Most but not all Texas coaches say they’ll plan for climate change

Mike Williams, Rice News – Aug. 1, 2022 Rice University survey suggests some aren’t considering dangerous conditions to come A survey of coaches and athletic officials in Texas indicates many of them would be wise to think harder about the risks their students face as the climate changes, according to Rice University researchers who conducted […]

Study: Explosive volcanic eruption produced rare mineral on Mars

Jade Boyd – Jul. 25, 2022 Researchers publish scenario that explains 2016 discovery by NASA’s Curiosity rover HOUSTON – (July 25, 2022) – Planetary scientists from Rice University, NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the California Institute of Technology have an answer to a mystery that’s puzzled the Mars research community since NASA’s Curiosity rover discovered a mineral called tridymite in Gale […]

Houston birdwatcher turned to listening in the pandemic

Jade Boyd 713-348-6778 Recording hobby sheds light on birds that migrate at night over southeast Texas HOUSTON – (April 28, 2022) – When COVID-19 limited Cin-Ty Lee’s options for watching migratory birds by day, the Rice University professor began recording them at night. Cataloging the species that call to one another on the recordings is […]

Rice University geobiologist tapped for Antarctic drilling mission

Team will search for fossil evidence of West Antarctic ice’s response to climate warming Jade Boyd – Apr. 25, 2022 Jeanine Ash (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) HOUSTON – (April 25, 2022) – Rice University geobiologist Jeanine Ash is participating in an Antarctic mission that aims to recover the first direct evidence that can answer one of the biggest […]

NSF backs study of Mississippi River’s response to climate change

Duel between deluge and drought will impact more than 25% of US population NEWS RELEASE Jade Boyd 713-348-6778 HOUSTON – (April 4, 2022) – A Rice University-led team of climate scientists and engineers is studying how climate change will impact the frequency and severity of flooding on the Mississippi River thanks to a new […]

Rice COVID-19 study collaborators

COVID-19 environmental study in Nature Scientific Reports

Black and Hispanic communities bore disproportionate share of Texas’ early COVID-19 deaths Rice University study features statewide analysis of mortality, air pollution, and assessment of disproportionate economic impacts in Harris County Jade Boyd 713-348-6778 HOUSTON – (Jan. 24, 2022) – Texas state officials did not publish the race and ages of COVID-19 victims in […]

Kevin Gaastra in the South Atlantic Ocean

Data from beneath the South Atlantic Ocean Photo by Maya Pincus/IODP Rice graduate student Kevin Gaastra is in the South Atlantic Ocean this week, working to process and inspect samples on the scientific drill ship JOIDES Resolution. Gaastra is part of JOIDES Expedition 391 to the Walvis Ridge, an unusual chain of underwater mountains more than 500 miles off […]

Jonathan Ajo-Franklin, is co-editor of a new book ‘Distributed Acoustic Sensing in Geophysics: Methods and Applications’

Professor Jonathan Ajo-Franklin is co-editor of a new book, ‘Distributed Acoustic Sensing in Geophysics: Methods and Applications,’.  Information about what Distributed Acoustic Sensing in Geophysics is and its various applications can be found  in the Eos article, ‘Using Sound and Vibration Signals to Understand the Subsurface,’ co-authored by Jonathan Ajo-Franklin.

Kelsey Murphy one of three Ken Kennedy Institute Awards in high performance computing

The Ken Kennedy Institute Awards $45,000 to Three Fellows Program aims to attract graduate students to Rice in the fields of high performance computing, computational science & engineering, and data science The Ken Kennedy Institute is awarding $45,000 in Computational Science and Engineering Fellowships to three graduate students at Rice, two of them in the […]

Morgan Underwood, Ken Kennedy-Cray

Ken Kennedy Institute Graduate Fellowship Program Awards to Morgan Underwood

The Ken Kennedy Institute’s annual graduate fellowship program has awarded $65,000 to nine Rice graduate students in five departments. Recipients use fellowship awards to further research pursuits, attend conferences, travel, and develop networking relationships in industry. Past recipients have spent summers as research interns with sponsoring companies. An important aspect of the fellowships is presenting […]

Rajdeep Dasgupta and André Izidoro

Earth isn’t ‘super’ because the sun had rings before planets

‘Pressure bumps’ in sun’s protoplanetary disk explain many solar system features HOUSTON – (Jan. 5, 2021) – Before the solar system had planets, the sun had rings — bands of dust and gas similar to Saturn’s rings — that likely played a role in Earth’s formation, according to a new study.   “In the solar system, something […]

Air bubbles in Antarctic ice point to cause of oxygen decline

Jade Boyd – Dec. 20, 2021 RICE NEWS > Current News > 2021 Glacial erosion likely caused atmospheric oxygen levels to dip over past 800,000 years   HOUSTON – (Dec. 20, 2021) – An unknown culprit has been removing oxygen from our atmosphere for at least 800,000 years, and an analysis of air bubbles preserved in Antarctic ice for up to […]

EEPS Omer Alpak honored by the Society of Petroleum Engineers 2021 International Award

Sylvia Dee

Sylvia Dee wins fellowship to launch Gulf of Mexico study

MIKE WILLIAMS – SEPTEMBER 28, 2021 National Academies back ‘bold’ research projects by early-career scientists Sylvia Dee, an assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences at Rice University, has won one of eight national early-career fellowships to pursue research that relates to the changing ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico. Sylvia Dee Dee was selected […]

Nature’s archive reveals Atlantic tempests through time

MIKE WILLIAMS – SEPTEMBER 7, 2021 Paleo storm hunters at Rice need data to refine the record of history’s hurricanes Atlantic hurricanes don’t just come and go. They leave clues to their passage through the landscape that last centuries or more. Rice University scientists are using these natural archives to find signs of storms hundreds of […]

Helge Gonnermann in EOS article about the impacts of volcanic eruptions on climate

Click on image to read full article: Featured image credit:  NASA

Sylvia Dee highlights the accomplishments of 19th Century scientist Eunice Foote

Sylvia Dee, assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, authored an article about the work of American scientist  Eunice Foote, who published a paper that documented the underlying cause of today’s climate change crisis. (This article originally appeared in The Conversation and was included in a previous edition of Dateline. It has also appeared […]

Seismic study will help keep carbon underground

MIKE WILLIAMS – JUNE 17, 2021 Department of Energy grant backs development of Jonathan Ajo-Franklin’s fiber-optic monitors Rice University geoscientists and their colleagues will develop sophisticated fiber-optic sensors and seismic sources to find and evaluate small faults deep underground at sites that store carbon dioxide (CO2) to keep it out of the atmosphere. The Department of Energy has […]

How planets form controls elements essential for life

MIKE WILLIAMS – MAY 10, 2021 Rice scientists attribute Earth’s nitrogen to rapid growth of moon- to Mars-sized bodies The prospects for life on a given planet depend not only on where it forms but also how, according to Rice University scientists. Planets like Earth that orbit within a solar system’s Goldilocks zone, with conditions […]

EEPS joint faculty and Clever Planets scientist Pedram Hassanzadeh wins NSF CAREER Award

MIKE WILLIAMS – APRIL 21, 2021 Grant will push study of atmospheric ‘blocking events’ that cause extreme weather Remember Hurricane Harvey? Look west and there was an atmospheric block. Remember the Great Freeze of 2021? Look north and there was a block. Atmospheric blocking is known to cause or exacerbate extreme weather events, but much about them […]

Rice team forges path toward geothermal future

MIKE WILLIAMS – FEBRUARY 26, 2021 Jonathan Ajo-Franklin leads development of monitoring system for DOE’s Utah project HOUSTON – (Feb. 26, 2021) – Rice University scientists have been tapped to join a Department of Energy project to accelerate breakthroughs in geothermal systems that could someday provide unlimited, inexpensive energy. Rice geophysicist Jonathan Ajo-Franklin will now […]

Mars, happy to see you again

MIKE WILLIAMS – FEBRUARY 19, 2021 Terror, be gone! This happy landing was pure delight. It remains to be seen how well the Perseverance rover and its helicopter, Ingenuity, perform as they traverse the surface of Mars, but for the moment NASA and Rice geologist Kirsten Siebach are getting a moment to celebrate with the spacecraft’s long-awaited successful landing on Feb. […]

Perserverance has Landed! Mars 2020 scientist Kirsten Siebach led EEPS landing party

  Thursday February thee 18th was a big day.  From her office in the Keith Wiess Geological Laboratories, EEPS planetary scientist Kirsten Siebach led a Mars 2020 mission virtual landing party. More than 120 participants were treated to a first-hand account of the upcoming landing from one of only 13 scientists chosen to operate the […]

Mark Torres wins Geochemical Society’s Clarke Award

JADE BOYD – FEBRUARY 12, 2021 Early-career honor goes to fourth Rice U. geochemist in 12 years Rice University’s Mark Torres has won the Geochemical Society’s top honor for early-career scientists, the F.W. Clarke Award, becoming the fourth Rice faculty member to win the award since 2009. Mark Torres with water samples collected from Iceland’s Efri […]

Much of Earth’s nitrogen was locally sourced

MIKE WILLIAMS, Rice News  – JANUARY 21, 2021 Rice-led study shows two distinct origins of life-essential element in present-day planet HOUSTON – (Jan. 21, 2021) – Where did Earth’s nitrogen come from? Rice University scientists show one primordial source of the indispensable building block for life was close to home. The solar protoplanetary disk was separated […]

Rocks show Mars once felt like Iceland

MIKE WILLIAMS – JANUARY 20, 2021 Crater study offers window on temperatures 3.5 billion years ago HOUSTON – (Jan. 20, 2021) – Once upon a time, seasons in Gale Crater probably felt something like those in Iceland. But nobody was there to bundle up more than 3 billion years ago. The ancient Martian crater is the focus of […]

Research finds tiny bubbles tell tales of big volcanic eruptions

JADE BOYD, Rice News   Study: Nanocrystals may explain staggering number of bubbles in erupted lava HOUSTON – (Jan. 19, 2021) – Microscopic bubbles can tell stories about Earth’s biggest volcanic eruptions and geoscientists from Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin have discovered some of those stories are written in nanoparticles. In […]

Postdoc Sahand Hajimirza’s collaborative research on Yellowstone’s Steamboat Geyser highlighted

Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park is active again! Considered the worlds tallest active geyser, the 400 foot jet of water can be tough for the average tourist to witness, with quiescent periods lasting as long as 50 years.  Yet since 2018, Steamboat has erupted more times than it has in the last half century. […]

Chenguang Sun wins prestigious award from the Mineralogical Society of America

Mineralogical Society of America has selected EEPS postdoctoral researcher Dr. Chenguang Sun for the society’s 2021 MSA Award. The Mineralogical Society of America Award is intended to recognize outstanding published contributions to the science of mineralogy by relatively young individuals or individuals near the beginning of their professional careers. The work must have been accomplished […]

Kirsten Siebach

Kirsten Siebach selected for Mars 2020 Mission

MIKE WILLIAMS Martian geologist Kirsten Siebach among 13 chosen by NASA for rover mission Kirsten Siebach has to persevere a little longer, waiting for her ship to come in. That ship is in space, carrying a rover called Perseverance to Mars. And Siebach, a Martian geologist at Rice University, is now one of 13 scientists recently selected by NASA to help […]

Former piece of Pacific Ocean floor imaged deep beneath China

JADE BOYD – NOVEMBER 16, 2020 Study offers clues about the fate of tectonic plates that sink deep in Earth’s mantle In a study that gives new meaning to the term “rock bottom,” seismic researchers have discovered the underside of a rocky slab of Earth’s surface layer, or lithosphere, that has been pulled more than […]

Biochar helps hold water, saves money

MIKE WILLIAMS – OCTOBER 19, 2020 The abstract benefits of biochar for long-term storage of carbon and nitrogen on American farms are clear, and now new research from Rice University shows a short-term, concrete bonus for farmers as well. That would be money. To be precise, money not spent on irrigation. In the best-case scenarios for some regions, […]

Study: Darwin’s theory about coral reef atolls is fatally flawed

JADE BOYD – OCTOBER 12, 2020   Scientists compile new evidence that atolls are formed by cyclic changes in sea level Marine geologist and oceanographer André Droxler knows Charles Darwin’s theory about atolls is incorrect. But Droxler, who’s studied coral reefs for more than 40 years, understands why Darwin’s model persists in textbooks, university lecture halls, […]

Ocean water could melt precarious Antarctic glacier

JADE BOYD – SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 Rice helps study threats to Thwaites, a glacier that could add 25 inches to sea level Rice University researchers, alumni and staff are part of an international effort that has discovered a pathway for warm ocean water to melt the underside of Thwaites Glacier, a precarious body of west Antarctic […]

Rice mourns geophysicist, former college magister Dale Sawyer

by JADE BOYD, Rice News – SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 Rice geophysicist Dale Sawyer, a respected scientist, dedicated educator and former magister of Will Rice and Sid Richardson colleges, died peacefully Sept. 15 after a long illness. He was 65. Sawyer, professor emeritus of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, joined Rice in 1988 and retired this year. […]

The Passing of Dale Sawyer

Kirsten Siebach in science TV series ‘Life 2.0’

JADE BOYD – SEPTEMBER 4, 2020   Kirsten Siebach (left), assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, and Scott Solomon, associate teaching professor in biosciences, appear in the first episode of “Life 2.0,” a new television series that’s available for streaming and slated to debut on the air locally at 10 a.m. Saturday on Houston’s KRIV-TV (Fox […]

Small quake clusters can’t hide from AI

MIKE WILLIAMS – AUGUST 24, 2020 Rice researchers use deep learning to find signs were present before deadly Greenland landslide Researchers at Rice University’s Brown School of Engineering are using data gathered before a deadly 2017 landslide in Greenland to show how deep learning may someday help predict seismic events like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. […]

Rice researchers use InSight for deep Mars measurements

JADE BOYD – AUGUST 5, 2020 Analysis of NASA lander seismograph data reveals boundaries from crust to core Using data from NASA’s InSight Lander on Mars, Rice University seismologists have made the first direct measurements of three subsurface boundaries from the crust to the core of the red planet. An artist’s impression of Mars’ inner structure. The topmost […]

Future Texas hurricanes: Fast like Ike or slow like Harvey?

JADE BOYD – JULY 6, 2020 Climate change will make fast-moving storms more likely in late 21st-century Texas Climate change will intensify winds that steer hurricanes north over Texas in the final 25 years of this century, increasing the odds for fast-moving storms like 2008’s Ike compared with slow-movers like 2017’s Harvey, according to new research. […]

Laurence Yeung

Laurence Yeung wins NSF CAREER Award to study biosphere’s history

EEPS Virtual Graduation Ceremony

Sylvia Dee, Caroline Masiello and Mark Torres receive grant to study environmental implications of COVID-19

Original article COVID-19 RESEARCH FUNDS BACK SIX NEW INITIATIVES by MIKE WILLIAMS Grants to Rice faculty support diagnostic, environmental, social projects The Rice University COVID-19 Research Fund Oversight and Review Committee announced it will fund six additional projects by faculty working to mitigate the effects of the new coronavirus. Researchers at Rice, some with the help of […]


Three Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences 2020 Ph.D. graduates are awarded prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Fellowships – a record for the department. Brandee Carlson, Tian Dong and Andrew Moodie, all from the same laboratory group, receive the highly competitive grant after submitting research proposals to the Division of Earth Sciences at NSF.  The […]

Melodie French wins National Science Foundation CAREER Award

MIKE WILLIAMS Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University’s Office of Public Affairs. – JANUARY 31, 2020 Fed grant backs Rice earthquake research HOUSTON – (Jan. 31, 2020) – Rice University geologist Melodie French is crushing it in her quest to understand the physics responsible for earthquakes. Rice University geologist Melodie French has earned […]

Bally Alumni Gabor Tari wins AAPG Ambassador Service Award

From AAPG Explorer (December 2019):  Gabor Tari is the recipient of the Vlastimila “Vlasta” Dvořáková International Ambassador Service Award. This award is given to those who have promoted growth and awareness of the AAPG organization internationally, outside the United States, and created opportunities for the Association to reach a wider audience of geoscientists worldwide. Tari is […]

Climate prompts change at Rice

MIKE WILLIAMS– DECEMBER 3, 2019 Houston’s status as the energy capital of the world, as well as its exposure to extreme flooding events in recent years, makes it a prime location for environmental studies, according to Rice University researchers. Photo by LithiumAneurym/Wikipedia Task force eyes way to coordinate environmental initiatives, research Houston is a unique […]

Martha Lou Broussard Wins Prestigious AAPG Award


Breathing? Thank volcanoes, tectonics and bacteria

JADE BOYD, RICE NEWS – DECEMBER 2, 2019 Study points to one cause for several mysteries linked to breathable oxygen Earth’s breathable atmosphere is key for life, and a new study suggests that the first burst of oxygen was added by a spate of volcanic eruptions brought about by tectonics. The evolution of life as depicted […]

Telecom cables offer undersea seismic-sensing bonanza

MIKE WILLIAMS – NOVEMBER 28, 2019 Cutting-edge tech comes to new Rice lab on heels of Science study Undersea telecommunications cables that connect the continents may help measure earthquakes and detect other seismic events, according to a newly published paper based on research conducted by a Rice University professor and his colleagues. But proof that the […]

Richard Gordon, W.M. Keck Professor of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences is elected AAAS fellow

JADE BOYD – NOVEMBER 26, 2019 Richard Gordon is honored by scientific society Richard Gordon AAAS fellows are elected by their peers, and Gordon and Miranda are among 443 new fellows announced this week by the 120,000-member association. Fellows are selected for scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Gordon, the W.M. Keck Professor of […]

Two EEPS graduate students awarded NASA FINESST grants

CLEVER Planets Rajdeep Dasgupta publishes a book on carbon

By Mejs Hasan Clever Planets Website, Education & Outreach Coordinator One of the main tasks of CLEVER Planets is to study how elements like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and others ended up on Earth. And not just ended up on Earth, but in places on Earth where they could be accessed by emerging life-forms that must […]

The ‘universal break-up criterion’ of hot, flowing lava

JADE BOYD – AUGUST 30, 2019 Thomas Jones’ “universal break-up criterion” won’t help with meltdowns of the heart, but it will help volcanologists study changing lava conditions in common volcanic eruptions. Long Description Thomas Jones is a Rice Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Rice University’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences. (Photo courtesy of T. Jones) […]

Cin-Ty Lee

Cin-Ty Lee awarded 2019 Fellow of the Geochemical Society

2019 Paul W. Gast Lecture Honoree: Caroline Masiello

The Passing of Albert Bally

Clever Planets: Adrian Lenardic on life beyond Earth

Dr. Adrian Lenardic , EEPS geodynamicist and investigator on the NASA NExSS Clever Planets team joins Ethan Siegel on his podcast Starts With A Bang #45 – Beyond Earth 2.0 Description from Sound Cloud: With all the planets out there in the galaxy and Universe, it’s only a matter of time and data until we […]

Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone

JADE BOYD JUNE 12, 2019 Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone Ancient air bubbles answer question about ozone levels after Industrial Revolution HOUSTON — (June 12, 2019) — Using rare oxygen molecules trapped in air bubbles in old ice and snow, U.S. and French scientists have answered a long-standing question: How much […]

Mark Torres wins Sloan Research Fellowship

By Kendall Schoemann (staff writer in Rice University’s Office of Public Affairs) Two Rice University faculty members have been selected as 2019 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows. Mark Torres (Photo courtesy of Rice University) Mark Torres, assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, was honored for his work in the field of ocean sciences, […]

Dr. Richard Gordon, Lin Zheng, Daniel Woodworth under EoS Research Spotlight

A Research Spotlight highlighting their paper, “Pacific Plate Apparent Polar Wander, Hot Spot Fixity, and True Polar Wander During the Formation of the Hawaiian Island and Seamount Chain From an Analysis of the Skewness of Magnetic Anomaly 20r (44 Ma)” has been published on

First Things First

text and images by Linda Welzenbach After 24 hours of travel from Houston, Texas to Punta Arenas, Chile, I arrived exhausted yet excited (and perhaps just a wee bit anxious of the unknown) to be part of something very unique.  My name is Linda Welzenbach and my role on this expedition is to share the […]

Planetary collision that formed the moon made life possible on Earth

JADE BOYD – JANUARY 23, 2019 Study: Planetary delivery explains enigmatic features of Earth’s carbon and nitrogen Most of Earth’s essential elements for life — including most of the carbon and nitrogen in you — probably came from another planet. Earth most likely received the bulk of its carbon, nitrogen and other life-essential volatile elements from […]

Feds, states can help biochar live up to its soil-saving potential

MIKE WILLIAMS – JANUARY 11, 2019 Study shows how government promotes agricultural, environmental benefits – and could do more Even though every dollar spent on soil improvement can save much more in environmental costs down the road, startup costs can sometimes make it hard for farmers to implement best environmental practices. A team of researchers […]

Dr. Gelu Costin’s research on Hematane nominated for “The Most Significant Material Science News of 2018”

‘True polar wander’ may have caused ice age

JADE BOYD – NOVEMBER 19, 2018 Rice U. scientists use Hawaiian hot spot to study movement of Earth’s poles Earth’s latest ice age may have been caused by changes deep inside the planet. Based on evidence from the Pacific Ocean, including the position of the Hawaiian Islands, Rice University geophysicists have determined Earth shifted relative […]

Blue Hole Belize- Dr. André Droxler leads geological science activities for historic submersible expedition

Ice-age climate clues unearthed

Rice scientist’s method helps interpret climate data from lake sediments MIKE WILLIAMS – OCTOBER 24, 2018 How cold did Earth get during the last ice age? The truth may lie deep beneath lakes and could help predict how the planet will warm again. Sediments in lake beds hold chemical records of ages past, among them the […]

Tiny northwest quakes tied to deep-crust structure

MIKE WILLIAMS – OCTOBER 25, 2018 Rice University scientists uncover relationship between tremors, water at the Cascadia margin HOUSTON – (Oct. 25, 2018) – The earthquakes are so small and deep that someone standing in Seattle would never feel them. In fact, until the early 2000s, nobody knew they happened at all. Now, scientists at Rice […]

What recipes produce a habitable planet?

JADE BOYD – SEPTEMBER 17, 2018 Cross-disciplinary team will track life-essential elements during planets’ early evolution NASA’s interdisciplinary Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) project has awarded Rice University $7.7 million for a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research program aimed at finding many different recipes nature might follow to produce rocky planets capable of supporting life. As any […]

Pedram Hassanzadeh named Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellow

ARIE PASSWATERS – AUGUST 29, 2018 Adrienne Correa, assistant professor of biosciences at Rice, and Pedram Hassanzadeh, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, received 2018 Early-Career Research Fellowships from the Gulf Research Program, part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The fellowships support emerging scientific leaders as they take risks […]

julia morgan

Kilauea eruption an opportunity for undersea scrutiny

  Video by Rice Professor Julia Morgan, taken from a helicopter on July 16, shows lava from the ongoing eruption of Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii as it moves from the volcano to the sea. Morgan and her colleagues spent a week placing ocean-bottom seismic instruments off the southeastern shore of the island. […]

Sulfur analysis supports timing of oxygen’s appearance

River water helps Rice U. scientist support rise of atmospheric oxygen 2.7 billion years ago By Mike Williams HOUSTON – (July 23, 2018) – Scientists have long thought oxygen appeared in Earth’s lower atmosphere 2.7 billion years ago, making life as we know it possible. A Rice University researcher has added evidence to support that […]

Lake bed reveals details about ancient Earth

Rice University researcher helped find oxygen evidence of atmospheric production by Mike Williams HOUSTON – (July 18, 2018) – Sleuthing by a Rice University postdoctoral fellow is part of a new Nature paper that gives credence to theories about Earth’s atmosphere 1.4 billion years ago. Rice’s Justin Hayles and his colleagues, led by Peter Crockford at McGill […]

Joyeeta Bhattacharya selected for Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology

Ph.D. candidate Joyeeta Bhattacharya is one of ten U.S. participants- among 60 world-wide- selected to participate in the coveted Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology (USSP).  The NSF sponsored fellowship is a three week long intensive course and workshop that provide participants with an advanced working knowledge on paleobiological and geochemical proxy data and how they […]

Geochemist Janne Blichert-Toft wins Murchison Medal

Alana Semple

Flow in the asthenosphere drags tectonic plates along


Europium points to new suspect in continental mystery

Europium points to new suspect in continental mystery Study: Rare earth element implicates garnet for continents’ missing iron HOUSTON — (May 16, 2018) — Clues from some unusual Arizona rocks pointed Rice University scientists toward a discovery — a subtle chemical signature in rocks the world over — that could answer a long-standing mystery: What […]

Rice, UH team preps for massive Antarctic glacier study

JADE BOYD – APRIL 30, 2018 Offshore research team to aid in historic study of threatened Thwaites Glacier A team of scientists from Rice University, the University of Houston, the University of Alabama and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory will participate in an ambitious $25 million study aimed at determining how quickly Antarctica’s massive Thwaites Glacier could collapse. The […]

Nur Schuba

Sub-sea rift spills secrets to seismic probe

MIKE WILLIAMS – APRIL 26, 2018 Rice-led study yields first clues about internal structure of Galicia margin The first study to spring from a Rice University-led 2013 international expedition (click to read the 2013 press release Ocean explorers want to get to the bottom of Galicia) to map the sea floor off the coast of Spain has revealed details […]

Rajdeep Dasgupta

Rajdeep Dasgupta receives Duncan Award

Charles Duncan Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement Rajdeep Dasgupta, professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences, received the Duncan Award,  which is presented by Rice deans upon the recommendation of senior faculty. It honors tenure-track or tenured faculty members who have less than 10 years of experience.

Francis Albarede

Francis Albarède wins Nemmers Prize

Francis Albarède, Emeritus Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Wiess visiting professor at Rice in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, is the inaugural  Nemmers Prize winner in Earth Sciences by Northwestern University. “I would never have expected such a huge and humbling distinction. I always thought of myself as […]

Ocean-going Rice postdoc featured in NSF video

Life beyond Earth: No plate tectonics, no problem

Life beyond Earth: No plate tectonics, no problem JADE BOYD – MARCH 28, 2018 Scientists prepare to look in unexpected places for ‘exoplanet biosignatures’ HOUSTON — (March 28, 2018) — Scientists looking for life on distant planets are making plans to search non-Earth-like planets based on discoveries within our solar system that are challenging long-standing ideas […]

Ash from dinosaur-era volcanoes linked with shale oil, gas

Ash from dinosaur-era volcanoes linked with shale oil, gas JADE BOYD MARCH 12, 2018 Shale oil, gas deposits accompany ash layers from thousands of volcanic eruptions Nutrient-rich ash from an enormous flare-up of volcanic eruptions toward the end of the dinosaurs’ reign kicked off a chain of events that led to the formation of shale […]

After the fire, charcoal goes against the grain, with the flow

After the fire, charcoal goes against the grain, with the flow JADE BOYD – DECEMBER 11, 2017 Rice U. wildfire study: Soil charcoal became more concentrated over time When a forest fire decimated more than 3,000 acres of Rice University-owned timberland in 2011, biogeochemist Carrie Masiello saw a silver lining in the blackened trees. The Tri-County […]

Heavy nitrogen molecules reveal planetary-scale tug-of-war

JADE BOYD – NOVEMBER 17, 2017 Rice, UCLA, Michigan State, UNM find unusual enrichment in 15N15N molecules Nature whispers its stories in a faint molecular language, and Rice University scientist Laurence Yeung and colleagues can finally tell one of those stories this week, thanks to a one-of-a-kind instrument that allowed them to hear what the atmosphere […]

Reefs near Texas endured punctuated bursts of sea-level rise before drowning

Fossil coral reefs show sea level rose in bursts during last warming JADE BOYD – OCTOBER 19, 2017 POSTED IN: CURRENT NEWS, FEATURED STORIES Reefs near Texas endured punctuated bursts of sea-level rise before drowning Scientists from Rice University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies have […]

Rice’s Clint Miller ready to study first cores from Gulf of Corinth rift

Rice scientist ready to study first cores from active continental rift JADE BOYD – OCTOBER 19, 2017POSTED IN: CURRENT NEWS Rice’s Clint Miller ready to study first cores from Gulf of Corinth rift By Linda Welzenbach Special to Rice News Rice geochemist Clint Miller is part of an international team of scientists that is collecting the first […]

Rice’s Laurence Yeung named 2017 Packard Fellow

JADE BOYD – OCTOBER 16, 2017 Rice’s Laurence Yeung named 2017 Packard Fellow Geochemist wins prestigious grant for innovative research into ‘clumped’ isotopes HOUSTON — (Oct. 16, 2017) — Rice University’s Laurence Yeung has made a career of searching for some of Earth’s rarest molecules and the stories they tell about the planet’s past, present and […]

Xiaodong Gao aiming for the six World Marathon Majors

Research scientist aiming for the six World Marathon Majors B.J. ALMOND – OCTOBER 6, 2017 POSTED IN: RICE CURRENT NEWS When research scientist Xiaodong Gao crossed the finish line at the Berlin Marathon Sept. 24, he reached the halfway mark to his goal of running six of the world’s largest and most-renowned marathons. Having completed […]

Hot spot at Hawaii? Not so fast

MIKE WILLIAMS – AUGUST 18, 2017 Hot spot at Hawaii? Not so fast Rice University scientists’ model shows global mantle plumes don’t move as quickly as thought HOUSTON – (Aug. 18, 2017) – Through analysis of volcanic tracks, Rice University geophysicists have concluded that hot spots like those that formed the Hawaiian Islands aren’t moving as […]

Data mining finds more than expected beneath Andean Plateau

JADE BOYD – AUGUST 23, 2017 Seismic data suggests means of producing massive volumes of continental crust Seismologists investigating how Earth forms new continental crust have compiled more than 20 years of seismic data from a wide swath of South America’s Andean Plateau and determined that processes there have produced far more continental rock than previously […]

Hidden river once flowed beneath Antarctic ice

Rice U. study: Flowing water influenced retreat of ancient Antarctic ice sheet JADE BOYD AUGUST 21, 2017 Antarctic researchers from Rice University have discovered one of nature’s supreme ironies: On Earth’s driest, coldest continent, where surface water rarely exists, flowing liquid water below the ice appears to play a pivotal role in determining the fate […]

New plate adds plot twist to ancient tectonic tale

Rice University scientists say Malpelo microplate helps resolve geological misfit under Pacific Ocean By Mike HOUSTON – (Aug. 14, 2017) – A microplate discovered off the west coast of Ecuador adds another piece to Earth’s tectonic puzzle, according to Rice University scientists. Researchers led by Rice geophysicist Richard Gordon discovered the microplate, which they have named […]

Glaciers may have helped warm Earth

Glaciers may have helped warm Earth MIKE WILLIAMS July 31, 2017 Rice professor’s study details effect of glacial versus nonglacial weathering on carbon cycle It seems counterintuitive, but over the eons, glaciers may have made Earth warmer, according to a Rice University professor. Weathering of Earth by glaciers may have warmed Earth over eons by […]

Biochar could clear the air in more ways than one

New research by Professor Carrie Masiello’s Post-Doctoral Fellow Ghasideh Pourhashem is highlighted.   “I really like her team’s work because it models a couple of important parts of environmental science – the fundamental team nature of problem-solving (her team’s work required integrating soil science, air quality, and health economics), and then also the idea that addressing […]

Zealandia should hold answers about tectonics and past climate

Zealandia should hold answers about tectonics, past climate JADE BOYD – JULY 18, 2017 Scientific expedition will explore Tasman Sea for clues about submerged continent Thirty scientists will sail from Australia July 27 on a two-month ocean drilling expedition to the submerged continent of Zealandia in search of clues about its history, which relates to […]

Seismic CT scan points to rapid uplift of Southern Tibet

  JUNE 7, 2017 By Jade Boyd Tomographic model indicates Southern Tibet formed within 10 million years   HOUSTON — (June 7, 2017) — Using seismic data and supercomputers, Rice University geophysicists have conducted a massive seismic CT scan of the upper mantle beneath the Tibetan Plateau and concluded that the southern half of the “Roof […]

Nittrouer and Ma featured in New York Times Science News

From June 6-Dateline Rice: A new formula to help tame China’s Yellow River  Jeffrey Nittrouer, assistant professor of Earth science, and postdoctoral research associate Hongbo Ma are highlighted in the New York Times, Science news. U.S. and Chinese geologists studying China’s Yellow River have created a new tool that could help Chinese officials better predict […]

Carrie Masiello- 2017 Geological Society of America Fellow

Society Fellowship is an honor bestowed on the best of our profession by election at the spring GSA Council meeting. GSA members are nominated by existing GSA Fellows in recognition of their distinguished contributions to the geosciences through such avenues as publications, applied research, teaching, administration of geological programs, contributing to the public awareness of geology, […]

Jeffrey Nittrouer and Hongbo Ma -Yellow River research highlighted in China Daily  

Audrey Odwuor, an Earth Science graduating senior, receives the 2017 Dr. Mae C. Jemison Award for Academic Achievement and Public Service

Deep Subduction of Organic Carbon Helped Atmospheric Oxygen Rise

Study: Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle JADE BOYD – APRIL 25, 2017 Petrology experiments support tectonic role in Earth’s ‘great oxidation event’ Rice University petrologists who recreated hot, high-pressure conditions from 60 miles below Earth’s surface have found a new clue about a crucial event in the planet’s deep past. Earth’s atmosphere, […]

Cin-Ty Lee- 2017 Guggenheim Fellow

Rice’s Cin-Ty Lee wins Guggenheim Fellowship JADE BOYD – APRIL 7, 2017 Earth scientist will study how and when continents emerged from oceans Rice University Earth scientist Cin-Ty Lee has won a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship to investigate how and when continents emerged from the oceans and the effect of their emergence on the evolution of whole-Earth […]

Sarah Gerenday receives HGS Undergraduate Scholarship

Dr. Albert Bally awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland)

Hans Ave Lallemant Memorial – 18 November, 2016 (4-6 pm)

Bringing together Selenga-Baikal Research Conference, Nov.11-14

Rice wins 1st Place Poster at AAPG Student Expo 2016

Pankaj Khanna, PhD Candidate, won the 1st Place Poster award at the AAPG Student Expo, Houston 2016. Poster title – ‘ Uppermost Pleistocene coralgal Reefs and Upper Cambrian microbial bioherms: Morphologies and sea-level induced evolution’   Poster Awards, 1st Place: Pankaj Khanna – "Uppermost Pleistocene coralgal reefs and Upper Cambrian microbial reefs: Morphologies and…" — […]

New model for origin of Earth’s carbon and sulfur

Earth Science Students Participate in Rice University’s 90 Second Thesis Competition

The Earth Science Ph.D. program fielded its first team of student participants in the university-wide 90 second thesis competition this spring.  Students Tamunoisoala LongJohn, Harsha Vora, Tuo Zhang, Zuolin Liu, and Lacey Pyle had 90 seconds to describe their Ph.D. thesis topics to a diverse panel of judges.  Follow this link here to see their […]

Janne Blichert-Toft

Janne Blichert-Toft elected as member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters

Janne Blichert-Toft, one of our permanent Wiess visiting scientists, was elected as a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.  This is the highest distinction for a scientist in Denmark.  Janne’s primary home is at the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon in France.  She is one of the most highly cited high […]

Rice students win coveted Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation

Every year, the National Science Foundation awards Graduate Research Fellowships to senior undergrads and beginning graduate students.  These prestigious awards provide full funding for graduate school in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering.  They are one of the most coveted awards for a young scientist.  This year, two of our current students and two […]

New Field Emission Electron Probe MicroAnalyzer installed at Keith-Wiess Geological Laboratory

New Field Emission EPMA in Rice News: “New tool probes deep into minerals and more” EPMA Lab Web page: EPMA Laboratory

IRESS Student Poster Prize Winners

  IRESS 2016 included posters presentations by 24 Earth Science students. Poster awards were presented to Brian Demet (honorable mention), Daniel Woodworth (3rd prize), Pankaj Khanna (1st prize), Monica Erdman (2nd prize), and Jie Hou (honorable mention, not in photo). Photo by Gary Linkevich.

Laurence Yeung wins 2016 F. W. Clarke award from the Geochemical Society

Laurence Yeung, assistant professor of Earth Science, will be awarded the F. W. Clarke medal from the Geochemical Society at this year’s V. M. Goldschmidt meeting in Yokohama, Japan. The award is named after Frank Wigglesworth Clarke, who determined the composition of the Earth’s crust and is considered by many to be the father of […]

Mini-flume landslide experiments

In a collaboration with Chris Paola at the University of Minnesota St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, Brandon Dugan is adding a mini-flume to Rice Geotechnical Lab. Benchtop landslide experiments starting soon.

Jie Hou – 2014 SEG Best Paper Presentation

Congratulations to grad student Jie Hou for receiving the 2014 Society of Exploration Geophysicists Best Paper Presentation! Jie Hou below with his adviser Bill Symes.

Matt Weller – AGU SEDI – Graduate Research Award 2015

Matthew Weller will receive the 2015 Study of the Earth’s Deep Interior Focus Group Graduate Research Award at the 2015 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, to be held 14–18 December in San Francisco, Calif. Matthew Weller received a dual B.Sc. in geology and astrophysics from the University of Toledo in 2007 and a M.Sc. in […]

Manik Talwani wins 2015 Maurice Ewing Award from the SEG

Our Manik Talwani received the Society of Exploration Geophysicist’s Maurice Ewing Medal this year.  From the SEG wiki: “The 2015 Maurice Ewing Award goes to Dr. Manik Talwani who received his PhD in 1959 from Columbia University under the tutelage of Doc Ewing, who would be justifiably proud of his student. Manik has received an […]

Monica Erdman, Brian Jordan and Clint Miller awarded at AAPG/SEG student expo

Rice students attended the AAPG/SEG Student Expo in Houston this week. In the poster competition, Monica Erdman won first place for her poster titled “Dual uplift history of the Colorado Plateau via arc magmatism and lower crustal foundering”. Brian Jordan won third place for his poster and Clint Miller got an honorable mention. Clint Miller […]

New stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer from Nu instruments installed in the Yeung Lab

New stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer from Nu instruments installed in Yeung Lab.

Ananya Mallik (PhD, 2014) receives Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship!

Ananya Mallik (PhD, 2015) receives Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship!

Masiello award $1 million dollar grant from the Keck Foundation

Masiello award $1 million dollar grant from the Keck Foundation to engineer microbial biosensors for soil [Article]

Graduating senior Rachel Marzen receives NSF graduate research fellowship

Graduating senior Rachel Marzen receives NSF graduate research fellowship.