2008 InterRidge Student Fellows

The InterRidge Steering Committee is very pleased to announce the awards for the 2008 InterRidge Student Fellowship Program. The awards go to Michelle Harris, a Ph.D. candidate at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), UK, to work at a laboratory in Canada, and to Kerry Howard, a Ph.D. candidate at Cardiff University, UK, to conduct research in France.

Michelle_Harris Michelle Harris holding a gabbro sample recovered from Hess Deep using the ROV Isis on RRS James Cook Cruise JC 21 in Jan - Feb 2008.

The title of Harris's project is "An oxygen isotope investigation of an intact section of upper ocean crust." Harris will analyze samples obtained at ODP/IODP Hole 1256D on the flank of the East Pacific Rise. These data will supplement existing whole rock oxygen data and be combined with strontium isotope data from the same samples to quantify fluid flow in the Site 1256 upper crust. Harris is advised by Prof. Damon Teagle and Dr. Tim Henstock at NOC, and the fellowship will be conducted with Dr. Neil Banerjee at University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Kerry_Howard Kerry Howard at the University of Bergen in June 2008 using an electron probe to analyze olivines, pyroxenes, and plagioclase in samples recovered from the Hess Deep.

The title of Howard's proposal is "Accretion of fast-spread lower oceanic crust at Hess Deep." On the walls of the Hess Deep rift valley, a section of crust from the East Pacific Rise is exposed. Howard will conduct petrographic analyses, including electron backscatter diffraction measurements of crystal lattice-preferred orientations, for samples obtained with ROV Isis in 2008. Howard is advised by Dr. Chris MacLeod and Prof. Julian Pearce at Cardiff University, and the fellowship will be conducted with Dr. Benoit Ildefonse at Universite Montpellier II, France. Congratulations to both! The competition was very strong for these two awards. All applicant proposals were reviewed by two topical science reviewers (one a native and the other a non-native English speaker). The Steering Committee then ranked the proposals, using criteria ranging from the quality and expected significance of the work to whether the fellowship would provide benefits to the student beyond just an addition to their thesis research (e.g., establish new collaboration, provide experience in communicating science outside of their native language). There was much discussion about the review process itself, and we learned a lot in this first year and will continue to improve the Fellowship Program in the years ahead. We are grateful to the major efforts of all student applicants and their advisors and sponsors, as well as the thorough evaluations by all reviewers.