Current newsletter

Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology Section Newsletter

December 2016


Dear Colleagues,

Here is the December issue of the AGU Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology (VGP) section newsletter. Please visit the VGP website for additional news and information. Comments and suggestions may be sent to Joanna Denton.


In this issue:

(1) Message from the President

(2) AGU Fall Meeting

(3) Outstanding Student Paper Awards at the Fall Meeting

(4) AGU Press Room

(5) AGU/IAVCEI Early Career Corner at the VGP reception

(6) Japan Geoscience Union–AGU Joint Meeting 2017

(7) Robert L. Smith Obituary




Time goes past incredibly fast!  I have been the president for almost 2 years now, and my term comes to its end in a month.  I tried my best to serve the VGP community with the help of the other VGP leaders and the members of the executive committee.  Some things are running smoothly, but others could still be improved, and I am sure that Bill McDonough, the next president, will join me to ask you for more feedback and suggestions.
The next leaders have now been elected, and I warmly welcome the future president-elect, Michael Manga, and the next two secretaries, Marie Edmond and Anat Shahar. Their term will start on 1 January 2017. I am convinced that they will do a great job and provide new ideas!
A lot of things will occur during the Fall meeting in San Francisco, and I hope to see you there. The highlights of the VGP program are the Bowen Lectures (Tuesday, 13 December, 10:20 a.m.–12:20 p.m.) and the Daly Lecture (Thursday, 15 December, 10:20 a.m.–11:15 a.m.). Both will be recorded, and you will be able to watch them on AGU On-Demand if you do not go to San Francisco. You are also all invited to come to the VGP reception (Tuesday, 13 December, 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m., San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Salon 9), where we will celebrate Fellows and medalists as well as travel grants winners and last year’s Outstanding Student Paper Award recipients. This is also where the Mineralogical Society of America Dana Medal will be given to Sumit Chakrabortty.
Looking forward to see you in San Francisco!


Catherine Chauvel

AGU Section President, Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology



(2)           AGU FALL MEETING

The AGU Fall Meeting is only a few weeks away.  Hopefully, most of you have registered and made your flight and hotel reservations because there are nearly 1000 exciting presentations in the VGP section alone and many more in other sections and focus groups that are sure to attract VGP members.  The topics of VGP sessions vary from studies of the deep Earth to the eruption of volcanoes and injection of magmatic volatiles into the atmosphere.  To find out more and to plan your meeting, you can find the complete list of VGP sessions at
And please don’t forget the Bowen Award (Tuesday) and Daly Lecture (Thursday), as well as the VGP reception on Tuesday night (6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m., Salon 9, Marriott Marquis). It will be an exciting week of science in San Francisco.  I hope that you can attend, but if you cannot, you will be able to watch some of the meeting using AGU On-Demand:, including a special session on the 25th anniversary of the Pinatubo eruption.


Amanda Clarke and Cin-Ty Lee

VGP Secretaries




This Fall, we have 150 students who wish to be considered for the Outstanding Student Paper Award competition. Each student needs three judges, making 450 judging assignments. Although the committee occupies one of those slots per student (filling 150 of these assignments), we need to find other VGP members to fill the remaining 300 judging slots. As of the time of writing this, 222 slots remain open. Will you consider being a judge? Signing up is easy! Use your AGU member username and password to login to the OSPA system as a judge.  Click on “Find Presentations” in the menu on the right. The students in your search result will be displayed on the screen, along with how many judging slots are open (there are up to three available). Click the check box “select presentation” and click “add to schedule.” It’s as simple as that! As the week of the meeting approaches, you can log back in to the same system to see your judging schedule and also a score sheet for each of the presentations. You will need to fill out this online score sheet to submit the results of your judging before 23 December.


Tyrone Rooney

AGU OSPA Committee Chair, Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology



(4)          AGU PRESS ROOM

As usual, the AGU Press Room will be full of press representatives, including local, national, and international reporters. If any individual scientist or a group of scientists in VGP group would like to notify the public through the press about their research, they can send me a one-page summary of their research.


AGU VGP Press Officer



When you’re an early-career scientist, whether a student or a new faculty member, you’ve got a lot on your plate: looking for funding, planning the arc of your research, adapting to a new institution, learning to be a manager, and more. It’s difficult to keep track of all the opportunities and resources available to you in the VGP community. This year at the Fall Meeting VGP reception (Tuesday, 13 December, at 6:30 p.m.), look for the Early Career Corner, a table with information about AGU and International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) resources that newer community members might not be familiar with. We hope the Early Career Corner will help make your professional life easier and enable early-career scientists to network.
See you in a few weeks!

Kara Brugman

AGU VGP Student Representative




JpGU-AGU Joint Meeting 2017
AGU is teaming up with the Japan Geoscience Union for their annual meeting to be held at Makuhari Messe from 20 to 25 May 2017. It will be the first truly joint meeting between the two societies, and many innovations are planned.
A wide palette of sessions has been approved and will be listed soon (if not already) on the conference website (, along with all the up-to-date information about the meeting. Abstract submission will be open 6 January to 16 February 2017.
In addition to many exciting sessions of interest to VGP members, I would like to make a shameless plug for this one: “Fluid-Mediated Processes and Properties near Convergent Plate Boundaries” with convenors Bjorn Mysen (Geophysical Lab), Eiji Ohtani (Tohoku), Hikaru Iwamori (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology), and Catherine McCammon (Bayreuth). Anyone with an interest in volatiles and/or fluids in and near subduction zones is most welcome to participate. The session will have a broad scope that encompasses the causes and consequences of subduction, with implications for the long-term evolution of Earth such as continental growth and global material cycling.
I look forward to seeing you in Makuhari next year.


Catherine McCammon (soon to be ex–past president of VGP)




Robert L. Smith, 1920–2016

Robert L. Smith, renowned volcanologist and distinguished scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), was a world authority on ash flow tuffs, silicic volcanism, and caldera structures. Bob died peacefully in Sacramento, California, 17 June 2016, a few days short of his 96th birthday. His publications on ash flows and their deposits brought about an international revolution in understanding explosive silicic volcanism, and in his 50-year career, he profoundly influenced USGS programs and countless scientists. Smith was the inaugural recipient of the IAVCEI Thorarinsson Medal (1987). Bob’s career and accomplishments are detailed in a Geological Society of America memorial (


Charles Bacon, USGS