Department News

Just out in Science...

YairsCoreCR275Yair Rosenthal and colleagues report on Pacific Ocean Heat Content During the Past 10,000 Years. Hear directly from the authors at Watts Up With That with Andrew Revkin
Read the article directly online at Science

Here's the Science Editor's Summary
Rosenthal, Y., Linsley, B.K., and D.W. Oppo, 2013. Science 1 November 2013, Vol. 342 no. 6158 pp. 617-621 DOI: 10.1126/science.1240837

"Global warming is popularly viewed only as an atmospheric process, when, as shown by marine temperature records covering the last several decades, most heat uptake occurs in the ocean. How did subsurface ocean temperatures vary during past warm and cold intervals? Rosenthal et al. (p.617) present a temperature record of western equatorial Pacific subsurface and intermediate water masses over the past 10,000 years that shows that heat content varied in step with both northern and southern high-latitude oceans. The findings support the view that the Holocene Thermal Maximum, the Medieval Warm Period, and the Little Ice Age were global events, and they provide a long-term perspective for evaluating the role of ocean heat content in various warming scenarios for the future."

Published Abstract
Observed increases in ocean heat content (OHC) and temperature are robust indicators of global warming during the past several decades. We used high-resolution proxy records from sediment cores to extend these observations in the Pacific 10,000 years beyond the instrumental record. We show that water masses linked to North Pacific and Antarctic intermediate waters were warmer by 2.1 ± 0.4°C and 1.5 ± 0.4°C, respectively, during the middle Holocene Thermal Maximum than over the past century. Both water masses were ~0.9°C warmer during the Medieval Warm period than during the Little Ice Age and ~0.65° warmer than in recent decades. Although documented changes in global surface temperatures during the Holocene and Common era are relatively small, the concomitant changes in OHC are large.

EPS Faculty Search for Assistant Professor in Solid Earth/Planetary Geology

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, is accepting applications for a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level in the area of Solid Earth / Planetary Geology. The specific research specialty is open; however, preference is toward sample-based inquiry complementing the department's strengths in the study of large igneous provinces, rift and arc-magmatism, and meteoritics. Supportive analytical facilities include MC-ICPMS, LA-ICPMS, TIMS, Noble Gas and Stable Isotope mass spectrometry, EPMA, XRF, and Rock Magnetics laboratories. The successful candidate will be expected to pursue an externally funded research program and be committed to teaching Solid Earth / Planetary Geology courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Interested applicants must have a Ph.D. in hand by the anticipated start date of September 1, 2014.

Applicants should submit a current curriculum vitae, a research and teaching statement, and names and contact information of three individuals who are capable of assessing the applicant's research and instructional programs. Applications must be submitted electronically at Review of applications will begin November 1, 2013 and continue until the position is filled. Questions concerning the position should be addressed to the department Chair, Professor Carl Swisher, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rutgers University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to diversity. Women, minorities, and members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.

Dr. Jill VanTongeren

jillEPS welcomes Dr. Jill VanTongeren, as the department's newest faculty member!  Jill's office is not ready, her lab is not ready, but we are! And we are glad to have her on board.  Jill comes to us following a two year prestigious Bateman Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University.  Jill received her Ph.D. with distinction in 2011 in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. She also received her M.A. (2007) and M. Phil (2010) at Columbia, and a B.S. with high honors in Geological Sciences in 2004 from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Jill’s research centers on the geochemical and thermal evolution of large magma chambers, and has primarily focused on the Upper Zone of the Bushveld Complex of South Africa.  The Bushveld Complex is the world’s largest layered mafic intrusion and is one of the world’s largest sources of precious metals.  The Upper Zone is thought to represent the final pulse of magma into the Bushveld, and is ideal for investigating the effects of heat loss and extreme differentiation of large magma bodies. 

Jill joins the department's Petrology and Geochemistry group, and will be spending this Fall getting settled in, her lab is currently being built.  We look forward to her adding new research directions and opportunities for our students!

How about joining Jill and these children on a field trip to South Africa?!
VanTongeren wchilderen

Robert Kopp receives 2012 William Gilbert Medal !

The American Geophysical Union established the William Gilbert Award in 2003 to recognize "outstanding and unselfish work in magnetism of Earth materials and of the Earth and planets, including the whole range of research activities in which GP members are engaged". The Glbert Award is given for excellence in at least one of the following categories: scientific rigor, originality, and impact; leadership and service to Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism research community; development of new cross-disciplinary research areas and methods. The award was presented at the December 2012, Fall AGU Meeting held in San Francisco.

 From Richard J. Blakely, AGU Section President, Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism Sectiion

“On behalf of the Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism Section Fellows and Awards Committee, it is my pleasure to announce Robert Kopp as recipient of the 2012 William Gilbert Award. Robert is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, and Associate Director of Rutgers Energy Institute. As summarized by his nominator, Joe Kirschvink, ‘Bob Kopp has made major discoveries relevant to rock and mineral magnetism, and has strengthened the analytical and experimental infrastructure of the entire field.’

In even years, the Gilbert Award is reserved for young scientists, either less than 36 years of age or less than 5 years from PhD graduation. The Gilbert Award recognizes excellence in scientific rigor, originality, and impact; leadership and service to the GP research community; and development of cross-disciplinary research areas and methods. Congratulations, Bob!”

By convention the award is given to a junior researcher in even numbered years. Junior researchers must be either less than 36 years old on December 31st of that year, or less than 5 years from PhD graduation on that same date.

Past awardees include Joseph L. Kirschvink (2011), Sabine Stanley (2010), Dennis Kent (2009), France Lagroix (2008), Robert S. Coe (2007), Richard Harrison (2006), Jim Channell (2005),  Andy Jackson (2004), Subir Bannerjee (2003).

For mor einformation... 

Congratulations Bob !

Gail Ashley receives 2012 Geological Society of America, Laurence L. Sloss Award for Sedimentary Geology! (2)




The Geological Society of America Laurence L. Sloss Award is given annually to a sedimentary geologist whose lifetime achievements best exemplify those of Larry Sloss — achievements that contribute widely to the field of sedimentary geology and through service to the Geological Society of

Congratulations Gail !

The Award will be presented at the Division Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America. 

1999 ~ William R. Dickinson
2000 ~ George D. Klein
2001 ~ Robert H. Dott, Jr.
2002 ~ Allison R. "Pete" Palmer
2003 ~ Robert J. Weimer
2004 ~ James Lee Wilson
2005 ~ Theresa E. Jordan
2006 ~ Gerald M. Friedman
2007 ~ Michael A. Arthur
2008 ~ Peter G. DeCelles
2009 ~ Raymond V. Ingersoll
2010 ~ Hugh C. Jenkyns
2011 ~ John P. Grotzinger


CC-D First Page 2
A new book by Marie Pierre Aubry just out !

Cenozoic coccolithophores: Braarudosphaerales 

New York: Micropaleontology Press. Atlas of Micropaleontology series, 336 pp.

Congratulations Marie !

Dennis Kent elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Earth and Planetary Sciences Professor Dennis V. Kent along with Physics professors Eva Y. Andrei and Alexander B. Zamolodchikov have been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.

Congratulations Dennis !

Rutgers scientists elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences


NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers University scientists Eva Y. Andrei, Dennis V. Kent and Alexander B. Zamolodchikov have been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.

Andrei is a professor II in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Kent is a Board of Governors Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Zamolodchikov is a Board of Governors Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. All are in the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences.

Andrei studies the electronic properties of graphene, a one-atom thick membrane of crystalline carbon with extraordinary electronic properties that could one day be at the heart of speedy and powerful electronic devices. In 2009, the journal Science cited her findings in its list of the year's 10 groundbreaking scientific achievements. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. She holds the Medal of Physics from CEA, a French government research organization. In 2010, she received the Rutgers Board of Trustees award for Excellence in Research.

Kent is an internationally recognized authority on Earth magnetism. His research focuses on magnetic events such as polarity reversals preserved in rocks. He also studies paleoclimatology and advocates the theory that a comet striking the Earth 55 million years ago triggered the last great greenhouse-induced episode of global warming. According to the ScienceWatch analysis service, Kent is one of the world's most highly cited earth scientists. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Zamolodchikov creates mathematical models that describe two major endeavors of modern physics: condensed matter physics and string theory. The first explores the fundamental properties of materials. The second aims to provide a unified understanding of the basic forces and fundamental particles in nature, including gravity, electromagnetism and forces responsible for the stability and decay of atomic nuclei. He has authored several classic papers in mathematical physics, and has been awarded the Dannie Heineman prize, the Onsager prize and the Dirac medal. He is a co-founder of Rutgers New High Energy Theory Center, an internationally recognized group in the development and exploration of string theory.

The three Rutgers scientists are among 220 scholars, scientists, writers, artists, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders selected to join the academy this year. Members contribute to academy studies of science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and education.

"Election to the academy is both an honor for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve," said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. "We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day."

With these three new appointments, 21 Rutgers faculty are members of the academy. The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 6 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.


Since its founding in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the academy has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel Laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Public release date: 17-Apr-2012