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Controversial claim puts life on land 65 million years early
Nature    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some enigmatic fossils regarded as ancient sea creatures were land-dwelling lichen, argues a paper published today in Nature. But other palaeontologists flatly reject the hypothesis, by Gregory Retallack, a geologist at the University of Oregon in Eugene. His paper not only marks a dramatic reinterpretation of the fossils but suggests life on land began 65 million years earlier than researchers now estimate. More

 Society News

In Memoriam: Mahoney; Lal
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John J. Mahoney died on Nov. 23 after a short illness. Dr. Mahoney was known for his many contributions to our understanding of the geochemistry and origin of large igneous provinces, particularly the Deccan and Ontong-Java events. Most recently, he was involved in efforts to use geoneutrinos to measure the uranium and thorium abundance in Earth's interior. He received his BA in biology from the University of Colorado in 1975 and Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1984. After a postdoc with Rama Murthy at the University of Minnesota, he joined the faculty of the University of Hawaii to establish a radiogenic isotope laboratory for the study of large volume continental and oceanic volcanism. He was on the faculty at Hawaii until his retirement last year. Read more.

Devendra Lal, a distinguished professor emeritus of nuclear geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography passed away Dec. 1 at his home in San Diego. He was 83. Dr. Lal was a leader in the application of cosmogenic nuclides to the study of a wide variety of natural phenomena on Earth, Moon and meteorites. Among his many awards, Dr. Lal was the recipient of the 1997 V.M. Goldschmidt Award. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Lal was born Feb. 14, 1929 in Varanasi, India and earned his undergraduate degrees at Banaras Hindu University and PhD from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research at Bombay University. He was professor and director of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedebad before moving full-time to Scripps in 1989. Read more.

2013 Geochemical Society Membership
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If you are one of the over 2,800 members who have already renewed for 2013 — THANK YOU! Your membership and donations are critical in helping us promote geochemistry internationally. If you have not, please take a moment to renew now. Membership rates through Jan. 31 are US$ 30 for professionals and US$ 10 for students. Members receive several benefits most notably a subscription to Elements magazine, complete online access to the Elements archive, and a discount on registration to the Goldschmidt conference.

Featured Geochemical Career Center Postings
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New! Graduate student opportunities in applied geochemistry research (Multidisciplinary Applied Geochemistry Network, Canada)

Senior Professional Staff - Geoscientist (Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, Arlington, VA, USA)

Assistant Professor, Chemical Oceanography (Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA)

Postdoctoral Scholar, Dept of Geological Sciences (Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA)

Postdoctoral and Graduate Fellowships, Dept. of Mineral Sciences (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA)

Tenure-track Faculty Position (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA)

Final Days! Faculty Position in Planetary Science (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA)

Job Seekers: It only takes a few minutes to create an account to apply for jobs. Sign up now for access to all the great features on Geochemical Career Center.

Employers: For a nominal fee (a single 60-day post is 250 USD), the link to your post will be distributed in a future issue of Geochemical News – reaching over 4,700 subscribers and also on our Facebook page with over 1,200 likes.

New in GCA (v.100, 1 Jan 2013)
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Formation of As(II)-pyrite during experimental replacement of magnetite under hydrothermal conditions

Microscale neodymium distribution in sedimentary planktonic foraminiferal tests and associated mineral phases

Uraninite oxidation and dissolution induced by manganese oxide: A redox reaction between two insoluble minerals

Disequilibrium melting and melt migration driven by impacts: Implications for rapid planetesimal core formation

Kinetic fractionation of water isotopes during liquid condensation under super-saturated condition

Regolith formation rate from U-series nuclides: Implications from the study of a spheroidal weathering profile in the Rio Icacos watershed (Puerto Rico)

TSR versus non-TSR processes and their impact on gas geochemistry and carbon stable isotopes in Carboniferous, Permian and Lower Triassic marine carbonate gas reservoirs in the Eastern Sichuan Basin, China

Micrometeorite precursors: Clues from the mineralogy and petrology of their relict minerals

Highly siderophile element geochemistry of peridotites and pyroxenites from Horní Bory, Bohemian Massif: Implications for HSE behaviour in subduction-related upper mantle

 Latest News

Abstract submission deadline for the EGU General Assembly 2013
EGU    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The abstract submission deadline for the EGU General Assembly 2013 (April 7-12, 2013, Vienna, Austria) is approaching. The conference features sessions in a wide range of disciplines such as biogeosciences:
with thematic sessions in related disciplines, e.g.:
Don't miss the deadline for abstract submission: Jan. 9, 2013!

Antarctic drillers seek clues to life 2 miles below ice
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A British-led team of researchers is racing against time and the elements as they drill through 3.2 kilometers of Antarctic ice to search for new forms of life on Earth. Lake Ellsworth is a body of liquid water trapped between ice and bedrock 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) beneath the surface of Antarctica. One of more than 350 known sub-glacial Antarctic lakes, it's been isolated from the terrestrial biosphere for at least several hundred thousand years. The operation, which has an 8 million pound (almost $13 million) budget and is using about 100 tons of equipment, is designed to help scientists better understand the ecological limits that can support life and make discoveries about the frozen continent's past climate. More

Ore shows signs of microbes in early oceans
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An analysis of sulfide ore from a Canadian mine suggests microbes were active in ocean water 2.7 billion years ago. Researchers examined sulfide ore deposits from one of the world's richest base-metal mines—the Kidd Creek copper-zinc mine in Timmins, Ontario. More

Can the oyster industry survive ocean acidification?
High Country News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For four frustrating months in 2007, Mark Wiegardt and his wife, Sue Cudd, witnessed something unsettling at their Oregon oyster hatchery: tank bottoms littered with dead baby oysters. Usually, the larvae are grown until they're three weeks old and a quarter of a millimeter in size — 10 million bunched together are roughly the size of a tennis ball. Then they are shipped to 50-some growers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. But that summer, the oysters died before they were ready to ship. Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery struggled to fill a third of its orders. More


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