Faculty Honors and Awards 2009/10

A sampling of significant Distinctions, Honors and Professional Awards

September 2009

Fellow of the American Chemical Society
Michael T. Bowers, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was named a fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in its inaugural class of 162 fellows. The organization has approximately 150,000 members worldwide, and is the world’s premier chemical society. Fellows were chosen based on excellence in science and on service contributions to the ACS or the field of chemistry as a whole.

Board of Trustees of the William T. Grant Foundation
Melvin Oliver, the SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences and a professor of sociology, was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the William T. Grant Foundation for a three-year term.

Leopold von Buch Medal of the German Geosciences Society
Tanya Atwater, professor emeritus of earth science, was awarded the Leopold von Buch Medal of the German Geosciences Society. It is the most prestigious award of this society to an international scholar for outstanding career contributions in the geosciences.

October 2009

Don J. Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award
Douglas Burbank, professor of earth science was selected as the 2009 winner of the Don J. Easterbrook Distinguished Scientist Award by the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division of the Geological Society of America (GSA). The award recognizes an individual who has shown unusual excellence in published research, as demonstrated by a series of papers that has substantially increased knowledge in Quaternary geology or geomorphology.

Jim Gray eScience Award
Jeff Dozier, a professor and founding dean of UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, was awarded Microsoft Research’s 2nd Annual Jim Gray eScience Award. The award, which includes a cash component, recognizes innovators whose work has made an especially significant contribution to the field of data-intensive computing.

Chair of the Association of American Universities
Chancellor Henry T. Yang was elected chair of the Association of American Universities, a nonprofit organization representing 60 leading public and private research universities in the United States and two major Canadian institutions.

November 2009

Lifetime Achievement Award
Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, a professor of English, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS). An internationally recognized scholar, Lim has published widely in the areas of literary criticism, Asian American studies, poetry, fiction, and memoir.

December 2009

Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society
Pierre Wiltzius, the Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Science, was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society, an international organization of almost 16,000 material researchers from academia, industry, and government working in physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering. Wiltzius, who is also a professor of physics in the College of Letters and Science, has extensive experience in academia and the private sector.

Elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Seven faculty members have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). They are: Bjorn Birnir, professor of mathematics and director of the Center for Nonlinear Sciences, for distinguished applied mathematical contributions to the understanding of instances of turbulence flow in three dimensions arising in geomorphology, and for contributions to mathematical biology; Mark A. Brzezinski, professor of ecology, evolution and marine biology, for seminal advances in our understanding of the biology of diatoms and their role in the cycling of carbon, and the biogeochemistry of silicon in the ocean; Richard Church, professor of geography, for innovative contributions to human geographic science and technology, including modeling location-based-services, forest conservation, health, fire and police services, environmental management, and network analysis; Frank W. Davis, professor with the Bren School for Environmental Science & Management, for distinguished scholarship in landscape ecology and contributions to public policy on protection of natural resources; Steven D. Gaines, Dean of the Bren School for Environmental Science & Management, for fundamental contributions to ecology, particularly for integrating empirical and theoretical approaches to larval dispersal, and the dynamics of populations in the oceans; Pierre Petroff, professor of materials and of electrical and computer engineering, for his pioneering work on the growth and spectroscopy of semiconductor self-assembling quantum wires, quantum dots and nanostructure quantum devices; and Norbert O. Reich, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, for distinguished contributions to the enzymology and pharmacology of DNA methylation in bacteria and eukaryotes.

January 2010

Newton Lacy Pierce Prize by the American Astronomical Society
Tommaso Treu, associate professor of physics, was awarded the 2010 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize by the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the largest organization of professional astronomers in North America. Treu was awarded the Pierce Prize “for his insightful work into the physical understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, groups and clusters, including the coupled evolution of the luminous, dark matter and black hole components.”

Early Career Research Program Award from the U.S. Department of Energy
Benjamin Monreal, assistant professor of physics, won an Early Career Research Program Award from the Office of Nuclear Physics at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The award is for $904,000 over five years, and is for Monreal’s project, “New Experiments to Measure the Neutrino Mass Scale.”

Harvey Prize for advancements in science and technology
Lighting pioneer Shuji Nakamura was named one of the two winners of the 2009 Harvey Prize for advancements in science and technology. Awarded annually by the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, the prize was presented at a ceremony in Haifa, Israel. Nakamura is a professor of materials in the College of Engineering, where he also is co-director of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Center. He is internationally known for his invention of revolutionary new light sources: blue, green, and white light-emitting diodes and the blue laser diode. He and a UCSB team also developed the world’s first nonpolar blue-violet laser diodes.

National Academy of Sciences’ Award for Scientific Reviewing
John Alroy, associate researcher at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), was named the winner of the National Academy of Sciences’ Award for Scientific Reviewing. Alroy was honored for developing the Paleobiology Database, which has produced an extraordinarily extensive synthesis of paleontological data that has been driving the field of paleobiology forward in ways that would have been previously impossible. The prize of $10,000––given this year in the field of geosciences––recognizes excellence in scientific reviewing.

February 2010

Sloan Research Fellowship
Trevor W. Hayton, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was awarded a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Hayton is one of 118 early career scientists, mathematicians, and economists to be named Sloan Research Fellows.

Fellows of the American Geophysical Union
Bradley Hacker, professor of earth science, and Mark Brzezinski, professor of ecology, evolution and marine biology and interim director of the Marine Science Institute, have been elected 2010 Fellows of the American Geophysical Union. The AGU is an international scientific organization of more than 50,000 members who are dedicated to the promotion of the scientific study of Earth and its environment in space.

March 2010

UCSB Faculty Research Lecturer for 2010
The UCSB faculty bestowed its highest honor on Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, a professor of history. Hasegawa, an internationally recognized authority on Japanese-Russian relations and co-founder and former director of the campus’s Center for Cold War Studies, was named Faculty Research Lecturer for 2010. In announcing the award, the UCSB Academic Senate noted Hasegawa’s extraordinary achievements in research and scholarly work, as well as his impact in the field of Cold War studies.

Fellows of the American Educational Research Association
Richard P. Duran and Judith Green, professors of education, and Lorraine McDonnell, professor of political science, were named Fellows of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The three were cited for their exceptional scientific or scholarly contributions to education research, and significant contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings.

April 2010

Research Associates and Fellows of the National Asia Research Program
Amit Ahuja, assistant professor of political science, was named to the first class of Research Associates and Fellows of the National Asia Research Program (NARP). He is one of 39 scholars recognized for their research into issues of importance to U.S. interests in Asia. A specialist in comparative and world politics, Ahuja will devote his fellowship to the study of ethnic politics in South Asia.

Guggenheim Fellowship
Tom Soh, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and of Materials in the College of Engineering, is one of only two recipients nationwide of a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in engineering. From a field of 3,000 applicants, a total 180 fellowships were awarded this year in the United States and Canada to artists, scientists, and scholars “on the basis of achievement and exceptional promise.” Soh’s Guggenheim project is to combine two novel technologies—microfluidics and high-throughput sequencing—to significantly accelerate, and reduce the cost of, developing molecular recognition elements (reagents) that specifically bind to their targets. Such reagents are critical in modern biotechnology, but are expensive and require significant time to develop with current techniques.

National Academy of Sciences
Douglas Burbank, director of UCSB’s Institute for Crustal Studies and professor of earth science, and Gary Horowitz, professor of physics –– were elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Burbank and Horowitz were among 72 new members elected to the academy in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Burbank’s research specialties include tectonic geomorphology and the physiographic evolution of mountain ranges. Horowitz’s research focuses on questions involving gravity under the most extreme conditions.

May 2010

National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER awards
In 2010 seven assistant professors were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER awards. They are Xifeng Yan, of computer science, for research on graph information systems: deciphering complex networks, Paul Atzberger, mathematics, for research on emergent biological mechanics of cellular microstructures, Christopher Kruegel, computer science, for research on eliminating malicious code on the Internet, M. Scott Shell, chemical engineering, for research on an integrated multiscale platform for fundamental studies of peptide self-assembly; Liming Zhang, chemistry, for research on Au (gold) catalysis: from versatile synthetic methods to complex natural structure; Michael Gordon, chemical engineering, for research on manipulating near-field optical interactions for nanoscale chemical imaging; and Baron Peters, chemical engineering, for research on nucleation from solution: a new frontier for molecular simulation. The Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of the early career development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chairs
Professors Richard Appelbaum and Nelson Lichtenstein have been named to John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chairs. Each professorship will be supported by a $1 million endowment for a five-year term, and the annual earnings on those funds will finance a range of teaching, research, and public service activities. Appelbaum is a professor of sociology and of global and international studies, where he is also director of graduate studies. Lichtenstein, a professor of history, is also director of UCSB’s Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy.

Harold J. Plous Award
Karen Kroman Myers, an assistant professor of communication, received the 2010-11 Harold J. Plous Award. One of the university’s most prestigious faculty honors, the award is given annually to an assistant professor from the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences who has shown exceptional achievement in research, teaching, and service to the university. The award, which is presented by the College of Letters and Science, was established in 1957 to honor the memory of Harold J. Plous, an assistant professor of economics.

Britain’s Royal Society
Two faculty members have been elected to Britain’s prestigious Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy. Craig Hawker, director of the Materials Research Laboratory and a professor of chemistry, biochemistry, and materials, was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society. Michael Goodchild, director of the Center for Spatial Studies at UCSB and a professor of geography, was elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. They are among only seven scholars at U.S. universities elected by the society this year. The Royal Society is celebrating its 350th anniversary.