February 25, 2024 Nancy Chabot

The Meteoritical Society Endowment Fund supports a variety of activities through grants that are made twice a year. We are very pleased to announce that seven Community Grants were recently selected for funding during the first selection opportunity in 2024. Thank you to the Endowment Committee for their efforts leading this opportunity. The summaries below, provided by the lead of each project, give more information about the worthwhile activities being supported through these new Community Grants.

  • Samanta Aravena (Universidad de Chile, Chile)
    • Meteorites: Human Heritage. The Atacama Desert in Chile is unique because it has a high density of meteorites. Meteorites travel through space from the beginning of the solar system to impact the Earth and this exhibition travels with them to different educational establishments throughout Chile, to show them to the public.This project seeks to promote meteorite research, make visible the relevance of their protection and encourage the recognition of this item as part of the Chilean identity.
  • Nicholas Gessler (Duke University (retired), USA)
    • EL ALI in Contemporary Somali Media (Translated into English). At least six news media interviews in the Somali language appear on YouTube, and four interviews were given in the Somali language by our colleague at Almaas University in Mogadishu, Somalia. We seek to have these and their comments translated into English and posted on our EL ALI archive: https://people.duke.edu/~ng46/El-Ali/
  • Richard Greenwood (The Open University, UK)
    • A New Meteorite Gallery at the Open University: A Community Science Outreach Resource. A new meteorite gallery at the Open University, UK will bring space research to life by featuring exciting and innovative displays of space rocks and related extraterrestrial
  • Kuljeet Kaur Marhas (Physical Research Laboratory, India)
    • 4th Symposium on “Meteoroids, Meteors and Meteorites: Messengers from Space” (MetMeSS-2024). The symposium aims to bring scientists to present their latest results that advance our understanding of the solar system's formation and evolution and that encourage and create opportunities for young researchers to delve into the field of planetary exploration through meteorites and related fields. This meeting would also serve to increase multi-disciplinary collaborations with the community. Funds will be used to support travel and accommodation arrangements for eligible participants.
  • Peng Ni and Bidong Zhang (UCLA, USA)
    • Meteorite Information Digitization and Archiving (MIDiA) at UCLA. The MIDiA project at UCLA aims to rescue decades of hand-written log books, index cards, and research notes for the meteorite collection by digitization, AI-powered OCR, and archiving.
  • Lee Francis White (The Open University, UK)
    • Engaging Local Schools at the European Lunar Symposium (ELS). By supporting the attendance of local schools at a day of outreach activities at ELS 2024, this project seeks to maximise the societal impact of the conference by reaching all corners of the community and increasing interest in planetary science.
  • Mehmet Yesiltas (Kirklareli University, Turkey)
    • Turkish All-Sky Fireball Network. There are many meteor camera networks in the world. Unfortunately, there is none in Turkey. With this support, the Turkish All-Sky Fireball Network is expanding from one camera to three.

Additionally, one proposal submitted for consideration of a Community Grant was re-directed to the Membership Committee, which recommended that it be funded out of the society's operating budget rather than the society's endowment:

  • Thomas Burbine (Mount Holyoke College, USA)
    • Information Booth at AGU. The project will introduce American Geophysical Union (AGU) members to meteoritics and the Meteoritical Society by having a dedicated information booth at the 2024 meeting in Washington DC.

The Meteoritical Society is delighted to be able to support these worthwhile international projects that further the society’s goals to promote research and education in planetary science. The next application deadline for Endowment Fund requests is 15th June 2024. Guidelines for submitting your requests can be found on the Endowment page of the website.