As usual, we’ve got a variety of news from the people around the lab, and links to stories talking about some of the great science the lab has been doing. But I wanted to highlight three things
First, I’m delighted that we’re able to mention honors received by a couple of people who led LPL during the tumultuous years following the establishment of academic side, the Department of Planetary Sciences. Bill Hubbard, who was the director of LPL from 1977 to 1981, and has been on the faculty ever since, won the Blitzer Award for teaching, while Laurel Wilkening, who succeeded Bill as department head from 1981 to 1983, was honored by having an asteroid named after her. Those two were among the key figures in steering the transition from Gerard Kuiper’s planetary astronomy laboratory into a full-fledged academic department and a laboratory that specializes in just about everything.
Second, at the other end of the career scale, we have reports on awards and honors that our graduate students have won. Most notably, Kathryn Volk won the College of Science’s award for the outstanding scholar in the college (out of nominees from nearly 20 departments), a notable accomplishment. Even better, it’s the second year in a row that a woman from LPL has won the award (Nikole Lewis won the award in 2012).
And finally, in our ongoing effort to keep LPL as the premier university-based planetary sciences organization in the world, we have formed an advisory board of committed community, industry and academic leaders (some of them with LPL backgrounds). You can find them introduced in this newsletter, and we hope to be hearing about some of the initiatives they help us plan in the near future, as we build for the coming decades.
Timothy D. Swindle, Ph.D.
Department Head and Laboratory Director