Grants, awards, and honors received in the past year
Raymond E. Arvidson, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, won the 2022 Richard D. Schwartz Supportive Faculty Award from the St. Louis Astronomical Society (SLAS). The award recognizes Arvidson’s contributions to SLAS’ mission to educate the public about, encourage interest in, and disseminate knowledge of the science of astronomy.
Walid Ben Mansour, postdoctoral research associate, received a grant from the National Science Foundation to determine the thermal and compositional structure of Antarctica using seismic, gravity, and topography data and petrological modeling. Ben Mansour’s co-investigator is Douglas A. Wiens, the Robert S. Brookings Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
Claire Masteller, assistant professor, won a grant from the National Science Foundation for collaborative research on separating the climate and weather of river channels. Masteller’s work aims to aid researchers in determining which river systems are vulnerable to erosion due to changing climate and landscapes as well as provide a foundation for treating rivers dynamically within the next generation of river flood hazard forecasting models. Masteller also received an award from NASA’s Equity and Environmental Justice program to support a community feasibility study on urban flood modeling using a data-driven, community-centered approach in Centreville, Illinois.
William McKinnon, professor, received a grant from NASA and the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to support his work as co-chair of the Europa Clipper Habitability Working Group. NASA’s Europa Clipper will study Jupiter’s moon Europa and investigate whether it could have conditions suitable for life.
Rita Parai, assistant professor, won a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for her project “Heavy Noble Gases in the Azores Archipelago.” The research will harness new analytical capabilities to measure tiny amounts of gas squeezed from massive quantities of gas-poor minerals, enabling innovative research on ocean island geochemistry. Parai also received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. The award supports Parai’s project titled “Seeing Through the Fission Phase 2: Multi-Modal Analyses of Actinides and Noble Gas Isotopes in Geological Samples.”
Philip Skemer, professor, received an award from the National Science Foundation to support collaborative research on Earth’s deep interior titled “Integrating Seismic Anisotropy, Mantle Flow, and Rock Deformation in Subduction Zone Settings.”
Scott VanBommel, senior scientist, won a grant from NASA to support research on enhancing the analytical capabilities and science return of the Mars Curiosity rover at Mount Sharp through the application of spectral deconvolution and modeling methods.
Alian Wang, research professor, won a three-year award from NASA for her research project titled “Heterogeneous Electrochemical Process Induced by Energetic Electrons on Planetary Bodies.”
Kun Wang, assistant professor, received a grant from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Sample Analysis Participating Scientist Program. The award supports Wang’s investigation of moderately volatile element isotopic compositions of asteroid Bennu as well as their implications for the asteroid’s volatile depletion history.