Earth & Climate

Daily Mail: The prehistoric hoover — 23 million-year-old fossils reveal how giant hippo-like creature used its snout to suck up food

Desmo, Ray Troll, Louis Jacobs, SMU, AlaskaWriting for London-based the Daily Mail, the world’s largest online news source, science news journalist Ellie Zolfagharifard covered the research of SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs, a professor in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and paleontologist Anthony Fiorillo, vice president of research and collections and chief curator at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas, and an adjunct research professor at SMU. Continue reading

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New fossils intensify mystery of short-lived, toothy mammals unique to ancient North Pacific

Desmo, Ray Troll, Louis Jacobs, SMU, AlaskaIdentification of a new species of marine mammal has intensified the rare animal’s brief mysterious journey through prehistoric time.

A big, hippo-sized animal with a long snout and tusks — the new species is a marine mammal belonging to the order Desmostylia. But unlike other marine mammals alive today — such as whales, seals and sea cows — desmostylians went totally extinct. Continue reading

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SMU chemist Nicolay Tsarevsky wins prestigious National Science Foundation Career Award

Dedman Chemistry PortraitsSMU chemist Nicolay (Nick) Tsarevsky has received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award, expected to total $650,000 over five years, to fund his research into new methods of creating polymers — whose uses range from fluorescent materials to drug carriers, to everyday technologies.

NSF CAREER Awards are given to tenure-track faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research in American colleges and universities. Continue reading

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Fermilab experiment observes change in neutrinos from one type to another over 500 miles

Nova, neutrinos, Fermilab, SMU, CoanInitial data from a new U.S.–based physics experiment indicates scientists are a step closer to understanding neutrinos, the second most abundant particle in the universe, says SMU physics professor Thomas Coan, a principal investigator on the project.

Neutrinos are little understood, but indications are they hold clues to why matter overwhelmingly survived after the Big Bang instead of just energy in the form of light. Continue reading

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Large genome-scale study finds Native American ancestors arrived in single migration wave

Siberia, Meltzer, Paleoamericans, Clovis, first americans, migrationA new large genome-scale study reveals that the ancestors of all present-day Native Americans arrived in the Americas as part of a single migration wave, no earlier than 23,000 ago.

The finding addresses the ongoing debate over when and how many times the ancestors of present-day Native Americans entered the New World from Siberia. Archaeological evidence logs modern humans in the Americas 15,000 years ago. Continue reading

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SMU conference promotes technology, economics of geothermal production in oil and gas fields

Southern Methodist University’s renowned SMU Geothermal Laboratory will host its seventh international energy conference and workshop on the SMU campus May 19-20. The conference is designed to promote transition of oil and gas fields to electricity-producing geothermal systems by harnessing waste heat and fluids from both active and abandoned fields. Continue reading

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SMU seismology team to cooperate with state, federal scientists in study of May 7 Venus, Texas earthquake

Injctn sign 400x300SMU’s seismology team was not surprised by the magnitude 4.0 earthquake that occurred near Venus, Texas, recently, having been aware of multiple smaller earthquakes identified nearby in recent months.

The team has recommended to state lawmakers a permanent regional network of monitors, supplemented by portable instruments, to deploy in a time-sensitive manner. Continue reading

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James Brooks awarded high honor from American Association of Petroleum Geologists

James E. Brooks honored by AAPGJames E. Brooks, provost emeritus and professor emeritus in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, has been recognized with one of the highest honors of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, AAPG.

Brooks has received the 2015 AAPG Presidential Award for Exemplary Service “for a lifetime of inspired and dedicated service to his profession and community, and for the education of hundreds of students for whom he has served as an outstanding teacher, wise mentor and genuine friend.” Continue reading

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WFAA 8 ABC: Geologists release details of Azle earthquakes study

WFAA 8 ABC news reporter Byron Harris reported on the SMU-led team of seismologists whose recent study found that large volumes of wastewater injection combined with saltwater (brine) extraction from natural gas wells is the most likely cause of earthquakes near Azle, Texas, from late 2013 through spring 2014.

The study published in Nature Communications.

WFAA aired the segment April, 21, 2015. Continue reading

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