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Geology News

U-Idaho Talent Makes Waves

Alex Patthoff Geological sciences graduate student, Alex Patthoff, and his adviser, geology professor Simon Kattenhorn, have made a discovery of international significance. Their groundbreaking research documents evidence of a liquid ocean on Saturn's moon Enceladus, which is currently being imaged by NASA's Cassini spacecraft and has intrigued planetary scientists with its erupting geysers of water, emanating from giant cracks near the south pole of the moon.

Alex's doctoral research, documenting evidence of the find, has already secured his selection as the 2012 recipient of the national Pellas-Ryder Award for best peer-reviewed student research paper in planetary science.

Alex expects to complete his PhD degree in May 2012 and was recently awarded a highly-competitive postdoctoral fellowship from NASA at the Jet Propulsion Lab.

Geology Professor Named One of America’s 300 Best

April 3, 2012: The Princeton Review named Karen Harpp, associate professor of geochemistry at the University of Idaho, one of the 300 best professors in the U.S.

Karen Harpp Formerly of Colgate University, Harpp was chosen out of over 42,000 professors nationwide using student data collected by the Princeton Review and

U-Idaho Professor Takes on Role to Preserve Biodiversity

Dennis Geist infront of a volcano. January 2012: Dennis Geist, professor of geology, was named President of the Charles Darwin Foundation, which is dedicated to research in support of conservation in the Galápagos Islands.

Evidence for a global ocean on Enceladus

Cassini flyby of Enceladus (artist's concept). Credit: JPL/NASA UI Geological Sciences researchers Alex Patthoff (PhD candidate) and Prof Simon Kattenhorn were recognized by (Sept 6, 2011) for their work studying evidence for a global ocean on Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. They have a paper on the topic in Geophysical Research Letters (view journal article).

Further recognition of this work has been cited in USA Today (Sept 27, 2011).

Gunterite: New Mineral Named for Geology Professor

Gunterite: New Mineral Named for Geology ProfessorGeology Professor Mickey Gunter has been honored by the International Mineralogical Association, which voted to name the newly discovered mineral after him.

"It's one of the biggest honors a person could have in their life as a mineralogist," says Gunter. "It's a bit overwhelming at the same time."

The orange-yellow mineral -- Na4(H2V10028)22H20 -- is the most recently named new mineral to be discovered this year. It comes out of the Sunday Mine in San Miguel, Colorado, a mine that has already produced several new minerals in recent years.



2011-2012 Student Awards

Emily Martin - 2012 Outstanding Graduate Student Award
Outstanding Graduate Student
Emily Martin

$150 and plaque
Diana S. - 2012 Outstanding Senior Award
Outstanding Senior
Diana S.

$100 and plaque
Kim Miles - 2012 Outstanding Junior Award
Outstanding Junior
Kim Miles

$100 and plaque
Jen Lennon - 2012 Liselle Batt Award
Liselle Batt Award
Jen Lennon

Gift: engraved pouch with rock hammer
Curtis Johnson - 2012 Alumni Achievement Award
Alumni Achievement Award
Curtis Johnson

Gift: engraved field pouch
Recipient of one of the $1000 COS Leadership awards for next academic year