Spring 2013 Students Arrive

The 72nd semester of the Williams-Mystic program began this week when students arrived (with snow flurries!) on January 21st.  The diverse Spring 2013 class represents 10 states, 3 countries, 12 majors and 9 colleges; this group of talented and skilled students combined have run in three marathons, rung the Williams College bell, gone free diving and spearfishing, drawn cartoons for their college newspaper, and play guitar, piano, cello, violin, and sing.

During their semester, the Spring ’13 class will become shipmates and close friends as they live and study on their campus at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, CT. In approximately one week, they will fly to Key West, Florida, where they will board the SSV Corwith Cramer and begin the first of three extended field seminars.

To see what our students are up to this semester please follow our Blog (http://williamsmystic.wordpress.com/) and Facebook page (facebook.com/williamsmystic).

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Lisa Gilbert Granted Tenure

Following the recommendation of the Committee on Appointments and Promotions, the Williams College Board of Trustees Executive Committee has voted to promote nine faculty to the position of associate professor with tenure. The vote will be ratified by the full board in January, and the promotions will take effect July 1, 2013 for Jeannie Albrecht, computer science; Lisa Gilbert, geosciences at the Williams-Mystic program; Amy Holzapfel, theatre; Jason Josephson, religion; Sara LaLumia, economics; James Manigault-Bryant, Africana studies; Keith McPartland, philosophy; Ngonidzashe Munemo, political science; and Amanda Wilcox, classics.

Lisa Gilbert, geosciences at the Williams-Mystic Program
Gilbert’s research in marine geology and geophysics focuses on undersea volcanoes. Her work on mid-ocean ridges, seamounts, and other volcanoes has been published in Science, Geology, Geophysical Research Letters, and Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G3). She is involved with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, an international effort to study the Earth’s structure and history, and several NSF-funded geoscience education initiatives.

She has been teaching marine science on the coast and at sea with Williams-Mystic since 2002. She received her A.B. from Dartmouth College and her Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

From Williams College Office of Communications

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Jim Carlton Awarded National Science Foundation Grant

Dr. James Carlton, professor of marine sciences and director of Williams-Mystic, is a member of a group of researchers that has received a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the marine biology of Japanese tsunami debris in the U.S. The NSF has awarded $29,113 of this grant to Williams College for support of the project, titled “Collaborative Proposal: Testing the Invasion Process: Survival, Dispersal, Genetic Characterization, and Attenuation of Marine Biota on the 2011 Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Field.”

The Japan earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 ejected into the North Pacific Ocean a vast amount of material that began landing in North America in the spring of 2012, and which continues to come ashore from Alaska to California and Hawaii.  Carlton and his colleagues on the Pacific coast are studying the diversity, condition, and biology of the marine life attached to this debris, particularly focusing on the potentially invasive species from Japanese harbors and ports.  Their work began with the arrival of a large (66 feet long x 7 feet tall x 17 feet wide, and weighing 188 tons) floating pier that originated from Misawa (northern Honshu) and landed in Oregon on June 5, and so far they have documented more than 100 species that were aboard the pier.  Carlton is now lead principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant to continue to document the Japanese species arriving in North America and Hawaii with derelict boats, buoys, and other marine debris generated by the tsunami.

Since 1989, Carlton has served as director of the Williams-Mystic Program, where he teaches marine ecology. His research focuses on global marine bioinvasions—their ecosystem impacts, dispersal mechanisms, and management strategies—and on marine extinctions in modern times.

Carlton is the founding editor-in-chief of the international journal Biological Invasions. He is also a Pew Fellow in marine conservation and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Carlton was featured in the nationally broadcast PBS-National Geographic series “Strange Days on Planet Earth.” He is heard annually on NPR and was named an “Ocean Hero” by the Smithsonian Institution in 1995.

Carlton received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1971 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, in 1979.

From Williams College Office of Communications

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