Kastner’s research has taken her around the world to study sub-seafloor deposits, how sediments form and the process called diagenesis in which sedimentary deposits become rock.
“I am honored and humbled to be in the company of many outstanding scientists who have been awarded the prestigious Francis Shepard Medal before me,” said Kastner. “The most touching and moving thought I had when I received the notice that I was selected to receive the medal was that some of my colleagues thought that I am worthy of this medal and were willing to spend their busy time to nominate me.”
According to the society’s citation, Kastner was selected “In recognition of the geological and geochemical expertise she has employed in greatly enlarging our understanding of sediment deposition and diagenesis as well as fluid flow through sub-seafloor sediments and rocks, along with continuous high-level service to the marine geological community.”
Kastner became the first female professor in Scripps history when she joined the institution’s faculty in 1972 as an assistant professor of geology. Prior to that she had received a doctorate in geology from Harvard University in 1970. She was appointed full professor at Scripps in 1982 and is also the first female distinguished professor in Scripps history.
The SEPM award is named for Francis Shepard, a Scripps marine geologist noted for his work on submarine canyons. Shepard died in 1985.
“Close to the completion of my Ph.D. degree at Harvard University, the possibility of getting a prime job in academia looked rather bleak for graduates of my gender,” said Kastner. “Unexpectedly, I was fortunate to be the first woman to be invited to join the renowned faculty of Scripps, where I briefly met Francis Shepard, and this had a profound influence on my career. This position provided me with extraordinary possibilities to engage in new research with state-of-the-art facilities and great seagoing opportunities.”
In addition to the Shepard Medal, Kastner received this year the Scripps Undergraduate Instructor Teaching Excellence Award. She has authored or co-authored more than 170 research articles and has participated in numerous research cruises, including 13 ocean drilling cruises.
Kastner is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, and the International Association of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry, and a member of the Society of Sigma Xi. She has served on many national and international advisory committees.
Beginning in 2002, Kastner was appointed to a three-year term on the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board. She has been a panel member of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Earth Sciences and a member of NSF’s Advisory Committee for Earth Sciences. She was a member of the Ocean Drilling Project's Planning Committee and Section E—Geology and Geography of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
"It is wonderful to see Miriam win this award named after an illustrious Scripps scholar,” said Scripps Deputy Director of Research Cathy Constable. “She is a pioneer in many areas and an outstanding example for the rest of us."
The society presented Kastner with the medal at its 2011 President's Reception and Awards Ceremony during the SEPM Annual Meeting held in Houston in April.
Caitlin Denham | Newswise Science News
Eduard Arzt receives highest award from German Materials Society
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
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For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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