Professor James Farquhar of the University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Geology and the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) has been named a 2020 UMD Distinguished University Professor. The title of Distinguished University Professor is the highest academic honor bestowed by the university. Considered a national achievement, this award given to just 7% of tenured faculty honors impact and significant contribution to the nominee’s field, knowledge, profession, and/or practice.
Farquhar’s research focuses on sulfur isotope geochemistry in a variety of terrestrial and extraterrestrial systems. He and his team are best known for their discovery and interpretation of mass independent sulfur isotope signatures in samples from the early Earth that trace the evolution of oxygen and chemistry in the early atmosphere. Last year, he was named an AGU Fellow and was elected into the National Academy of Sciences. Currently, Farquhar’s main focus is a research effort that focuses on the cycling of methane by studying the several different isotopic varieties using a new instrument called the Panorama. The team, composed of researchers from ESSIC, AOSC, ENST, GEOL, and CBL, are very interested in identifying other researchers who have interest in understanding mehane, its cycling, chemistry, sources, and sinks.
Farquhar joins nearly 50 colleagues in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences who have been named Distinguished University Professor since 1980. Other ESSIC/AOSC colleagues who have earned this honor include Eugenia Kalnay and incoming ESSIC Director Ellen Williams.