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UNH Is Ranked Third Nationally in Geoscience Research
DURHAM, N.H. -- University of New Hampshire scientists are among the nation's best in geoscience research, ranked ahead of Harvard and Columbia universities, according to a recent report from a national institute in Philadelphia.

The Institute for Scientific Information, which ranked universities based on how frequently their work was cited by other researchers, found that UNH scientists ranked third nationwide between 1993 and 1997. Geoscience encompasses scientific knowledge of the Earth, including its atmosphere, chemistry and geology.

The rankings included papers in geoscience journals written by scientists in the top 100 federally funding U.S. universities that published at least 100 papers.

Papers by UNH geoscientists were cited an average of 9.02 times by other researchers. The University of California, Irvine, ranked first ( average 9.48 citations), and the Georgia Institute of Technology ranked second (average 9.39 citations). Behind UNH were Columbia University (average 8.92 citations) and Harvard University (ave. 8.88 citations).

Citations are important because they indicate cutting-edge scientific findings that lay the groundwork for advanced research, according to the institute's staff.

"It is very gratifying that the quality of our publications in geoscience research is recognized nationally," says Roy Torbert, dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. "We believe that such research is a hallmark of the UNH experience."

Much of UNH's research in the geosciences is conducted under the auspices of the university's internationally-renowned Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS). Founded in 1985, EOS is a multidisciplinary research institute devoted to the study of the planet Earth and its space environment. EOS boasted approximately $21 million in research funding last year -- more than half from NASA -- placing it among the top 25 NASA-funded educational institutions in the nation.

"We are very pleased to be recognized for increasing scientific awareness and understanding of past climate changes and contributions in the areas of atmospheric and ocean geochemistry and oceanic cricualtion modeling," says Wallace Bothner, chair of UNH's Department of Earth Sciences, "as well as for important work in geology and hydrology. Perhaps most significant is the very active involvement of our undergraduate and graduate students in all of these efforts."

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau