PTYS alumnus Dr. Guy Consolmagno, S.J. (1978) is the recipient of the 2014 Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science from the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society. The Sagan Medal was "established by the DPS to recognize and honor outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public.
Gwen and Jason Barnes (2007 and 2004) have shared the news of the birth of their fourth child, Darwin Sirius Barnes, who was born on June 23, 2014, in Moscow, Idaho. Gwen writes, "Our house is now bustling with activity, with the three older kids (Cassie and Tycho, 4, and Hadley, 2) in preschool and gymnastics, and our two dogs (Genubi, 14, and Taun We, 12) still around too. Jason and I are currently faculty in the Physics department at the University of Idaho. Jason received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor last year."
Congratulations to the Barnes family!
Michael Bland (2008) moved to a position as Research Space Scientist with USGS Astrogeology.
This July, PTYS alumnus Dr. Matthew Pasek (2006) won the 2014 Stanley L Miller Early Career Research Award from ISSOL (The International Astrobiology Society) which "recognizes outstanding contributions of young scientists who are engaged in experimental and/or theoretical studies in Astrobiology." Matt is currently Assistant Professor of Geochemistry at the University of South Florida
Two LPL alumni, Marc Buie (1984) and John Keller (2006), are mustering citizen scientists in the western U.S. for project RECON: Research and Education Cooperative Occultation Network. The project has provided telescope equipment and training to 14 small communities north and south of Reno, Nevada, and hopes to eventually build a network stretching from Arizona to the Canadian border.
Chinese student Beary Xiao, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), forwards the good news that he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on November 21, 2013. Beary will continue his career at the university in Wuhan as a postdoctoral researcher. Beary spent two years at LPL as a visiting researcher, working with Professor Emeritus Robert Strom.
LPL alumnus Matt Pasek (2006), currently Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida, and Virginia Pasek (former LPL staff, current Cassini VIMS team member) have created an app called MeteorRight.
Features of the app include:
Brian Jackson (2009) recently forwarded updated contact information—he's currently a Post-Doctoral Astronomer at the Carnegie Institution Department of Terrestrial Magnetism.
The best part of the update was the photo of beautiful Alice Jackson at 9 months. Alice's mom is Maki Hattori (2008), Programmer Associate at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Sigma Space Corporation).
LPL alum David O'Brien (2004) took his cycling to an extreme this summer, riding across the country, from San Francisco to Portsmouth, Vermont, and covering 4750 miles in 75 days. Dave's blog, with lots of photos and details about his trip, is available at http://www.cyclosaurus.net. When Dave is not on his bike, he's a Research Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.