Faculty & Staff Accolades: September 2017

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science. The following accolades were published for the month of September 2017 on News at Mason.

College of Science faculty who received a Mason Thank-a-Teacher recognition from the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning were: Mark Anders, Natalie Burls, Laura Lukes, Stacey Verardo, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences. Cynthia Beck, Alan Christensen, Gwendolyn Fondufe, Cara Frankenfeld, Denise Hunnel, Forrest Keck, Malda Kocache, Charles Madden, Alexandra Masterson, James Munse, Deborah Polayes, Allison Tomson, Biology. Marjan Alaghmand, Paul Cooper, Gregory Foster, James Glasbrenner, Daniel Harrison, Kimi Hatton, Susan Howar, Rebecca Jones, Joseph Marr, Mikell Paige, Ramesh Pant, Pritha Roy, John Schreifels, Suzanne Slayden, Daniel Sponseller, Gerald Weatherspoon Chemistry and Biochemistry. Younsung Kim, Kim Largen, Chris Parsons, Souzee Poudel, Joseph Ransom, Nicholas Walker, Environmental Science and Policy. Brian Eckenrode, Forensic Science. Ronald Resmini, Ian Ward, David Wong, Andreas Zufle, Geography and Geoinformation Science. Daniel Anderson, Gary Antonia De La Pena, Karen Crossin, Gary Lee De La Pena, Neil Epstein, Rebecca Goldin, Igor Griva, Matthew Holzer, Habir Lamba, Jim Lawrence, Alicia Lingxia, Samuel Mendelson, Walter Morris, Mary Nelson, Kumnit Nong, Chris Paldino, Steven Scluchter, David Singman, Thomas Wanner, Mathematical Sciences. Benjamin Dreyfus, Mario Gliozzi, Shobita Satyapal, Anna Wyczalkowski, Physics and Astronomy.

Alonso Aguirre, Environmental Science and Policy, co-published the following papers with his long-term research collaborators at Instituto Politecnico Nacional (IPN), Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM): “First record of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the southern Gulf of California, Sinaloa, Mexico” in Chelonian Conservation and Biology, “Examining the role of transmission of chelonid alphaherpesvirus 5” in EcoHealth, “Potential sympatric vectors and mammalian hosts of Venezuelan equine encephalitis in southern Mexico” in Journal of Wildlife Diseases, and “Associations between trace elements and clinical health parameters in the North Pacific loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) from Baja California Sur, Mexico” in Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

Ali Andalibi, College of Science, was awarded $497,807 by the National Science Foundation for his work on Type I: George Mason University Innovation Site.

Mark Anders, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.

Ancha Baranova, School of Systems Biology, was selected for the inside front cover of Bioessays Magazine.

Estela Blaisten, Computational and Data Sciences, and Kylene Kehn – Hall, School of Systems Biology, were selected for funding in the amount of $40,000 for their project, “An Integrative Multidisciplinary Approach to Unravel and Target Virus Replication,” in the Provost’s Multi-Disciplinary Research Competition on Modeling, Simulation, and Analytics. Additionally, Blaisten, along with other Mason colleagues, received funding in the amount of $40,000 for their project titled “Understanding the Physics of Elastically-Induced Turbulence in Micro-Fluidic Systems.”

Zafer Boybeyi, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, co-published an article titled “Investigation of aerosol effects on the Arctic surface temperature during the diurnal cycle: part 2 – Separating aerosol effects” in the International Journal of Climatology. He organized the 21th Annual George Mason University Conference on Atmospheric Transport & Dispersion Modeling and served as a conference chair. Boybei was also interviewed on television by the Voice of America (VOA) on the Paris Climate Agreement and Hurricane Irma.

Natalie Burls, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, co-published a paper in Science Advances titled “Active Pacific meridional overturning circulation (PMOC) during the warm Pliocene”. This paper was highlighted in Max Planck Institute’s news as well.

Claudio Cioffi, Computational and Data Sciences, published his first book titled “Introduction to Computational Social Science” that was released by Springer-Verlag, in time for the start of the new semester. Cioffi was an invited speaker for the Los Alamos Lab’s Center for Nonlinear Science where he did a presentation on Computational Modeling of Coupled Socio-Environmental Systems with emphasis on climate change consequences on humans and anthropogenic disasters, and to the 11th STAR-TIDES (Sharing To Accelerate Research-Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support) Tech Demo where he did a presentation on agent-based computational simulations for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. STAR-TIDES is a research project dedicated to open-source knowledge sharing to encourage community and individual resilience to natural and man-made disasters and promote human security. In addition, Cioffi presented the new mathematical operator “nabladot” with applications in the natural, engineering and social sciences at the American Mathematical Society Southeast Sectional Meetings in Orlando, Florida.

Andrew Crooks, Computational and Data Sciences, co-authored an article in Science Direct titled “Agent-based Modeling” in Huang, B. (ed), Comprehensive Geographic Information System.

Liping Di, Geography and Geoinformation Science and Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, was awarded $1,100,000 by the National Science Foundation for EarthCube Integration: CyberWay – Integrated Capabilities of EarthCube Building Blocks for Facilitating Cyber-based Innovative Way of Interdisciplinary Geoscience Studies.

 Paul Dirmeyer, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Only one member in 1,000 is given this honor in any year. The award will be bestowed at the AGU fall meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana in December. He has also been named to the GEWEX Scientific Steering Group, which is the Global Energy and Water cycle Exchanges project, an international effort to understand Earth’s water cycle and energy fluxes, and how they affect weather and climate. Dirmeyer also co-published an article in Journal of Climate titled “Impacts of land use/land cover change on afternoon precipitation over North America”.

Maria Emelianenko and Padhu Seshaiyer, Mathematical Sciences, were selected for funding in the amount of $33,000 for their project, “Modeling Prospects of Malaria Elimination in Haiti,” in the Provost’s Multi-Disciplinary Research Competition on Modeling, Stimulation and Analytics. Additionally, Emelianenko along with Fatah Kashanchi, School of Systems Biology, received funding in the amount of $40,000 for their project, “Experimental and Mathematical Discovery for HIV.”

Bobhua Huang, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, published a paper in Journal of Climate entitled “Reforecasting the ENSO Events in the Past Fifty-Seven Years” on the prediction of El Nino.

Kelly Knight, Emily Rancourt and Kim Rule, Forensic Science Program, traveled to the scene of the 1932 kidnapping of baby Charlie Lindbergh, in Hopewell Township, New Jersey, which remains one of the highest profile cases of the 20th century. Forensic faculty processed the scene where two-year-old Charlie Lindbergh’s remains were found, looking for a second metal thumb guard that has never been located. Although they did not recover the guard, they recovered bones later identified as deer bones. They also swabbed their subject matter expert who accompanied them on this site visit, in order to eliminate his DNA from any DNA they might find on several envelopes that were mailed from a suspected accomplice. Potential DNA on these envelopes could act as a known standard to this suspect, and may be potentially compared to the ransom letters that were received and are retained by the New Jersey State Police.

Tim Leslie, Geography and Geoinformation Science, along with other Mason colleagues, was selected for funding in the amount of $40,000 for their project, “Cancer Health Disparities: Modeling Social, Hospital and Policy Factors Associated with Colorectal Cancer Survival,” in the Provost’s Multi-Disciplinary Research Competition on Modeling, Simulation and Analytics.

Laura Lukes, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, received the 2017 Biggs Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching from the Geological Society of America.

Julia Manganello, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, co-published a paper in Climate Dynamics on seasonal prediction of North Atlantic tropical cyclones titled “Seasonal Forecasts of North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity in the North American Multi-Model Ensemble”.

Chris Parsons, Environmental Science and Policy, published the following articles: “Impacts of navy sonar on whales and dolphins: now beyond a smoking gun” and “Marine Conservation”: You Keep Using That Word but I Don’t Think It Means What You Think It Means” in Frontiers in Marine Science. He co-authored the following articles : “Why conferences matter – an example from the International Marine Conservation Congress” in Frontiers in Marine Science, “Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) sightings in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary” in Marine Mammal Science, and “Integrating in-situ and ex-situ data management processes for biodiversity conservation” in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. In addition, Parsons was appointed the chair of the upcoming International Conservation Marketing and Engagement Congress conference, which will be held in October 2017 in Arlington, Virginia.

Dieter Pfoser, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Mattias Renz, Computational and Data Sciences, and Nektaria Tryfona, College of Science, were selected for funding in the amount of $37,000 for their project “DIVES: Discovering Indicators for Interactions in Finance and Government Sector,” in the Provost’s Multi-Disciplinary Research Competition on Modeling, Simulation and Analytics.

Matthias Renz, Computational and Data Sciences, co-organized and chaired the 15th International Symposium on Spatial and Temporal Databases (SSTD’17) at George Mason University. This prestigious international conference is one of the top events in the spatial database community taking place in the United States, Europe, and Asia and attracts many internationally renowned researchers from academia and industry. He was also invited to participate on a panel on interdisciplinary research and the impact of data management/ systems research at the 34th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB’17) in Munich, Germany. This conference is the flagship conference in the area of Database systems. Renz established an industrial project that was funded by Innovative Discovery, LLC. In addition, Renz was awarded the Recognition of Service Award in appreciation for contributions to the Association of Computing Machinery.

Shobita Satyapal, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $18,549 by the U.S. Department of the Navy for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 614.

Karen Sauer, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $348,426 by the National Science Foundation for her work on Quantum Magnetometers for Rapid Idenfication of Resonance Frequencies in Explosives, Pharmaceuticals, and Other Substances, and $272,817 by Manufacturing Techniques Inc. for her work on robust interference rejection in the NQR detection of explosives.

Qing Tian, Computational and Data Sciences, published a book titled “Rural Sustainability: A Complex Systems Approach to Policy Analysis” that was recently published and released by Spring-Verlag. Her book provides a new conceptual and methodological framework for studying sustainability in less developed areas amid climate hazards.

Chaowei (Phil) Yang, Geography and Geoinformation Science, was awarded $100,000 by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center for I/UCRC: Big data deep learning platform.

Erhai Zhao, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $75,000 by the National Science Foundation for Competing Orders in Quantum Gases with Long-range Interactions.

Please send your accolades to tfede@gmu.edu for inclusion in the next accolades.