EEPS Supports Rice’s 4th Annual Science Olympiad Invitational

Rice undergraduates Annelise Goldman and Muthu Chidambaram talking with a participant of the Rice Science Olympiad Invitational “Sounds of Music” science event on January 18, 2020.

Three Rice undergraduates including EEPS own Annelise Goldman with the Rice University Science Olympiad Alumni Association (Rice SOAA) hosted the 4th consecutive Science Olympiad Invitational on January 18, 2020.

Rice undergraduates Alan Jin (co-president), Muthu Chidambaram (co-president), Annelise Goldman (vice president) managed a challenging set of science events that attracted 525 high school students from 36 teams from 21 high schools across the U.S.

 

Approximately 45 volunteers, mostly Rice undergraduate members of Rice SOAA, some graduate students and Rice Alumni, wrote and graded tests, proctored exams and managed science events. Nearly all the volunteers put in a long day starting with the arrival of visitors before 8 a.m. and concluding with the awards ceremony in the RMC Grand Hall around 8 p.m.

“I think it was a great science outreach effort for Rice, connecting with the greater Houston (and far beyond in some cases) community,” says says Dr. Richard Gordon, Keck Professor of Geophysics in the department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences and faculty sponsor of Rice SOAA.

This is the second Rice University Science Olympiad for Sophomore Annelise Goldman, who volunteered in 2018 and then joined the organizing committee in 2019. She went from writing one exam her first year, to writing three exams and helping to manage all the 2020 event activities. But this isn’t her first brush with Science Olympiad.

Annelise has been participating since middle school. “I am a long-term fan. At my middle school it was really competitive. At the time I thought that science was really cool, but was like, ‘I’m not a person who’s cut out to do science’. But my mom suggested I try out anyway, to see if I might like it.” Like it she did, going on to participate throughout high school.

Science Olympiad is the reason why she is a science major at Rice.

Annelise Goldman evaluates one of the student-built instruments submitted for the “Sounds of Music” event at the 2020 Rice Science Olympiad Invitational.

Now she is giving back to the program that brought her where she is today. “I’m very grateful to this program for inspiring me and introducing me to different fields. I wanted to help other students have a similar experience,” says Goldman.

Science Olympiad invitationals are practical competitions that help Science Olympiad teams from across the country prepare for regional and national competitions. Invitational events are themselves competitive among host schools. Universities seek to not only provide high quality exams that lure nationally ranked teams, but to expose those “elite” students to what the host University has to offer.

Science Olympiad Invitationals also include key-note lectures by host institution faculty that connect and inform students about careers in science. This year’s key-note speaker was EEPS own assistant professor Dr. Sylvia Dee, who shared her pathway to science, the impact of her research, and the variety of careers available to scientists.

2019 EEPS Graduation and Awards

Graduate student Alana Semple wins first place!

Mars geologist available to comment on NASA’s Curiosity rover findings

David Ruth
713-348-6327
david@rice.edu

http://news.rice.edu/2018/06/05/mars-geologist-available-to-comment-on-nasas-curiosity-rover-findings/

HOUSTON – (June 5, 2018) – Rice University planetary science expert Kirsten Siebach is available through June 7, when NASA will announce new findings from its Mars Curiosity rover.

Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

According to a media advisory, NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are inviting the media and public to ask questions during a live event at 1 p.m. CDT June 7. The briefing will be available online on NASA Television and NASA’s website.

Siebach, who is a self-described Martian geologist, is an assistant professor in Rice’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science. Her work focuses on understanding the history of water interacting with sediments on Mars and early Earth through analysis of sedimentary rock textures and chemistry. She is currently a member of the Science and Operations Teams for the Mars Exploration Rovers and the Mars Science Laboratory.

Members of the news media who would like to interview Siebach should contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.

Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.

Advocates For Science

From a steadily growing interest by the scientific community along with increased demand by educators and policy makers, science communication has become the need of the hour. The American Geophysical Union (AGU)  launched the Voices for Science Program to help the geoscience community meet those needs. The program aims to help train scientists from all stages in their careers to be better science communicators and advocates for public engagement.

With two different tracks, communications and policy, the Voices for Science program provides the opportunity to actively participate and explore different facets of science communication. Only 30 individuals were chosen  from a pool of 100 candidates to be a part of the inaugural program. Doctoral candidate Sriparna Saha has been selected as a part of the initial cohort for the communications track.

Read about the Voices for Science Program in the following article published in EOS:

Reach for the Stars STEM Festival 2018

The twelfth annual ‘Reach for the Stars Stem Festival‘ , co-sponsored by the Ride Family Foundation and Rice Space Institute, was held at Rice University on Saturday, April 21st. It was  a spectacular success. This festival, which targets middle school girls, includes a street fair, an inspiring talk by a woman astronaut, and roughly thirty women-led science and engineering workshops. The plenary talk was given by NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who also happens to be a Rice Alum. This event turned out to be another opportunity for the Rice Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences Department to showcase its commitment towards science outreach and education.

 

The EEPS exhibit table engaged young girls with fun, hands-on activities like the plate tectonics (using Oreo cookies), along with the tried and true rock and mineral identification.  Some of the modules presented were developed as a part of the EEPS Reach teaching program, and successfully kickstarted part of the workshop sessions. 


 

 

It was amazing to see that the young girls were ecstatic to learn about science- and geology in particular- even if some of the girls only cared about eating the Oreo cookie continents. Not just the young girls were engaged. Some of the teachers accompanying the girls actually took notes on the hands-on activities (the Oreo cookie plate tectonic activity was an instant hit with both young and old alike), telling us that they would incorporate them in their classroom teaching. Perhaps this is the beauty of public outreach activities, to be able to connect with people in such a way that they start to care about science.

Graduate students Alana Semple, Juliana Spector, Laura Carter and Sriparna Saha represented the department at this event and mentored two 45-minute workshops focused on the Earth’s Interior (Differentiation and Convection) and the Earth’s Exterior (Wet Texas: from Floodplains to the Coast).  Known formerly as the ‘Sally Ride Festival‘, this annual fair brings in hundreds of young girls to the Rice University campus, giving them a glimpse into the world of science in a way that excites them and encourages them to explore the world around them.

EEPS to host Breakfast with Dr. Richard Fortey

 

Join EEPS and the Wiess School of Natural Sciences for a special seminar and breakfast with Richard Fortey, Ph.D.

Richard Fortey is a paleontologist who studies trilobites and graptolites.  Like many geologists, he started collecting fossils at a young age, and then lived the dream of working at the Natural History Museum in London.  He is also a well-known author of many popular science books, and has hosted several Sir David Attenborough and BBC Four documentaries on a variety of natural history topics.

Breakfast will be held on the patio at the Keith-Wiess Geological Laboratories at 8:00 am, Thursday February 15, 2018. The Q&A Seminar will be held in ABL 131 until 9:15 am.

 

Evening of February 15, 2018 (6:30pm) Lecture at the Houston Museum of Natural Science:

Trilobites, the Fossil Record and Evolution-  by Richard Fortey, Ph.D.

Visit: http://store.hmns.org/DateSelection.aspx?item=3850   to purchase tickets.

Rice students, faculty and staff receive reduced ticket price of $8 with their Rice ID. Present ID at box office for special discount. (Discount not available online.)

 

AAPG Rice Industry Geoscience Series

AAPG RIGS (Rice Industry Geoscience Series) is back!!  The event’s purpose is to inform and assist students employment search endeavors within the Oil & Gas industry. The format of the event is organized in such a way that students are provided exposure to the Industry Professionals through networking and recruitment opportunities.

AAPG RIGS format

The event is scheduled for two consecutive Fridays, August 18th and 25th, 2017 from 4:00-6:00 PM.

18th August  (for Rice students only)  – Career Info session  + Resume Review session

3:30 – 4:00 PM – Coffee and Snacks – Earth Science Library – 2nd Floor

 

4:00 – 5:00 PM – Career info Session +Resume Review Session

         Career Info Session Panelists – (Room 100)

1. Ken Abdulah – Subsurface Clarity

2. Hunter Lockhart – BHPbilliton

3. Brandon Harper – Conocophillips

4. Sarah Dean – Shell

5. Nicole Van Den Heuvel –  Director of the Center for Career Development, Rice

         Resume Review Session Panelist- (Room 123)

Sarah Stanley – Certified Petroleum Geologist, Registered in the State of Texas ( >20 hiring experience)

 

5:00- 6:00 PM – After event networking – 2nd Floor Lobby, Earth Science Bldg. (beverages and snacks)

 

25th August – Poster + Networking Session

4:00 – 4:10 PM – Cin-Ty, Pankaj opening remarks – AAPG RIGS 2017

4:10 – 6:00 PM – student posters +networking event – 2nd Floor Lobby, Earth Science Bldg. (beverages and snacks)

Session 1 (4:10 – 4:45 PM)
David Blank Simulating megathrust earthquakes:  a window into elusive source processes
Justin Hayles Theoretical calibration of the triple oxygen isotope geothermometer
Pankaj Khanna Uppermost Pleistocene Coralgal Reefs and Upper Cambrian Microbial Bioherms: Morphologies and Sea Level-Induced Evolution
Gary Linkevich 3D seismic observations of the Peridotite Ridge in the Deep Galicia Margin
Clint M. Miller Low methane concentrations in sediment along the Siberian Slope – Inference from pore water geochemistry
Harsh Vora The normal compaction of clay rocks is fundamental for understanding overpressure
Session 2 (5:15 – 5:30 PM)
Brandee Carlson Mudflat formation within an abandoned deltaic distributary channel: a case study from the Huanghe (Yellow River) delta, China
Tian Dong Controls on gravel termination in seven distributary channels of the Selenga River delta, Baikal Rift basin, Russia
Chenliang Wu Impacts of variable channel hydraulics on the stratigraphic record: an example provided from the Tullig Sandstone, Western Irish Namurian Basin

EEPS at Houston Museum of Natural Science for World Ocean’s Day

WORLD OCEAN’S DAY 2017 

Family Festival

Thursday, June 8, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Hosted at Houston Museum of Natural Science ǀ Free with Museum Admission

 With a goal of promoting Ocean conservation and bring awareness to the dangers of plastic pollution, “Our Oceans, Our Future” is the theme for UN-designated World Oceans Day. Celebrate at Houtson Museum of Natural Science with a “dive” on life-size 2D coral reefs of the Gulf of Mexico with Dr. Adrienne Correa of Rice plus presentations by Rice University’s Department of Earth Science. At various hands-on stations, researchers from several organizations will share their appreciation for the oceans and marine life and ways we can help in their conservation.

 This event is co-sponsored by Rice University’s BioSciences Department, NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Marine Mammal Stranding Network and HMNS.

Dr. Travis Swanson and Dr. Lauren Simkins with the assistance of Lindsay Prothro and Tian Dong will provide a hands-on demonstration on ‘The Texas coast and its response to sea level change.’ The demonstration focuses on two questions: (1) what is sea level? and (2) how does the coast change when sea level rises?

They will use a variety of activities to show the important processes that influence sea level rise and coastal change that may impact the Texas coast. 

Download a copy of the activity: Oceans Day pamphlet

For more information:  http://news.rice.edu/2016/06/06/biosciences-helps-celebrate-world-oceans-day-at-hmns/

Jerry Dickens will discuss the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) on “Den of Lore” show this Friday!

Link to the Event-  youtu.be/6yWDMJwtuFE

Dr. Gerald Dickens joins the Den of Lore to discuss the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which occurred around 56 million years ago. It is the most recent naturally occurring Earth warming event that we can compare today’s warming to. During this time, global temperatures rose at least 5°C (9°F), and the PETM warmth lasted 200,000 years before the Earth system was able to remove the extra CO2 from the atmosphere.