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MSU’s Dorfman Gets 2018 NSF CAREER Award

Susannah Dorfman

Susannah Dorfman, assistant professor of experimental mineralogy in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Michigan State University, received $599,948 from NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences for a project that will integrate research pertaining to the role of the mantle in Earth’s deep carbon cycle. She plans to recruit diverse students to the geoscience lab and improve the teaching of spatial reasoning, a critical skill for Earth scientists.

Dorfman is one of six Michigan State University College of Natural Science (NatSci) women scientists to receive National Science Foundation (NSF) Early CAREER Faculty Awards in 2018. This number of NSF grants being awarded to a single college—and to six women faculty members in the same year—is unprecedented at MSU. The five-year (2018-2023) grants collectively total more than $3.6 million.

The CAREER Award is one of NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of early career faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research.

“The CAREER award is a huge boost to my research program at MSU, and I’m excited to carry forward a technically challenging project that lets me work with one foot in geophysics and the other in geochemistry,” Dorfman said. “Our experiments will improve our understanding of the physical and chemical behavior of carbon at extreme conditions in Earth’s deep interior. The project furthers a major goal of the Deep Carbon Observatory, which provided seed funding for my group and is a fantastic scientific community.”

Before coming to MSU in 2015, Dorfman was a postdoctoral scientist in the Institute of Condensed Matter Physics at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland. She received her Ph.D. in geosciences from Princeton University in 2012.

  • Val Osowski via the College of Natural Science website

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