Mary Horan is Awarded Carnegie's Service to Science Award

Carnegie News
Thursday, May 08, 2014 


The Service to Science award, awarded this year to DTM's Geochemistry Lab Manager Mary Horan and Embryology's Allison Pinder, was created to recognize outstanding and/or unique contributions to science by employees who work in administration, support, and technical positions at the Carnegie Institution. Horan and Pinder both received their award at this year's Carnegie Evening held on 30 May 2014.

Horan has been the Geochemistry Laboratory Manager for over 17 years. Her job involves: technique development; the training and supervising of postdocs, students, and visitors; and keeping the laboratory ready for the research activities of our geo/cosmochemistry scientific staff. Often visitors feel so indebted to her selfless support of their work that they involve her as coauthor on the manuscripts that result from their visit. 

Recently Mary diagnosed an excessive airflow through the laboratory fume hoods and refused to accept that this excessive airflow was correct, as suggested by several HVAC contractors brought in to assess the problem. Mary obtained the equipment necessary to make the airflow measurements herself, and then assembled the data with such clarity that the problem could not be overlooked. An HVAC contractor who specializes in laboratories subsequently confirmed her measurements and evaluation of the problem. Mary’s oversight of the renovation insured that the necessary work was completed on time, on budget, and in exactly the manner needed. 

Mary also has her own research activities. She has 46 publications, 12 of which are first authored, with an h-index of 22 and an average citation per page of 35. We know of no other lab manager anywhere in the world with a comparable, high-level research career. 

What truly sets Mary apart is the professionalism and pride she takes in the progress and success of all the users of the chemistry lab. She is happy to see people use the facility, get data, write papers, and produce the high-class science for which Carnegie is famous. 

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The Service to Science award was created to recognize outstanding and/or unique contributions to science by employees who work in administration, support, and technical positions at the Carnegie Institution. Any individual employed by or officially affiliated with Carnegie may nominate an eligible employee for this award. The panel that reviewed the nominations and selected the award recipients included Alan Dressler, Staff Scientist, the Carnegie Observatories; Steven Farber, Staff Scientist, Department of Embryology; and Cady Canapp, Manager of Human Resources.



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