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Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology Section Newsletter

March 2016

Dear Colleagues,

Here is the March issue of the AGU Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology section (VGP) newsletter. Please visit the VGP website for further news and information. Feedback and items for future newsletters may be sent to Sarah Fagents at.

In this issue:

  1. Message from the President
  2. Call for Union Award Nominations: Deadline 15 March 2016
  3. Call for Bowen and Kuno Award Nominations and for Daly Lecture Suggestions
  4. Call for Session Proposals for 2016 AGU Fall Meeting
  5. Call for New VGP Newsletter Editor
  6. 2015 Outstanding Student Paper Awards
  7. VGP Student Representative Report
  8. Exploration Station at 2015 Fall Meeting
  9. EGU 2016 and Kuno Award Lecture
  10. JpGU 2016: For Borderless World of Geoscience
  11. Subduction Zone Observatory Workshop (28–30 September 2016)—Apply Now


(1)                 MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

In this first letter of 2016, I would like to wish you all a happy and successful year. This letter provides a lot of important information, so please read it carefully. Below, you will see that we are looking for new volunteers who are willing to give some time and energy to the VGP community. We also highlight the best science presentations given by students at the Fall Meeting in December 2015 and the fun events that occurred during the meeting. For those who could not sit in the room and missed either the Bowen or the Daly Lecture, I remind you that you can watch the talks on AGU On-Demand . Finally, some information is included about the Kuno Lecture given by the Kuno awardee at the April 2016 European Geosciences Union (EGU) meeting in Vienna and about the coming joint meeting in Japan.

Catherine Chauvel

VGP President



You can still nominate a deserving colleague for AGU Fellow or a Union Award.   There are awards and medals for all sorts of people, whether they are young or more established. They just need to be nominated! Please step up!

AGU Fellows

Union Awards, Medals, and Prizes

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the VGP president, Catherine Chauvel, or with the chairs of the various VGP committees (Dominique Weis for the Fellows Committee and Joe Dufek and Mark Kurz for the Union Awards and Macelwane VGP Committees).



Bowen Award: 15 April 2016

Nominations for the 2016 Norman L. Bowen Award from the VGP section of AGU are due on 15 April.  The Bowen Award is given for outstanding contributions to volcanology, geochemistry, or petrology.  Please take the time to nominate your worthy colleagues for this recognition. Further details about the criteria and nomination process are online.  Marc Hirschmann Chair, Bowen Award Committee

Kuno Award: 15 April 2016

The 15 April deadline for nominating a young colleague for the Hisashi Kuno Award is rapidly approaching. Please think about preparing a dossier for a brilliant and productive young scientist (no more than 7 years since the doctoral degree was obtained and a member of AGU). Any research topic that falls within the domain of the VGP section will be considered. The committee is seeking nominations for researchers who have published a number of significant articles, some of which have substantially impacted thinking on the topic(s) they addressed. The purpose of the Kuno Award is to acknowledge scientists who have made game-changing contributions and who still have much of their careers ahead of them, thereby motivating others to bring their skills to bear on important and difficult problems. Please see the webpage for details on how to submit a nomination.

Mike Dungan

Chair, Kuno Award Committee


Daly Lecture: 15 April 2016

The Bowie series of lectures was inaugurated in 1989 to commemorate the 50th presentation of the William Bowie Medal, which is AGU’s highest honor and was named for AGU’s first president. The VGP section hosts the Daly Lecture , which is named for Reginald Daly (1871–1957). The Daly Lecture is presented annually during the AGU Fall Meeting held in San Francisco, Calif.; it is webcast and made available as an archived presentation on the AGU website.

The Daly Lecture is by invitation only—nominations are not accepted, but recommendations are welcome. Please send your suggestions to Catherine Chauvel ( and include a short paragraph explaining your recommendation. You can find the criteria online, and the deadline for suggestions is 15 April 2016.



It’s time to submit proposals for VGP sessions at the 2016 Fall Meeting.

Please propose a session on your favorite topic. Postdocs and senior grad students, this is a venue to get your name out there and to build your organizational credentials.

Themed sessions bring together specialists from diverse areas of VGP, promote interdisciplinary research, and facilitate the debate of controversial topics. Submissions of broad topics of interest to create high-interest sessions are strongly encouraged.

Sessions linking VGP to other sections or focus groups, e.g., biogeochemistry, cosmochemistry, deep interior processes, mineral physics, tectonics, etc., are encouraged. Conveners can request cosponsorship by the Mineralogical Society of America and EGU, but the sessions selected will be announced by the VGP meeting committee later this year.

The session proposal process consists of the following steps:

  1. Decide on a topic
  2. Find a few coconveners from other institutions
  3. Create a title and write a short description of the session
  4. Go to the AGU website for the meeting and follow the instructions:

Contact one of the VGP secretaries, Amanda Clarke or Cin-Ty Lee, for further details. We hope to see you at the AGU 2016 Fall Meeting!

Amanda Clarke and Cin-Ty Lee

VGP Secretaries



Sarah Fagents has been taking care of the VGP newsletter in a great way for many years (16 exactly!), and it is time for her to invest her energy in other ways. Thank you very much, Sarah! We are therefore looking for a volunteer who would be happy helping the VGP community. There are four newsletters per year. The job is not very difficult, and it will not take too much of your time. It is very rewarding and will give you the opportunity to connect closely with the VGP leaders of the executive committee. You can get in touch directly with Sarah if you wish to have more information, and contact Catherine Chauvel to volunteer.



The VGP Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA) Committee would like to thank all the judges, students, liaisons, and AGU staff who participated in this year’s awards. Overall, every student participating was judged at least once, with 90% of students receiving scores from three judges. It was through the careful organization and judging that the whole endeavor was possible. Your comments not only help to select the winners but also assist participating students by providing constructive feedback. This award is highly competitive, and the winners below demonstrated outstanding abilities.

Andrew Fowler University of California, Davis
Chelsea Allison Arizona State University
Sara Worsham University of Saskatchewan
Thomas Benson Stanford University
Elisabeth Gallant University of South Florida
Janine Krippner University of Pittsburgh
Sophie Briggs University of California, Santa Barbara
Jillian Schleicher University of Washington
Emma Liu University of Bristol


Finally, I would like to thank the entire 2015 VGP OSPA Committee (Brian Dreyer, Sean Mulcahy, Sarah Lambart, Sarah Jo Brownlee, Eric Brown, Noah McLean, Wendy Nelson, and Nick Dygert). During the week of the AGU Fall Meeting, each committee member judges in the region of 15–20 presentations to make sure that every single one is heard by at least one of the committee members. When combined with the prep work before and collation afterward, the OSPAs are a significant undertaking. Thank you all!

Tyrone Rooney
Chair, VGP Outstanding Student Paper Award Committee



The VGP student representative, Esther Posner, will be graduating with her Ph.D. from the Bayerisches Geoinstitut (Universität Bayreuth) within the year, and we are actively searching for a student to replace her beginning at Fall Meeting 2016.

The student representative is a relatively new position to AGU leadership, and there are many ways in which the student can engage the role according to his or her interests and the interests of the student body he or she represents. In recent years, VGP student representatives have been active in the areas of community outreach, science policy, social media, graduate student mental health, and science poetry, as well as fun geology Fall Meeting social activities, such as an “Adventures in the Field & Disasters in the Lab Storytelling Contest,” which has received ongoing prize sponsorship from Rite in the Rain.

We are pleased with the development of student leadership at AGU and look forward to welcoming our new VGP student representative! For more information regarding the position, please contact Esther Posner. Letters of interest and/or student nominations should be directed to the VGP section president, Catherine Chauvel.



For more than four fun-filled hours on the Sunday before the 2015 Fall Meeting, enthusiastic (and tireless) VGP volunteers presented hands-on experiments for hundreds of kids, teachers, and family members from the San Francisco area. The students explored how gas drives volcanic eruptions, contemplated why some volcanoes ooze and others explode, and investigated all sorts of eruptive material, including pahoehoe, ‘a’a, and ash from Mount St. Helens. Thanks to all the enthusiastic VGP volunteers who helped make this event such a success. Join us at the next Exploration Station in December 2016!

Exploration Station 2015

Clockwise from top: Alison Graettinger (University at Buffalo) explains the role of viscosity in eruption style; three students anticipate a (tiny) eruption; Maggie McGuire (Colgate University) helps a student understand gas expansion; Hannah Bercovici (Colgate University) encourages the expansion of a bubble; Kevin Varga (Colgate University) and two students watch as some “tephra” hits the ceiling; and Erika Rader (Drexel University) engages in an in-depth discussion about lava flow morphology with an enthusiastic future volcanologist.

  • EGU 2016 and Kuno Award Lecture

As in previous years, VGP will again cooperate with the Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology and Volcanology (GMPV) Division in the upcoming European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly, which will be held in Vienna during 17–22 April 2016. Thanks are owed to the GMPV division president, Mike Burton , and to Bruno Dhuime, who represents GMPV at VGP to make this happen. Several sessions are being cosponsored by VGP (see the EGU website).

Through the well-established cooperation with the GMPV Division of EGU, Kuno awardees have the opportunity to give a Kuno Award Lecture at the EGU meeting in the year following the AGU Fall Meeting, and so far Katie Kelley (2012), Rajdeep Dasgupta (2013), and Matt Jackson (2015) have given Kuno Lectures in Vienna. Christian Huber, the 2015 awardee, will follow the tradition and go to Vienna in April 2016 to give the Kuno Lecture in session GMPV5.2/NH2.7: Magma Ascent, Degassing and Eruptive Dynamics: Linking Experiments, Models and Observations.

The scientific program will be available soon on the conference website . AGU members can register at member rates, and early registration ends on 17 March 2016.


(10)         JpGU 2016: For borderless world of geoscience

The Japan Geoscience Union (JpGU) annual meeting will be held 22–26 May at the Makuhari Messe International Conference Hall in Mihama-ku, Chiba City, Japan. This meeting will have many JpGU-AGU joint sessions , and specifically, VGP is again cosponsoring many sessions. Early bird registration runs through 10 May, and normal registration goes from 10 May through 26 May. We hope to see you there!

Solid Earth sessions of interest (*Sessions cosponsored by VGP)

S-IT07         Structure and Dynamics of Earth and Planetary Deep Interiors

S-IT08         Structure and Dynamics of Suboceanic Mantle: Theories and Observations

S-IT09         Hard-Rock Drilling: Oceanic Lithosphere to Continental Crust Formation

S-IT10*      Do Plumes Exist?

S-IT11         Geodynamic Evolution of Northeast Asia and Western Pacific

S-MP13*   Oceanic & Continental Subduction Processes I: Petrology & Geochronology Perspective

S-MP14     Supercontinents and Crustal Evolution

S-MP15     Oceanic and Continental Subduction Processes II: Structural-Petrologic Perspective

S-GC16*    Volatile Cycles in the Deep Earth—From Subduction Zones to the Mantle and Core

S-CG19*    Hydrogen in the Earth’s Interior from the Crust to the Core


(11)              SUBDUCTION ZONE OBSERVATORY WORKSHOP (28–30 SEPTEMBER 2016)—APPLY NOW  Please consider applying to attend the National Science Foundation–sponsored Subduction Zone Observatory Workshop, to be held in Boise, Idaho, from Wednesday, 28 September, to Friday, 30 September. The workshop seeks a broad range of applicants interested in discussing the scientific motivations for an interdisciplinary Earth, ocean, and atmospheric research program focused around the scientific questions and societal hazards related to subduction zones. Applicants will be selected by the organizing committee and notified of their application status no later than 1 July.  On-site support is available for selected applicants, and limited travel support will be available for selected early career scientists and other applicants. International and early career scientists are especially encouraged to apply.  Please visit the workshop website to learn more.  Thanks, Andy Frassetto Project Associate, IRIS Consortium