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2017 in Review


2017 has been quite the roller coaster. In this blog post we outline some of the major events (good, bad, science, political, and other) that whizzed across our radar screens this year.




Femina Sciscitator launches
Donald Trump's Inauguration
Women’s March

NASA's Juno probe takes hi-resolution images of Jupiter


Scott Pruitt confirmed as EPA Chair
Oroville Dam floods

NASA telescope reveals seven planets orbiting a dwarf star 40 light-years from us; these planets represent the best targets outside of our solar system to search for life



Dodd et al. find the oldest microbial fossils to date suggesting that life on earth began in the oceans 3.77-4.28 million years ago. 

Ashley, Mallory, and Alex's Death Valley Super Bloom Bust

Credit: Mallory Choudoir


Neil Gorsuch confirmed as Supreme Court Justice
People’s Climate March
Science March



Sheila Saia defends her PhD thesis



Donald Trump withdraws US from Paris climate accord
Governors from WA, NY, and CA form US Climate Alliance to continue toward Paris goals

Femina Sci holds our first virtual book club: "The Sea Around Us" by Rachel Carson



Julie Brown co-authors paper in Nature Communications titled Improved genome recovery and integrated cell-size analyses of individual uncultured microbial cells and viral particles

Sheila travels to Iceland to walk on some epic glaciers and see columnar basalt


Credit: Armanda Roco



Erin Eggleston starts a new faculty job at Middlebury College
Total solar eclipse
Heather Heyer killed at the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” Rally

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Armanda, Mallory, Annise reunite at ESA 2017 in Portland, OR

Mallory and Annise take a road trip to Seattle and Olympic National Park, eat blackberries, see whales, bald eagles, starfish, urchins, and hike the Hoh Rainforest and along the PNW coast

Mallory publishes a review paper in Trends in Microbiology titled "Genome surfing as a driver of microbial diversity"


Credit: Mallory Choudoir



Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

Cassini spacecraft mission ends

Mallory, Annise, and Ben summit 14'er Quandary Peak with mountain goats

Sheila and Mallory go to all the coffee shops and eat donuts and biscuits in Durham, NC

Mallory gives invited talk on soil VOCs at AgBiome in Research Triangle Park, NC

Ashley, Alex, and Mallory hike the Redwoods in Humboldt, CA

Credit: Mallory Choudoir



Hurricane Maria

Las Vegas shooting
Russian bots on FB/Twitter
#metoo goes viral on Twitter

Santa Rosa, CA fires
Armanda Roco publishes paper in Biogeochemistry titled "Overcoming Entropy"

Paper published in PNAS debunks misconceptions regarding faculty productivity and age



Danica Roem elected in VA (along with many other small victories)

We Are Still In: continuing commitment to meet Paris Climate Accord goals from around the US
Army and EPA Propose to Rescind 2015 Water Rule

Mallory publishes paper in Ecology titled "Variations in range size and dispersal capabilities of microbial taxa"


Supreme Court upholds travel ban
Doug Jones wins Alabama senate seat in special election
Mueller Investigation leads to Michael Flynn guilty plea
Ventura, CA fires
Tax Plan Passes along party lines
Annise Dobson submits her thesis, defense date set for Jan 17, 2018!

White House will not appeal transgender ban court rulings; transgender recruits can enlist in the US military


For other great recaps on 2017, check out the following:



We hope you find some time to reflect on what 2017 has meant to you, and take some time to think about what's on the horizon in 2018.

Happy New Year!


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Photography by Armanda Roco