Dear Alumni and Friends,
Welcome to the 2018-19 edition of EAPS Scope, focusing on the Earth. Here, we reflect on the most notable achievements and events of the Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) community from the past year, and share stories about new scientific advances and the people who are helping us achieve our endeavors.
First, it is my pleasure to applaud Susan Solomon, Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies, for winning the 2018 Crafoord Prize for Geosciences. The award recognizes her fundamental contributions to understanding the role of atmospheric trace gases in Earth’s climate system. EAPS is thrilled to congratulate Professor Solomon for this well-deserved accolade.
This Fall, we celebrated 50 years of the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering with an interinstitutional event at MIT and WHOI. Over two days, we enjoyed reconnecting with many alumni and seeing past leaders in the field like renowned oceanographer and former WHOI Provost Dr. Arthur “Art” E. Maxwell, who helped to found the Joint Program. We also warmly thanked his daughter Delle Maxwell SM ‘83 and her husband Patrick Hanrahan, who were also in attendance, for their generous support for the endowed Arthur E. Maxwell Fellowship Fund at WHOI, and for launching the Maxwell-Hanrahan Research and Education Fund at MIT that will help to continue Art’s oceanographic legacy.
We appreciated reestablishing and strengthening relationships with more EAPS friends and alumni throughout the year. In February, Course XIX alums and many world-class climate researchers celebrated the extraordinary legacies of MIT Professors and meteorologists Edward Lorenz and Jule Charney after the centenary of their shared birth year. In April, the Earth Resources Lab honored the late Dr. Joseph B. Walsh, doyen of rock mechanics, while planetary scientists gathered in Cambridge and Westford to mark the 50th anniversary of the Planetary Astronomy Lab.
Continued innovation and advances in basic research like those taking place in EAPS each day would not be possible without facilities to support them. So, I am pleased to report that plans to build state-of-the-art climate science labs in Building 4 are progressing nicely. Additionally, our crowning vision to create the Earth and Environment Pavilion—that will add an attractive, collaborative workspace and portal to the Green Building—is also coming into focus, with two new 7-figure gifts towards our $30m fundraising campaign. While we still have a way to go, we are now optimistic that this venue for earth-centered research and education will soon become a reality, and we are eager to partner with other visionary philanthropists who understand the central role that the earth sciences play in ensuring a sustainable future.
We thank alumni and friends whose financial backing underpins the health and intellectual vigor of the EAPS community, and are truly grateful for those individuals, corporations, and foundations who support our faculty and students, allowing them to thrive.
Wishing you all happy holidays, and health and success in 2019.
— Rob van der Hilst
In this issue
For further information on giving opportunities or creating a named fund to benefit the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, please contact:
Senior Development Officer
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT
617 253 5796
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