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2009/11/07

Nominations for 2011-12 Council

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It is time for the Members of the Meteoritical Society to select a new Council to serve from January 2011 to December 2012 when Ed Scott will be President. A Nominating Committee was appointed this year to propose a slate of Officers and Councilors: Adrian Brearley (chair), Sara Russell, Tom Burbine, Tomoki Nakamura, Dieter Stöffler, and Christine Floss. Their nominees are:

Vice President: Monica Grady, UK 
Secretary: Greg Herzog, U.S., 1st term
Treasurer: Rhian Jones, U.S., 1st term
Councilors: Nancy Chabot, U.S., 1st term
 Hasnaa Chennaoui, Morocco, 1st term
 Luigi Folco, Italy, 1st term
 Kevin Righter, U.S., 1st term
 Gretchen Benedix, U.K., 2nd term
 Harold Connolly, U.S., 2nd term
 Alex Deutsch, Germany, 2nd term
 Keiji Misawa, Japan, 2nd term

Brief biographies for the candidates and a statement from Monica Grady are provided below.

According to the Society's Constitution, which is available on the Society website listed on the left, nominations for other candidates require a petition signed by at least 3% of the Society's members (~30 members), which should be submitted to me by February 15, 2010. If no further nominations are received, the candidates listed above will be declared elected.

Jeff Grossman, Secretary, November 7, 2009


Biographical notes for Nominees for the 2011-12 Council
  • Gretchen Benedix is a researcher in the Meteorites Division of the Department of Mineralogy at the Natural History Museum in London. Her research focuses on the petrology and geochemistry of meteorites to understand planet formation.
  • Nancy Chabot is a staff scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. Her research is directed towards understanding the evolution of planetary bodies in the solar system, with a focus on experimental studies, iron meteorites, and planetary cores.
  • Hasnaa Chennaoui Aoudjehane is professor at the Hassan II University in Casablanca, Morocco. Her research interest focuses on the history and intensity of shock on meteorites by using cathodoluminescence techniques. She is currently member of the Nomenclature Committee and the Membership Committee of the Meteoritical Society.
  • Harold Connolly is a professor of earth and planetary sciences in the Department of Physical Sciences, Kingsborough Community College of CUNY, graduate faculty in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the Graduate Center of CUNY, adjunct associate professor of planetary sciences at the LPL, University of Arizona, and a research associate at the AMNH. His research focuses on constraining the origins and evolution of primitive planetary materials through combining petrologic investigations with astrophysical modeling.
  • Alex Deutsch is a professor at the Institute for Planetology, University of Münster. His research interests focus on various aspects of impact processes, ranging from isotope geology and shock experiments to the petrology of impactites.
  • Luigi Folco is Curator of the meteorite collection of the Museo Nazionale dell'Antartide, Siena University. His current research focuses on the petrology of meteorites, micrometeorites and microtektites, as well as the search for meteorites in hot and cold deserts. He is past member of the Nomenclature Committee of the Meteoritical Society and Associate Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin.
  • Monica Grady is Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University in Milton Keynes. Her research interests are in the fields of carbon and nitrogen stable isotope geochemistry of primitive meteorites and of Martian meteorites, interstellar components in meteorites, micrometeorites, and also in astrobiology and the possibilities of life elsewhere in the cosmos.
  • Gregory Herzog is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University in Piscataway New Jersey. His research focuses on cosmic-ray irradiation of extraterrestrial materials.
  • Rhian Jones is an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. Her research is directed toward understanding the early history of the solar system through petrological and isotopic studies of chondritic meteorites.
  • Keiji Misawa is an associate professor at the Antarctic Meteorite Research Center, National Institute of Polar Research, Japan. His research focuses on isotopic signatures of differentiated meteorites, including Martian and Moon rocks, to understand evolutional histories of inner planets.
  • Kevin Righter is a research scientist and curator of the Antarctic meteorite collection at NASA Johnson Space Center. His research efforts include applying experimental petrology and geochemical analysis to understanding core formation in terrestrial planets, the origin of the Earth and Moon, and the role of water, oxygen, sulfur, and carbon on magmatic properties and phase equilibria.


Statement from Monica Grady:

My biography is a bald statement of who I am and what I do. It does not give any flavour of what I have been doing in the thirty years (no, it can't really be thirty years since I started in meteoritics, can it?) I have been studying extraterrestrial materials. I started out as a stable isotope geochemist, analysing carbon in meteorites. I progressed from burning bits of grey powder to examining thin sections of meteorites when I moved in 1991 from the Open University to the Natural History Museum. I worked for many years under the guidance of Dr Bob Hutchison, who taught me how to recognize chondrules (but not necessarily how they formed). On Bob's retirement in 1997, I succeeded him as leader of the meteorite research team at the Museum. One of my main projects there was to edit the 5th edition of the Catalogue of Meteorites, which was produced in 2000. I suspect that this might be the last printed edition of the work, as it has been (quite rightly) superseded by electronic databases (especially the Meteoritical Bulletin Database) that can be updated far more rapidly and efficiently. I returned to the OU in 2005, where I dabble my fingers in lots of pies. I have some expertise in infra red and optical microspectroscopy, and have worked with astronomers in order to make connections between dust observed around stars with that analysed in the laboratory. I'm currently working with a team of Norwegian scientists to develop a miniature combined infra red spectrometer and microscope, for deployment on the surface of Mars or an asteroid. I have led major research programmes studying meteorites; currently, my main work is in trying to understand the history of carbon and water on Mars, and interactions between surface, atmosphere and hydro(cryo)sphere through investigation of minor components in Martian meteorites.

I joined the Meteoritical Society in 1979, and served as Councillor from 1989 to 1992, and as Secretary from 1992 to 1998. I was elected to Fellowship in 2000. I was an Associate Editor of Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta from 2002-2005. Asteroid (4731) is named Monicagrady for me, so I have a vested interest in furthering understanding of the minor bodies that are a significant part of our planetary system. I am firmly committed to public outreach and education opportunities, and believe that the activities of the Meteoritical Society can play an important role in inspiring young people to become the next generation of scientists, technologists and engineers.

In the next few years, the Meteoritical Society will be facing some interesting challenges. One of those is the shift in publications from paper-based to electronic media. Meteoritics and Planetary Sciences is a highly-regarded journal, and its publication is probably the most high profile action of the Society. Switching publisher to Wiley-Blackwell will help us advance with the next wave of changes in the publishing industry - and I will be taking careful note that the interests of members of the Society are not lost when we become part of a bigger publishing consortium.

Another challenge that the Society continues to face is the collection of meteorites from desert locations, where unregulated trade in specimens can not only confuse the issue of a specimen's provenance, but also removes a valuable natural scientific and educational resource from its recovery site. This trade has greatly benefitted meteoriticists, especially in the provision of rare and unusual specimens for study. But we must be aware that the countries from which desert meteorites are currently collected are the owners of the specimens. I would like to see the Meteoritical Society helping to build and develop meteorite expertise within these countries, such that they too can benefit (possibly financially, certainly educationally) from the stones that have fallen from the sky to their land.

I am deeply honoured to be nominated as Vice-President of the Meteoritical Society, and if elected, I will serve the Society, further its aims and uphold its principles to the best of my ability.