February 23, 2004
Margaret Delaney elected fellow of the American
By Tim Stephens
Professor of ocean sciences Margaret Delaney has been elected a fellow
of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The AGU fellows are a select
group of distinguished scientists who have attained an acknowledged
eminence in a branch of the geophysical sciences.
Delaney's research in paleoceanography and marine geochemistry involves
using the geochemical records preserved in marine sediments to understand
long-term changes in the oceans. In electing her a fellow, the AGU recognized
Delaney "for her innovative work defining links between biogeochemically
important elements and past changes in climate; and her altruistic and
exemplary service to the oceanographic community."
Delaney's service to the oceanographic community includes major contributions
to the ocean drilling programs that enable scientists to obtain sediment
cores from the seafloor. She has chaired several panels and committees
involved in planning and managing the international Ocean Drilling Program
(ODP), which ran from 1985 to 2003, and its successor, the Integrated
Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), which began in October 2003.
"This honor from the AGU is a wonderful statement about all that
Peggy Delaney has contributed to ocean drilling over the past several
decades," said Gary Griggs, professor of Earth sciences and director
of the Institute of Marine Sciences.
The IODP is an international scientific venture that will bring new
technology to bear in the continuing effort to understand the Earth
as a global system, its history, and its future. The IODP will use multiple
drilling platforms, including two new research vessels--a heavy "riser"
vessel provided by Japan and a light drilling vessel sponsored by the
United States. Delaney chaired the Conceptual Design Committee that
provided recommendations for the U.S.-sponsored research vessel. Several
other UCSC faculty have also been closely involved in the ODP and in
planning for the new IODP.
"IODP will use the most advanced sampling and observing technologies
available to investigate processes and regions of the Earth that were
previously inaccessible and poorly understood," Delaney said.
Delaney's research involves analyzing the chemical composition of marine
sediments to trace the chemical history of the oceans. She is especially
interested in the nutrient history of the ocean, and her work has helped
establish long-term records of phosphorus deposition in the seafloor.
Her research also addresses how the chemical composition of calcite
microfossils may change after deposition in the sediments, which is
important because these fossils are a primary tool in deciphering the
past composition of the ocean.
Delaney sailed on three ODP expeditions, contributed to several others,
and chaired the program's Ocean History Panel for three years. From
1996 to 1999, she was editor of the scientific journal Paleoceanography,
published by the AGU.
The field of paleoceanography has proven to be of critical importance
in understanding the history of Earth's biogeochemistry and climate
and, by extension, the implications of global warming and other global
changes for the future.
Delaney received her B.S. in chemistry from Yale University and her
Ph.D. in oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She joined the UCSC faculty
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