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UW Geologist Barbara John to Give President’s Speakers Series Talk

April 4, 2016
woman sitting at table and holding rocks
Barbara John

Geologist Barbara John will discuss University of Wyoming explorations of mid-ocean ridges during the 2016 Spring President’s Speakers Series talk Tuesday, April 12, at 4:10 p.m. in the UW Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium.

“Mid-ocean ridges create crust that makes up 60 percent of the Earth’s surface, yet we know less about these ridges, and the upwelling mantle beneath them, than we do about the mountains on the far side of the moon,” John says.

She will present highlights of the exploration of these ridges by UW scientists. John will discuss the origin of some of the largest mountain topography and faults known on Earth; consider associated hydrothermal vent systems; and discuss their mineral deposits.

tiny shrimp clustering on rocks

Aggregations of shrimp feed on microbes adjacent to a small vent in the Von Damm hydrothermal vent field, where water temperatures are 200 degrees Celsius. (Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, NOAA).

Additionally, John will present a photographic journey through some of the vent systems -- places where life can thrive in the complete absence of sunlight, hosting ecosystems unlike any others on Earth.

John teaches structural geology/tectonics and igneous processes in the UW Department of Geology and Geophysics. She received a B.A. (1978) at the University of California-Berkley, and a Ph.D. (1987) at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

The President's Speakers Series encourages and honors individual faculty members who have successfully balanced the research, educational and service goals of the university. The series calls attention to individuals who have made important, well-rounded contributions to the university's standing.

A committee, composed of the series' previous honorees, nominates candidates, and the selected faculty member is asked to prepare a public presentation on a topic of national interest. The criteria for selection include a long-term national recognition for research or creative activity and the ability to communicate with all members of the university community.

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