Frank Winkler (Emeritus Professor, Physics) has been awarded funding from the NASA-funded Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for his role in a collaborative research project involving researchers at NASA’s Space Telescope Science Institute and Australian National University (ANU). This project, titled N103B: A Type Ia Remnant with Circumstellar Interaction…Kepler’s Older Cousin?, entails observations from NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, together with analysis of ground-based data recently obtained from the Wide-Field Spectrograph instrument on ANU’s 2.3m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. These ground-based observations also include other supernova remnants in the Small Magellanic Cloud, and integrating this information with other data will help to achieve a more complete understanding of supernovae and the interstellar medium.
Tom Manley (Geology) has received additional funding from the Lintilhac Foundation to support two more years for the previously funded project titled High-Resolution Bottom Mapping of Lake Champlain. This long term effort will update the 2005 bottom bathymetric map of Lake Champlain and provide a significant increase in the resolution of the lake bottom that is important to the recreation, research, and management communities.
Eilat Glikman (Physics) has been awarded a grant from NASA for observations using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), which is a telescope carried by a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft developed by NASA and the German Space Agency. Her two-year research project titled Spectral Energy Distributions of Red Quasars involves collaborators from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Yale University, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the University of California San Diego, and the Leibniz Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam, Germany. The investigation will involve the study of spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of a sample of dust-reddened quasars and is the follow-up to the results from the summer research of two undergraduates — a Middlebury physics major and a Swarthmore student who was part of the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium Research Experience for Undergraduates program— working in Dr. Glikman’s lab in 2016. SOFIA is the only facility able to observe theses SEDs, due to its sensitivity at long wavelengths requiring observations at high altitudes, and the data will produce a clearer picture of the complex process of quasar/galaxy co-evolution.
Eilat Glikman (Physics), a 2014 recipient of the Cottrell College Science Award, has been named a 2017 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation, a private foundation that aids basic research in the physical sciences. This program is highly selective—only two-dozen top early career academic scientists were selected this year—and it champions the very best early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics, and astronomy. This honor comes with a $100,000 award for Eilat for research and teaching. She plans to use this award to study quasar activity and its role in regulating how galaxies and their nuclear supermassive black holes grow, as well as to develop educational opportunities to make astronomy and physics more inclusive, with the ultimate goal of having more voices and minds contributing to solving the problems of the disciplines. Congratulations Eilat!
Jeff Munroe (Geology) has been awarded a 2017-18 Fulbright Scholar grant for teaching/research in Austria where he will be a Visiting Professor of Natural Science at the University of Innsbruck. Jeff will contribute lectures or a course for the graduate program in Quaternary Geology during the spring semester of 2018. His research for this grant, titled Speleothem-based Reconstruction of Last Glacial Maximum Paleoclimate involves collaboration with Austrian colleagues in one of the world’s foremost cave research laboratories. Samples collected from caves as part of Jeff’s long-term research in the Uinta Mountains of Utah will be analyzed in Innsbruck to shed new light on climatic conditions in the Rocky Mountains during the last glaciation.
Pat Manley and Tom Manley (both Geology) have received funding as part of a statewide grant awarded to the VT-EPSCoR program at the University of Vermont (UVM) by the National Science Foundation. The goal of this five-year grant, titled Basin Resiliency to Extreme Events (BREE), is to study and promote resiliency in the Lake Champlain Basin. Pat and Tom will be working with UVM researchers and Middlebury students to study circulation and sediment dynamics of the Winooski River outflow in order to better understand the delivery and disposition of sediment, nutrients, and potential contaminants into Lake Champlain. Year 1 of this 5 year program will focus on the deployment of 10 year-long subsurface moorings, high resolution bottom mapping of the region, and the deployment of 4 subsurface neutrally-buoyant Lagrangian drifters that will map water movement throughout the Main Lake at various depths. In subsequent years, these operations will be repeated to produce a long-term data set that will concurrently be used to calibrate a 3-dimensional numerical model of lake circulation.
Guntram Herb (Geography) has been accepted to the Digital Native American and Indigenous Studies workshop that will take place in May at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. This award covers all expenses of the workshop, including travel. The workshop will be instrumental for the development of new digital teaching modules on indigenous borderlands.