TODAY!!!!! Rice Science Cafe- Roving Mars with Kirsten Siebach

EEPS-OWL Together Virtual Homecoming

Martha Lou Broussard receives the AAPG Michel T. Halbouty Outstanding Leadership Award

Fall 2020 O-Week

Kirsten Siebach’s Reading The Martian Record: Stories of a previously Habitable World

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

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 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: