Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences

Open Earth Systems

The Open Earth Systems group hosted our 2nd annual Summer Course for Maryland Teachers' Professional Development. Twenty three teachers from Baltimore City and County participated this year, hearing from EPS faculty, researchers, and postdocs on topics ranging from Earth structure to the rock-carbon cycle, to Earth history, climate change, and natural disasters. Hands-on activities were held each day. The teachers participated in a weekend activity in which they deployed sensors to record urban July temperatures in Baltimore, part of an on-going research project to document and monitor our city's notorious summertime heat island. For two weeks, Olin Hall was the scene of many lively slideshows, discussions, laboratory exercises, and lesson plan development sessions.

Earth’s Hottest June Follows Hottest May. The New Normal?

Assistant Professor Ben Zaitchik discusses global warming trends in the July 22, 2014 issue of the Christian Science Monitor.

Florence Bascom’s Birthday

Dr. Bascom was the first woman to receive a PhD from Johns Hopkins (in 1893), and the first woman to work for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as a geologist. USGS profiles Dr. Bascom and her work in a feature on the agency’s blog.

Graduate Student Field Course

In August, Assistant Professor Ben Zaitchik led a graduate student field course on Water, Climate, and Health in Ethiopia. Student participants included E&PS PhD candidates Jose Molina, Alexi Russell, and Anna Scott, along with five other JHU students, one Howard University student, five University of Wisconsin students, and eight students from Addis Ababa University. The group traveled to the Blue Nile headwaters, where they observed and participated in ongoing efforts to study climate resilience strategies in subsistence agricultural communities. This research includes soils and geological mapping, climate monitoring, crop modeling, household surveys, and participatory design of development projects in communities of the Blue Nile Highlands.


Ozone Thinning Has Changed Ocean Circulation

In a paper published in an issue of the journal Science, Darryn Waugh and his team show that subtropical intermediate waters in the southern oceans have become “younger” as the upwelling, circumpolar waters have gotten “older”—changes that are consistent with the fact that surface winds have strengthened as the ozone layer has thinned.


Upcoming Seminars

  • September 11, 2014 - Dr. Mark Holzer
  • September 18, 2014 - Dr. Vikram Mehta
  • October 2, 2014 - Dr. Lorraine Remer
  • October 9, 2014 - Dr. Nikole Lewis
  • October 16, 2014 - Dr. Andrew Ingersoll
  • October 30, 2014 - Dr. Ben Black
  • November 6, 2014 - Dr. Aomawa Shields
  • November 20, 2014 - Dr. Connor Nixon
  • December 4, 2014 - Dr. Mark Harrison


Reminder to join/visit our LinkedIn group to instant updates and share news. You can find our page by searching The Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

Congratulations to Our Graduates

The department had three students graduate from our PhD program this past year: Chang Lang, Jerry Burgess and Erin Urquhart.

In addition, Master’s Degrees were awarded to Dana Brenner, Grace Kim, Jordan Thomas, Kirby Runyon, Nathan Towles, Eshwan Ramudu, Jenna Fleck, Fang Huang, Jihua Hao, José Molina Tabares.

The department awarded Bachelor’s Degrees to the following students:

Earth and Planetary Sciences: Mackenzie Fischer, Edward Kardish, Hyun Tae Kim, Zoe Longenecker-Wright, Stephanie Spetka, Matthew Stankiewicz, Kely Baker, Tyler Barnum, Vincenzo Bonaddio, Andrew Giannascoli, Mike He, Marie Hepfer, and Jessica Noviello.

Global Environmental Change and Sustainability: Allysa Dittmar, Yael Fishbein, Zoe Kaiser, Margaret Keener, Michelle Lampart, Hannah Lindsell, Emily Nink, Guillermo Ortiz, Thalia Patrinos, Garrick Prokos, Jacob Rode, Sarah Saltz, Henry Stauber, Erica Tan, Patrick Traczykiewicz, Mary Treinen, Nicholas Tyson, Andrea Van Wyk, Cheong Wai Wong, Amanda Yaccarino, Ruth Burrows, Raychel Santo, and Rachel Witkin.

This year, the faculty decided to recognize graduating seniors for their distinguished academic achievements in and service to the Earth and Planetary Sciences program and the Global Environmental Change and Sustainability Program. This year’s winners are Tyler Barnum and Jessica Noviello (E&PS) and Ruth Burrows, Margaret Keener, and Raychel Santo (GECS).

Thanks to Our Donors

We are grateful to the following alumni, friends, and organizations for contributing to the department from January 1 through August 31, 2014.

  • Gilles O. Allard, PhD
  • Michael A. Aurelia III
  • James Gerald Brophy, PhD
  • Roger D. Congdo, PhD
  • ExxonMobil Foundation
  • Donald G. Hadley, PhD
  • Peter J. Heaney, PhD
  • B. Carter Hearn, Jr., PhD
  • William R. Kaiser, PhD
  • Gerald Kvasnovsky Revocable Trust
  • Stephen M. McDuffie, PhD
  • Richard F. Mercer
  • David G. Morse, PhD
  • Jessica Noviello
  • Bruce J. O’Connor, PhD
  • Haydee Salmun, PhD
  • Richard A. Sheppard Revocable Trust
  • David A. Vanko, PhD
  • Sutart A. Weinstein, PhD
  • William J. Wiseman, Jr., PhD
  • Huifang Xu, PhD

We apologize if we missed your name. Please let us know if we did, and we will acknowledge your gift in our next newsletter. Your gifts mean so much to us and enable us to admit more graduate students, pay for student summer field and laboratory work, maintain Singewald Field Camp, and purchase equipment. Your generous gifts make a significant difference to the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and we thank you.

AGU Meeting – December 2014

The department will host the annual Alumni Reception at the AGU meeting in San Francisco. Please stop by and join us if you are attending AGU this year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2014 from 7-10pm
Hotel Intercontinental San Francisco
888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Sutter Room, 5th Floor

Invitations will also be mailed. If you would like to attend please contact Kristen Gaines. We hope to see you there!