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Geology Alumni In the News

Assembled by Tim Vick ‘69
Please send updates to me at timothydvick <at> gmail . com.  Thanks!

 

7/23/2014:  Ian Semple '62 Publishes Memoir "Tales From The Underbrush" - The life of an exploration geologist, while tremendously exhilarating, can at the same time, and certainly during the middle part of the last century when most of the book’s content takes place, be described as one of hardship, deprivation, and danger. The process of exploration in wildly varied terrains and circumstances when mixed with the strengths, frailties and often deep cultural cross-currents of the human condition provide the recipe for fascinating experiences to which most urban dwellers are not privy.  Read The Whole Story

7/4/2014:  Steven Clawson '15 Pioneers 3-D Printing Of Fossil Replicas - 3D Printing Industry - Steve Clawson, a young teaching assistant at Beloit College in Wisconsin and Museum Specialist & Technician with the Field Museum in Chicago, is part of a new generation of paleontologist who have embraced 3D printing to produce fossil specimens. To help other colleagues get up to (carbon) date, he made a video tutorial showing how to prepare a fossil for 3D printing.  “The chief issue I take with traditional injection-moulded casts is that they cannot resolve the internal details of a fossil specimen – only the surfaces that contact the silicon rubber used in the production of the moulds can be replicated”, he explains in his new YouTube channel page.   Read The Story And See The Video

6/24/2014:  Stanley Riggs '60 Works To Raise Awareness Of The Effects Of Sea Level Rise - The Washington Post - The dangers of climate change were revealed to Willo Kelly in a government conference room in the summer of 2011. By the end of the century, state officials said, the ocean would be 39 inches higher and her home on the Outer Banks would be swamped... A member of the science panel, geologist Stanley Riggs, published a book likening the islands to a “string of pearls” that would soon be separated by shoals unable to support a fixed highway. In Dare County, this spawned dark jokes about getting to work by kayak.  Read The Whole Story 

3/26/2014:  Fjord Jumping In Norway With Monica Norton '15 - Beloit College News Bureau - What has been your proudest/most exciting moment abroad? Fjord-jumping was very exciting and exhilarating; despite this warmer-than-usual winter, skiing here is greatly appreciated and for a good reason: it is amazing; the beautiful Northern Lights; going about the small city, Sogndal, and being able to get by without using English--just the few Norwegian phrases I know--is something I am proud of.  Read The Whole Story

3/3/2014:  Mineralogy-Petrology Lab Renamed To Honor "The Chief," Hank Woodard - Beloit College News Bureau -  It was, wrote one former student, "a fitting tribute:" on Friday, Beloiters gathered in the Center of the Sciences to celebrate the re-naming of the mineralogy-petrology laboratory in honor of Beloit College Emeritus Professor of Geology Hank “The Chief” Woodard . This initiative was driven by a group of alumni—headed up by Richard A. "Skip" Davis'59—with support from development and alumni relations.  Read The Whole Story

2/2/2014: Jim Hartman '51 Awarded Top AAPG Foundation Honor - AAPG Explorer - Two longtime valuable supporters of the AAPG Foundation have been named recipients of the Foundation’s top awards for 2014.  The awards, announced by the Foundation’s board of trustees, go to James A. Hartman, this year’s winner of the L. Austin Weeks Memorial Medal, and Charles “Chuck” Weiner, the winner of the Foundation Chairman’s Award.  Read The Whole Story

1/4/14:  Steve Ballou '98 Searches For Meteorites In Antarctica - Beloit Daily News - Completing lab tests, a stress test and psychological exam are just the beginning of procedures to complete if you want to explore like Steve Ballou.  A Stateline Area native, Ballou is currently braving the cold, windy and snowy conditions at McMurdo Station in Antarctica — all in the name of science.  Ballou, a geology technician at Beloit College, is in Antarctica as part of the ANSMET (Antarctic Search for Meteorites) program.  Read The Whole Story

12/13/13: Tirzah Abbott '12 Helps Excavate 65-Million Year Old Triceratops - USDA Blog - Paleontologist Barbara Beasley’s voice filled with excitement as she described a recent dinosaur find on the Thunder Basin National Grassland in northeastern Wyoming.  “This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our Passport in Time volunteers,” she said.  “Mother Nature preserved and stored this treasure for more than 65 million years." [...] “It’s very exciting…applying everything I’ve learned,” said Tirzah Abbott, a first-time dino-digger, paleontology geo-database technician and recent Geology graduate from Beloit College in Wisconsin. “I’m excited to be part of the excavation and preparation (of this fossil).”  Read The Whole Story

12/1/2013:  Ian Semple '62 Paints Landscapes With Humans Involved - Mineral Exploration Magazine - Ian Semple's Working Wilderness Heritage Series of paintings reflects many of the wilderness areas he explored as a geologist, including the work of humans in the wilderness.  "We are part of nature, and a balanced interaction of man and nature is part of the natural world," he says.  Read The Whole Story

11/15/2013:   Barbara Sheinberg '78 Outlines Options For Managing A Beautiful Wild Valley - The Skagway News - (scroll down to the second news story) - A preliminary draft of the West Creek Area Master Plan was introduced to the public in two separate open house presentations November 1, and will remain open for public comment until November 22.  The main goal of the meetings, held at City Hall and the Elks, according to Barbara Sheinberg, principal and senior planner at Juneau planning firm Sheinberg Associates, was to familiarize Skagway residents with the rough plan for the management of the West Creek area in order to solicit informed, public opinion.  “This plan establishes how Skagway values the area and wishes to use it,” explained Sheinberg. “Where are you recommending this go?” Read The Whole Story (second story down the page)

9/24/2013: Laura Reiser Wetzel '90  Honored For Teaching Excellence And Campus Leadership - Eckerd College News Center - On September 20, 2013, two members of the Eckerd College faculty were recognized at a special awards reception--Professor of Marine Science and Geosciences Laura R. Wetzel was presented with the John M. Bevan Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award, and Professor of Visual Arts Arthur Skinner  received the Wrenn Award for Leadership and Service to General Education.  Read The Whole Story

9/12/2013: Meghan Hicks '00 Talks About Her Marathon Win In Morocco - Trail Runner Magazine - Meghan Hicks fell in love young, at the age of 21, just out of Beloit College in Wisconsin. Her relationship began while working in Big Bend National Park in west Texas, and she cultivated it for five years, all the while getting to know her suitor though on- and off-trail exploring. “When you allow yourself to ‘know’ something, you allow yourself to love it,” she says. “I love deserts!”  Read The Whole Story

9/11/2013: Monika Byrd '85 Explains The Difference Between Leadership Roles And Leadership Development - PKT TV - In this video our guest, Monika Byrd - Phi Theta Kappa's Dean of Leadership Development and Service Learning, explains the difference between leadership roles and leadership development as they apply to Honors In Action. She also shares some hints to help chapters identify ways they can identify leadership development activities to incorporate into their Honors In Action projects.  See The Video

9/5/2013:  Tony Mariano '82 Is Looking For Investors In The Rare Earth Elements Markets - KITCO Commentary - If you thought you had rare earth element mining all figured out, think again. Dr. Anthony Mariano and his son, Anthony Jr., work as geological consultants to many rare earth companies, and say even they have more to learn. But if you're looking for a sector that will nurture your inner nerd, rare earth elements may be the play for you. In this interview with The Metals Report, geek out with the Marianos as they talk rare earths and igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. [...] Tony Mariano Jr.: I am certainly not a market analyst, but we have seen ups and downs in the REE market, as with any commodity. Read The Whole Story

8/30/2013: John Ewert '81 Presents Program On Volcano Hazards And Volcano Monitoring In The Cascade Range - Mt. Baker Volcano Research Center - Owing to their explosive nature, close proximity of large populations, substantial infrastructure, and heavy air traffic, the Cascades are among the most threatening of the Nation’s approximately 170 volcanoes. John Ewert is Scientist-in-Charge of the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory. Based in Vancouver, Washington, his entire career has been spent working on  explosive volcanism, volcano monitoring and volcano hazards mitigation in the United States and around the Pacific Rim.  Read The Whole Story

8/12/2013: Suki Smaglik '81  Probes Hot Springs For Clues To Early Life - University of Wyoming News Bureau - The hot mineral springs in Thermopolis soothe Suzanne Smaglik's quest to document the different species of microbes that live in the steamy environment. The earth and physical science professor at Central Wyoming College (CWC) is receiving a technological boost from the University of Wyoming to assist her research efforts. “I hope to find clues to early life on Earth. Some of these species are related to some of the first we have found in fossils in the rock record,” Smaglik says.  Read The Whole Story

6/4/2013: Robert Patch '79 Is The Youngest Person Ever To Win A U.S. Patent -  Southern California Public Radio - On June 4, 50 years ago, Robert W. Patch of Chevy Chase, Maryland was awarded a patent for a toy truck design. It could be taken apart and re-assembled in a variety of configurations by a child.  Not so unusual, unless you consider that Robert Patch was 6 years old at the time.  Read The Whole Story

5/10/2013: Rachel Crabb '98 Explains Water Quality Grades For Minneapolis Lakes - Southwest Jounal - Southwest Minneapolis’ most popular lakes for recreation earned high marks for water quality on Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s 2012 Lake Grades report released May 9.  Lake Calhoun earned an A and Lake Harriet earned an A- from the watershed district, grades that indicate the lakes are generally healthy and have clear water throughout the summer.  The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board conducts the sampling for lakes in Minneapolis, and Rachael Crabb, a Park Board water quality specialist, said she was “pretty happy” with this year’s grades.  Read The Whole Story

5/6/2013:  John Huss '87 Named Outstanding Researcher And Awarded Fulbright Fellowship - the University Of Akron - John Huss was selected as the University's Outstanding Reseacher.  His expertise in Philosophy of Science, as well as his background in Geology and Geophysical Science, allows him to collaborate extensively with people outside of philosophy.  Huss has received a number of fellowships and grants, which is rare for a philosopher. His most recent award is a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship. Read The Whole Story

4/14/2013:  Meghan Hicks '00 Wins A Marathon In Morocco - 7M Sports - Stage five of the 2013 Marathon des Sables took place on Friday in southern Morocco.  It was the last chance for movement on the leaderboard, with just Saturday's short procession into Merzouga to come.  Home runner Mohamad Ahansal led Jordanian defending champion Salameh Al Aqra by almost 45 minutes coming into the leg and was not about to let that advantage slip.... In the women's competition, Laurence Klein of France's withdrawal on the fourth stage left the way clear for 34 year-old American Meghan Hicks to take control.  See The Video

3/19/2013:  Ethan Mamer '10 Shovels Six Tons Of Sand In The Pursuit Of Science - University At Buffalo News Center - The work wasn’t glamorous, but it had to be done.  Last November, University at Buffalo master’s student Ethan Mamer removed 6 tons of sand — by hand — from a 10-meter-long (33-foot-long) artificial river he was using to study how water cycles through streams.  The purpose: Mamer needed to empty the river to repair leaks in silicone caulking that were affecting experimental results. These model waterways, called flumes, are awesome apparatuses that feature flowing water and elements customized to meet the needs of research projects. They require maintenance (as Mamer discovered), but the science they support is important.  Read The Whole Story

3/14/2013:  Nick Schmerr ’01 Makes Waves In The World Of Seismic Science - Beloit College Magazine - Rambling along the Yukon’s Alaskan Highway and stopping periodically for bushwhacking into a buggy wilderness to dig big holes in the dirt may not seem like the most romantic of times. But for Nick Schmerr’01, a planetary seismologist, the experience was captivating. The holes were for seismometers—devices used to study earthquakes—but the trip was more than that for the then-graduate student. It also offered a look into the lives of a rugged, independent people living at the northern edge of the Earth.  Read The Whole Story

11/17/2012:  Andy And Jane Elder '67 Donate A Set Of Antique Horticulture Volumes To The Library Of Fruit Science - Ozark Area Network Blog - Our Paul Evans Library of Fruit Science has received a wonderful gift of horticultural history – a complete 12-volume set of the Luther Burbank journals, edited by his staff. Jane and Andy Elder of Gainesville, Missouri donated the books to the Paul Evans Library of Fruit Science in memory of Elizabeth Waterbury Elder.   Read The Whole Story

 8/13/2012:  Steve Ela '85 Talks About The Year's Fruit Crop On His Family's Organic Farm - MMLocal Blog - We visited with Steve Ela on his orchard in Hotchkiss, Colorado last week - he shared a quick overview on how this year's fruit crop has been shaping up.  See The Video

6/13/2012:  Kenneth Schneider '82 Explains The Surge In Demand For Pollution Liability Insurance - MyNewMarkets.com - An increase in contract requirements and government regulations has led to a surge in demand for contractors pollution liability coverage, according to underwriters. Kenneth Schneider, senior vice president of Rockhill Underwriter Managers, which is wholly owned by Rockhill Insurance Co., says the company has seen an uptick in coverage requests from all types of contractors that wouldn’t normally purchase pollution liability, such as street and road pavers.  Read The Whole Story

6/12/2012:  Nick Chambers '99 Reports On The Progress Of Electric Cars - Scientific American - In the year and a half since modern, mass-market electric cars have been available for purchase, many a pundit has attempted to paint a picture of what driving and owning one of these vehicles is like. From ludicrous myths (exploding batteries) to questionable claims (a more relaxed morning commute), it can be hard to know exactly what a plug-in car will do in the real world.  Now EV owners are beginning to speak up on what it is like to be early adopters and how the cars behave during daily driving.  Read The Whole Story

6/8/2012:  Richard Davis '59 Awarded  Honorary Membership By The SEPM Society For Sedimentary Geology - The Rockport (TX) Pilot - Though Richard A. Davis Jr. has only lived in Aransas County for about six years, he knows the lay of the land, above and below the bay waters, as well as anyone ever has. He is a geologist who has made coastal geology his life’s work including the Gulf of Mexico. Last April, Davis was the only recipient to receive Honorary Membership from the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM).  Read The Whole Story

 4/26/2012:   India John '12 Presents Undergraduate Research At Beloit College Symposium Day - Readmedia.com - India John '12 of Nashville, Tenn., presented her research on "Evapotranspiration Rates of Phalaris Arundinacea and Native Prairie Plants at Newark Road Prairie, Beloit WI" at the 36th Annual Beloit College Student Symposium on Thursday, April 12. She is an environmental geology major.  Read The Whole Story

4/18/2012:  Eric Reuter '01  and Joanna Operate An Organic Farm In Missouri - Katie Currid Photo Blog -  I’ve been really into sustainability and learning about responsible farms lately and I happened upon the blog for Chert Hollow Farm. Chert Hollow is a sustainable homestead in the rural areas of Columbia, run by husband/wife duo Eric and Joanna Reuter. After reading about their farm and spending some time talking to them, I ended up falling in love with their commitment to being certified organic and their approach to farm management and diversifying their farm.  Read The Whole Story

3/22/2012:  Nicholas Schmerr '01 Sheds New Light On Wandering Continents - Science Daily.com - A layer of partially molten rock about 22 to 75 miles underground can't be the only mechanism that allows continents to gradually shift their position over millions of years, according to a NASA-sponsored researcher. The result gives insight into what allows plate tectonics -- the movement of Earth's crustal plates -- to occur.  "This melt-rich layer is actually quite spotty under the Pacific Ocean basin and surrounding areas, as revealed by my analysis of seismometer data," says Dr. Nicholas Schmerr, a NASA Postdoctoral Program fellow.   Read The Whole Story

3/8/2012:  Stanley Williams '76  Is The Lone Survivor Of Volcanic Explosion - State Press Magazine - “The four people I was talking to were instantly dead, ripped to shreds and the other two men vaporized,” says Stanley Williams, a geology professor at ASU and lone survivor of a volcanic explosion...  “The eruption lasted only two minutes but was throwing hot, huge, fast and sharp rocks faster than bullets,” he says, his eyes fearful. These flying, deadly stones left Williams barely alive. The scorching rocks put a hole in his skull, causing a traumatic brain injury, broke his legs, nose and jaw, fractured his spine and set him on fire. But as he says, all he could think about was the $10,000 cash he was holding for the group. So he transferred the dollars from his burning backpack to his front chest pocket.  Read The Whole Story

1/27/2012:   Steve Ballou '98 Is A Yellowstone Park Ranger When He's Not Taking Care Of The Geology Dept. - West Yellowstone News - Ranger Steve Ballou explains some of the features that make Yellowstone National Park unique. Speaking passionately about the national parks system, Ballou gave a brief history of Yellowstone, stressing the idea that parks like it exist because of the conservation ethic and represent legacies for future generations.  See The Feature Photo

12/20/2011: Katie Loughney '06 Writes A Fossil Resources Management Plan For C&O Canal National Historic Park - Geological Society Of America - A short video about the GeoCorps America Program featuring Katie Loughney.  GeoCorps America is a program of the Geological Society of America, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service.  The program offers paid short-term geoscience positions in some of the most beautiful natural areas in the world. Positions are offered in summer as well as in winter.  Watch The Video

10/20/2011:  Robert Nowack ’75 Blankets Indiana With Seismic Stations To Record Earthquake Data Purdue University News Service - Seismic equipment is being installed throughout Indiana as part of a national program to better understand how and why earthquakes and volcanic events occur, and Purdue University professors and students spent time last summer surveying the state to find the locations best suited for the equipment.  Robert Nowack, a Purdue professor of geophysics, said the data collected in Indiana could address significant uncertainties about the New Madrid and Wabash Valley fault zones.   Read The Whole Story

10/10/2011: Sheldon Turner '08 Recognized By GSA For Understanding How People Learn From Visualizations - Michigan State University College of Natural Science - The Geological Society of America has recognized MSU doctoral student Sheldon Turner with an Outstanding Mention Award – one of 20 awards presented by the GSA during their annual conference in Minneapolis. Turner was recognized for his research in understanding how to best communicate complex science issues through images and visualizations.  Read The Whole Story

9/18/2011:  Greg Fernette '72 Points Out The  Potential Of Iraq To Be A Top Phosphate Producer - MiningWeekly.com - The US Geological Survey (USGS) last week revealed that Iraq, which has the fourth-largest proven oil reserves in the world and is the number 12 producer of the energy commodity, also has the globe’s second-largest phosphates reserves. This was reported by USGS research geologist Greg Fernette at the Iraq Mining 2011 conference, in London.  Currently, Morocco has the world’s largest phosphates reserves.  Read The Whole Story

8/26/2011:  Emily Culver ’07 Investigates Ancient Earthen Circles In Ohio – Ohio Archaeology Blog - Kenneth Tankersley, archaeologist at the University of Cincinnati, and U.C. graduate student Emily Culver are conducting research at the Great Circle to answer this important question.  Culver reported the preliminary results of these investigations in her masters thesis.   According to Culver, there is evidence for an "anthropogenic [human-made] buried soil placed as a ditch lining" at a depth of between 1.3 and 1.5 m below the current surface.  Read The Whole Story

7/25/2011 - Liz Ceperly '12 Collects And Analyzes Arctic Soil On Land And At Sea - Polar Trec blog - Today was the fourth day that Mark, Daksha, Rebecca and I worked together in our little Polarcirkel boat. Initially I had assumed we would mix up the personnel on the boats everyday, but now I see some advantages of keeping the team members the same. Pulling up the box core (a big metal box that scoops mud off the bottom on the fjord) and the CTD out of the water on the winch can get heavy, and often takes two of us. Simultaneously Mark (our chauffeur extraordinaire) needs keep constant sight of the cable into the water, and someone has to help manage the re-spooling of the winch cable. This all requires a certain “dance” of sorts, and we have all the different parts mastered now. We can send down and pull up scientific instruments, tie knots, churn the winch, scoop sediment, and sing summer camp songs all at the same time (all while Mark attempts to keep the boat in one place).  Read The Whole Story

7/22/2011:  Corey Shircliff '11 Shatters Phonathon Records - Beloit College News Bureau - In only four years of part-time work, Corey Shircliff ’11 has raised more than $100,000 for Beloit College—and she’s done it all without leaving campus.  Besides majoring in geology, Shircliff spent the last four years working on Phonathon, a college fundraising effort run by the Office of External Affairs. The program employs students who call alumni and parents to ask them to make philanthropic gifts to the Beloit Fund, which supports the college’s core operations—everything from financial aid to student-faculty research to internship stipends.  When Shircliff heard about Phonathon from a friend during her first semester at Beloit, she quickly dropped her dishwashing job in the dining hall to take the position.  Read The Whole Story

7/1/2011Katherine Adelsberger ’02 Connects Human Activity And Environmental Change In The MideastKnox College News Bureau, Illinois - A Pennsylvania native, Katherine Adelsberger was drawn to archaeology and exposed to earth science as an undergraduate.  "But my study abroad experience in Tanzania was really the turning point," she says. The opportunity to conduct interdisciplinary research as an undergraduate led to a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and an interest in African geoarchaeology, in particular.  Adelsberger continued her passion for exploration and geosciences, which led her to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Sudan during her graduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis.  As a graduate student, she also served as a teacher’s assistant and helped with the Women in Science program.   As a co-director of the Dhiban Excavation and Development Project in Jordan, Adelsberger’s primary research interest is connecting human activity and environmental change in the Middle East.   Read The Whole Story

6/21/2011:  Ice Stone, Founded By Peter Strugatz ’77,  Visited By White House Staff – NY1.com, New York - NY1 covered the White House's June 2011 visit to IceStone. Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality toured IceStone's factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as part of a push to urge industrial companies to recycle and adopt other green measures. Ms. Sutley also participated in a panel discussion w/ IceStone CEO & President Michelle Gibson, IceStone Co-Founder Peter Strugatz, Brooklyn Boro President Marty Markowitz, and BNY President Andrew Kimball.  Watch The Video

5/17/2011:  John Ewert ’81 Heads Cascade Volcano ObservatoriesThe Daily News Online, Longview, Washington - Thirty-one years ago, John Ewert was a college graduate fascinated with Mount St. Helens. Today, he's the new scientist in charge of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver. He's spent his entire 30-year-career at the observatory, which monitors all Cascade Range volcanoes.  Read The Whole Story

4/30/2011: Edward Duke '76 Named J. P. Gries Geologist of the Year - SD Section American Institute of Professional Geologists - The South Dakota Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) announced today that Dr. Edward F. Duke, professor of geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) has been named as the 2011 J. P. Gries Geologist of the Year. The award has been named in honor of Dr. John Paul Gries for his exceptional work in the field of geology and is given each year by the Section in memory of Dr. Gries, a longtime professor of geology at SDSMT. The 2011 award was presented to Dr. Duke for his many contributions in furthering the understanding of the state’s geology.  ReadThe Whole Story

4/18/2011:  Brenda Danner '05 Makes Learning About Nature Fun -  Faribault Daily News - Right on the heels of Labor Day, four new interns have started their jobs at River Bend Nature Center in Faribault but it definitely hasn't seemed like work.  As the start of their nine-month internships, Brianna Sander, Ekua Ewool, Brenda Danner and Sarah Anderson are learning about the center through a variety of ways.  We went on a bird hike today," Danner said Wednesday.  "[River Bend chief naturalist] John [Blackmer] gave us coordinates on a map and said go," Danner said.  Read The Whole Story

4/4/2011:  Ralph Harvey '82 Comments On Illegal Trafficking In Meteorites - The New York Times - Ebay and other Web sites pulse with hundreds of sales pitches. “The pieces below have an exceptional patina,” a site called Star-bits.com said of 10 pictured fragments.  The ads are for chunks of meteorites, bits of asteroids that have fallen from the sky and are as prized by scientists as they are by collectors. As more meteorites have been discovered in recent years, interest in them has flourished and an illegal sales market has boomed — much to the dismay of the people who want to study them and the countries that consider them national treasures. “It’s a black market,” said Ralph P. Harvey, a geologist at Case Western Reserve University who directs the federal search for meteorites in Antarctica. “It’s as organized as any drug trade and just as illegal.”  Read The Whole Story

3/27/2011: Rachel Crabb '99 Explains The Double Edge Sword Of Salting Roads In Winter - TYWKIWDBI blog - This winter, the Pollution Control Agency (PCA) started a four-year project to figure out which Twin Cities' lakes hold too much chloride, a primary ingredient in salt, and what it will take to keep urban waters healthy...   Brownie Lake, a small, deep lake in Minneapolis near Cedar Lake Parkway and Interstate 394, contains so much chloride that its top and bottom layers no longer mix, which is vital to a healthy lake. In part, it doesn't turn over because the lake is so deep relative to its surface area, and pollutants of all kinds flow down its steep banks. But salt has been collecting in its depths for years. Two meters below the surface, the water in Brownie contains virtually no oxygen, said Rachael Crabb, a water quality expert for the Minneapolis Parks Department, indicating there's not much life at the bottom.  Read The Whole Story

3/20/2011:  Megan Mason '12 Experiences Tectonic Movements Firsthand - Beloit College Magazine -  Geology student Megan Mason ’12 decided to spend time overseas with Frontiers Abroad, an organization dedicated to providing interdisciplinary science- and service-based education (including a five-week field term) in New Zealand. By the time she arrived in January of 2011, Christchurch had already experienced one severe earthquake earlier that fall. Working in the field with her fellow geology students, everyone talked about how much they wanted to feel a tremor. They wound up getting more than they bargained for when, on the second day of post-field-term classes in Christchurch, Mason’s second-story classroom started shaking.  Here is a story Megan wrote for the Cannon Falls, MN, Beacon     Here is another story from Beloit College

 3/1/2011:  Nick Chambers ’99 Has Made A Career Of Writing About “Green” Cars – Autotrader.com – With the dawn of green cars well upon us, automotive journalists have struggled to change their interest from combustion engines to hybrid, plug-ins, hydrogen and clean diesel. Then there's Nick Chambers. AutoTrader's green car specialist came to the job in a much more unique way. Nick answers some of our questions about how he went from geologist to green car journalist and how his outlook on cars and career changed along the way. Read The Whole Story

2/23/2011: Paul Ballou '77 Explains Implications Of Closing Planetarium To Save Money - WFAA-TV, Dallas - Nearly every school district in Texas is trying to figure out how to operate with less money because of the state's budget crisis.   Mesquite ISD is facing funding cuts between $19 and $38 million. The district's goal is to save jobs — but a program that has been helping students for more than 30 years is on the budget cut recommendations list in both the best- and worst-case scenarios — The Russell Planetarium.   "It will be very sad if this building closes," said Paul Ballou, the facilitator of the Russell Planetarium. He has been there since 2005, but has been with the district 17 years. Read The Whole Story

2/22/2011:  Sheldon Turner ’08 Finds Geology The Ultimate Interdisciplinary Field – Michigan State University - For Sheldon Turner, geology is the ultimate interdisciplinary field. In college, with little prior knowledge of geology, he took some courses and was excited to see that it involved his other scientific interests—math, physics and chemistry. Following his graduation with a bachelor’s in geology and a minor in physics, Turner joined the MSU Department of Geological Sciences. Here, his research has involves psychology, education and even policy. At MSU, Turner is member of Julie Libarkin’s Geocognition Research Lab. As the name suggests, the lab goes beyond traditional geology to ask how people perceive and understand the Earth and its processes.  Read The Whole Story

2/8/2011:  Ally Snell ’03 Discusses the University of New Hampshire’s Contributions To The Peace Corps - The New Hampshire - "UNH is unique all across the board," Ally Snell, the regional Peace Corps recruiter for New England, and Peace Corps alum, said. "UNH tends to produce students with more forestry and agricultural knowledge, and currently and historically, UNH students have been present in every sector of the Peace Corps."  Read The Whole Story

1/7/2011:  Dianne Gerber Nielson ‘70 Retires After Distinguished Career As Energy Advisor To Utah Governor – The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah - Dianne Nielson, a leader noted for keeping remarkably cool in the hot seat of many of Utah’s most contentious environmental and energy issues, announced Thursday she is retiring from state government.  Although she served as the governor’s energy adviser during the past three years, she is best known as the longtime leader of the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, beginning in 1993, and guiding Utah through its fight against high-level radioactive waste storage, helping shape the state’s first climate-change policy and mediating innumerable fights between industry and environmentalists over the best way to protect Utah’s air, land and water. She served 27 years in state government under a roster of six governors in both major parties.  Read The Whole Story

10/28/2010: Bridget Litten '87 Is A Press Officer For Everglades National Park - National Geographic News - The current blaze, which has been burning since May 14, recently reached the edge of a melaleuca stand before workers stopped it with fire-retardant chemicals.   Bridget Litten, a National Park Service public information officer, said the fire was about 50 percent contained by Wednesday.  But the wind direction is expected to change Thursday and blow from the east, and that will keep the 200-plus firefighters there on their toes, she said.   Read The Whole Story

8/4/2010:  Eric Reuter ’01 Demonstrates The Marvels Of Garlic On His Organic Farm – Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri - On a sultry Sunday in July, 2,000 heads of organic garlic swung from the rafters in a barn at Chert Hollow Farm northwest of Columbia. A giant fan whirred at the back of the hay barn to keep the heads drying despite high humidity. Eric and Joanna Reuter, the two tan and lean farmers who own the farm, stood outside the barn holding forth before a group of sweaty Columbians.  Read The Whole Story

7/28/2010:  Jenna Hunter ’07 Teaches City Kids That Nature Goes Beyond CockroachesGreen Right Now, New York City - Jenna Hunter, an Earth Science teacher at Manhattan’s High School for Environmental Studies New York City, sees the disconnect in her students – students already with a scholarly leaning toward the natural world.“Their closest engagement with nature is cockroaches,” says Hunter.  So, for the past two summers, Hunter has been a mentor with Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) —an environmental leadership program for teenagers run by The Nature Conservancy out of New York City.  Read The Whole Story

4/26/2010:  Ed Venzke '88 Explains Icelandic Volcano's Fury - Star City Blog (Radio Interview) - After Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano blew its top, European air traffic was paralyzed and thousands of travelers on both sides of the Atlantic were stranded. In this week's episode, we talk with the Smithsonian Institute's Ed Venzke about the Icelandic volcano and why its ash is so dangerous to aircraft.  Hear The Whole Interview

12/16/2009: Scott Reynhout ’08 Wins National Award From The Geological Society Of America – University of Cincinnati News Bureau, Ohio - Scott Reynhout received the Arthur D. Howard Award for graduate research from GSA's Quaternary Geology & Geomorphology Division. Read The Whole Story And See The Video

11/24/2009:  Tom Hahne ’81 Discovers Contamination From Dry Cleaning BusinessOakPark.com, Illinois - An environmental remediation expert retained by the village of River Forest told the village board Monday that there is significant environmental contamination adjacent to a sewer line under Lathrop Avenue stemming from a drycleaner located 150 feet to the west.  Tom Hahne, of village consultant Tetra Tech, also said "very low levels" of the dry cleaning solvent tetrachloroethylene, TCE, or perc, was found under the village's right of way immediately north of the building and on the east side of Ashland Ave. That contamination is also near the St. Luke's property.  Read The Whole Story

9/2/2009: Greg Wiles '84 Relates Pacific Northwest Climate Fluctuations To Great Lakes Water Levels - College of Wooster News Bureau - New insights into understanding fluctuations in water levels in Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes may lie thousands of miles to the West, according to research by Greg Wiles, associate professor of geology at The College of Wooster, and several of his colleagues.  Wiles, whose findings are referenced in an article ("Pearls Unstrung") by Sid Perkins in the Aug. 29th issue of ScienceNews, says that the Pacific Northwest has a great bearing on the climate circulation pattern in the Great Lakes region and therefore the water levels, specifically in Lake Erie. - Read The Whole Story

5/23/2009: Sauk County Historical Society Dedicates Pre-Historic Garden Beds Thanks To Efforts Of Bill Gartner '85 - Sauk County Historical Society - Though the Hubert Creek Garden Beds were a new discovery for the Society, they had been studied extensively by Dr. William Gartner, of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, as the topic of his dissertation in the early 1990s. According to Dr. Gartner's study, the Hulburt Creek fields are the oldest radiocarbon dated ridged fields in the Upper Midwest or Western Great Lakes regions (ca 1000 AD).  Read The Whole Story

4/1/2009:  Peter Strugatz ’77 Named One Of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs  Bloomberg Business Week, Brooklyn, New York - After years of investing in companies with social missions such as Zipcar and Stonyfield Farms, Peter Strugatz and Miranda Magagnini wanted to go into business for themselves. Strugatz had run his family sculpture reproduction company, and Magagnini had run her own marketing firm after getting an MBA at Harvard. The pair had met through Investors' Circle and Social Venture Network in 1995. In 2003, while scoping the Brooklyn Navy Yard for business opportunities, they noticed an eviction notice on the door of a glass recycling company that was $5 million in debt and was being auctioned off.  Read The Whole Story

4/23/2009:  Dawn Morgan ’98 Leads Volunteers In Monitoring Vernal Pools – Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Maine - On a recent rainy weeknight, about 25 volunteers are gathered around what looks like a large puddle beside a dirt road in Orono. It's actually a vernal pool. The group listens intently as University of Maine graduate student Dawn Morgan explains how to identify spotted salamander eggs. "Ok, so this is a blue spotted salamander egg mass. You can see that it's very clear, very drippy. The only way to locate these is to walk through the pool gently, carefully and pick up sticks and pieces of vegetation that are near the water surface."  Read The Whole Story

8/18/2008: Bob Brakenridge '75 Tracks Floods Worldwide In Real Time - Earthsky.org - Is flooding increasing around the world? EarthSky talks with Bob Brakenridge, founder of the Dartmouth Flood Observatory, about mapping global flooding in this 8-minute *Clear Voices for Science* podcast.  Listen To The Podcast

10/25/2007:  Nick Schmerr ’01 Characterizes Earth’s Inner Workings As An Interplay Between Temperature, Chemistry And Pressure - Arizona State University - A study by Nicholas Schmerr, a doctoral student in Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration is shedding light on these processes and showing that they are not just temperature driven. His work helps assess the role chemistry plays in the structure of Earth's mantle. The simplest model of the mantle - the layer of the Earth's interior just beneath the crust - is that of a convective heat engine. Like a pot of boiling water, the mantle has parts that are hot and welling up, as in the mid-Atlantic rift, and parts that are cooler and sinking, as in subduction zones. There, crust sinks into the Earth, mixing and transforming into different material 'phases,' like graphite turning into diamond.  Read The Whole Story

9/1/2006: Paul Ballou '77 Explains Why Pluto Is No Longer A Planet - Star Local News - Controversy has once again resurfaced in regards to Pluto, formerly considered the ninth planet from the Sun in the solar system. “In my teachings, I always taught the kids that there were nine planets,” said Paul Ballou, Mesquite ISD planetarium educator. “We would also talk about how Pluto did not really fit into that group and include historical reasons.”  The 26th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Prague, Czech Republic, reclassified Pluto last week. It will now be considered a dwarf planet. Read The Whole Story

5/16/2006:  Sara Moore ’94 Helps The International Crane Foundation Save Cranes SignalsOfSpring.net, Wisconsin - This spring, in cooperation with the International Crane Foundation, Signals of Spring students and students in China are tracking Black-necked Cranes in Asia! Cranes are a beautiful group of birds found on five out of the seven continents on Earth. There are approximately fifteen species of cranes, but of them, eleven are considered threatened, or at risk of extinction. Sara Moore, Program Assistant for the International Crane Foundation, stresses the importance of learning about, and developing a consciousness for these animals. Read The Whole Story

5/13/2005:  Tom Weiskopf '82 Supervises Project To Reduce Mine Runoff At Bisbee - Sierra Vista Herald - BISBEE - Phelps Dodge is in the final stages of finishing a project to separate the flow of water that runs from the stockpile to the Old Bisbee watershed.  Phelps Dodge Site Manager Tom Weiskopf said the company is in the process of building an 1,800-foot wall to help the process. So far, only 200 feet of the wall has been completed.  "We have got quite a lot more to do," he said of building the wall.  Read The Whole Story

12/2/2004:  Tom Weiskopf ’82 Works To Stem An Environmental Emergency – Tucson Weekly, Arizona  - Fits of dust rise like ghosts behind Tom Weiskopf's green Ford Explorer as he sails across a vast and lifeless plain on the southern flanks of Bisbee. Marking more than a century of human ambition, this forlorn, square-mile of mine tailings gropes hungrily into desert, chastened only by berms and ditches lacing its outer ring.  Weiskopf crunches to a halt and climbs out of his truck. As manager of the Phelps Dodge Copper Queen Mine, his job is to put this site to rest in the least toxic way possible. Read The Whole Story

1/11/2003: Peter Bente '73 Tracks The Flights Of Migrating Peregrine Falcons From Alaska - Alaska Department of Fish and Game - Silhouetted against an overcast autumn sky, the shifting V-shape of southbound geese embodies migration. Many of Alaska's hawks and falcons also migrate, but traveling singly or as small family groups, they don't advertise their departure from the north as dramatically.  Alaska Fish and Game biologist Peter Bente said as a general rule, the further north peregrines nest in the summer, the further south they winter. Peregrines in Southern Canada migrate into the central and southern U.S. for the winter, while Northern Canadian peregrines head to Mexico and Central America.  Read The Whole Story

4/15/2001: Stanley Williams '76 Releases Book On His Survival Of An Explosion On Galeras Volcano In Colombia - New York Times Book Review - On Jan. 14, 1993, Stanley Williams, a professor of geology at Arizona State University, led 12 researchers to the top of Galeras. They had gone to Colombia as part of a United Nations program formed after Nevado del Ruiz, aimed at improving the monitoring of active volcanoes. Galeras seemed quiet. But as the party stood watching -- some people inside the crater, some at or near the rim -- it blew. Six scientists and three tourists were killed. Williams survived, barely, suffering severe burns, a destroyed leg and a life-threatening brain injury.  Read The Whole Story

12/25/2000:  Rachel Jenkins '87, A Bear Ranger In Glacier Park, Peers Into A Hole And Sees Eyes Staring Back At Her -  The Missoulan - A sow bear and at least one cub - nobody's getting close enough to be certain - have settled down for their long winter's nap in crawl space under a Glacier National Park building. "There's always a danger when people get too close to bears, particularly when a mother bear with a cub is involved," Many Glacier bear ranger Rachel Jenkins said. [...] "When I saw eyes looking back, it confirmed in my mind there was a bear in there, so we didn't hang around," she said.  Read The Whole Story

2/10/2000: David Furgason '74 Donated A Partly Completed Two-Manual Harpsichord To Beloit College And Now It Is Performing In Concerts - Beloit Daily News - When a Beloit College graduate donated a partly-finished harpsichord to his alma mater in 1998, the college went to work to complete the instrument. [...] The harpsichord donor, David Furgason, graduated from Beloit College in 1974 and currently resides in Rockford. He comes from a family of Beloit College graduates, with parents who graduated in 1953 and 1954, and a sister who graduated in 1976.  Read The Whole Story

8/14/1989:  Jeff Marso ’80 Gets Action Shots Of A Lahar – US Geological Survey, Guatemala - "While surveying the Nima II river near the town of El Palmar in Guatemala, my colleague and I noticed a white steam cloud upriver. We were working about 15 kilometers downstream from an active lava dome, Santiaguito. A very heavy rainstorm was passing through that area and the likelihood that a hot lahar was on the way was immediately obvious.We scrambled out of the canyon as quickly as we could, gave our equipment to our driver who exited with the vehicle at high speed, and we raced for a nearby bridge with our cameras."  Read The Whole Story