The Penthouse Professors, that quartet of eminent academics at the top of their game in their work space on the fifth floor of the C. C. Little Building, continue to be engaged in a wide variety of activities that fall both inside and outside the mainstream of Earth and Environmental Science.

Ted Moore had a good year playing the publication game. One paper was published on the detailed stratigraphy of radiolarians near the Eocene-Oligocene boundary that is tied to a new, orbitally-tuned time scale. He appeared as a co-author on two other papers: one with Becky Robinson, (who received a U of M PhD under Phil Meyers) about nitrogen isotopes extracted from radiolarian tests that reveals changes in subsurface circulation in the equatorial Pacific at the Eocene – Oligocene transition. A second paper was published with colleagues from China and Italy on the age of collision between India and Asia based on biostratigraphy, zircon ages, and lithologic changes. It was a good time for the family as well. Young Ted Moore III received his PhD in microbiology from the University of Georgia and is now working on a post-doc at MIT. He has permission to pad his bibliography with any of his Dad’s papers that appear to be appropriate. The whole family has also helped Ted in the summer taking care of their tree farm (Runnamucka Acres) located in the northern lower peninsula.

Steve Kesler is co-author of two books that were published in 2015. The first is Ressources Minerales, an introductory text on metal deposits that was published in French by Dunod. Steve was third author on this work behind Nick Arndt at Grenoble and Clement Ganino at Nice. The second book, which had the same authors but with Steve second behind Nick, is entitled Metals and Society and was published by Springer in English. This work is a more advanced introduction to metal deposits with a broader view that includes some societal issues. Both books are second editions, and Steve’s involvement in them came about because he reviewed the first editions and was “invited" to help improve some shortcomings that he noted. We will have to see if the reviewers of the revised editions agree that they are actually improved!

Phil Meyers again participated in the German IODP/ICDP Kolloquium, which was held in March this year in Bonn. This gathering is an annual gathering of about two hundred German scientists and a handful of international invitees who present and discuss the results of their studies of deep cores, mostly drilled from the sea floor and bottoms of ancient lakes but also some from the continents. The Kolloquium also serves as useful preparation for Phil’s participation in the proposal review panel meeting for IODP Schwerpunkt Program that is held in May at the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft offices in Berlin.

Phil also plays the publication game at several levels. He serves as an associate editor for Organic Geochemistry, a position he has filled off and on since the beginning of this publication nearly 40 years ago. He is also an associate editor for Aquatic Geochemistry and for Geo-Marine Letters. In addition to these editorial duties, he is an active reviewer of submissions to a number of other journals. In this role, he annually reviews a total of about 30 manuscripts for these periodicals. Phil finds that these two activities force him to keep current with the modern literature, which is very helpful to him as an author of the papers he publishes himself. Many of these papers describe the studies of young scientists whose native languages are not English and who seek his help in interpreting and publishing the results of their research. These different levels of involvement have so far resulted in Phil having reviewed over 250 manuscripts and having authored or co-authored over 50 papers since his “retirement” in 2007.

Phil also continues to serve on PhD committees of students both at Michigan and at other institutions. He was on the committee of Collin Ward, who completed his degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences early in 2015, and he is on the committee of Allyson Tessin, who will soon complete her degree. He also served as an invited juror for the PhD defense of Romain Tramoy, who completed his degree in Géosciences at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris in December.

Henry Pollack continues to work with former Vice-President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, which seeks to create awareness in ordinary citizens of the reality and costs of climate change. This program endeavors to train non-scientific volunteers to go out in their communities to talk about climate change, how humans are playing a big role in it, about the consequences both right now and in the future, and about how to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The Penthouse Professors frequently gather for lunch in their space on the fifth floor, where they address the major issues of the day in wide-ranging and spirited discussions and tell stories from days long past. If you are in the neighborhood, they’d be happy for you to join them.