Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences News

Distinguished Scientist Awarded Prestigious Geosciences Award


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.

World-Renowned Mars Expert to Present at Science Forum

The asteroid Vesta and the Dawn mission that uncovered its mysteries will be the topic of Friday’s Science Forum. Hap McSween, Chancellor’s Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will present “Exploring the Asteroid Vesta: NASA’s Dawn Mission.” The presentation begins at noon in Room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena. Attendees can bring lunch or purchase it at the arena.

Miller Energy Partners With UT to Support Graduate Fellowship

Miller Energy Resources Inc., a high-growth oil and natural gas exploration, production, and drilling company headquartered in Knoxville has partnered with UT’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences to support a graduate fellowship in petroleum geology. The Miller Energy Fellowship is unique in terms of industrial support commonly provided by a fellowship.

Professor Helps to Discover Near-Earth Asteroid Is Really a Comet

Some things are not always what they seem—even in space. For thirty years, scientists believed a large near-Earth object was an asteroid. Now, an international team including Joshua Emery, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences at UT, has discovered it is actually a comet.

WATE: Knoxville expert on Mars gains national attention

Earth and Planetary Sciences Professor Harry “Hap” McSween was featured by WATE-TV. He is on a two-year run of accolades. He has received Southeastern Conference Professor of the Year, the National Academy of Science J. Lawrence Smith medal, and most recently the Whipple Award, which honors scientists who have made major contributions in the field

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WUOT: East Tennessee Geologist Marks Curiosity’s First Year on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover has been poking, prodding, and sniffing the rocks around Mars in an attempt to better understand its past and present. Linda Kah, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences, is a part of the science team investigating Mars and spoke with WUOT’s All Things Considered host Brandon Hollingsworth about what Curiosity has learned in its first year, and the exciting “road trip” yet to come.

Professor Harry “Hap” McSween Honored with Whipple Award

Harry “Hap” McSween, a UT professor who is a leading expert on the composition of Mars and meteorites, will be awarded the Whipple Award from the American Geophysical Union. McSween is a Chancellor’s Professor and distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences.