Remembering Neil Irvine

Irvine in British Columbia 1973

It is with a heavy heart that we remember Thomas Neil Irvine, Geophysical Lab* staff petrologist (1972-2003), who passed away on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the age of 87. 


Earth and Planets Laboratory Contributes to DC’s Essential Workers in Fight Against Coronavirus

3D Printed Parts

Carnegie Science’s Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL) is putting its 3D printers to work in the worldwide fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Staff Scientist Tim Strobel is heading up an effort with Postdoctoral Fellow Wan Si Tang and Laboratory Engineer Javier Rojas to print an essential part for transparent face shields. When used in conjunction with low-grade surgical masks, these shields provide CDC-recommended levels of protection for healthcare workers interacting with a COVID-19 carrier. In addition to the 3D printing project, several EPL staff members are contributing their time and skills to supply local medical institutions. 


Earth and Planets Lab Provides Digital Outlet for Cancelled Conference Presentations


On April 1, 2020, Deputy Director Mike Walter organized a virtual meeting that brought together scientists from Carnegie Science, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian to present the work they would have shared at the canceled Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC). During the day-long digital meeting, named LPSC-Z after the original meeting, nine planetary scientists presented their talks to nearly 50 attendees on topics ranging from planetary disk formation to mantle melt chemistry.


Home, not alone.

Home, not alone

In this period of social distancing, a term that used to carry negative connotations but now is an essential health safety practice, the work done at Carnegie continues, even if it must now be done remotely.  As our new name Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL) implies, a good fraction of our work is done in laboratories, with equipment and instrumentation that have for the most part been put into limbo while local stay-at-home orders are in place.


Most Of Earth’s Carbon Was Hidden In The Core During Its Formative Years

Comparing carbon's compatibility with the silicates that comprise the Earth’s mantle (outer circle) to its compatibility with the iron that comprises the planet’s core (inner circle)

New work published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals how carbon behaved during Earth’s violent formative period. The findings can help scientists understand how much carbon likely exists in the planet’s core and the contributions it could make to the chemical and dynamic activity occurring there—including to the convective motion powering the magnetic field that protects Earth from cosmic radiation.


Postdoc Spotlight: Listening to Volcanoes with Kathleen McKee

McKee Banner

Volcanoes are notoriously hard to read. Luckily for us, Kathleen McKee is a volcano whisperer. She uses field measurements and computer models to interpret a volcano's seismic and acoustic waves. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL), McKee travels the world listening to volcanoes, building models, and helping us to understand what is happening inside the Earth so that we can mitigate potential hazards.