Elements Covers

Posts by Nancy L. Ross

v14n4 From the Editors

This issue of Elements is the first of its kind. It is the first of the field-based thematic issues that features a specific geographic region of particular geological interest. It is not an easy task to encapsulate a massive geographic region in 6 mini-review articles for a readership that represents a broad spectrum of scientific interests. Obviously, one can’t cover everything in a single issue of Elements, so what topics should be featured? This is a new avenue to explore and we welcome your feedback. We also share the Elements 2017 Impact Factor in this report.

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v14n3 From the Editors

Geologists love their beer and wine. There is abundant proof of this statement if you have ever attended an international geoscience conference. Typically, included with an attendee’s registration packet received upon arrival at the conference are beer/wine tickets. Scientists may disperse through the day to attend talks, workshops, and poster sessions, but, late in the afternoons, kegs of beer and bottles of wine are rolled out and the scientists will quickly converge on the beer/wine stations. As the topic of this thematic issue of Elements is on wine, the question begs to be asked, where does all that wine originate?

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v14n2 From the Editors

We are excited to announce that John M. Eiler, Robert P. Sharp Professor of Geology and Geochemistry at the California Institute of Technology (USA) has agreed to join the Elements editorial team as our next geochemistry editor. His official term begins January 2019. He will replace Friedhelm von Blanckenburg whose term of office ends December 2018. We will introduce John more formally at a later date.

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Food for Geological Thought

I recently asked a first-year student what the difference was between a rock and a mineral and he replied, “A rock is like a salad…” His immediate reply started me thinking about using food analogues to teach geological concepts. I subsequently found this approach has been widely studied and proven to be effective. For example, Baker et al. (2004) used the viscosities of common foods as analogues for silicate melts to help teach students about igneous processes.

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v13n6 About this Issue, Thanks!, 2018 Preview and Future Issues

In our final issue of 2017, we like to take a moment to extend our appreciation to the guest editors and authors who contributed to the six issues of volume 13. These men and women volunteered their valuable time for writing interesting and accessible articles for Elements’ scientifically diverse audience. We also thank our feature editors (Ian Parsons, Michael Wiedenbeck, Cari Corrigan, and Andrea Koziol) who produce the Parting Shots, The Elements Toolkit, CosmoElements, and the Meetings Calendar. We also acknowledge the reviewers, our copyeditor Patrick Roycroft, and our graphic artist Michel Guay, who diligently work in the background to bring Elements to life.

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v13n5 About This Issue, 2017 Editorial Meeting

On Sunday, 13 August 2017, the Elements editorial team held their annual staff meeting in Paris (France). The meeting was an invaluable opportunity for our international team to discuss, face-to-face, editorial matters. We addressed the problems and logistics of handling manuscripts, evaluating proposals, setting the topical lineup for the first half of 2019, and we explored the challenges and opportunities for our magazine in this digital age of the internet, social media, and YouTube. We also met with the Elements Executive Committee. The members of this committee represent the 17 participating societies and it is they who oversee the financial aspects of our publication. It was a long but productive day.

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Tribute to Paul H. Ribbe 1935–2017

Paul Hubert Ribbe, a giant in the field of mineralogy, passed away 24 June 2017 at the age of 82. Just eight weeks earlier, he was preceded in death by Elna Ribbe, his wife of almost 59 years. Paul was born 2 April 1935 in Bristol, Connecticut (USA), to the Reverend Walter and Grace Ribbe. He obtained his BS from Wheaton College (Illinois, USA) and his MS from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (USA), both in geology. He was the first American Fulbright Scholar admitted to Magdalene College, University of Cambridge (UK), where he worked at the Cavendish Laboratory with the legendary crystallographer Helen Megaw. He was awarded a PhD in 1963 for his research on the crystal structure of plagioclase feldspars. Following a short post-doc (University of Chicago, USA) and an assistant professorship (University of California, Los Angeles, USA), in 1966, Paul and Elna moved to Blacksburg (Virginia, USA) where he joined the Department of Geology at Virginia Tech. Paul became part of a powerhouse of talent in mineralogy and petrology that included Donald Bloss, Gerald Gibbs, Charles Gilbert, and the late David Wones.

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About v13n4 – One in a Million; 2016 Impact Factor = 4.0

Due to its impact on global climate, carbon is the element that currently dominates the public debate. Why publish an issue on boron when the public is focusing on carbon? As you read the articles in this issue, what you will find is that boron is a “quintessential” terrestrial element. Although rare in the Solar System, Earth’s tectonic and weathering processes have concentrated boron within the Earth’s upper continental crust, where we are completely dependent on it for everyday life.

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Return from the “Dark Side”

In 2004, I assumed an administrative role in my university, thus joining what is commonly referred to as the “Dark Side” of academia. I have only just returned to my position as a faculty member. Some pursue administration as a career path and expect to move up the academic ladder, progressing from department head, to dean, to provost, and, perhaps, even to president. Others, like myself, view administration as an intriguing experiment: I certainly didn’t anticipate staying away from a faculty role for so long (almost 13 years). Like many faculty, I had little experience with organizational leadership when I joined the Dark Side. I was like a Padawan apprentice (another reference from Star Wars) aspiring to be a Jedi and greatly in need of master Yoda’s training.

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