CML in the News

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Melinda Hutson with Sigma Xi award
Edwin (left) and Patrick (right) Thompson holding a slice of the new Nigerian chondritic shock melt that they donated to the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory (CML).  This sample is the 1000th unique meteorite in the CML collection (CML1000). 
Lab curator Melinda Hutson received an award for Supporter of Research from the Columbia-Willamette chapter of Sigma Xi for her aid in the creation and support of the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory.

  Of note

  • September, 2023-- The lab welcomes the arrival of two students starting their M.S. degrees, Benjamin Agyemang and Vince Mugica.  Welcome Benjamin and Vince!
  • February, 2023-- Congratulations to CML student Daniel Sheikh on being awarded a prestigious Wiley Award for best presentation at the 2022 MetSoc meeting in Glasgow.  Yeah Daniel! The CML Facebook page has some photos.
  • January, 2023-- Calling all undergraduates!  The lab has need for student undergraduate volunteers to study space rocks in 2023.   See flyer for more on this opportunity.
  • September, 2022-- The lab welcomes the arrival of George Anim, who is pursuing an M.S. on martian meteorites (shergottites).
  • June, 2022-- Congratulations to James Frye who completed his M.S. Geology thesis with the lab. His thesis,  Electron backscatter diffraction analysis of olivine in ureilite meteorites: Evaluation of the paryially magmatic catstrophic disruption model of the Ureilite Parent Body (UPB)" ia available through the CML Publications page.
  • December, 2021-- Congratulations to Kimberly Maccini who completed her MS Geology thesis with the lab during the pandemic. Her thesis, titled "Characterization and interpretation of feldspathic chromite assemblages (FCAs) in four ordinary chondrites: An Electron backscatter Diffraction Study" is available through the CML Publications page. The lab also welcomes the arrival of Daniel Sheikh, who is pursuing a PhD on lunar meteorites.
  • June, 2020-- Dick Pugh, cofounder of the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory, passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 15. Dick was in many ways the heart of the lab, helping establish endowments and funds for the lab, donating meteorites and materials, stoking enthusiasm, and being the public face of the lab's outreach and informal education efforts for many years. In 2011 he received the Service Award from the Meteoritical Society for outreach and informal education. His efforts lead to the recognition of new meteorite finds in the United States, and a new fall in Cambodia. He co-authored papers including one now in review. His enthusiasm for meteorites was infectious, his caring for people and students great, and he had a good crusty sense of humor. He will be missed, but his memory will live on. Link to a tribute for Dick Pugh.
  • May, 2020-- The PSU Geology Club, Coriba, hosted a talk given by CML Director Alex Ruzicka on "Meteorites: Misconceptions, Reality, and Their Value". Link to mp4 Zoom video recording.
  • January, 2020-- CML was mentioned in the January 1 2020 issue of Meteorite Times Magazine. This article, "Getting a meteorite classified", by James Tobin gives a good a idea of the classification process from the perspective of a metorite enthusiast. It also shows the kind of data products we obtain during classification work, in this case for the newly named meteorite NWA 13090 (LL3). It is a repository sample for which the lab has the type specimen, sample CML 1170.
  • June, 2019-- A record number of CML students are in the process of graduating this month. Congratulations for a job well done are in order for Karla Farley ("Distribution and origin of carbides in ordinary chondrites", MS Geology thesis), Mike Ream ("Geothermometry of H6 and L6 chondrites and the relationship between impact processing and retrograde metamorphism", MS Geology thesis), Robert Kostynick ("Bleached chondrules and the possible influence of aqueous alteration", B.S. Geology honors thesis), and Secana Goudy ("Assessment of Cluster Chondrite accretion temperature using Electron Backscatter Diffraction and implications for chondrule formation models", M.S. Geology thesis). Theses will be made available through PDX Scholar and the CML Publications page upon final completion.
  • April, 2019--  CML curator Melinda Hutson received notification that her proposal to the Oregon Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) to engage in studies of meteorites from the CML collection was approved. This proposal, "Leveraging a meteorite collection to foster STEM-related research for faculty and students" was awarded through the OSGC Affiliate Faculty Infrastructure Program and is for one year of activities.     
  • November, 2018-- CML Director Alex Ruzicka and affiliate Richard Hugo received formal notification that their NASA research proposal to study deformation and heating effects in ordinary chondrites was selected for funding.  This proposal ("The deformation-heat connection: Evaluating hot accretion, lithification mechanisms, and heat sources in ordinary chondrites") is for 3 years of research and involves a team of international collaborators.
  • May, 2018-- The CML meteorite collection surpasses the 1000 milestone! Over 1000 uniquely different meteorites and impactites are now present in this collection, a feat attained in 15 years through grassroots efforts and the generosity of many donors.  Edwin and Patrick Thompson of ET meteorites donated a spectacular slice of a new Nigerian chondritic melt breccia, specimen CML1000.
  • May, 2018-- CML curator Melinda Hutson wins the Sigma Xi Supporter of Research Award for 2018, in recognition for her efforts at promoting science research.  
  • September, 2016-- CML lab personnel Alex Ruzicka and Melinda Hutson were featured in a September 12 Channel 2 KATU newscast about the OSIRIS-REx launch, and mentioned in a September 16 Wall Street Journal article about public meteorite specimen identification.
  • April, 2016-- Alex Ruzicka was named a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society for significant contributions to our understanding of chondrules, chondrites, CAIs and achondrites; and for community outreach in Meteoritics. 
  • November, 2014-- The lab's annual fundraiser is featured in this link to an article and video by the Vanguard, PSU's student newspaper.
  • November, 2014-- CML student Katherine Armstrong defended her M.S. Thesis, titled "Chemical and petrographic survey of large, igneous-textured inclusions in ordinary chondrites". 
  • June, 2014-- CML student Kristy Schepker defended her M.S. Thesis, titled "Complex thermal histories of L melt breccias NWA 5964 and NWA 6580".
  • June, 2014-- CML and PSU student Karla Farley presented her Undergraduate Honors Thesis, titled "Classification of four meteorite samples".
  • June, 2013-- CML student Katherine Armstrong won $1250 from the Planetary Studies Foundation to attend the Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Edmonton, Alberta, in late July. Kat will present a poster on her thesis work at this conference. 
  • December, 2012-- CML Director Alex Ruzicka received formal notification the day after Christmas that his NASA research proposal to study the petrogenesis of inclusions in ordinary chondrites was selected for funding.  This proposal ("The origin of large, igneous-textured in ordinary chondrites") is for 3 years of research and involves a team of international collaborators. 
  • November, 2012-- In this MP3 file, listen to Alex chat with KPSU's Tara and Jeremy about the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory, the Curiosity Mars rover, earthquakes, and the end of the world as we know it. 
  • May, 2012-- CML curator Melinda Hutson wins the Sigma Xi Supporter of Research Award for 2012, in recognition for her efforts at promoting science research. 
  • April, 2012-- CML Director Alex Ruzicka received formal notification that his proposal to obtain planetary major equipment was selected for funding by NASA.  This proposal, "Acquisition of an Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) System for the Zeiss Sigma SEM at Portland State University" will facilitate research on meteorites and will be useful for a variety of other applications.  The equipment will become part of the CEMN facility at Portland State University. 
  • August, 2011-- CML member Dick Pugh received the Service Award of the Meteoritical Society at the 2011 MetSoc meeting in Greenwich, England. This award "honors members who have advanced the goals of the Society to promote research and education in meteoritics and planetary science in ways other than by conducting scientific research."  Click here for the citation and here for the presentation made by Alex Ruzicka.  In 2011, Dick also received the Duane Marshall Special Service to Education Award from the Oregon Science Teachers Association and was recognized as a Sigma Xi Distinguished Member. 
  • March, 2011-- PSU and CML student Niina Jamsja won an Honorable Mention for the Stephen E. Dwornik Planetary Geoscience Undergraduate Student Award for her poster at the 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference entitled "Presence of hydrous phases in two R chondrites, Northwest Africa 6491 and 6492", presented with Alex Ruzicka. 
  • July, 2010-- CML Director Alex Ruzicka received formal notification that his proposal for an outreach program was selected for funding by NASA.  This proposal ("Meteorites on the Road II: Expanding NASA outreach in the Pacific Northwest") will continue to support CML member Dick Pugh in his travelling roadshow of meteorites for three more years and will fund other outreach activities. 
  • April, 2010-- PSU and CML student Niina Jamsja won an Honorable Mention for the 2009 Nininger Award for her paper with Alex Ruzicka on NWA 4859, an unusual metamorphosed chondrite melt breccia.  Niina was recognized because, as an undergraduate, her work represented a high level of research.  This paper was  published recently [Jamsja, N. and A. Ruzicka (2010) Shock and thermal history of NWA 4859, an annealed impact-melt breccia of LL-chondrite parentage containing unusual igneous features and pentlandite. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 45, 828-849.] For more on the Nininger award, see .
  • March, 2010-- PSU and CML student Niina Jamsja was awarded an Undergraduate Research Scholarship from the Oregon Space Grant Consortium to recognize achievement in meteorite research with advisor Alex Ruzicka. Niina plans to utilize her scholarship monies for new research on some unclassified and interesting samples in the CML collection. 
  • February, 2010-- CML Director Alex Ruzicka received formal notification that his research proposal to study shock effects in ordinary chondrites was selected for funding by NASA.  This proposal ("Shock histories of chondrites as revealed by combined microstructural (TEM), petrographic, and X-ray microtomography  (ÁCT) analysis") is for three years of research with Co-Investigators Rick Hugo (Geology department, PSU) and Jon Friedrich (Fordham University). 


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Page last modified: September 5, 2023