University of Oregon faculty member awarded $459,000 NSF CAREER Award

EUGENE, Ore. -- (April 22, 2013) – Mark Carey, an assistant professor of history in the Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon, has won a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. The $459,000 award supports Carey’s research on “Glaciers and Glaciology: How Nature, Field Research, and Societal Forces Shape the Earth Sciences,” including his examination of the early development and evolution of glaciology.

“Glaciers have become a key icon of global climate change, yet there is surprisingly little known about the history of glaciology, how people have thought about ice or how glaciers have affected real people in real places,” Carey said. “Our knowledge to date is actually quite superficial when it comes to glaciers.”

Generating new knowledge about glaciers and glaciology contributes to policy and social well-being, Carey says. And with hundreds of millions of people worldwide living near glaciers, depending on glacier runoff for their water, residing in zones subjected to ongoing glacier hazards, inhabiting coastal areas that could be flooded by melting ice sheets, and vacationing in glaciated landscapes that hold particular cultural value such as national parks, glaciology research has broad impacts.

Carey’s research will result in a book, which will illuminate the complex ways in which science, nature, and human society intersect in the formation and evolution of glaciology as a field of study. His educational goals include creation of a Science and Society Group at the University of Oregon, development of an “Inside Out” Prison Exchange Program in science and society and construction of a new Honors College course on the history of the earth sciences. His research work will include the training of undergraduate students and the mentoring of a post-doctoral fellow. 

The CAREER Award is NSF’s most prestigious award in support of early career faculty. The NSF grants successful applicants a minimum of $400,000 for exemplifying the role of the “teacher-scholar,” demonstrating both outstanding research and innovative approaches to education.

“Dr. Carey epitomizes the ideals of the NSF Early CAREER Award,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the graduate school at the University of Oregon. “His research examining glaciology and the intersection of science, nature and society has a strong educational component, as well as real world impact. His work supports the University of Oregon’s aim of fostering a sustainable future for our planet and its people.”