Faculty & Staff Accolades: December 2015

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science.

Rob Axtell, Computational and Data Sciences, was an invited speaker at an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development meeting on “Complexity Economics and Policy” in Paris and again in Mexico on the same topic to an audience consisting of researchers and policymakers.

Ernest Barreto and Paul So, Physics and Astronomy, along with two students, served as co-authors of the paper “Effects of Polarization Induced by Non-Weak Electric Fields on the Excitability of Elongated Neurons with Active Dendrites” in the Journal of Computational NeuroScience. Barreto was named to the editorial board for the journal Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience.

Dieter Bilitza, Physics and Astronomy, was the main organizer of a highly successful Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Capacity Building Workshop on Space Weather in Bangkok, Thailand. The COSPAR-supported activity trained students from 13 Southeast Asian countries in monitoring and modeling the Earth’s ionosphere, with special emphasis on GPS applications.

Natalie Burls, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, co-authored the paper “Tightly Linked Zonal and Meridional Sea Surface Temperature Gradients over the Past Five Million Years,” published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Susan Crate, Environmental Science and Policy, celebrated the premiere of the documentary “The Anthropologist” at the DOCNYC film fest. The documentary focuses on the human face of climate change and Crate is the lead. The film is funded by the National Science Foundation and is being screened at multiple film festivals nationally and across the world. Crate will also showcase the film at the Paris Climate talks, which will air on PBS in 2016. Full information can be found at: theanthromovie.com.

Arie Croitoru, Geography and Geoinformation Science, was awarded $73,263 by the Human Geo Group LLC for his research project HumanGeo/Global Terrorism Database.

Paul Dirmeyer, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, along with his student, co-published “Climate Response to Amazon Forest Replacement by Heterogeneous Crop Cover” in the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences and “Remote Tropical and Sub-Tropical Responses to Amazon Deforestation” in the journal Climate Dynamics.

Harold Geller, Physics and Astronomy, presented two talks at the Virginia Association of Science Teachers Professional Development Institute titled “It’s Problem-Based Not Problematic” and “Flip the Lecture, Flip the Lab: The Problem Based Lab Fad.” Geller also presented a talk at the Chesapeake Section American Association of Physics Teachers regional conference titled “Physics Concepts and Problem Based Learning in a Laboratory Setting.”

Leila Hamdan, Environmental Science and Policy, was the scientific program chair for the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation’s (CERF) 23rd biennial conference in Portland, Oregon. The conference was the largest in CERF’s history, with around 1,600 attendees, and was organized around the theme Grand Challenges in Coastal and Estuarine Science: Securing the Future. Seven scientists from the Environmental Science and Policy Department presented original research at the conference.

Robert Hazen, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, was inducted as a fellow of the Geological Society of America, and was named the 2016 Roebling Medalist of the Mineralogical Society of America.

Cing-Dao Kan, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, was awarded $611,703 by Arizona State University and NASA for his research project ASU/NASA/Orthotropic Plasticity.

Younsung Kim, Environmental Science and Policy, presented her paper “Climate Adaptive Governance in Coastal Communities: Information, Planning, and Preparedness” at the 37th Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference in Miami, Florida.

Jason Kinser, Computational and Data Sciences, published the book “Kinematic Labs with Mobile Devices” (IOP Science, Morgan & Claypool Publishers).

Jim Kinter, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, has been elected to the Council of the American Meteorological Society.

Alex Koufos, Computational and Data Sciences, along with Dimitrios Papaconstantopoulos,Computational and Data Sciences, published the article “Pressure-Induced Insulator to Metal Transition and Superconductivity of the Inert Gases” in the Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism, 28:3525-3533 in 2015.

Edward Megman, Computational and Data Science, co-published the papers “Relative Brain Signature: A Population-Based Feature Extraction to Identify Functional Biomarkers in the Brains of Alcoholics” in Brain and Behavior and “Comparison of Different Classification Methods on Glass Identification for Forensic Research,” in the Journal of Statistical Science and Applications,in press.

Mary Nelson, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded $159,998 by the National Science Foundation for her research project NSF/Scaling STEM (SUSTAINED).

Chris Parsons, Environmental Science and Policy, was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Cetacean Society and was also appointed the society’s conservation committee chair. He was a co-author on the articles “Back off, Man, I’m a Scientist!,” “When Marine Conservation Science Meets Policy,” “Competitive Outreach in the 21st Century: Why We Need Conservation Marketing” and “The Modeling and Assessment of Whale-Watching Impacts” in the journal Ocean and Coastal Management, as well as the articleIs Marine Conservation Science Becoming Irrelevant to Policy Makers?” in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

Linda Perry, Geography and Geoinfomation Science, published the paper “Barnyard Grasses Were Processed with Rice around 10,000 Years Ago” in Scientific Reports.

Esther Peters, Environmental Science and Policy, co-published three book chapters: “Anatomy” and “20 Skeletal Growth Anomalies in Corals” in Diseases of Corals and “Diseases of Coral Reef Organisms” in Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene.

Jacek Radzikowski, Anthony Stefanidis, Arie Croitoru and Paul Delamate, Geography and Geoinformation Science, along with Kathryn Jacobsen (Global and Community Health, CHHS) and Andrew Crooks, Computational and Data Sciences, published the paper “A Quantitative Analysis of the Measles Vaccination Narrative in Twitter” in the Journal of Medical Internet Research: Public Health and Surveillance.

Edwin Schneider, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, was an invited speaker at the CLIVAR-ICTP Workshop on Decadal Climate Variability and Predictability in Trieste, Italy.

Cristiana Stan and Kathy Pegion, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, were invited speakers at the S2S Workshop at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, England. Erik Swenson presented a poster at the workshop.

Michael Summers, Physics and Astronomy, presented the talk “Haze Particle Production and Sedimentation” and “Photochemistry, Ion Chemistry, and Haze Formation in Pluto’s Atmosphere.” Summers was the co-author of 9 presentations on results of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and Charon, and was the co-author of 12 presentations at the NASA/New Horizons Science team.

Laurie Trenary, Tim DelSole, and Brian Doty, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, were co-authors of the paper “Was the Cold Eastern U.S. Winter of 2014 Due to Increased Variability?” published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society special supplement “Explaining Extreme Events of 2014.” Trenary was interviewed by Climate Central about the paper.

Robert Tucker, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, gave an invited seminar at Virginia Tech in the Department of Geosciences.

Krishna Vemuru, Physics and Astronomy, published a chapter titled “Additive Manufacturing of Rare Earth Permanent Magnets” in the book “Additive Manufacturing: Innovations, Advances, and Applications.”

Edward Wegman, Computational and Data Sciences, co-published two papers: “Relative Brain Signature: A Population-Based Feature Extraction to Identify Functional Biomarkers in the Brains of Alcoholics” in the journal Brain and Behavior and “Comparison of Different Classification Methods on Glass Identification for Forensic Research” in the Journal of Statistical Science and Applications.

Erdal Yiğit, Physics and Astronomy, published SpringerBriefs book “Atmospheric and Space Sciences: Neutral atmospheres (Volume 1).” He also co-published recent results from NASA’s MAVEN mission to Mars: “High-Altitude Gravity Waves in the Martian Thermosphere Observed by MAVEN/NGIMS and Modeled by a Gravity Wave Scheme,” Geophysical Research Letters.

The 2016 4VA Awards were announced, and the awardees from the College of Science are Julia Nord, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences; Lance Liotta and Monique van Hoek, School of Systems Biology; Claudette Davis, Biology; James Schwebach, College of Science; Changwoo Ahn and Cynthia Smith, Environmental Science and Policy; Paul Houser, Geography and Geoinformation Science; and Shobita Satyapal, Physics and Astronomy.

Read the full University Accolades