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Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology Section Newsletter

March 2019

Dear Colleagues,

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

In this issue:

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

(1) Message from the President

(2) Message from the Education and Outreach Committee

(3) Congratulations to Our OSPA Recipients



Dear AGU Members Committed to Advancing Volcanology, Geochemistry, and Petrology:

It is a great pleasure to welcome everyone to a new year of VGP science and business. For those who were able to attend Fall Meeting 2018, I hope you shared my experiences of learning a lot and being inspired. We enjoyed fantastic lectures from the Bowen awardees, Tim Druitt and Steve Goldstein, and the Daly lecturer, Nicolas Dauphas. These lectures are online, and if you missed them, they are worth watching. Talks can be accessed here.

AGU is recognizing its Centennial this year. At Fall Meeting 2108, there was a great set of 4-minute talks about the various fields represented by AGU (also online). This coming fall, there will be a complementary set of talks and events that look forward to new challenges and opportunities. More information about the Centennial, including how to get involved (I suggest looking under “Join Us” to get started), can be found here.

I would like to thank outgoing members of the VGP Executive Committee for their dedication and accomplishments. Bill McDonough shepherded us through the beginning of the Centennial celebration and expanded our ability to support early-career scientists. Marie Edmonds and Anat Shahar made sure we had meetings worth attending. Mark Kurz had the challenging task of promoting our excellent VGP science with not enough opportunities for recognition. Attila Kilinc was dedicated to getting VGP science covered by the press at AGU meetings.

I would like to also welcome new members to the VGP Executive Committee: president-elect Dominique Weis and secretaries Christie Till and Matt Jackson. Dominique has been working hard to create a new set of events for our early-career researchers (stay tuned for details), and Christie and Matt are putting together an inspiring Fall Meeting program. If you have questions, concerns, or ideas, please reach out to our VGP Executive Committee:

  • Michael Manga, President
  • Dominique Weis, President-elect and Meetings Committee Chair
  • Bill McDonough, Past President and Nominations Committee Chair
  • Christy Till, Secretary, Volcanology and Petrology
  • Matt Jackson, Chair, Fall Meeting Representative Committee, and Secretary, Geochemistry
  • Marie Edmonds, Past Secretary, Volcanology and Petrology
  • Anat Shahar, Past Secretary, Geochemistry
  • Matt Barickman, Student Representative
  • Kara Brugman, Student Representative
  • Erik Klemetti, Chair, Education and Outreach Committee
  • Tyrone Rooney, Chair, Student Awards Committee
  • Bob Stern, Chair, VGP Fellows Committee
  • Mark Kurz, Acting Chair, Union Awards Committee

One of the important roles of our section is to promote our science through our membership and recognizing those members. The number of nominations for all AGU recognitions is too small, so it is important to encourage nominations. People cannot be recognized if they are not nominated. This simple sentence is worth rereading. The list of those receiving AGU honors is not as diverse as our membership (geographically and by gender). Please keep this in mind as you encourage nominations.

The nomination submissions period is now open and closes 15 March for Union awards, medals, and prizes and Union Fellows nominations. For further details, please review the Union Fellows timeline and the Union awards, medals, and prizes timeline, as well as the requirements for Union awards, medals, and prizes.

For VGP section awards, like the Norman L. Bowen Award and the Hisashi Kuno Award, the submission period closes 16 April.

The purpose of AGU is to “promote discovery in Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity.” As you think about who to nominate and what to say in your supporting letters, please keep in mind our purpose. Please see the thoughts from 2018 Bowen awardee Steve Goldstein about what makes an application strong.

This past year, VGP received a bonus of $1,000 from AGU because more than 5% of VGP members (170 to be precise) donated more than $50. We use these donations to support early-career scientists and those from developing nations. The greater the fraction of our membership that contributes, the greater the AGU contribution. I am sure you receive many requests for support. I can assure you that VGP is committed to directing support to those who need it most. When you receive a request for support or you renew your membership, please think about what your scientific career would have been like in the absence of support from others.

Last, the objective of these newsletters is to share opportunities and information we think VGP members of AGU should hear about. These include meetings, employment opportunities, and career development. Please feel encouraged to connect with our AGU membership by sending me and newsletter editor Joanna Denton anything you think belongs in our quarterly newsletters.


Michael Manga, President, VGP Section, AGU



The Education and Outreach (E&O) Committee is seeking comments and suggestions about the best use of this part of the division. As the incoming chair for E&O, I’m struck with the need to balance our desire for effective public outreach for our division and the time constraints on most of us. Ideally, we want to do things that offer the most “bang” for the time invested. If you have any ideas or experience with effective outreach or suggestions for workshops that E&O can run at the Fall Meeting (or other meetings), please send me, Erik Klemetti, an email. I look forward to hearing from you all!


Please join us in congratulating all the VGP winners of the 2018 Outstanding Student Presentation Awards.

  • Jacob Anderson, Boise State University
  • Anna Barth, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
  • Rebecca Vandzura, University of Delaware
  • Meghan Jones, Massachusetts Institute of Technology–Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Megan Lubetkin, University of Rhode Island
  • Samuel J. Mitchell, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

Overall, 139 presentations were judged at the Fall Meeting in VGP. Each presentation received feedback from multiple judges, with all presentations assigned three judges. Where the student was present for his or her presentation, 96% of them received feedback from three judges, and 100% had feedback from two or more judges. The OSPA committee would like to thank the numerous judges and section coordinators for constructive feedback given to all of the participants. If you have a student who is planning to attend Fall Meeting 2019, we ask you to encourage them to sign up for the OSPA program when submitting their abstract in late summer. Many students do not sign up for the program, and we hope to increase participation this coming year. Finally, I would like to thank the members of the 2018 VGP Student Awards Committee (Maryjo Brounce, Brian Jicha, Daniel Hummer, Sarah Brownlee, Noah McLean, Ana Cernok, Megan Newcombe, Colin Jackson, Claudia Cannatelli, Oliver Lamb, and Thomas Hudgins). Those committee members who attended the Fall Meeting each judged ~15 or more presentations during the week of the meeting to ensure consistency in judging and judged the winning entries after the meeting.


Tyrone Rooney, Chair, Student Awards Committee, VGP