Chen Receives 2012 F. L. Scarf Award

chen_lunjinLunjin Chen has been awarded the F. L. Scarf Award, given annually to a recent Ph.D. recipient for outstanding dissertation research that contributes directly to solar planetary sciences. Chen’s thesis is entitled “Propagation and excitation of electromagnetic waves in the Earth’s inner magnetosphere.” He presented an invited talk and was formally presented with the award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif.

Lunjin received his B.S. in geophysics and M.Sc. in space physics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2004 and 2007, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in atmospheric and oceanic sciences in 2011 under the supervision of Richard Thorne at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include excitation and propagation of plasma waves and wave-particle interactions.

Muñoz-Jaramillo Receives 2011 F. L. Scarf Award

munoz-jaramillo_andresAndrés Muñoz-Jaramillo has been awarded the F. L. Scarf Award, given annually to a recent Ph.D. recipient for outstanding dissertation research that contributes directly to solar-planetary sciences. Muñoz-Jaramillo’s dissertation is entitled “Towards better constrained models of the solar magnetic cycle.” He presented an invited talk and was formally presented with the award at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting, held 5–9 December in San Francisco, Calif.

Muñoz-Jaramillo received undergraduate degrees in physics (2004) and electronic engineering (2005) from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics under the supervision of Piet Martens and Dibyendu Nandy at Montana State University, in Bozeman, in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Muñoz-Jaramillo is currently a Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass., hosted by Edward DeLuca. His research interests include the solar magnetic cycle; magnetohydrodynamics and dynamo theory; and space climate, global (paleo) climate, and long-term solar evolution.

Chen Receives 2012 F. L. Scarf Award

chen_lunjinLunjin Chen has been awarded the F. L. Scarf Award, given annually to a recent Ph.D. recipient for outstanding dissertation research that contributes directly to solar planetary sciences. Chen’s thesis is entitled “Propagation and excitation of electromagnetic waves in the Earth’s inner magnetosphere.” He presented an invited talk and was formally presented with the award at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting, held 3–7 December in San Francisco, Calif.
Lunjin received his B.S. in geophysics and M.Sc. in space physics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2004 and 2007, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in atmospheric and oceanic sciences in 2011 under the supervision of Richard Thorne at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include excitation and propagation of plasma waves and wave-particle interactions.

Shelly Receives 2008 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award

David R. Shelly received the 2008 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award at the 2008 AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held 17 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes the scientific accomplishments of a junior scientist who makes outstanding contributions to the advancement of seismology.

Citation

shelly_david-rDavid R. Shelly has emerged as one of seismology’s young stars. He has had an impact on the field of seismology that is all out of proportion to his age due to his work on deep, nonvolcanic tremor. It is no exaggeration to state that David’s work revolutionized our understanding of this newly discovered seismic source—a remarkable accomplishment for a Ph.D. student.

During a summer spent at the University of Tokyo, David studied low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs), which were discovered by scientists in Japan. LFEs are small and occur almost exclusively during periods of tremor. He discovered that LFEs occur on the plate interface, and concluded that they represent plate-boundary slip. David subsequently demonstrated that tremor under the island of Shikoku consists of a swarm of LFEs. His work made sense out of signals that had defied interpretation. Before David’s work, tremor mechanisms focused on a coupling of fluid movement to the solid Earth, but he demonstrated that tremor in Japan, and presumably elsewhere, is generated by shear slip. His result stands as a true research breakthrough that may have more generally important implications for the earthquake process because tremor has now been discovered in diverse tectonic environments. In subsequent work, David documented rapid migration and strong tidal triggering of tremor. These, too, are important results. Most recently, he reported the discovery of a horizontal streak of tremor on the deep extension of the San Andreas Fault.

David has a knack for identifying important problems, is creative in solving them, and has a talent for extracting subtle information from immense volumes of data. He has the potential to become one of the world’s leaders in observational seismology. For all of these reasons he is a worthy recipient of the inaugural Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award from the Seismology section of AGU.

Gregory C. Beroza, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Response

I am extremely honored to be presented with an award named for Keiiti Aki, who profoundly influenced the field of seismology in many ways. Aki’s contributions serve as a reminder of the power of combining theory, observation, and scientific vision. I would especially like to acknowledge Greg Beroza (my Ph.D. advisor) and Satoshi Ide (collaborator and summer host at University of Tokyo), without whom the work for which I am receiving this award would not have been possible. A young scientist could not hope to have better mentors.

The explosion of available data, especially continuous seismic data, makes this an exciting time to be an observational seismologist. Many recent discoveries, such as those related to deep nonvolcanic tremor, are direct products of this investment in high-quality recording networks. I look forward to using this data in the future to work toward unlocking some of the mysteries of earthquakes and related deformation processes.

David R. Shelly, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, Calif.

Brenguier Receives 2009 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award

Florent Brenguier received the 2009 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award at the 2009 AGU Fall Meeting, held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes the scientific accomplishments of a young scientist who makes outstanding contributions to the advancement of seismology.

Citation

brenguier_florentFlorent Brenguier is a bright young geophysicist who has already made very significant contributions to the field of seismology.

His development of monitoring of temporal changes based on correlations of ambient seismic noise is without doubt a major advance that opens new possibilities for studying active objects such as volcanoes and seismic faults.

Using noise cross correlations to detect temporal changes within the media turned out to be a very challenging task, which many have tried without success. The main reason is that detecting temporal variations even within active objects like volcanoes and faults requires measuring extremely weak traveltime perturbations (10-4 and smaller), and standard traveltime measurement methods fail at this level of accuracy.

As a consequence, finding ways to extract these tiny temporal variations required a lot of effort in terms of advanced data mining and processing, understanding the role of the noise distribution, and finally, applying theories and methods dealing with scattered wavefields.

Florent was the first one who, thanks to his skill, hard work, and creativity, succeeded in bringing all of these elements together and demonstrating the feasibility of noise-based monitoring of volcanic and tectonic process within the Earth’s crust, with two spectacular applications, to the Piton de la Fournaise volcano and to the San Andreas Fault at Parkfield, Calif.

Florent Brenguier is a bright researcher with an extraordinary skill to work with data. He was essential in the development of ambient noise monitoring. His work leads to major advances in seismology, and he is continuing to produce new ideas in this field. For all of these reasons he is a worthy recipient of the Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award from the Seismology section of AGU.

 

Nikolai Shapiro, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, France

Response

It is a great honor to receive such a prestigious award. Surprisingly, I am now pursuing my scientific career at the Piton de la Fournaise Volcanological Observatory where Keiiti Aki spent his last years practicing his extraordinary talent for seismology.

I am very grateful to Michel Campillo (Laboratoire de Géophysique Interne et Tectonophysique, Grenoble, France) and Nikolai Shapiro (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP)) for having initiated and participated in the work for which I receive this award.

I would like to emphasize that Michel and Nikolai lead an exhilarating research group, and my experience participating in that group was extremely positive.

I would also like to acknowledge the Piton de la Fournaise Volcanological Observatory and the Parkfield High-Resolution Seismic Network staff for distributing high-quality continuous data, which I used for the ambient seismic noise studies.

Similarly, I would like to emphasize to my predecessor, David Shelly, that the increasing availability of continuous seismological records strongly transforms the work of seismologists, who now need to elaborate upon novel “data mining” procedures. This is an exciting new domain for seismology, which is often coupled with geodesy, for example, in nonvolcanic tremor and ambient seismic noise cross-correlation studies.

I am looking forward to continuing to work in that domain and to creating exciting new collaborations for studying the active Earth.

 

Florent Brenguier, Piton de la Fournaise Volcanological Observatory, IPGP, Paris, France

Prieto Receives 2010 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award

Germán Prieto received the 2010 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award at the 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, held 13–17 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes the scientific accom-plishments of a young scientist who makes outstanding contributions to the advancement of seismology.

Citation

prieto_germanGermán Prieto is an outstanding young seismologist of exceptional ability. Germán went to graduate school at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, Calif., and earned his Ph.D. in 2007. He was at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., through 2008 as the Thompson Postdoctoral Fellow and is now on the faculty at the Universidad de los Andes, in Bogotá, Colombia. Germán’s work is consistently innovative and is characterized by a powerful combination of theoretical and practical insight.

Germán’s thesis research work with Peter Shearer and Frank Vernon focused on the earthquake source, and he developed a new approach for analyzing large waveform data sets that led to source parameter estimates for an order of magnitude more earthquakes than any previous study. This work provides some of the strongest evidence extant for self-similarity in the earthquake source.

During his postdoc, Germán’s research took a different direction. He used deconvolution to recover Green’s functions from the ambient field in a way that preserves amplitude, and he predicted basin response for a moderate earthquake in Southern California based on these Green’s functions. This opens a new approach to seismic hazard analysis at long periods that will see widespread application in the future.

In 2009, Germán developed the first technique to recover anelastic structure from the ambient field, which creates new opportunities in structural seismology. It is particularly fitting that he receive this award, because in developing this method he went back to the original spatial autocorrelation formulation developed by Kei Aki himself in 1957. Most recently, Germán and Jesse Lawrence have used attenuation measurements from the ambient field as the foundation for attenuation tomography of the western United States with spectacular results.

In his short career, Germán has pioneered new techniques to address important research problems spanning an increasingly broad range of topics. We can expect great things from him in the future.

Gregory C. Beroza, Geophysics Department, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Response

I am very honored to receive this prestigious award named after one the great seismologists of our time. It is almost inescapable that Kei Aki would have an early reference in most topics that young seismologists would dive into. For example, self-similarity was a term often used in Aki’s early papers. Use of the ambient seismic field, one of Aki’s early achievements, was first presented in 1957.

I am grateful to many people for this award: to my research advisors and mentors Peter Shearer and Frank Vernon at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Greg Beroza at Stanford University, as well as collaborator Jesse Lawrence. All of them gave me the opportunity to work on these very interesting research topics, sharing their insights and ideas, and providing the most exciting atmosphere to explore beyond their own expertise and to collaborate with other researchers. I would like to acknowledge nonseismologists Bob Parker (UCSD) and Dave Thomson (Queen’s University, Canada), who over the years have shared a different point of view on how to analyze seismological data; and my wife, Carolina, who has had to listen about earthquakes and noise every night.

As previous awardees David Shelly and Florent Brenguier have demonstrated, the large amount of freely available geophysical data is one of the most important assets seismologists have, but it is also important to develop fast, clever, and accurate signal processing methods in order to extract as much information as possible from these data.

I look forward to continuing to try to solve outstanding questions in seismology and geophysics, many of them likely to have been studied by Aki himself.

Germán Prieto , Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia

Fichtner Receives 2011 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award

Andreas Fichtner received the 2011 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting, held 5–9 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes the scientific accomplishments of a young scientist who makes outstanding contributions to the advancement of seismology.

Citation

fichtner_andreasAndreas Fichtner is the deserving winner of the 2011 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mining and Technology, in Freiberg, Germany, and then was a Fulbright student at the University of Washington, Seattle, for 1 year, before going to graduate school at Ludwig Maximilian University, in Munich, Germany, where he received his Ph.D. in 2010. During his studies he also spent time at Laboratoire de Géophysique Interne et Tectonophysique (LGIT) in Grenoble, Institut de Physique du Globe (IPG) in Paris, and Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. Currently, Andreas is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Andreas has worked on a range of topics, including adjoint inversion techniques, the implementation of numerical methods for seismic wave propagation, volcano seismology, and full waveform tomography applied on local to continental scales. He has already a substantial body of work, including a book on seismic modeling and inversion published by Springer last year. Andreas is on track to have a brilliant career.

Peter Shearer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla

Response

I am deeply honored to receive this award named after Aki, whose pioneering work helped to initiate the field of seismic tomography that is now one of our primary sources of information on the interior of the Earth.

This award is a result of the amazing progress made in computational seismology in the course of the past 2 decades, and therefore I would like it to be understood as a community achievement. I am very grateful to my colleagues, who were always willing to share their knowledge and experience with me. In particular, I would like to thank my teachers Bernhard Forkmann, Wolfgang Sproessig, and Ken Creager, not only for patience with their querulous student but also for infecting me with their passion for science. Heiner Igel, Peter Bunge, and Brian Kennett opened to me all the opportunities a Ph.D. student can possibly think of and gave me the freedom to develop my own ideas. Also, I wish to thank Jeannot Trampert for his support and our many discussions, which I enjoy very much.

It is a true pleasure to be part of the computational seismology community!

Andreas Fichtner, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands

Arvidson Receives 2007 Whipple Award

Raymond E. Arvidson received the 2007 Whipple Award at the 2007 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of planetary science.

Citation

arvidson_raymondThe Planetary Sciences section presents with great pleasure the 2007 AGU Whipple Award to Ray Arvidson. Ray has participated in all Mars missions since Viking, and in Magellan. His vigorous and productive career has resulted in nearly 200 peer-reviewed publications on Earth, Mars, Venus, and the Moon, many of which are considered pivotal to our understanding of planetary processes. His topics include remote sensing of planetary surfaces and surface processes; he provided the first quantitative study of aeolian processes on Mars. Ray’s contributions are numerous and broadly applied. He played a major role in developing robotic techniques for the in situ exploration of Mars, in particular for the hugely successful MER mission. An AGU Fellow, Ray’s work has been recognized by numerous awards in the past. In addition to his scientific work, Ray has provided essential services to the community. His work in pioneering and standardizing planetary data archiving has been particularly recognized as outstanding. He has served on more than 30 NASA committees and was the secretary and the president of the AGU Planetary Sciences section. In addition, he has been an associate editor of JGR and an editor of Geology. He served on the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Sciences and has been chair of its Committee on Data Management and Computation. Enthusiastic support for his nomination came from all over the world.

Ray is a true leader in the planetary sciences community.

Tilman Spohn, Institut für Planetenforschung, Berlin

Response

Receiving the 2007 Whipple Award and presenting the Whipple Lecture mean a great deal to me. First, I knew Fred Whipple because we were both principal investigators in the early NASA Planetary Geology Program. We both attended a number of the early meetings of researchers supported by the program. Fred was a gracious individual who was deeply interested in all aspects of solar system science, in addition to his fundamental interest in planetary astronomy and the characteristics and dynamics of comets. Thus, receiving an honor named after Fred Whipple is especially rewarding. Second, the award comes from the Planetology section, and that means from the community of researchers who know my work well and can comment on it with a deep understanding of how it affects our understanding of the evolution of planetary surfaces. This is particularly important to me.

My career has focused on understanding the nature and dynamics of planetary surfaces, including participating in the Magellan Radar Mapping Mission to Venus and helping understand surface dynamics on this interesting planet. The mountains of Venus were found to be covered with metal frost or snow, precipitated from the atmosphere on these relatively cold peaks. The plains have distal ejecta deposits that were carried leeward of the impact sites by regional winds, forming elongate features with interesting dielectric and roughness properties. These two examples illustrate the richness of the Magellan data, which are still being examined over a decade after the mission ended. I have also been fortunate to have worked on all Mars missions since Viking, with the exception of Pathfinder. In fact, Phoenix, scheduled to land on the northern plains of Mars on 25 May 2008, will be my fifth landed mission (Viking Landers 1 and 2; Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity). The existing landed data show that Mars maintains evidence of past lakes (dirty evaporates observed by Opportunity) and of extensive alteration by hydrothermal systems (sulfate and high silica deposits found by Spirit). Connecting to orbital observations using Mars Express OMEGA and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM data shows many other examples where water has modified crustal rocks. This includes formation of phyllosilicates on the old Noachian cratered terrains and deposition of layered sulfates in Terra Meridiani and Valles Marineris. These relatively recent landed and orbital results bode well for Mars as a planet that was habitable and may have had or even today harbors life.

I have also participated in the development and implementation of NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS), from the development of the concept of distributed scientific data management units defined under the NRC’s Space Science Board in the 1980s, to directing the Geosciences Node of the PDS today (http://pds-geosciences.wustl.edu/). Archiving efforts have been particularly rewarding in that the PDS now works directly with data producers (investigators recovering or producing data) to ensure that products and documentation are produced, validated, put into the PDS, and made available to current and future communities of researchers. Part of my selection as the 2007 Whipple Award winner was to recognize these efforts. This is especially gratifying since much of the work is “behind the scenes” and does not lead to recognition through scientific discoveries and publications.

Raymond E. Arvidson, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo.

Phillips Receives 2008 Whipple Award

Roger J. Phillips received the Whipple Award at the 2008 AGU Fall Meeting Honors Ceremony, held 17 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes an individual who has made an out-standing contribution in the field of planetary science.

Citation

phillips_roger-jThe recipient of the 2008 Whipple Award is Roger Phillips. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the Planetary Sciences section. It goes to a scientist who has had a tremendous positive impact on the field of planetary sciences, in terms of both the specific science results obtained over a career and the leadership exerted on the development of the discipline. Roger exemplifies the best aspects of a scientist in both of these areas. His research has included the geophysical development and interior structure of solid planets, starting with the interior structure of the Moon and including Venus and Mars; the integration of results from different fields as applied to the volatile and hydrological history of Mars; and most recently the subsurface structure of Mars. In these areas, he has been a leader in analyzing data obtained from spacecraft, in developing theoretical approaches that connect up to the observations, and in leading instrument teams in obtaining new measurements. This combina-tion of approaches exemplifies the best aspects of contributing as a planetary scientist.

Let me quote from one of the letters in support of his nomination: “Few people have had a greater influence on the field of planetary science. His career encompasses the full breadth of work required to advance planetary science. He has developed new means of probing the planets [and] new methods of interpreting the data, mentored many planetary scientists, and served on numerous NASA missions and advisory panels. He is extremely highly regarded throughout the field as a rigorous, creative, insightful scientist and a stimulating colleague.”

It is a pleasure to have collaborated with Roger. And it is a distinct privilege and honor to present him with the 2008 Whipple Award.

 

Bruce Jakosky, University of Colorado, Boulder

Response

Thanks very much, Bruce. I, too, greatly enjoyed our collaboration and hope that we can do it again sometime. It is an honor and a privilege to receive the Whipple Award, and I thank AGU and the Planetary Sciences section for this recognition.

Planetary science is largely a collaborative effort, and I have had the great fortune to be able to work with a number of very good (and often entertaining) people, for which my work has been all the better. This is a very long list, including, among others, Maria Zuber, Dave Smith, Sean Solomon, Stan Peale, Mike Mellon, Jim Head, Mike Malin, Ray Arvidson, Sue Smrekar, Matt Golombek, Bruce Campbell, Jeff Plaut, Roberto Seu, Steve Hauck, Brian Hynek, Mark Wieczorek, Than Putzig, Jeff Andrews-Hanna, Catherine Johnson, Norm Sleep, Erik Ivins, John Dvorak, and the late Bill Kaula. I have had the pleasure of working in the field of planetary science almost from its inception as measured by the dawn of NASA’s space missions. The fun has been the chance to combine theory with brand-new data from the planets, but this has also meant putting up sometimes with the drudgery of mission design and implementation. It has all been worth it. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of planetary science, I have been allowed to “follow the problem” rather than the discipline. This has often gotten me into trouble, but usually my colleagues have bailed me out.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife and best buddy, Rosanna Ridings, for, among other things, showing amazing patience as I flit from planet to planet.

Roger J. Phillips, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo.

Bibring Receives 2009 Whipple Award

Jean-Pierre Bibring received the Whipple Award at the 2009 AGU Fall Meeting, held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. The award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of planetary science.

Citation

bibring_jean-pierreThe Whipple Award of the Planetary Sciences section is named for Fred Whipple. His work on comets is very well known, of course. We value this today for the quantitative approach to understanding physical phenomena, the insights into how to relate data to theoretical concepts in order to understand complex systems, and the innovative results in developing new paradigms that arise from using these approaches carefully and thoughtfully. This year’s recipient of the Whipple Award, Jean-Pierre Bibring, fits easily within each of these descriptions. He has been instrumental in making sure that instruments have flown to Mars that are capable of making the key measurements. And, when faced with observations that did not fit neatly within the previous view of the history of Mars, he managed to integrate them into a new view of that history that is now widely accepted. Jean-Pierre’s work on the composition of the Martian surface and the changes that have occurred throughout Martian history has changed our view of the history of the surface of Mars and of water on Mars. And it has provided a conceptual framework into which our upcoming observations that pertain to the potential for life to have existed can be fit. It is this approach that exemplifies the best of our discipline and shows the intellectual leadership to take the field in new and novel, yet absolutely appropriate, directions.

Bruce M. Jakosky, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder

Response

I could not be touched and moved more than by being honored by the prestigious community that led the building of the modern view of the solar system, with outcomes in most human activities. In a few decades of space exploration, the planetary worlds were discovered exhibiting a totally unexpected diversity, contrasting with the huge commonalities of their origin. What drives the evolution of the planets and has triggered their uniqueness, primarily that of the Earth?

Mars plays a key role in addressing these questions and deciphering the relevant processes: It has been modeled by intense internal and surface activity, while preserving the diagnostic signatures of most steps of its history, that one can thus potentially access. In particular, the coupling between imagery and hyperspectral remote sensing, with the pioneering discoveries of OMEGA/Mars Express, has enabled an in-depth revisiting of Mars’s evolution at all time scales, with a special emphasis on the role liquid water might have played. Specific minerals archive the change over time of the Mars environment, started by an early era during which Mars might have harbored habitable conditions, identified through hydrated phyllosilicates. Then Mars faced a global climatic change, likely initiated by the drop of its magnetic dynamo. Most of its atmosphere escaped, preventing the further surface stability of liquid water; the evolutionary pathways of Mars and the Earth diverged.

While shedding new light on the specifics of our own planet, these results guide the future programs of Mars exploration. They will be conducted in a new framework. The sustained process of international cooperation that we initiated for Mars at the investigative level some decades ago has contributed to paving the way for structural agreements, in particular between NASA and the European Space Agency, toward new ways of conducting the scientific space exploration of Mars and of our solar system.

Jean-Pierre Bibring, Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Orsay, France