UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — If Demian Saffer can make one thing happen in his new role as head of Penn State's Department of Geosciences, it's to provide more ways for the department's faculty, students and staff to pursue innovative endeavors.

"I'm excited to foster opportunities for our researchers to take on high-risk, high-reward projects such as developing new courses or trailblazing new scientific techniques," said Saffer, professor of geosciences. "Our researchers and staff need the chance to 'think big,' and I'm looking forward to putting together a proposal-based process to make this happen."

On July 1, he will take over the role of department head from Timothy Bralower, professor of geosciences, who served as interim department head since Lee Kump left the role in June 2017 to become dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.  More