Beyoncé probably never considered repurposing her powerful song “Formation” for an earthquake preparedness anthem. It’s also hard to imagine the rapper Macklemore ever reshaping his parody “Thrift Shop” into an ode to the Coriolis effect. But those are two of the entertaining student-made music videos that have appeared over the years in UCLA professor Aradhna Tripati’s classroom film festivals in “Intro to Oceanography.

Just before the spacecraft Juno finishes a five-year trip to Jupiter on Monday, NASA has decided to extend the missions of nine older robotic explorers that have lived beyond original expectations.

The agency announced the decision on Friday, saying the nine are still producing bounties of observations for scientists.

Professor Schlichting is a theorist and observer in planetary astrophysics who works primarily on understanding planetary origins. She received her PhD from Caltech in 2009, and following a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship in residence at UCLA, she obtained a faculty position at MIT in 2013. She has recently come back to UCLA as Associate Professor in EPSS. She has won numerous awards in her young career, including the naming of asteroid 9522 Schlichting by the International Astronomical Union.

Maha Ashour-Abdalla, a professor of physics and researcher with the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics, with expertise in space plasma physics and a passion for teaching, died May 1. She was 72. Until very recently she was actively working on research and teaching. Her colleagues and students praised her as extremely dedicated, charismatic, engaging and loyal.

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Tenure Track Position in Geoscience

Posted on May 16, 2016

We seek an outstanding faculty member for the Louis B and Martha B Slichter Endowed Chair in the Geosciences. The position is open at all levels. Review of applications will commence October 1st. See below for more details.


Open date: May 12th, 2016
Final date: September 30th, 2016
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Faculty Position in Geoscience
The Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, seeks an outstanding faculty member for the Louis B and Martha B Slichter Endowed Chair in the Geosciences. This term chair has been endowed specifically to support and encourage diversity in the geosciences and is open to applicants at all levels (assistant, associate, or full professor) and to all research areas of interest to the Department, with an emphasis on solid Earth geophysics.

The appointee is expected to develop and maintain a vigorous externally funded research program, to teach and mentor students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and to foster a local climate that is inclusive, equitable and welcoming to diversity. Preferred candidates will be expected to exercise a leadership role in programs that increase the access and success of under-represented students and faculty in the geosciences.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in the geosciences or a closely related field. Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV with publication list, and names and addresses of four potential letter writers. In addition, please include statements describing one’s research, teaching interests, and contributions to diversity. Deadline for applications is September 30, 2016. Applications should be submitted online via Inquiries may be addressed to the Search Committee Chair at

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy

For all the information please visit:

Here are some words from Dean Joseph Rudnick:
It gives me great pleasure to inform you that Professor Jean-Luc Margot has agreed to serve as Chair of the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, starting July 1, 2016.

Jean-Luc brings dynamism, commitment and a sense of purpose to this most crucial position. I am confident that he will provide inspired leadership to the Department over the period of his service.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to current Chair Kevin McKeegan for the outstanding work that he has done, and will continue to do, over the four years he will have served by the end of his term. He has carried out his responsibilities with care, dedication and an unwavering sense of decency. We are all fortunate that Kevin was willing to devote the attention and the energy that the job requires.

So, thank you, Kevin, for all you’ve done and thank you, Jean-Luc, for all you will be doing.

Joseph Rudnick
Dean of Physical Sciences

About 20 undergraduates in an EPSS Fiat Lux class had a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Friday April 22, 2016. Fiat Lux classes facilitate close interaction with a research professor, in a seminar setting with a very small class size. Prof. David Jewitt is teaching a course on Planetary Science, which includes the study of the planets, moons, asteroids and comets within our solar system and beyond. The highlight of the course is a field trip to a real NASA facility, meeting the main project scientist on the Mars Curiosity rover mission (an EPSS alum) and talking with the architects of the upcoming Europa orbiter mission to Jupiter's frozen moon. Students learned about critical elements in planning, funding, and building a planetary science mission, and even got to sit in the actual mission control room where hundreds of active NASA satellites are operated, including Voyager 1&2, Cassini and the Mars rovers.

JPL has strong ties to UCLA and offers extensive internships where students can work directly with engineers and mission scientists, giving them valuable experience and possibly even a job right out of college.