Mark Cloos

Mark Cloos

The alumni association of The University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Exes, will award 2008 Teaching Awards to two Jackson School of Geosciences educators—Professor Mark Cloos and Teaching Assistant Estibalitz Ukar—for their “positive influence on the educational experience of university students.” They will receive their awards at a ceremony Feb. 5. Mark Cloos began teaching at the university in 1981. In 2007, he taught Structural Geology (GEO 428) and a graduate course, Tectonics II. His research focuses on structure, metamorphism, geochronology, sedimentation and seismicity at convergent plate margins. He has recently focused on the tectonics of arc-continent collision zones and the origin of porphyry copper ore bodies. He conducts field projects in Papua, Indonesia and in the

Estibalitz Ukar

Estibalitz Ukar

central and northern Coast Ranges of California. “In my entire undergraduate and graduate career, I have never met a professor that was so passionate about his work and about his students,” graduate student Ashleigh Bomar wrote in his nomination letter. “The man is an inspiration himself,” wrote undergraduate Sumiyyah Ahmed. “His vivacity and enthusiasm for the subject spreads to all of his students. He encourages us to be detectives, scientists and to always be curious. Great teacher!” Estibalitz Ukar first came to the university as an exchange student from the Basque region of Spain in 2001. She returned in 2004 with a full scholarship from the Basque government to work on a PhD. Her doctoral work involves metamorphic petrology, geochemistry and plate tectonics of blueschist and graphite-schist blocks from the Franciscan Melange in

San Simeon, California. In 2007, she taught Earth Materials, an introductory course in mineralogy. “I was completely surprised when I got the award,” said Ukar. “I was not expecting it at all, especially because it was my first semester teaching (at least at the university level).” “Esti is a deserving recipient because she does everything a teacher should to the highest standard,” undergraduate Nick Perez wrote in his nomination letter. “Labs are fun, educational and well organized while she is patient, knowledgeable and eager to help us. She is a teacher teaching well and creating a quality class.” The first Texas Exes Teaching Awards were given in 1982. Each of the 14 schools and colleges at the university selects one professor and one teaching assistant or assistant instructor to receive an award each year. The awardees are nominated by students and selected by school or college councils. According to the solicitation for nominees, “The persons selected should demonstrate warmth of spirit, concern for society and the individual, the ability to impart knowledge while challenging students to independent inquiry and creative thought, and respect for an understanding of the permanent value of our culture.” Since the Jackson School was elevated to the level of a college within the University in 2005, the only other Jackson School professor to receive the teaching award was Chris Bell in 2007. For more information about research at the Jackson School, contact J.B. Bird at jbird@jsg.utexas.edu, 512-232-9623
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