Faculty & Staff Accolades – October 2017

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science. The following accolades have been included for the month of October 2017.

College of Science faculty have been recognized by students for teaching outstanding Mason Core courses during the Summer and Spring semesters 2017 receiving a rating of 4.75 out of 5 on the element “My Overall Rating of Teaching.” Faculty associated with Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computational and Data Sciences, Environmental Science and Policy, Geology, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Honors Program, Mathematical Sciences and Physics that were recognized include: Aslaa Ahmed, Jasmine Amirzadegan, Navaneeth Atluri, Mahesh Band, Ernest Barreto, Angela Bee, George Bennett, Danielle Brown, Sarah Bui, Susan Calderon, Michael Coleson, Zachary Combs, Paul Cooper, John Cressman, Karen Crossin, Anne Crowell, Gautami Erukulla, John Gallagher, Patricia Granfield, Brian Griffiths, Brent Gorbutt, Keith Higginbotham, Heather Hobbs, Andrew Hutsky, Jennifer Jones, June Kang, Forrest Keck, Malda Kocache, Jonathan Kozar, Giseppina Kysar-Mattietti, Chase LaDue, Garrett Lee, Laura Lukes, Joseph Marr, Elizabeth McMurchie, Margot Nelson, Mary Nelson, Eleni Nikou, Sean Park, Carlos Peredoe, Rania Qabbani, Haja Razafinjatovo, Joseph Renaud, Luis Rodriguez, Frederick Rothwarf, Merna Saad, Jennifer Salerno, Catherine Sausville, Gladys Shaw, Aniket Sheth, Byron Simpson, David Verardo, Patrick Vora, Nicholas Walker, Anna Wyczalkowski, Yukiko Yarnall, Sherry Young, and Syed Fatima Zaidi.

Alonso Aguirre, Environmental Science and Policy, was appointed to the Board on Life Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences. He also co-published the article “Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans not detected in the U.S. survey of pet salamanders” in Scientific Reports. In addition, Aguirre was awarded $13,728 by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for Initial Assessment of Potential Hawksbill Nesting Beaches on the Tres Marias Archipelago.

Bohua Huang, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, and co-authors from AOES and the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts published a paper on the October 1 issue of Journal of Climate entitled “Reforecasting the ENSO Events in the Past 57 Years (1958–2014)”. This paper presents findings on ENSO prediction from a recently completed seasonal reforecast dataset. Conducted at the Center for Ocean-Land Atmosphere Studies, this reforecast dataset is probably the longest currently available. He also was awarded $389,081 by the NOAA Modeling, Analysis, Prediction, and Projection (MAPP) Program, for his project entitled Understanding the sources of US drought predictability using seasonal reforecasts of sixty years (1958-2017) initialized with multiple land analyses.

Timothy DelSole and Kathleen Pegion, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, along with a PhD student, and a NOAA colleague, co-published a paper titled “Assessing the Fidelity of Predictability Estimates” in Climate Dynamics. In addition, The SubX project, under the co-leadership of Delsole and Pegion was highlighted in the articles published by Columbia University, the NOAA Climate Program Office, and the National Weather Service.

Kim De Mutsert, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $90,949 by the University of Florida for Ecosystem modeling to improve fisheries management in the Gulf of Mexico.

Liping Di, Geography and Geoinformation Science and Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, was awarded $2,342,195 by the National Science Foundation for INFEW/T2: WaterSmart: A Cyberinfrastructure-Based Integrated Agro-Geoinformatic Decision-Support Web Service System to Facilitate Informed Irrigation Decision-Making.

Thomas Duxbury, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $297,000 by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for his project International Phobos/Deimos Landing Site Working Group.

Harold Geller, Physics and Astronomy, spoke at the Chesapeake Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers conference on “The Physics of Renewable Energy.” The conference was held at the Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. Geller showed how the concept of energy could be demonstrated in the context of the physics of the environment. He, along with Robert Ehrlich (emeritus) announced the release of the second edition of “Renewable Energy: A First Course” which is a fully updated version of the first edition, originally published in 2013, of the textbook on renewable energy published by CRC Press. In addition, Geller co-hosted a talk with the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club at Research Hall. The event highlighted the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope and its bearing on our understanding of the origins of the universe.

Igor Griva, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded $39,852 by the Educational Testing Service for the Development of Mathematical Modules for Optimal Examination Design.

Cing-Dao (Steve) Kan, Computational and Data Sciences, Center for Collision Safety & Analysis, has received the following awards: $282,435 by the U.S. Department of Transportation for Armored Vehicle Stability Analysis, $260,277 by the U.S. Department of Transportation for Parameter Study of the OMDB Test Procedure, and $15,980 for CCSA Roadside Safety Research by George Mason University Foundation.

Malda Koche, Biology, was an invited speaker at the meetings for the introduction of the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine held by the comprehensive family immunization unit at the Pan American Health Organization. Koche lectured on “HPV Associated Diseases and Prevention” in a May 2017 meeting held in Florida where she talked about preparing for the introduction of the HPV vaccine into the routine schedule in the Caribbean. In the second meeting, held in Guatemala in October 2017, she lectured about the “HPV Associated Diseases, Diagnosis, and Immune Response” where she talked about HPV Vaccination in the Region of the Americas: Lessons Learned from vaccine introduction and Communication Strategies.

Rainald Lohner, Physics & Astronomy, was awarded $30,000 by the U.S. Department of the Navy for FEFLO Upgrades.

Thomas Lovejoy, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $10,000 by the Graduate Women in Science for Adele Lewis Grant Fellowship: Ecological Impacts of Legal changes to protected areas in the Andean-Amazon region/Rachel Golden-Kroner.

Aarthi Narayanan, Systems Biology, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, was awarded $45,000 by Leidos Inc. for Neuroinflammation and Blood brain barrier damage in encephalitic virus infection.

Kathleen Pegion, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was invited in October to the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau to provide advice on subseasonal prediction.

Emanuel Petricoin, Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, was awarded $104,846 for Protein Pathway Activation Mapping of PDX Tumors by Symphogen. He was also awarded $20,300 for Protein Pathway Activation Mapping of head and neck cancers and lymph node metastasis by INOVA Healthcare.

Peter Plavavchan, Physics and Astronomy received a NASA group achievement award.

Shobita Satyapal, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $5,564 by the U.S. Department of the Navy for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 603.

Dann Sklarew, Environmental Science and Policy, hosted the 2017 Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit at George Mason University’s Arlington campus on October 5-6, 2017. Over 170 participants were George Mason faculty and staff, along with a dozen EVPP 480 students leading roundtable discussions on the role of millennials in urban agriculture. He also represented Mason as an invited panelist for Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova’s Environmental showcase this past summer.

Cynthia Smith, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $58,500 by Fairfax County Public Schools for FCPS Watershed Education AY 2017-18.

Cristiana Stan and David Straus, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, published a paper titled “Review of Tropical-Extratropical Teleconnections on Intraseasonal Time Scales” in Reviews of Geophysics. This paper was highlighted in the in the “Editors’ Vox” feature of Eos, the American Geophysical Union’s magazine. Read more

David Straus, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences was the lead director of a two-week school on “Advanced School on Tropical-Extratropical Interactions on Intra-Seasonal Time Scales” in October 2017 at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy. The ICTP seeks to provide scientists from developing countries with the continuing education and skills that they need to enjoy long and productive careers.  Read more

Chaowei (Phil) Yang, Geography and Geoinformation Science, received the following awards: $80,107 by MapD Technologies, Inc. for I/UCRC: Spatiotemporal Thinking, Computing and Applications – Membership Agreement with MapD Technologies, $66,437 by Siemens Corporation for Siemens NSF spatiotemporal innovation center membership, and $122,883 by the National Administration Surveying, Mapping for NASG Training September 2017.

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