February 3, 2021
12:00pm in Online
Margaret Carruthers from Writing and Design; Space Telescope Science Institute
My experience as a writer and manager after graduating with a geology degree

Abstract: This seminar will be given by Margaret Carruthers, who has been a writer and editor for >25 years and published multiple science books for the public since her graduation with a Geology degree in 1996. Now Margaret works as a full-time writer and manager at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. In this seminar, she will share her personal experience about how to develop alternative careers after obtaining a geology degree. You are encouraged to bring any questions and have a lovely and helpful chat with her on Wednesday.

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February 10, 2021
12:00pm in Online
Susan C. Martin from Ph.D. Career & Professional Development at UMD
Career resources and CV workshop

Abstract: Career development is one of the most important tasks for graduate students. In this seminar, Susan will introduce various career resources available on campus. She will also teach us to write and format academic CVs. Before you attend this workshop, please consider completing the following (approximately 20-25 minutes total):

Register for the session in Zoom here.

Take the Career Self-Assessment survey here.

Watch this 14-minute video overview of career services for graduate students: video link.

This is a special event just arranged for you~ So utilize it and enjoy!

Seminar will be recorded and available later on YouTube

February 17, 2021
12:00pm in Online
Graham Lau from Director of Communications & Marketing, Blue Marble Space
Pathways Beyond Academia

Abstract: Dr. Lau is currently the director of Communications & Marketing at Blue Marble Space, a nonprofit research institute that aims to build a sustainable future and nurture scientific interest among the public. He is a Research Scientist at Blue Marble Space Institute of Science and a host for the "Ask an Astrobiologist" interview series. In this seminar, Dr. Lau will tell us about his career path from academia to non-profit work and will talk about some of the skills that allow young scientists to evolve in their career pathways. If you are also interested in building networks and finding different career paths, let's hear from his story.

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February 24, 2021
12:00pm in Online
Tolulope Olugboji from Assistant professor, Department of Earth & Environmental Science, University of Rochester
Submarine Detection of the Bottom of Oceanic Plates: Silencing the Singing of Sediments

Abstract: A growing compilation of passive-source seismic surveys reveals a transition across normal oceanic lithospheric plates that is sharp6. A simple view of ocean plate formation and evolution where thermal cooling governs with only a confined role for intermittent hotspot/plume activity is challenged by these seismic constraints.  In this presentation, I discuss how new seismic constraints, i.e., attenuation and age-dependence of a sharp low-velocity zone lend support to a subsolidus elastically accommodated grain-boundary sliding (EAGBS) model. While these results are compelling, one challenge often remains when interpreting scattered wave constraints obtained from seafloor stations: the severe ringing of waves trapped in a sediment layer. In my talk, I will describe a technique for silencing the singing of sediments that interfere with conversions from the underside of the oceanic plate. We anticipate that signal processing using our recommended approach will improve scattered wave imaging, especially with amphibious seismic arrays where the water and sediment layer is expected to vary significantly.

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March 3, 2021
12:00pm in Online
Da Wang from Postdoctorate Fellow, Carnegie Institution for Science
Using accessory minerals to reconstruct the Sm-Nd isotopic evolution of early Archean rocks from the Minnesota River Valley

Abstract: Crustal growth and mantle differentiation through Earth’s history are often traced using two important isotope systems - 176Lu-176Hf and 147Sm-143Nd.  Unlike most igneous rocks throughout later Earth history that show correlated initial Hf and Nd isotopic composition, some ancient rocks have broadly chondritic zircon initial εHf values but highly variable whole-rock initial εNd values. These features have classically been interpreted as Hf-Nd decoupling during either deep magma ocean crystallization, subduction zone processes, or post-crystallization disturbance of the whole-rock Sm-Nd system.  This study selected a suite of Paleoarchean TTGs from the Minnesota River Valley terrane that has exhibited multiple generations of zircon growth, closed-system behavior in its zircon initial Hf isotopic composition, and apparent decoupled initial zircon Hf and whole-rock Nd isotopic compositions. To clarify the cause of early Archean Hf-Nd relationships which are essential to understanding the early Earth, this talk will use in-situ determined U-Pb age and Sm-Nd isotopic data of accessory minerals to reconstruct the primary Sm-Nd isotopic systematics of these early Archean rocks. The short-lived 146Sm-142Nd  isotope system will be also discussed to imply the source of the Minnesota River Valley terrane.

March 10, 2021
12:00pm in Online
Machine Learning Club from University of Maryland College Park
Machine Learning workshop: what's machine learning and its application to geoscience.

Abstract: Machine learning (ML) has increasingly significant applications in geosciences. The Machine learning in Geosciences Club at UMD geology would like to promote ML to more general geoscience research and gather ML enthusiasts to learn and practice coding and scientific applications of ML together. As the first outreach ML workshop, the club will (1) introduce the basic concepts of ML and its recent application in geosciences, (2) illustrate the general framework of ML models and how to approach scientific questions with them, and (3) provide an interactive example to classify rock images with a convolutional neural network (CNN), a type of ML algorithm well suited to classification problems.

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March 24, 2021
12:00pm in Online
Luoth Chou from Postdoctorate Fellow, NASA GSFC
Agnostic Biosignatures Detection Using Mass Spectrometry

Abstract: All possible forms of life, be it Terran or exotic, past or present, alive or dead, express potentially detectable signals called biosignatures. The search for some of these biosignatures on other planets has significantly advanced with the help of modern flight-capable analytical instruments. In tandem with new and cutting-edge space technology, our assumptions about biosignatures and what they may look like must also evolve with our growing knowledge and theories of life. While current strategies for biosignatures detection rely primarily on familiar features of Terran life such as diagnostic molecular fossils, isotopic signatures, or enantiomeric excess, novel agnostic approaches do not assume a particular biochemistry, allowing us to cast a wider net to capture signatures of life that may be based on unfamiliar biochemical system—or life-as-we-don’t-know-it. This talk highlights current efforts undertaken to establish new agnostic approaches to biosignatures detection using modern flight-capable instruments such as mass spectrometers.

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March 31, 2021
12:00pm in Online
Hannah Shamloo from NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, Oregon State University
Rethinking magmatic timescales and how we determine them: Case study on the initiation of the Lava Creek Tuff Supereruption, Yellowstone

Abstract: Some of the most outstanding questions in volcano science is what magmatic processes initiate eruptions and on what timescales. Mineral zoning has been widely used to better understand pre-eruptive histories of magmas including the the diffusion of elements across zones which enables the determination of magmatic timescales. Recent experimental work reveals that diffusion in feldspar, a ubiquitous phase in magmatic systems, is more complex than previously understood, reshaping the way we use chronometers to determine meaningful timescales. In this talk I will present a new experimentally derived diffusion chronometer, and apply it to the Lava Creek Tuff supereruption in order to determine the timing and mechanism of eruption initiation.

April 7, 2021
12:00pm in Online
Mark Tyra from Physical Scientist, NIST
Nuclear forensics, neutrinos, and public service: a geochemist’s life at the national metrology institute.

Abstract: Cosmochemistry and nuclear forensics share many similarities, from shared nuclear reactions to shared personnel to the shared facilities where both subjects are studied. The path between the two fields is more straightforward than one may think. This talk will cover my path from isotope geochemistry to nuclear forensics and speak to the role of a scientist as a public servant.

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April 21, 2021
12:00pm in Online
Jeng Hann Chong, Sona Chaudhary, Michael Dubbin from
Diverse Career Paths after Obtaining a B.S. Degree: Perspectives from Recent UMD Graduates

Abstract: We have great pleasure in inviting you to attend an Alumni career panel discussion on "Diverse Career Paths after obtaining a B.S. degree at UMD"

This career panel offers an opportunity for current undergraduate students to interact with alumni, who are recent UMD geology graduates, to gain first-hand information and practical advice on various career paths.

The Panelists are:

Jeng Hann Chong: Hann is a current graduate student at the California State University, Northridge, studying geophysics. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Geology from UMD in 2019.

Sona Chaudhary: Sona is a physical scientist at US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a News Reporter for Dallas Free Press, and a Content Associate at Coforma. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Geology and English from UMD in 2020.

Michael Dubbin: Michael serves as a biologist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prior to that, Michael was an Environmental Analyst at Building Evaluation Services & Technology. Michael obtained his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from UMD in 2019.

This career panel will begin with a brief self-introduction, and then the moderator will ask general questions to each panelist. The second half of the panel will create an informal and respectful discussion venue where students are encouraged to ask questions that matter to them.

It’s our goal to stand together with UMD undergraduates, graduates, faculty members and help each other succeed. We hope this opportunity gives students perspectives on trends, challenges, and opportunities for careers after graduation.

So, come join us!

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The organizer for the lunchtime seminar is Grace Ni. You can contact her at zni@umd.edu.