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December 2017 
A Look Back at the Top Stories of 2017

With a new year around the corner, we'd like to take a pause to celebrate all the amazing science that LSU researchers, both faculty and students, have produced this year.  Join us as we look back on the Top 10 LSU Science Stories of 2017! These stories represent some of our most popular posts on the LSU College of Science blog.

Enjoy and Geaux Science!    |  More

LSU Hosts 294th Commencement Program

Dean Cynthia Peterson (middle), fall 2017 University Medalists, and graduate commissioned in the Armed Forces

More than 1,500 graduates celebrated the culmination of years of study during LSU's fall 2017 commencement ceremony, including more than 150 graduates from the College of Science. The college held its fall diploma ceremony Friday, December 15th at Maddox Fieldhouse. The class of 2017 included 16 PhD recipients; 13 Master of Science and the Master of Natural Science degree recipients, and 124 Bachelor of Science degree recipients.  The ceremony speaker was Jonathan Earle, dean of LSU's Ogden Honors College and specialist in the history of  the antebellum United States.  More  
The Highest Academic Honor
Susanne Brenner and Ward Plummer Named LSU System Boyd Professors

LSU System Boyd Professors Susanne Brenner and Ward Plummer

On Friday, Dec. 8, the LSU Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to award Boyd Professorships to   Susanne Brenner, Nicholson Professor in the LSU Department of Mathematics, and   Ward Plummer, LSU professor of physics. The designation of Boyd Professor is LSU's highest and most prestigious academic rank, and is only awarded to faculty who have achieved national and international recognition for outstanding research, teaching or other creative achievements.  More

Frozen in Time
Researchers Find that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet's History of Instability
May Contribute to Global Sea Level Rise

Findings Published in December Edition of Nature Featuring  Cover Art by LSU Palynologist  Sophie Warny 

Cover of the December 14 edition of the journal Nature featuring a selection of fossilized pollen from sediment cores collected from East Antarctica's continental shelf.

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet locks away enough water to raise sea level an estimated 53 meters (174 feet), more than any other ice sheet on the planet. It's also thought to be among the most stable, not gaining or losing mass even as ice sheets in West Antarctica and Greenland shrink.
New research published on Dec. 14 in the journal  Nature  led by The University of Texas at Austin and the University of South Florida, with contributions by LSU CENEX palynologist   Sophie Warny  and visiting student Catherine Smith, found that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet may not be as stable as it seems. In fact, the ice sheet has a long history of expanding and shrinking - a finding that indicates the ice sheet may contribute substantially to global sea level rise as Earth's climate warms.  The new results came from geophysical and geological data collected during the first-ever oceanographic survey of East Antarctica's Sabrina Coast. The glaciers in this region may be particularly susceptible to climate change because they flow from the Aurora Basin, a region of East Antarctica that mostly lies below sea level.  More 

LSU at AGU 2017
LSU Researchers Present at World's Largest Earth and Space Sciences Conference

Geology graduate student David Susko discusses the future of Mars exploration with Environmentors students from Scotlandville High School. The students participated is the student poster presentation held during AGU 2017.

LSU faculty, students and staff presented nearly 200 research talks, posters, press conferences and events at the largest Earth and space sciences conference in the world, the American Geophysical Union, or AGU. From Dec. 11-15, about 20,000 scientists convened in New Orleans for the AGU Fall Meeting. The annual meeting is typically held in San Francisco. However, since the convention center in San Francisco is closed for renovations, scientists from around the world met at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans this year. Researchers from multiple disciplines across LSU presented their research spanning the physical and life sciences that increases our understanding of Earth, sea and space. 

Highlights from AGU 2017:

More News:
  • LSU Research Contributes to Two Physics World 2017 Breakthroughs of the Year  More
  • LSU Ornithologists Discover New Antbird Species in Peru  More
  • CALET Makes First Direct Measurements of High Energy Electrons in Space  |   More
  • LSU Researchers Discover Minerals in Volcanic Rock that May Offer New Insights into the First 1.5 Billion Years of Earth's Evolution  More
Read more exciting posts on The Pursuit blog at lsuscienceblog.com.

Valerie Derouen
Barb Dutrow
Colleen Fava
Jorge Pullen
Milen Yakimov
  • Barb Dutrow, Adolpe G. Gueymard Professor of Geology & Geophysics, is the recipient of the American Federation of Mineral Societies, American Federation Scholarship Foundation's 2017 Honorary Award for "distinguished achievements in the field of Earth Sciences." The award consists of two $4000 scholarships for her graduate students, both conducting research related to the mineral sciences. The scholarships were awarded to Shoshauna Farnsworth-Pinkerton and Elizabeth Levy, both pursuing MS degrees in the Geology & Geophysics Department at LSU. The award was presented during the South Central Federation's annual banquet held in November in Houston, TX.
  • Jorge Pullen, professor and Hearne Chair of Theoretical Physics, joins the advisory board of the journal Universe. Other  members of the board include Sir Roger Penrose and Nobel Prizewinner 
    George Smoot.
  • Milen Yakimov , Michael F. and Roberta Nesbit McDonald Professor in Mathematic is part of the 2018 class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society. The AMS recognized his contributions to noncommutative
    algebra and service to the community. This year the AMS selected 63 new fellows from its 30,000 members.

Baton Rouge Business Report Announces Forty Under 40
Three College of Science Graduates and the Chief Operations Officer at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Named Among the Honorees

Left to right: Dr. Bavid Balhoff, Dr. J. Casey Chapman, Dr. Mary Raven, and Dr. Jonas Fontenot.

For the last 18 years, the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report has composed a list of professionals under the age of 40 who have impacted the Capital City both professionally and personally. Along with making time for a career and family, members of each class also find the time to volunteer at local nonprofits and sit on boards of leading organizations and companies in the Baton Rouge area. The LSU College of Science is honored to have three graduates and an affiliate of the college named among this year's honorees: Dr. David Balhoff, Dr. J. Casey Chapman, Dr. Mary Raven, and Dr. Jonas Fontenot.  More
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Dean's Circle

The Dean's Circle (DC) is a loyal group of alumni and friends who share a passion for advancing research and scholarship at LSU. Our DC provides the working capital needed to fund pursuits of the college including scholarships for first-year students, student organizations and educational travel expenses, faculty recruitment and recognition activities, and development initiatives that build alumni and community relations.

Dean's Circle membership recognizes the generosity of alumni and friends who make annual gifts of $1,000 or more to the Science Development Fund. For a gift of $250, alumni who have graduated within the last ten years may also become members.
To join by mail, make your check payable to "LSU Foundation-Science Dean's Circle" and mail your check to:  LSU Foundation,  3838 West Lakeshore Drive,  Baton Rouge, LA  70808.
To join online, go to www.lsufoundation.org/givetoscience
New Dean's Circle Members

The LSU College of Science welcomes the newest members to the Dean's Circle. Thank you for your contribution to the teacher and research pursuits in the College of Science.
  • Dr. Christopher C. and Mrs. Leslie N. Austin, December 2017
  • Mrs. Sybil Callaway and Mr. Elias Bou-Waked, December 2017
  • Ms. Roberta G. Carlisle, December 2017
  • Dr. Obed W. Odom Jr., November 2017
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