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Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology Section

Newsletter: March 2015


In this issue:

  1. Message from the President
  2. Former VGP President Steve Sparks wins the 2015 Vetlesen Prize
  3. Outstanding Student Presentation Awards 2014
  4. Union-Level Nominations: 15 March 2015
  5. Call for Bowen Award Nominations: 15 April 2015
  6. Call for Kuno Award Nominations: 15 April 2015
  7. Call for Daly Lecture Suggestions: 15 April 2015
  8. VGP Student Representative Report
  9. Call for Session Proposals for AGU Fall Meeting: 19 April 2015
  10. EGU 2015 and Kino Award Lecture
  11. 2015 joint assembly, 3-7 may 2015 in beautiful Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  12. Interior of The Earth Gordon Research Conference and Seminar – June 7-12 and June 6-7, 2015
  13. Exploration Station Fall Meeting
  14. Editor in Chief Needed for JGR: Solid Earth



Here we go! It is a great pleasure to write this first letter to you, all the members of the VGP community. I just hope that I will be able to keep up with the beautiful job done by my predecessors and I would like to say how thankful I am to Catherine McCammon who spent a lot of time and energy to train me over the past two years. I would also like to welcome all the new members of the executive committee as well as the many members of the VGP committees. All of them spend a lot of time and energy to serve the VGP community.

Communication within the VGP section is important and this newsletter is only one of the ways we use. I encourage you to visit regularly the VGP website (here is the link if you want to bookmark it: and follow us on Twitter if you wish (@AGUvgp). If you have any suggestions on how to improve the website, please do not hesitate to contact me. You can also send us nice pictures or news items that are of interest for the VGP community (workshops, short courses, etc.) and we will post them. Finally, I would like to insist that the VGP section should be what YOU want it to be and that I am here to serve YOU. So, please do not hesitate to contact me whenever you want.

Catherine Chauvel (

VGP President



Professor Stephen Sparks of the University of Bristol has been awarded the 2015 Vetlesen Prize. This award has been termed the Nobel Prize of the earth sciences and is awarded to an earth scientist whose work has resulted in a “clearer understanding of the Earth, its history, or its relations to the universe”.  See The Vetlesen Prize or Bristol geologist who modernised volcanology wins 2015 Vetlesen Prize for further details.

Congratulations to Steve!



Congratulations to the following students who received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award for their presentation at the 2014 Fall Meeting. Each will receive complimentary student registration for the 2015 Fall Meeting or a $215 credit towards registration.

James Cowlyn University of Canterbury New Zealand
Mark Stelten University of California Davis United States
Matylda Hermanska University of Iceland Iceland
Tyler Brown University of Wyoming United States
Jenni Hopkins Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand
Kellie Wall Washington State University United States
Tom Pering University of Sheffield United Kingdom
Jacqueline Salzer University of Potsdam  Germany
Joshua  Mendez Georgia Institute of Technology  United States

Thanks go to Tyrone Rooney and his committee for their hard work and a special thanks to everyone who took time at the meeting to support our students by judging their presentations.



VGP nominations for AGU Fellows

Established in 1962, the Fellows program recognizes AGU members who have made exceptional contributions to Earth and space sciences as valued by their peers and vetted by a committee of Fellows. Primary criteria for evaluation in scientific eminence are: (1) breakthrough or discovery; (2) innovation in disciplinary science, cross-disciplinary science, instrument development, or methods development; and/or (3) sustained scientific impact.

This designation is conferred upon not more than 0.1% of all AGU members in any given year. Section and Focus Group Fellows committees provide rankings and recommendations of eligible nominations to the Union Fellows Selection Committee, who makes the final decision. The deadline for nominations is 15-March 2015. The procedure for nomination is clearly laid out on the AGU website: see Union Fellows Program Overview and Fellows Nomination Criteria.

Dominique Weis (

Chair, VGP Fellows Committee


Nominations for Union Awards

The deadline for all Union Awards, Medals and prizes is 15-March 2015, which is rapidly approaching.  Please take the time to nominate your VGP colleagues, to make sure that AGU recognizes their contributions.  A list of the Union level awards, selection criteria, and past recipients can be found on the Union Awards, Medals, & Prizes webpage.

If you have ideas that you would like to pass on to the VGP Union Awards Committee, to help stir up nominations, please contact us.

Mark Kurz (

Chair, Union Awards Committee


Nominations for the Macelwane Medal

The James B. Macelwane Medal is a Union honor given annually to three or up to five honorees in recognition for “significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding early career scientist.” The nominee must be no more than 10 years beyond receiving their Ph.D. or highest equivalent terminal degree achieved on 1 January of the year of presentation. The VGP Macelwane committee facilitates the nominations to the Union committee and we encourage your recommendation of early career scientists. For further details, please see our awards page.

Joe Dufek (

Chair, VGP Macelwane Nomination Committee



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, CA; 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 ( by e-mail and include a short paragraph explaining your recommendation. Your can find the criteria by licking Daly Lecture and the deadline for suggestions is 15 April 2015.



Nominations for the 2015 Norman L. Bowen award from the VGP section of AGU are due on 15-April 2015.  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. For further details of the criteria and nomination process for the Norman L. Bowie Award, please click here. Marc Hirschmann (, Bowen Award Committee



The 15 April 2015 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 seven years since the doctoral degree was obtained, 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. For details of how to submit a nomination, please click here.

Through the well-established cooperation with the Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology and Volcanology (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) and Rajdeep Dasgupta (2013) have given Kuno Lectures in Vienna. Matt Jackson, the 2014 awardee, will follow the tradition and go to Vienna in April 2015.

Mike Dungan (

Chair, Kuno Award Committee



AGU’s first-ever “Adventures in the Field Storytelling Contest” was a great success!  The event was organized by VGP and sponsored by “Rite in The Rain.”  Participants were thrilled to hear adventure stories – ranging from hilarious to horrifying – from an international all-ages group.  We look forward to hosting the event again at the 2015 Fall Meeting, in collaboration with “Sharing Science,” an active branch of AGU’s outreach/communications services.

Esther Posner (

VGP Student Representative



The 2015 AGU Fall Meeting session proposal submission is now open and closes on April 19th. We are asking all VGP’ers to consider proposing sessions that they think will have a broad interest to others in our section and will attract many submissions. The session proposal process is simple and painless. It fundamentally consists of the following steps:  1. Decide on a topic 2. Find a few co-conveners 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:  We hope to see you at Fall 2015 AGU!

Don Baker (

Vickie Bennett (

2015 Fall Meeting Chairs


(10) EGU 2015 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 that will be held in Vienna during 12-17 April 2015. Thanks are due to the GMPV Division President, Nick Arndt ( and to Bruno Dhuime, who represents GMPV at VGP to make this happen. Four sessions are being co-sponsored by VGP:

GMPV2.1 Earth’s early crust: petrological and geochemical perspectives

Conveners: Bruno Dhuime, Martin Whitehouse, Elis Hoffmann, Nick Roberts

GMPV3.1 Magmas from the mantle (Kuno Award Lecture given by Matt Jackson)

Conveners: Sally Gibson, Nicholas T. Arndt, Simon Turner

GMPV5.7 Magma ascent, degassing and eruptive dynamics

Conveners: Andrea Di Muro, Michael Burton, Hélène Balcone-Boissard, Antonio Capponi, Mattia De’ Michieli Vitturi, Cristian Montanaro, Tomaso Esposti Ongaro, Roberto Moretti

GMPV6.1 The 2014 Bárdarbunga rifting event and associated volcanic eruption

Conveners: Kristin Vogfjord, Olgeir Sigmarsson, Robert S White, Sara Barsotti, Armann Hoskuldsson


The scientific programme will be available soon on the conference web site . AGU members can register at member rates and early registration ends on 12 March 2015.



The 2015 Joint Assembly is a combined meeting of AGU with the Geological Association of Canada, the Mineralogical Association of Canada and the Canadian Geophysical Union. This will be an “intimate” meeting of only a few thousand people and with a higher percentage of oral sessions than in a Fall Meeting.  Although all AGU sections and focus groups will be represented at the meeting, because of the Canadian societies there will be a high proportion of sessions that will pique the interest of VGP’ers, especially those who want to know more about Canadian geology.  And, if you need a break from the science, Montreal is a fantastic city with fine restaurants and wonderful entertainment (and great coffee for the next morning).

We hope to see you there!

Don Baker (



Please consider attending the 2015 Interior of the Earth Gordon Research Conference (GRC) (7-12 June) and Gordon Research Seminar (GRS) (6-7 June), both at Mt. Holyoke College, MA USA.  This year’s GRC has the theme “Surface Connections”.  As always, the GRC will include presentations on contemporary topics of interest from those actively engaged in new research and will facilitate extensive discussion after talks.  The GRS has the theme “The Structure, Properties and Evolution of Plate Boundaries” and is meant for post-docs, graduate students, and very junior research scientists/faculty.  More detailed programs and meeting info are available online.



Much volcanic fun was had the Sunday before the Fall Meeting in San Francisco, when the AGU VGP Education and Outreach Committee set up a set of interactive activities for area children and their families. The theme was to get kids to explore why some volcanoes explode, whereas others ooze, and included lots of hands-on activities, hand samples, and great discussions about volcanology! Over 500 children (with parents in tow…) attended the event, including a high concentration of Boy Scouts who were there to work on their geology badges. Special thanks to the energetic volunteers who came from all corners of the country and beyond to help out! We hope to offer this event again next year, so if you care to volunteer, it’s never too early…


Future scientists investigating bubble formation at the AGU Exploration Station VGP activities at the 2014 Fall Meeting). Ilya Smithka (University of Florida, bottom left corner) was one of our great volunteers.

Karen Harpp, on behalf of the AGU VGP Education and Outreach Committee


(14) Editor in Chief Needed for JGR: Solid Earth

AGU is looking for a dynamic, well-organized scientist with high editorial standards and strong leadership skills to serve a 4-year term as the editor in chief for this exciting journal.

The Editor-in-Chief is the principal architect of the scientific content of the journal. The EIC is an active scientist, well-known and well-regarded in his/her discipline. The EIC must be active in soliciting the best science from the best scientists to be published in the journal. Working with the other editors and AGU staff, the EIC is the arbiter of the content of the journal. Among other functions, the EIC is responsible for:

  • Act as an ambassador to the author/editor/reviewer/scientist community.
  • Set the strategy for the journal.
  • Lead the editor selection process.
  • Assign and balance review work load.
  • Decisions of ethics.
  • Review and contribute to periodic monitoring reports.
  • Conduct and attend meetings.

 Journal Scope

JGR:Solid Earth focuses on the physics and chemistry of the solid Earth and the liquid core of the Earth, geomagnetism, paleomagnetism, marine geology/geophysics, chemistry and physics of minerals, rocks, volcanology, seismology, geodesy, gravity, and tectonophysics.

If you would like to be considered for the Editor in Chief position of JGR: Solid Earth, send your curriculum vitae with a letter of interest via email to If you would like to nominate a highly qualified colleague, send a letter of recommendation to the same email address. Please make sure that you specify JGR: Solid Earth in the subject line of the email.

Deadline for applications is 31 March 2015