Welcome Back!

Jackson School friends,

It is fantastic to see students back in our halls and classrooms again! The past year and a half has been very difficult for everyone in the JSG family, and there is nothing like coming together as a community to begin to heal the personal and professional stresses brought on by this pandemic. I know students crave the in-person learning of the university environment— as do the faculty, researchers and staff. There is great positive energy returning to the school!

While we have returned to campus, the delta variant is everywhere, and I strongly encourage everyone to use a mask while in the buildings and classrooms across campus, and to get the COVID-19 vaccine, if you are medically eligible. The NIH and CDC data and guidelines on the efficacy of these practices are clear and they continue to be our best defense against the pandemic. While wearing a mask is not mandated, I appeal to all of you to respect and help protect those members of our community who are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of the virus, or who have family members at home at similar high risk.  Please reflect on our shared responsibility to each other when making this decision, and mask up for your safety and the safety of those around you.

The headlines are full of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ida, wildfires in California, and drought in the western U.S. As a society, we are coming to grips with the challenges of these natural hazards and how they are exacerbated by climate change. At the same time, a global effort is underway to determine how we can transition to a carbon-neutral energy system in a way that ensures reliable power for our communities and economy. There has never been a more important time to be a geoscientist!  That’s why every single one of us is here at the Jackson School. We continue to push the envelope in our research to bring new knowledge and skills to solve these challenges, and we seek to educate the geoscientists who will do so in the future. Yet, outside our school and across the globe, fewer students than ever before see the opportunities presented by a career as a geoscientist. In every class and at every opportunity, let’s seek to educate the campus about geoscience. Geoscientists are part of the solution at every level!

Welcome back! Let’s arrive with purpose and hit the field and the lab with all the energy and creative intellect we have!

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Claudia Mora, Dean