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Annual Chauncey D. Holmes Lecture and Award Ceremony to feature international Earthquake expert

A record 22 students will be honored for academic excellence

Apr 1, 2013 — Article by: Judy Holmes

San Andreas Fault image

San Andreas fault zone, Carrizo Plains, central California. Photo by R.E. Wallace, USGS

A record-setting 22 Syracuse University undergraduate students will be recognized for excellence in introductory Earth science during the annual Chauncey D. Holmes Lecture and Award Ceremony, 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18 in the Heroy Geology Laboratory Auditorium. The keynote speaker is Eric Calais professor of geophysics at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Calais will present  “Millimeters matter: Measuring subtle motions of the Earth.”

A reception will be held immediately prior to the lecture outside Heroy Auditorium. The event is presented by the Department of Earth Sciences K. Douglas Nelson Colloquium Series in SU's College of Arts and Sciences and is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the University’s visitor lots.



Recipients of the 2013 award come from six SU schools and colleges and a variety of majors. “Enrollments in our introductory courses have been growing,” says Linda Ivany, professor and director of the undergraduate program in the Department of Earth Sciences.  “We are serving record numbers of undergraduate students who are enrolled in schools and colleges across campus.”

The awards recognize academic excellence and also encourage students to consider adding a major in Earth Sciences to their course of study. “We have seen an increase in the number of Earth Sciences majors over the past few years,” Ivany says. “The increase may be due to higher enrollments in our introductory courses and to all the exciting things happening in Earth sciences today.”
Southern California consists of two of Earth’s plates (the Pacific and North American plates) moving past each other.  Heavy red lines indicate the San Andreas and related faults. The purple lines indicate locations between these faults where the Earth is being pulled apart, creating a deep valley or even new ocean.  Photo Credit: USGS

Southern California consists of two of Earth’s plates (the Pacific and North American plates) moving past each other. Heavy red lines indicate the San Andreas and related faults. The purple lines indicate locations between these faults where the Earth is being pulled apart, creating a deep valley or even new ocean. Photo Credit: USGS

Calais studies the processes deep within the Earth that lead to earthquakes. His primary tools are space geodesy, in particular the Global Positioning System, and mechanical modeling of the Earth’s lithospheric deformation. Geodesy is the science of the Earth’s shape, gravity and rotation.

According to a NASA web site, “space geodesy has revolutionized the study of solid Earth processes through its ability to measure the deformation of the Earth’s surface and the Earth’s gravity field with extraordinary accuracy. These measurements provide information about the motion of the Earth’s tectonic plates, insight into the cause and timing of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and constraints on the internal forces that drive them.”

Calais co-chaired the United Nations Haiti Earthquake Task Force after the devastating January 2010 earthquake. He has served on a number of national and international committees in geodesy and active tectonics and on review panels for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey, and NASA. He has co-authored more than 100 publications in some of the most prestigious research journals in the world and is a highly sought-after speaker. Prior to his appointment at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Calais was on the faculty of Purdue University. He holds a Ph.D. in Earth sciences from the University of Nice.

Alumnus Chauncey Holmes G'27, who received a master's degree in geology from SU in 1927, established the Chauncey D. Holmes Award. An esteemed geologist, Holmes considered raising geologic awareness among undergraduate students a prime objective of his academic career. The awards were established to recognize outstanding students in introductory geology courses.

Recipients of the 2013 Chauncey D. Holmes Awards are:

The College of Arts and Sciences
Claire Bearden (freshman)
Chelsea Blovat (junior)
Nicole Gorny (junior)
Danika Johnson (junior)
Hyaejin Kim (junior)
Alexander Sammartino (freshman)
David Yitzhari (sophomore)

School of Education
Kelly Palmatier

L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science
Mark Holloway (junior)
Karolina Lubecka (junior)
Daniel Partin (junior)

David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
Kelly Car

Whitman School of Management
Anthony Greco III (sophomore)
Sean Hickey (senior)
Richard Zaffuto (junior)
Kristi Tu (sophomore)

S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Nicole De Rose (sophomore)
Aaron Goldsmith (sophomore)
Andrew Miller (sophomore)
Andrew Petro (sophomore)
Gabriela Riccardi (junior)
Dylan Segelbaum (junior)

Contact Information

Judy Holmes
jlholmes@syr.edu
315-443-8085