Dean’s Update: Looking Forward to a Great 2017

Sharon Mosher, Dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences

Jackson School community,

Welcome back for the spring semester. I hope you had a great winter break and returned invigorated and excited about what the New Year may hold.

I’d like to make you aware of a few milestones on the horizon that we can all look forward to this year.

We will complete the school’s strategic plan early this spring. The plan will outline schoolwide goals for research, graduate and undergraduate education and outreach and will act as a road map for the Jackson School of Geosciences’ pursuit of excellence in the years to come. Many of you have contributed ideas, time and energy to the plan. I’d like to thank you for all your help, including the reviews of the graduate and undergraduate programs. When the plan is complete, we will post it on the Jackson School’s website and distribute the link.

The Bureau of Economic Geology will be moving forward this year on a project to renovate existing laboratories and build a new core research building. The project, scheduled to be finished at the end of 2018, is an overall upgrade of the bureau’s Laboratory Building to ensure that bureau researchers have the latest equipment and the best facilities in their fields of research.  The new 10,000-square-foot core viewing and scanning electron microscope (SEM) lab will allow the bureau to expand in areas critical to its research focus and maintain its global leadership.

In the JGB building, we just completed Peter Flemings’ new geomechanical and geotechnical lab on the sixth floor and are on schedule to complete the hydrates lab on the first floor by mid-February. Together, the labs represent one of the few facilities in the world capable of storing and analyzing methane hydrate in its in situ state. We have also completed Nicola Tisato’s rock deformation lab on the sixth floor and prep lab on the first floor.  Additionally, the Department of Geological Sciences office has moved to JGB and is located across from the Holland Family Student Center.

2016 was a tremendously productive year for the Jackson School. It was also a great year for communicating our work to the public. You probably noticed a number of Jackson School projects in the news. The Chicxulub drilling expedition, the Lucy studies, the TexNet seismic network, research in Antarctica and research on Mars are just a few examples of Jackson School work that was covered by news outlets across the state, country and even the world.

There were many, many more news stories covering science conducted across the Jackson School last year, and I hope for even more in 2017.

Sharing our research with the world benefits the researchers, the school and science in general. So if you have something you want to share or want to learn more about the process, please contact Communications Director Anton Caputo, who can assist with the media outreach, press materials and social media necessary to tell our story in the modern media environment.

And if you haven’t had a chance, check out our Facebook and Twitter.

Happy New Year, and here’s to a great 2017!

Sharon Mosher, Dean