The Labsonda (The UFRJ EPMA lab) was created in 2010 and is coordinated by Dr. Isabel P. Ludka. Dr. Ludka is a former UFRJ student who also has a Doctor of Science (DSc) from the UFRJ/Maximillian Universität München, Germany. Her broad research investigation includes: Petrology and mineralogy, (genesis of granite and pegmatites, igneous and metamorphic rocks). She is also dedicated to a number of other projects since the Labsonda also has a multiuser facility mission.
Dr. Ludka is highly enthusiastic and outgoing and has number of young graduate scientists and undergraduate students working under her supervision. She leads by example, she is hands on and a perpetual learner. She knows the details of installation, maintenance and operation of each equipment in her lab. She will repeat and double check data until she is absolutely satisfied with all the parameters analyzed and results obtained. Her group will frequently get together for a brainstorm coffee break where everybody is stimulated to question anything, everything. It is common during these meetings; lab members having delicious cheese breads denominated “Pao de Queijo”, certainly a Brazilian tradition.
The Deparment of Geology, at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), initiated activities in 1958. The Institute of Geology (IGEO) is now responsible for the education of Brazilian and international students. Before 1957, the formation of geologists was under other professional categories (Civil Engineering, Mines Engineering, Biology and Chemistry). Since then, the number of Geologists has multiplied and so the scope of their activities, ranging from academic scientific research to mineral and petroleum prospection. The first class of Geologists graduated in 1961 and the patron chosen was the ex-president Juscelino Kubitschek (JK) de Oliveira. Curiously, Kubitschek was responsible for transferring the Brazilian capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia. JK was a visionary politician, a leader, who believed in long-term planning and responsible for implementing strategies for the future of Brazil. Kubitschek is actually considered the father of modern Brazil. He stands among the politicians whose legacy is held most favorably.
Reversing the history, Geology as professional activity now attracts individuals from other areas. It is common to find chemists, physicists, biologist and engineers working in geological endeavors in Brazilian territory. In 2008 UFRJ celebrated the qualification of more than 1000 highly qualified geology professionals.
For those interested in meteorites, please check out one of the publications from this group on the International Journal of Solar Systems Science. The article explores the characteristics of Varre-Sai, the most recent Brazilian meteorite fall, which occurred on June 19th, 2010 at Varre-Sai, in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.
REf.: Zucolotto et al, 2012. Varre-Sai: The Recent Brazilian Fall. Earth, Moon and Planets.
This REALab was written by Dr. Breno Leite, JEOL Applications Specialist, who has been traveling throughout South America to work with our customers. He also reports on the local scenery, food, and culture.
The City of Rio de Janeiro: It is almost pointless to try to describe the city of Rio de Janeiro in just one paragraph, but I will try. I think that is why many before me, simple summarized all the experience in just two words: “Cidade Maravilhosa”, or “Wonder City”. It is undoubtedly a city for the “bucket list”, i.e., you should visit Rio de Janeiro before you die. The trip should satisfy all your senses. To start you should visit the Corcovado (The Christ) and Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf). I know you have seen the pictures, but being there is a completely different story. You should feel the breeze, walk close to the vegetation and pick up plant fragrances. You should feel how friendly Brazilians are and, absolutely, taste the food. You should also go to the Copacabana walkway, which exhibits the typical wavy design of floor stone tiles, and meet the locals (cariocas) and the tourists to celebrate the city! Relaxation, art, good food (of course), souvenirs, fine drinks and beautiful people. When you go back home, you should hear "Only a Dream in Rio" by James Taylor. “I'll tell you there's more than a dream in Rio”.