Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences News

Tooth Serves as Evidence of 220 Million-Year-old Attack

Reconstruction of the interaction of large land predators (rauisuchid) and aquatic predator (phytosaur) about 210 million years ago based on research by a joint team of University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech researchers. Christopher Hayes, a freshman at Virginia Tech, composed the drawing.

At the beginning of the age of dinosaurs, gigantic reptiles—distant relatives of modern crocodiles—ruled the earth. Some lived on land and others in water and it was thought they didn’t much interact. But a tooth found by a UT researcher in the thigh of one of these ancient animals is challenging this belief.

Threatening Asteroid a Gravity-defying Ball of Rubble

WBIR-TV

WBIR-TV featured the research of Ben Rozitis, a postdoctoral researcher, which found that a gravity-defying asteroid that poses one of the largest threats to Earth is actually more like a giant clump of flour. The fact that the rocks and dust are not flying apart means the asteroid is being held together by something more

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Feared Asteroid Turns Out to Be A Pile Of Rubble

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Research by a UT team is receiving ample news coverage including on The Weather Channel, Space.com, and Times of India. Ben Rozitis, a postdoctoral researcher; Eric MacLennan, a doctoral candidate; and Joshua Emery, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, studied near-Earth asteroid 1950 DA and discovered that the body, which

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Cross-Country Science: UT Faculty Mentor Inner-City New Jersey Youth

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When faculty members Karen Lloyd and Andrew Steen saw an opportunity to introduce a group of inner-city New Jersey high school students to science, they made it happen. Lloyd, an assistant professor of microbiology, and her husband, Steen, an assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences, just completed their second summer program with students and teachers from Malcolm X Shabazz High School in Newark.

Two Doctoral Students Win NASA Fellowships to Further Their Studies

Two earth and planetary sciences doctoral students will be furthering their study of the cosmos with help from NASA. NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowships are awarded once a year “to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines required to achieve NASA’s scientific goals.” The recipients, including UT’s Eric MacLennan, of Boston, Massachusetts, and Richard Cartwright, of Atlanta, Georgia, will each get $30,000 a year for three years.

Staff Recognized for Service at Annual Honors Banquet

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On Wednesday, Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek celebrated faculty, staff, and students for their accomplishments throughout the past academic year. Sally Parish, director of the Center for Leadership and Service; Rita Smith, executive associate dean of UT Libraries; and Melody Branch, business manager for the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, were recognized for their service to the university.

Distinguished Scientist Awarded Prestigious Geosciences Award

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Distinguished Scientist Bob Hatcher has been awarded the 2014 Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal. The award makes Hatcher the only recipient of the three most prestigious medals in his field. The award is presented to a geoscientist who has demonstrated a long history of scientific achievement and exceptional service to the geoscience profession. Hatcher is also the recipient of the American Geosciences Institute’s 2006 Ian Campbell Medal and the Geological Society of America’s 2006 Penrose Medal.

News Sentinel: UT expert, Scientists excited to learn from approaching comet ISON

The Knoxville News Sentinel spoke with Sean Lindsay, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, about Comet ISON. Some astronomers have hyped Comet ISON as the “comet of the century,” but whether the hurtling ball of ice and dirt will earn its title depends largely on surviving today’s trip around

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UT Hosts Talk about Near-Earth Comet ISON

A UT research associate will host a public talk about the bright Comet ISON. Comet ISON will reach its closest approach to the sun on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, and hopefully be visible to the naked eye in early December. The talk will take place 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 7, in the Nielsen Physics Building, Room 415. Parking is available for a fee in Volunteer Hall across Cumberland Avenue.

Faculty News and Notes

Honors and awards for the university’s faculty and graduate students.