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June 14, 2010
By Krystal Pyatt
Wendy Calvin’s research with minerals has taken her on a tour of the solar system and now she has returned to Earth to focus on geothermal energy.
“I am pleased to announce Dr. Calvin’s appointment as the new director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy,” Jeff Thompson, the dean for the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno said. “She brings experience in managing programs at the interface between science, engineering, and technology and has a history of leadership in interdisciplinary research. With her experience she will continue to build the reputation of the center and further establish collaborations within the University, industry, and the larger geothermal community.”
Calvin, a geophysics professor, joined the University of Nevada, Reno in 2000 and she has been a member of the Great Basin Center since 2002. She has a doctorate in geophysics from the University of Colorado in Boulder and she participates on several of NASA’s Mars Exploration spacecraft missions. She was employed by the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology team in Flagstaff, Ariz. prior to joining the University of Nevada.
“I love geophysics because it is applied math,” Calvin said. “It shows how the world works and why, while giving me the opportunity to study something tangible. Instead of atoms and particles I study rocks in order to understand how the Earth operates.”
The Center, located on the University’s main campus in Reno, Nev., will focus on cutting edge research to benefit the geothermal industry as a whole and on educating the next generation. In addition to the National Geothermal Academy summer programs currently under development, Calvin plans to create competitive graduate fellowships in which to convince students to become interested in geothermal and renewable energy as a career path.
“I would like to improve the visibility of the Center and expand the University’s involvement in geothermal research on a national and possibly a global level,” Calvin said. “I want to improve our academic offerings in order to draw in strong candidates for geothermal research from across the nation. I look forward to the opportunity and the challenge of being the new director.”
The Geothermal Center collaborates with the University’s Renewable Energy Center and has a variety of partnerships with local industries interested in renewable energy.