field 1, students work in a desert environment, where locating themselves on a topographical map is a fairly easy task. “When we get up into […] the Rim Country,” Sharp continues, “everything is very forested, and you have to be able to figure out where you are, where you’re going, with trees. So it’s a bit more difficult.”

Field skills are only part of what students learn at Field 2. For Leah Pettis, a senior geology major, the most valuable lesson at Field 2 was time management. “Never before have I had a class where a paper was assigned and then due 2-3 days later, along with a drafted map, cross section, figures, and field notes,” she says.

Sharp agrees that time management is one of the most important lessons learned at Field 2, but he thinks students gain something even more important from the experience: confidence in their own abilities. “One of my favorite things is when you get a student up there who may not be the strongest [in the classroom], but they really catch on and get excited about it and do very well,” he says. “I really try to boost the confidence of the students, because with a little push, people who may be struggling can do very well. My goal is that all the students will come back more confident as field geologists.”

Michelle Aigner, a junior geology major, agrees. Field 2 allows students to combine everything they’ve learned in classes and apply it in the field, she says. “By the end [of the class],” Aigner continues, “the experience gave me confidence and an understanding of geology.”

“Geologists like to say that the best geologists are those who have seen the most rocks,” says Semken, “And Field 2 students see and interpret plenty of rocks!” They also gain an in-depth understanding of the local and regional geology, learn time management, hone their observation and critical thinking skills, and spend nine hours every day hiking through difficult, exceptionally beautiful terrain.

The Payson area, where the course is based, is undoubtedly one of the most scenic parts of the state. “We’re just below the Mogollon Rim, so we’re between ~5500-6500 ft [of elevation], and it’s in Ponderosa forest and juniper-piñon forest. It’s beautiful country,” says Sharp. “It’s very rugged, and some of the sectors involve very difficult hiking.”

“But it’s so beautiful you just can’t believe it.”
 

(Alice Letcher)

08/23/2011

Most of you in SESE know that ASU/SESE is the EarthScope National Office. For those of you who don't know what EarthScope does, or want to know more, come and find out by connecting with EarthScope online. EarthScope is now live on Facebook and Twitter (@EarthScopeInfo). Friend or follow EarthScope today!

 

Photo: The EarthScope National Office @ ASU staff. Counterclockwise from bottom left: Director Ramon Arrowsmith, E&O Coordinator Wendy Taylor, Ed Garnero, Deputy Director Steve Semken, and Matt Fouch.

07/28/2011

NASA's choice of a landing site in Gale Crater is "a geomorphologist's dream," says Phililp Christensen, Regents' professor of geological science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on the Tempe campus. Quoted in a report published in the scientific journal Nature (June 27, 2011), Christensen adds that the Gale site has lots of mineralogical interest to keep the rover and its science team busy.

The choice of a landing site for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, named Curiosity, was announced June 22 by the space agency. The search for a site has engaged NASA and the Mars science community through five workshops held over five years.

At one point, the candidate list held 60 potential landing sites. These were steadily winnowed to four (Eberswalde delta, Gale Crater, Holden Crater, and Mawrth Vallis), then to two (Eberswalde and Gale).

Gale features a 16,000-foot-high stack of sedments, with its lowest layers showing signs of alteration by water. Curiosity's mission is to hunt for rocks and sediments that could have once been habitable for any potential Martian organisms.

While the science team does not expect Curiosity to drive it all the way to the top of the mountain, the summit makes a tempting target should the rover exceed its designed two-year mission.

Says Christensen, "If you started at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, you wouldn't stop a third of the way up."

 

(Robert Burnham)

07/21/2011

In May, Arizona State University was selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as the new host university for the EarthScope National Office. The EarthScope program centers on exploration and discovery of the 4-D structure and evolution of the North American continent, but also encompasses studies of Earth structure and dynamics throughout the planet. It is the largest science project on the planet, recording data over 3.8 million square miles.

Earlier this month, Popular Science published the story “Big Science: The Universe's Ten Most Epic Projects” that highlights the ten most awe-inspiring science projects. Ranging from the world's largest undersea observatory to the "ultimate microscope" to a Jupiter orbiter on a suicide mission, all those that made the list are massive – and important to improving our view of the complex world around us, and the vast universe beyond. EarthScope made the list. Actually, it did better than just making the list. It was selected as the number one most epic science project.

For their rankings, Popular Science took into account four objective factors: the construction costs, operating budget, the size of the staff and the physical size of the project itself. Three subjective factors were also added in: the project’s scientific utility, its utility to the average person (“what will it do for me”) and the “wow” factor. Click here to view the gallery of the ten craziest, most ambitious, and most amazing big science projects around.

All the projects cited are epic, and for the EarthScope team, it is an honor to be included in that list.

Landing a spot on Popular Science's Big Science list served as reminder to look back and recognize the School of Earth and Space Exploration participation in several other monumental projects. Over the next few days, you can send in your suggestions for projects that should be considered for SESE’s “Top 10 Epic Projects” list. Please send your suggestions to Nikki Cassis either via email or on Facebook. Check back early next week to view SESE’s “big science” list.
 

07/12/2011

Amanda Clarke, a volcanology professor at ASU, recently received the 2011 Wager Medal from the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) July 4 in Melbourne, Australia.

The award honors the memory Professor Lawrence Rickard Wager of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, who was born in 1904 and died in 1965. Professor Wager is best known for the discovery of the Skaergaard layered intrusion and the first detailed structural, mineralogical and petrological study of such intrusions. The medal is given every two years to one scientist under the age of 43 who has made outstanding contributions to the study of volcanology, particularly in the eight-year period prior to the award.

Clarke’s career didn’t begin with volcanoes, but instead with airplanes. After earning degrees in both aerospace engineering and philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, she worked as an intern at The Boeing Company. During that internship she learned about the hazards of volcanic ash to turbofan engines, from the manufacturing and pilot-training points of view.

“Without that fascinating series of Boeing in-house lectures (prompted by the Redoubt-KLM incident), I may never have become a volcanologist,” recalls Clarke, a faculty member in the School of Earth and Space Exploration in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “My changing interests from engineering to natural science ultimately led to the transformative opportunity to study the social aspects of volcanic hazards in the Philippines, under the auspices of The Fulbright Program.”

During her year in the Philippines, Clarke had the opportunity to observe and appreciate first-hand the impact of volcanic processes on the densely-populated emerging nations of Southeast Asia. Following this, she started graduate school at Penn State University, studying under Barry Voight. In her Ph.D. investigations she was the first to tackle the complex physics of highly unsteady explosive volcanic eruptions. This groundbreaking work was published in Nature, and has strongly influenced the current understanding of vulcanian eruptions.

As a student under Voight, she had the opportunity to work on the eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat.

“The time I spent on Montserrat allowed me to observe active volcanic processes, study deposits and dome morphology, and appreciate the value of real-time monitoring, especially deformation studies, in understanding detailed volcanic processes and predicting when activity might suddenly become dangerous,” said Clarke.

The data produced by the collective efforts on Montserrat led her to an ongoing collaboration with a couple of pioneers in modeling explosive volcanic processes, a collaboration that ultimately resulted in several studies comparing complex models of physical volcanic processes to a well-constrained natural system. It was this integrated approach of comparing model results to field observations that led her to the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Bristol, where she learned another approach to understanding volcanoes – studying the natural system via simplified, yet highly-constrained analogue experiments.

These combined experiences allowed her to set up her own laboratories and research group at Arizona State University.

“Arizona State has allowed me the freedom and given me the resources to continue this work in my own way,” says Clarke. “I feel ridiculously lucky to work in such an exciting field. It’s really hard to believe we get to study complex natural systems which continually present us with interesting pure science questions as well as real-world, socially-relevant problems.”

According to Barry Voight of Penn State University, who prepared the citation for the award and was one of the nominating members, “The Wager Medal has had a noteworthy track record of identifying the foremost talents in volcanology at a comparatively early stage in their careers. Amanda Clarke, an extraordinary young scientist of enormous breadth and ability, and a person of high character besides, is extremely deserving of this award” adding, “We can expect great things from her in the future.”

 

(Nikki Cassis)
 

06/29/2011

Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration has teamed up with the Indonesian-based Bakrie Group to develop an international initiative called the Bakrie Initiative in Geological Hazards to support and promote research in Indonesia on the core geologic topics of volcanoes, earthquakes and hydrothermal systems.

The goal of the initiative is to advance research, teaching and outreach aimed at helping mitigate the potentially disastrous effects of Indonesia’s geologically dangerous landscape, while deepening the global scientific community’s understanding of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and hydrothermal systems. This joint philanthropic partnership will provide leadership and serve as a focal point for Indonesian earth science research. One of the broader aims of the Bakrie Initiative is to cultivate strong partnerships with Indonesian universities, institutions and communities, as well as with international organizations conducting related research.

Indonesia is no stranger to the devastating effects of tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. As more and more people live, work, play and travel in volcanically and tectonically active regions, the risks to life, property, infrastructure and global commerce are constantly escalating.

“Indonesia, as a densely-populated emerging nation with a high-concentration of geologic hazards, is an ideal location for testing scientific theories and protocols aimed at ensuring the successful co-evolution of modern societies with an active and sometimes dangerous natural world,” says Amanda Clarke, volcanology professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Our school’s unique approach to discovery and knowledge melds the creative strengths of both science and engineering, which uniquely positions us to advance understanding of geologic hazards and the environment from a multidisciplinary perspective.”

SESE’s educational and research programs are designed explicitly to emphasize the importance of technology in scientific exploration. This multidisciplinary approach is particularly important in the struggle to reduce global risk from geologic hazards in an increasingly densely populated world and positions SESE perfectly to advance and deepen understanding of geologic hazards and the environment from both a scientific and engineering perspective.

Special emphasis will be placed on hazards and the interaction between a dynamic Earth and modern cities. Although largely conducted in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, this research will increase fundamental understanding of geologic systems that ultimately may be important to many nations around the globe.

“As a university designed for the express purpose of solving problems of global significance, ASU is well-equipped to carry out projects like this,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Substantial investments from private sector partners like the Bakrie group are instrumental to making socially beneficial research initiatives possible. We are optimistic that the work facilitated by the Bakrie Group’s generosity will have far-reaching, positive impacts on the quality of life on people around the world.”

Christopher Fong, senior vice president of international affairs at The Bakrie Group, commented: “The ASU Bakrie Initiative is part of our commitment to engendering a deeper understanding of Indonesia’s unique, and highly volatile, geology,” he said. “This critical research will drive the development of technologies to assist scientists more accurately monitor and predict geological hazards in the future.

“The partnership with Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, one of the world’s leading geological research institutes, will provide significant opportunities to promising Indonesian scientists, and cultivate stronger ties with Indonesian universities. We congratulate Gadjah Mada University’s Gayatri Marliyani, recipient of the first Bakrie PhD fellowship.”

Marliyani, the first Bakrie Fellow, comes from one of Indonesia’s most impoverished regions, Gunungkidul. As a child, she was fascinated with the topography of her region’s mountainous areas, especially the majestic Merapi Volcano. But it was the Yogyakarta earthquake of 2006, which she personally experienced that caused her to want to study and understand earthquakes and active faults.

The Bakrie Initiative will be launched by three initial projects for which the ASU teams have already conducted preliminary research and planning. The results of these projects should significantly improve understanding and provide quantification of regional shallow earthquake hazards and improve the scientific community’s understanding of the relationship between tectonic seismic activity, volcanic eruptions, and hydrothermal systems, which could have positive impact on hazards mitigation efforts.

“I am pleased and excited to be selected as the recipient of the Bakrie fellowship through the Bakrie Initiative in Geological Hazard at ASU,” says Marliyani. “By conducting this type of research in Indonesia, I believe it will create great and long-lasting benefits for people living not only in Indonesia, but in geologically dangerous settings all over the world.”

Photo: Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration has teamed up with the Indonesian-based Bakrie Group to develop an international initiative called the Bakrie Initiative in Geological Hazards to support and promote research in Indonesia on the core geologic topics of volcanoes, earthquakes and hydrothermal systems. As the company’s representative, Chris Fong was onsite to see first-hand the campus’ state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and to meet with and congratulate the Initiative’s first Ph.D. Fellow, Gayatri Marliyani. Credit: Tom Story / ASU

 

View more photos for the Bakrie Initiative in our SESE Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sese-asu/sets/72157627077998652/

(Nikki Cassis)
 

06/29/2011

Arizona State University researchers have released a stunning image of the Moon’s prominent impact crater Tycho, taken with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) on 10 June 2011. This dramatic sunrise view of Tycho crater captured by Professor Mark Robinson’s LROC team with the narrow angle camera could be considered one of the most beautiful images of the Moon taken to date.

“We planned the image because it would dramatically show the geologic relations from a more human perspective. Drama we got!” says Robinson, a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU. “When I first saw the reconstructed image all I could think was what it would be like to be on the first mission to Tycho. Imagine coming in for a landing within this geologic wonderland! When can we go?”

Named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, the relatively young Tycho is the most conspicuous crater visible when the Moon is full. It is a very popular target with amateur astronomers because it is surrounded by a distinctive dark halo and radiating bright rays. Located in the southern lunar highlands at 43.37°S, 348.68°E, the approximately 82-kilometer (51 miles) wide Tycho crater fits the mold of a typical large complex impact crater with its flat floor, terraced inner-rim walls and prominent central peak. The summit of the central peak is 2 km (6562 ft) above the crater floor, and the crater floor is about 4700 m (15,420 ft) below the rim. Many "clasts" ranging in size from 10 meters to 100s of meters are exposed in the central peak slopes.

Tycho's features are so steep and sharp because the crater is young by lunar standards, only about 110 million years. Over time micrometeorites, and not so micro meteorites, will grind and erode these steep slopes into smooth mountains.

Another NAC image pair (below) acquired on 27 May 2010 gives an excellent straight down view of the summit, including the large boulder seen in the oblique view. Fractured impact melt deposits surround the boulder. These LROC images clearly show that the central peak formed very quickly; the peak was there when impact melt that was thrown straight up during the impact came back down. The fractures probably formed over time as the steep walls of the central peak slowly eroded and slipped downhill. Eventually the peak will erode back such that the big boulder will meet its demise as it slides 2000 m (6,561 ft) to the crater floor.

Tycho image

 

View LROC’s Featured Image of the Day site for more information and photos on Tycho, and a video.

 

Caption: Oblique view of summit area of Tycho crater central peak. The boulder in the background is 120 meters wide, and the image is about 1200 meters wide. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

Caption 2: Vertical view of Tycho central peak summit showing same 120 m wide boulder. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University.

 

(Nikki Cassis)

 

06/17/2011

The popularization of topics including time travel, black holes, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and multiverses, has earned Arizona State University professor Paul Davies an award for excellence in astronomy research and education by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

This year’s Klumpke-Roberts Award for outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy will be presented to Davies in August at the society’s annual meeting.

Davies, a theoretical physicist, astrobiologist, cosmologist and cancer researcher in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences teaches in ASU’s Department of Physics. He is director of the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and heads up the Center for Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology at ASU, one of 12 physical sciences-oncology centers nationwide established by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute.

Davies has written more than 100 scientific papers and authored 30 books, including last year’s “The Eerie Silence: Renewing our search for alien intelligence.” Other titles include: “The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the universe just right for life?” “How to Build a Time Machine,” and “The Mind of God.”

The pop science award given to Davies is one of eight announced by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific on June 15. “This year’s honorees demonstrate a remarkable array of achievement in research, education and popularization of astronomy and science,” said James Manning, ASP executive director. “The ASP is proud to recognize these individuals for their accomplishments and as inspirations to us all.”

Founded in 1889 in San Francisco, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s mission is to increase the understanding and appreciation of astronomy, by engaging scientists, educators, enthusiasts and the public to advance science and science literacy. The society’s education programs are funded by corporations, private foundations, the National Science Foundation, NASA, private donors and its members. More information is online at http://www.astrosociety.org.

(Carol Hughes)

06/16/2011
The CINE Golden Eagle Award has been recognized as a mark of excellence throughout the film and television industry for over 50 years. The CINE Golden Eagle Film and Video Competitions, held each Spring and Fall, involve hundreds of media and content specialists who judge entries in several moving-image genres and acknowledge high-quality production in a variety of content categories for professional, independent and student filmmakers. This year the video created by CLAS' Erik Holsinger, director of video communications, titled: "SESE Beyond the Ordinary" won the award in the Adult Education and Entertainment category.

View the award-winning video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THL6UdEMP0g

Read more about the competition: http://www.cine.org/winners/golden-eagle-award-recipients/spring-2011/non-telecast-non-fiction/#3