Our biggest challenge last year was navigating the complexities of working with masks and face shields, social distancing, and teaching both face-to-face and online. GGPE students and faculty adjusted wonderfully, and we are optimistic things will fall into place for the upcoming year.
Several of our faculty and staff received well-deserved accolades this past year. Dr. Katherine Grote was named S&T Woman of the Year in recognition of her work to improve the environment for women and minorities. Dr. Kelly Liu received the Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ Outstanding Educator Award and will be recognized at the SEG meeting in Denver later this year. Our wonderful administrative assistant, Ms. Patty Robertson, received a Staff Excellence Award. And Dr. Jonathan Obrist-Farner received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, joining Dr. Marek Locmelis, who received an NSF CAREER Award last year. Our department, and the geology and geophysics program, is one of only a handful in the nation that can boast having two faculty members with NSF CAREER awards. And as usual, our students have been very successful this year, with nearly all securing jobs and internships.
We completed the renovation phase of the 2,000-square-foot rock characterization lab in McNutt Hall. Thanks to generous donations, we purchased and installed a new XRF and a mercury intrusion porosimeter instrument.
Partnering with the Ozark Rivers Chapter of the National Audubon Society, GGPE established a local groundwater monitoring network. Students now access 11 monitoring wells for classroom assignments and research projects. You can see more ways we’re making an impact in the community and the state at ggpe.mst.edu/engagement-and-outreach.
I hope you enjoy learning a little bit more about our activities in this year's newsletter!