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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!

10/26/2017:  Robert Jacobi '70 Awarded AAPG Eastern Section's Highest Honor - University At Buffalo News Center - BUFFALO, N.Y. — Robert Jacobi, professor emeritus of geology at the University at Buffalo, has received the John T. Galey Memorial Award from the Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). [...] Jacobi, PhD, a native of Olean, New York, is a longtime member of the AAPG. The award honors him as an extraordinary teacher, geologist and mentor whose broad breadth of research, depth of knowledge and diversity of experiences has enriched the geoscience community of the Eastern Section. He has helped numerous young scientists establish their careers, and his scholarship has improved scientists’ understanding of the geology of the Eastern United States. Read The Whole Story

6/7/2017: Evan Mascitti '12 Passes Professional Groundskeeping Science On To School Athletic Field Managers -  Pittsburgh CityPaper - Chances are good that Evan Mascitti, the field-operations supervisor for the Pittsburgh Pirates, has heard your “grass is greener on the other side” jokes.   “I don’t mind them,” he says with a chuckle. “Even my family jokes about it.”  Part of his job is making sure the grass at PNC Park is kept at the correct height, down to the quarter-inch, all year round. Aerating the soil, what type of fertilizer to use, and how much and how often the grass is cut are the kinds of things fans notice only when something’s wrong. But it takes a lot to get everything just right.  Read The Whole Story

5/16/2017:  Skyler Dong '16 Is On A Team Extracting Methane From Seafloor Sediments - Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin - The science team on the Helix Q4000 took a break from pressure coring Monday to conduct some tests on the specialized coring tool and was greeted with some good news Tuesday morning: The tool deployed successfully during the test and retained pressure, bringing hope that the alterations made by Geotek engineers over the last 24 hours will improve the mission’s success rate.  [...] The process of actually working with pressurized core was very exciting for Jackson School Ph.D. student Tiannong “Skyler” Dong, who was used to dealing with methane hydrate analysis on a much more theoretical basis.  Read The Whole Story And also:  Another Story In The Series

2/13/2017: Michael Benjamin '84 Warns That Small Off-Road Engines Will Emit More Air Pollutants Than Cars By 2020 - KQED News - They may look pretty innocuous — those leaf blowers, hedge trimmers and gas mowers wielded by a small army of gardening crews across the state.  They're not.  According to state air quality officials, those machines are some of the biggest polluters in California. In fact, by 2020, leaf blowers and other small gas engines will create more ozone pollution than all of the passenger cars in the state.  Yes, really, there will be more pollution from gas-powered gardening equipment than from cars, confirms Michael Benjamin, division chief at the California Air Resources Board. Read The Whole Story

2/3/2017:  Water Closet Blogger Envied The Adventures And Fishing Exploits Of The Chief (Woodard) On The Merrimack River Waterfront - Middleton Stream Team - A remarkable new book entitled Up-River, Down-River, and Out-to-Sea (2016) was received by the old Closeteer as 2017 began. Author Henry H. Woodard, Jr. tells us stories of his upbringing in the Merrimack River estuary and Atlantic waters between the Isles of Shoals and Cape Ann. His father, always Father with a capital F, was a commercial fisherman and perhaps the most admired man in Salisbury by us boys growing up there.  Read The Whole Story

2/3/2017:  Eric Reuter '01 Profiled In Mother Earth News - Mother Earth News -  Eric and his wife, Joanna, founded their homestead farm in 2006, within a narrow Ozark-style valley with diverse landscapes and ecosystems. Raised in a rural household that valued gardening and food preservation, he’s long been interested in food and wooed Joanna with his cooking.  Eric pursued degrees in geology and education, chasing an elusive dream of a career in the National Park Service, before settling down with Joanna to pursue self-sufficiency instead. Read The Whole Story

12/14/2016:  Frank  Kaszuba '90 Joins Craft Brewery Consultant Group - Brewbound.com - Bev-Craft, a craft brewery consultant group headquartered in Superior, Wis., has tapped Frank Kaszuba as Project Manager and Brewer. In his new role, Kaszuba will orchestrate the development of breweries in planning and help propel their growth as an ongoing operational consultant.  Kaszuba’s beers have won a myriad of awards at national competitions including three medals at the Great American Beer Festival and numerous medals at Chicago’s Festival of Barrel Aged Beer.  Read The Whole Story

12/1/2016:  Prof. Emeritus Hank Woodard Publishes Stories Of His Youth - Barnes & Noble - Up-River, Down-River, Out-to-Sea is a group of short stories relating to the time when author Henry H. Woodard Jr. was growing up on the Merrimack River in Salisbury, Massachusetts, during the 1920s, '30s, '40s, and '50s. He grew up in a commercial fishing family, which was based in a home on Rings Island, near the head of the Merrimack River estuary, 2 miles from the ocean.  Read The Whole Story

11/3/2016:  Eric Beck '91 Takes Seventh-Graders To The Forest To Study Succession First-Hand - The Bend Bulletin - Down a forest road near Ryan Ranch, seventh-graders in Eric Beck’s science class stretched their arms around trunks to measure their diameters — in a way, hugging trees for science.  “This one is 9.2 inches,” Rowan Brumwell, 12, said, wrapping a special measuring tape around the pine tree.  Jeronimo Fuentes, 13, recorded the tree’s diameter.  Read The Whole Story

11/1/2016:  Brent Elliott '95 Maps And Assesses Mineral Resources In Texas - Texas Bureau Of Economic Geology -  I work on a number of projects connected with mineral resources across Texas, ranging from uranium, precious metals, and rare earth elements to base metals, sand, gravel, and aggregate materials.  Read The Whole Story

10/28/2016:  Stan Riggs '60 Goes It Alone On Climate Change To Save His State - National Geographic - - This 19th century fishing village stands three feet above sea level at the bottom of the coastal plain known as the Inner Banks. It is home to 301 people, a small fishing fleet that has seen better days, and is surrounded by 18 miles of dikes, including a 7-foot steel barrier installed a couple of hurricanes ago, courtesy of FEMA’s millions. When Stan Riggs, a coastal geologist, visited here two weeks after Hurricane Matthew blew through, Swan Quarter was dry behind its barricade. But the surrounding landscape remained sodden, and the signs of saltwater intrusion from storm surges and rising tides that Riggs likens to “a creeping disease” are visible all across the plain. Whole “ghost forests” poisoned by saltwater stand sentinel to rising tides.  Read The Whole Story  See also: East Carolina University has a research vessel named after Dr. Riggs

10/27/2016: Sara Kurth '05 Introduces The Community To Lapidary Art - MySuburbanLife.com - In order to make compelling art, the artist needs to understand the medium. Anyone who ever has tried painting knows that there is a world of difference between working with oil paints compared to watercolor. The same goes for working with rocks or stones. A stone cutter uses different techniques for working with marble, jade or even gems. Furthermore, there are skills for making large sculptures such as Auguste Rodin’s marble The Kiss that would be lost when attempting one of Peter Carl Fabergé’s famous eggs. It’s this sort of distinction that Educator and Program Coordinator Sara Kurth is trying to show to guests at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst.  Read The Whole Story

10/21/2016: Nick Schmerr '01 Tests Planetary Science Gear In A Volcanic Field - Arizona Daily Sun -  The smooth mounds of cinder cones filled the horizon as a group of three students set off up a slope near SP Crater last week. They were equipped with a GPS, a ghostbusters-esque device to measure the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field and a computer-and-sled contraption to emit and measure ground penetrating radar. [...] That sort of subsurface data collection wasn’t done in the 2010 NASA mission but it is an important part of exploring anything from the moon to an asteroid to another planet, said Nicholas Schmerr, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Maryland.  Read The Whole Story

9/29/2016 - Ted Haberman '75 Explains The Benefits Of Metada Standards - NASA Earthdata - “As we generate more data, the need for metadata grows enormously,” says Barry Weiss, the systems engineer and data architect for NASA’s recently launched Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission. [...] Metadata are integral components of NASA’s Earth science data, and ensuring their content and quality are crucial. [...] While the NASA-developed metadata standards do a good job addressing data discovery, this is only one facet of metadata. “Discovering data is important,” says Ted Habermann, the Director of Earth Science at The HDF Group, an independent non-profit organization that develops and manages the Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) set of Earth science metadata conventions. “But we really need standards that go beyond discovery to cover access, use, and understanding of data.”  Read The Whole Story

6/25/2016 - Edward Duke '76 Leads School Of Mines Research Into Turning Waste Into Electricity - Rapid City Journal - NASA is one of the organizations providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding to help South Dakota School of Mines & Technology researchers pursue their projects over the next three years.  Professor Venkataramana Gadhamshetty’s earlier research into the use of tomato waste as a source of electrical energy attracted the attention of NASA, which would like to apply the concept to generating power from human waste in manned space missions. To develop the idea into a workable model, Gadhamshetty received $750,000 from NASA’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Gadhamshetty’s project was selected from more than 20 others submitted from across the state, according to Dr. Edward Duke, director of the South Dakota NASA EPSCoR Program.  Read The Whole Story

3/4/2016:  Steve Ela '85 Takes Family Farming To The Next Level - Country Folks Grower - Steve Ela, the 4th generation of Ela Family Farms in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, has made big changes in the marketing of the tree fruit from his 99- acre farm since the 1990’s, when they marketed it wholesale through a packinghouse that served a number of growers.  “Since, then, we’ve switched to doing all our marketing ourselves. We needed to get out of the commodity market. The packing shed did a good job, and still packs and sells for about 10 growers. But each additional dollar we can get by marketing ourselves is ‘gravy’. Doing the marketing ourselves has allowed us to stay on the farm.”  Read The Whole Story    See also: An Up-Close View Camping Among The Fruit Trees

3/1/2016:  Steve Bellou '98 Introduces Children To Science At Beloit - Wisconsin Assn. Of Independent Colleges And Universities - For four years now, Beloit College faculty and students have been teaming up with food scientists at Kerry, a Beloit-based food and nutrition company, to get local children excited – if occasionally squeamish – about science. [...] In the “Time Travel: Beloit in the Ordovician” lab, children peered 400 million years into the past. Back then, “Wisconsin was covered by a shallow sea and the ultimate predator was a tentacled, jet-propelled, submarine-shaped nautiloid,” said Stephen Ballou, a staffer in the college’s geology department. Read The Whole Story

1/12/2016:  Barbara Sheinberg '78 Appointed To The Juneau Assembly - Juneau Empire.com - With a smile as bright as the sun that was just beginning to peek out from behind the clouds over downtown Juneau, Barbara Sheinberg took her seat at the table with seven other Assembly [city council] members (one was out of town).  Read The Whole Story

12/7/2015:  Michael Benjamin '84 Helps Show The Chinese How California Deals With Climate Change - Los Angeles Times - China’s top negotiator at the United Nations summit on climate change practically gushed as he described his country’s relationship with California.  During a speech Monday, Xie Zhenhua described Gov. Jerry Brown as an “old friend” whose administration has provided green wisdom from across the Pacific.  “For that,” he said to Brown, “I give tribute to you.”  It was a ceremonial reminder of the unglamorous work occurring behind the scenes between China and California, and a glimpse of how the state wants to play a key role in stemming global warming.  [...]  “They’re really impressed by how clean the air is here,” said Michael Benjamin, who runs a state emissions laboratory.  Read The Whole Story

10/21/2015:  Adrian Kropp  '96 Leads The City Of Broomfield, CO, Toward More Data Access For Citizens - The Enterprise Broomfield News - A program that will allow Broomfield residents to access raw data about their city is expected to launch in the coming weeks.  Ernesto Chavez, chief technology officer with Broomfield, mentioned the project publicly for the first time Tuesday evening at a City Council study session.  Adrian Kropp, GIS manager, said the project started internally around September and will roll out in phases as data is added.  Read The Whole Story

10/9/2015:  Undergraduate Research Program Initiated A Decade Ago By Suki Smaglik '81 Thrives And Receives NSF Discussion And Backing - County 10 - Field research performed by Jacki Klancher, Darran Wells and Todd Guenther, collectively referred to as ICCE: the Interdisciplinary Climate Change Expedition will be one of the topics of discussion at a National Science Foundation Conference in Washington DC on Sept. 28.  Undergraduate research in the sciences at Central Wyoming College was initiated by Suki Smaglik more than a decade ago, and today numerous faculty members including Steve McAllister, Darran Wells, Tara Womack and Todd Guenther continue to advance student centered research at CWC.  Read The Whole Story
The Funding Award
- Basin Reboot - The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to a network of community colleges including Central Wyoming College, for the expansion of research opportunities to students. The grant was awarded to the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI), a project launched by Finger Lakes Community College in upstate New York. Students are participating in the following projects: Thermophiles in hot springs, and high-altitude landscape development, with Suki Smaglik; [...]  Read The Whole Story

9/25/2015:  Steve Ela '85 Blogs On The Absent Apple Crop - Ela Family Farms - On a Friday afternoon when we should have coolers overflowing with apples and I should be trying to organize boxes and boxes of fruit to send to our various markets and wholesale accounts, it turns out that the farm is strangely quiet.  This year “A” is for absent, not apple.  Read The Whole Story

9/17/2015:   How to Keep Your Phone From Eating Your Brain W/Jorge Selva Of Minium - The Artrepeneur Now - For the last couple years, your smart phone has been eating your brain. It has been your best friend, your library, your GPS, and a medium for blasting music, face-timing, or even hardcore stalking your friends. [...] As a child, Jorge was obsessed with the rocks, formations, and the natural Earth, and it eventually led to a passionate degree in Geology.  One day, he caught himself in the middle of a chronic brain-frying refresh session, and he realized that his smart phone was depleting his focus and relationship with nature.  Read The Whole Story

9/9/2015:  Barbara Sheinberg '78 Conducts Development Survey For The City Of Valez, Alaska - Valdez Star - An online survey for businesses and nonprofit organizations in Valdez was activated Monday, in hopes of gleaning important information about the local economy that is unavailable through traditional channels.  "We want everybody to respond," said Barbara Sheinberg of Sheinberg Associates, the consulting firm hired by the city's newly formed Economic Diversification Commission to help guide the group in identifying what is and is not working in the Valdez business community.  Read The Whole Story

9/1/2015:  Frank Kaszuba '90 Becomes Head Brewer At Duluth Brewery - The GrowlerA lot has changed in the beer world since Tim Nelson and Rod Raymond opened Fitger’s Brewhouse in 1995 as one of only four breweries operating in the state of Minnesota. Today some big changes for the Duluth brewpub were announced. [...]  At the Brewhouse, Frank Kaszuba will take over as head brewer, with Hoops staying on in a short-term consulting role, according to Raymond.  Read The Whole Story

8/29/2015 - Erin Endsley '96 Tapped To Lead Huge Duluth Superfund Site Cleanup - Duluth News Tribune - After years of neglect, the site of the long-closed U.S. Steel Duluth Works may be be on the verge of revitalization.  Following decades of steel and cement production, the industrial property along the St. Louis River in western Duluth has the unfortunate distinction of being the most widely contaminated site to be identified in all the Great Lakes Rust Belt, according to Erin Endsley of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  Endsley has been tapped to serve as project leader of a federal Superfund cleanup of the industrial wasteland which is estimated to harbor more than 1.65 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment, both on solid ground and submerged throughout an adjacent estuary. That’s enough material to fill 103,125 four-axle dump trucks. If parked bumper to bumper, that number of trucks would form a line that stretches from Duluth past Chicago.  Read The Whole Story

8/12/2015: John Kaszuba '82 Provides Insights On Fluid Flow In The Powder River Basin Shale Oil Units - NGI's Shale Daily - With a goal of more precise exploration and production (E&P) in the Powder River Basin (PRB), University of Wyoming (UW) researchers and industry this month moved into the second phase of cooperative research on the basin’s geology. [...]  "We're looking at how the fluids react with the Frontier," said UW’s associate professor John Kaszuba. “'This should provide companies with information about what treatments to use downhole to maximize production."  Read The Whole Story

7/23/2015: Pesticide Drift Threatens Eric Reuter '01's Organic Farm -  Harvest Public Media - Chert Hollow Farm sits nestled between rows of tall trees and a nearby stream in central Missouri. Eric and Joanna Reuter have been running the organic farm since 2006. That means they don’t plant genetically modified crops and can only use a few approved kinds of chemicals and fertilizers. “We’ve traditionally raised about an acre and a half of pretty intensively managed produce, so it’s a very productive acre and a half,” Eric Reuter said. “We’re really into cropping things.”  Read The Whole Story

6/6/2015:  Harry Kuttner '14 Opens An Environmental Art Show In Chicago - Comfort Station -  Chicago, IL - Comfort Station is proud to announce its latest exhibition: Golden Spike: Rock Shop of the Anthropocene opens on Saturday, June 6th. For the entire month, Comfort Station will be converted into a roadside rock shop with specimens and merchandise for sale alongside works by artists in conversation about the contemporary geologic condition. [...] The art inhabiting Golden Spike will include the photographs of Lee Hunter and Conrad Bakker’s geologic specimen paintings. Together with Ryan Thompson’s analog video set to loop in the corner of the shop along with the found object sculptures of Harry Kuttner.   Read The Whole Story

6/2/2015:  John Huss '87 Discusses How Science Tools Can Affect Scientific Language - AAAS - A thriving ecosystem exists in and on us, and it is made up of micro-organisms whose genetic material outnumbers human genes. What are the ethical and social implications of this ecosystem? How do we think about ourselves in light of it? How do the research techniques for studying these micro-organisms shape our perceptions of both the science and its meaning? These are a few of the questions addressed at a DoSER symposium, “The Human Microbiome: Implications of the Microcosm Within Us,” that was held at the AAAS Annual Meeting in February 2015. [...] University of Akron Philosopher of Science John Huss said the tools available for doing scientific research can end up influencing the terms we use to describe the world. For example, metagenomics is a set of tools used for analyzing the large quantities of genetic sequence in microbial communities. But there are linguistic consequences to this approach.  Read The Whole Story

5/29/2015:  Steve Clawson '15 Collaborates On Rapid Assembly Of A Tyrannosaurus Skull Replica - Tyrannosauroidea Central - Yesterday I had a fantastic time with Mr. Steven R. Clawson (Master’s candidate, California State University, Fullerton) assembling a rapid prototype of Jane’s skull with clipping shears, a glue gun, and stirring straws! We started our task at 10:45 am and steamrolled through until 3:00 pm! Our greatest challenge was in the distortion inherent in the bones – assembling a skull in this way is an excellent test of the level of distortion that a fossil really has.  Read The Whole Story

4/25/2015:  Jackie Wittmer Malinowski '07 Brings Geology To Life For A Class On The Outcrops - Writing The Rocks - “It’s part of the story!” Jacoby exclaims, holding a dull gray rock above his head.  Jacoby is a student in my sedimentology and stratigraphy class. Thirty-two other students clamber about on the rocky slope in various states of confusion. They squint through their hand lenses and jot down observations in their water-proof notebooks. Hammers thud against the rock outcrop. A student’s foot sinks in the mud to above his ankle.  Dr. Jacalyn Wittmer Malinowski is fresh from a PhD at Virginia Tech. Now she is a geology instructor at the University of Illinois, and this is her class.  She gathers the students with a shout. It’s story time. “What did you see?” she asks everyone.  Read The Whole Story

4/24/2015:  Robert Nowack '75 Attributes Increase In Earthquakes To Human Activities - wlfi.com - WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A report released by the U.S. Geological Survey shows an increasing number of earthquakes in central and eastern parts of the United States. [...] Experts said the cause is likely to be human induced.  Purdue University Earth Science Professor Robert Nowack said states like Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas are seeing an increasing number of earthquakes. He said human activity is a likely cause of them.  “There’s been increasing evidence that this is resulting from man-made fluid injection in areas of oil and gas exploration,” said Nowack.  Read The Whole Story

4/10/2015:   Glenn Thackray '85 Discovers An Active Fault Near Boise Using LiDAR - Idaho LiDAR Consortium - While looking at a highly detailed new topographic image of Idaho’s Sawtooth Range, Idaho State University geosciences professor Glenn Thackray had an “eureka moment” when he discovered a previously unknown active earthquake fault about 65 miles, as the crow flies, from Boise. ISU researchers estimate the fault has been active twice in the last 10,000 years, about 4,100 and 7,000 years ago.  Read The Whole Story

3/10/2015:  Ralph Harvey '82 Leads The Search For Meteorites In Antarctica - Phys.org - Every austral summer, a group of volunteers heads off to a remote region of Antarctica to set up a field camp on the ice. For the next month, they search the ice and nearby debris piles left by glaciers for dark rocks that might be extraterrestrial in origin. The program is called the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET).  ANSMET has been led for the past 20 years by geologist Ralph Harvey of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.  Read The Whole Story

2/13/2015:  John Mavrogenes '82 Makes New Discovery About Copper Ore Formation Around Volcanoes - Studyoptions.com - Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Bristol (UK) have recently release a paper detailing a discovery as to how copper ore forms around volcanoes.  The findings contradict previous knowledge about the formation of copper, and could lead to changes in the way that exploration for the element is undertaken.  Lead researcher, Dr. John Mavrogenes, from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences, said the research examined what causes the large copper deposits known as porphyries that form around volcanoes. “We found that these copper deposits need rocks containing both copper and sulphur,” he said.  Read The Whole Story

1/20/2015:  Mary Dowse '74 Helps Introduce A Research Component Into Geology Field Trips - University Of Houston - On January 4, 2015, GeoSociety embarked on its annual Winter Trip with 35 undergraduates, two Ph.D. students and four professors. The trip consisted of four days of field work examining the structures of Eagle’s Nest and Granite Hill. The structures are outcrops found in South East Luna County, New Mexico, near the town of Deming.  Unlike past Winter Trips that emphasized geo-tourism, this year’s trip incorporated a research component that generated six undergraduate research projects.  Research was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Peter Copeland and Dr. Stuart Hall of the University of Houston, Ph.D. student Marie De Los Santos of the University of Arizona, Mary Dowse of Western New Mexico University, and Dr. Tim Lawton of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.  Read The Whole Story

10/24/2014: Charles Lesher '77 Discovers A Relationship Between High Temperatures In The Mantle And Voluminous Lava Eruptions - EurekAlert, AAAS - Spectacular eruptions at Bárðarbunga volcano in central Iceland have been spewing lava continuously since Aug. 31. Massive amounts of erupting lava are connected to the destruction of supercontinents and dramatic changes in climate and ecosystems.  New research from UC Davis and Aarhus University in Denmark shows that high mantle temperatures miles beneath the Earth's surface are essential for generating such large amounts of magma. The study, published online Oct. 5 and appearing in the November issue of Nature Geoscience, comes from Charles Lesher, professor of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Davis and a visiting professor at Aarhus University, and his former PhD student, Eric Brown, now a post-doctoral scholar at Aarhus University.  Read The Whole Story

 10/17/2014:  Nicholas Schmerr '01 Urges Students To Take Earthquake Drills Seriously - The Diamondback - At 10:16 a.m. Thursday, the university sent out a text alert asking everyone on campus to participate in an earthquake drill. But in James Allen’s philosophy class, neither the students nor the ground stirred.  “I didn’t even know about it,” said the sophomore enrolled in letters and sciences. “I guess I glanced over the email and text and didn’t even notice it.” The alerts told students to hold on to a desk or sturdy table while using it as cover. This is meant to provide protection from falling debris, said Nicholas Schmerr, a geology professor who focuses on seismology.[...] “You need to know what to do when there is an earthquake, especially since there isn’t a lot of time,” Schmerr said. “Personally, I don’t want to be the person to get hit by fallen glass.”  Read The Whole Story

9/30/2014: Tim Makarewicz ’15 Grows His Future In Beloit's Urban Garden - Beloit College  - Last summer, Tim Makarewicz’15, an environmental geology major, completed a fellowship in sustainability with the Beloit Urban Garden, and many of the vegetables he helped to grow appeared on plates and platters in Commons.  Soil is the thread that connects Makarewicz’s summer sustainability work to his academics. He expressed interest in conducting a soil study at BUG and incorporating his findings into a senior thesis project this fall.  Still, he can’t help but connect his labor with a shovel and trowel to his passion for geology, which he hopes will extend beyond his time at Beloit. “Soil study and research like that is definitely something that will help me decide whether or not I want to go to grad school.” Read The Whole Story

9/29/2014: John Ewert '81 Leads The Effort To Forecast Mt. St. Helens Eruption Cycle - KATU News - VANCOUVER, Wash. – Mount St. Helens is sleeping right now, but it’s recharging for the next eruption.  According to John Ewert, a scientist in charge at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, the volcano is re-pressurizing and building up magma.  Mount St. Helens last erupted ten years ago after recharging for about 19 years. Ewert says that’s a typical timeframe for a volcano to build itself back up. Some volcanoes, however, can sit quietly for hundreds or thousands of years before they move toward an eruption.  Read The Whole Story

8/21/2014:  William Sanford '83  Research Project Could Help Track Fracking Fluid - Denver Business Journal - Research now underway at Colorado State University could eventually help track where chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing wind up once they're injected into the ground.  Vivian Li and William Sanford are partnering on research, which received its funding from the CSU Water Center. Li is an assistant professor in the Department of Design and Merchandising, and Sanford is an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences.  Read The Whole Story

9/18/2014: Monka Byrd '85 Articulates The Concept Of Leadership - Phi Theta Kappa - Despite serving in both local and regional leadership positions in Phi Theta Kappa, Janet Walker considers herself a wallflower. Still, she joined Cohort 15 of the Leadership Development Study Group on Facebook and was one of 11 to complete the course.  [...]  "There is a lot in the scholarly literature about leadership that focuses on the exercise of leadership regardless of position or authority," said Monika Byrd, Phi Theta Kappa's Dean of Leadership Development and Service Learning. "Our Honors in Action Hallmark Award rubric, for example, is worded to encourage a broad and emergent, collaborative interpretation of the concept of 'leadership.' "  Read The Whole Story 

8/4/2014: Sheldon Turner '08 Tosses The Pluto Controversy Into Perseid Viewing Session - NIU Today - Looking for a spectacular summer show? Look no further than the night sky. In mid-August, the annual Perseid meteor shower will radiate from the Perseus constellation and appear throughout the sky and NIU’s STEM Café will once again be there to watch it. [...] Turner, with NIU’s Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy, might have the night’s most controversial topic. He plans to discuss why the International Astronomical Union changed the definition of a planet to exclude Pluto and created the new category of dwarf planet.  The Pluto demotion highlights the self-correcting nature of the scientific process, he says.  Read The Whole Story

7/28/2014: Sarah Pipal and Allison Vance (both ’16) Document The Earth Through Interactive Maps - Beloit College News Bureau - There are many ways to document a summer project or a fantastic travel experience, but Sarah Pipal’16 and Allison Vance’16 are creating maps. Interactive maps. The geology majors received International Education Grants and Venture Grants to hike through national parks and trails near Melbourne, Australia, for three weeks and are using ArcGIS (geographic information systems) to present their findings.  Read The Whole Story

7/27/2014: Joanna and Eric Reuter '01 Urge Caution About A New "Right To Farm" Bill - Columbia Daily Tribune - Missouri’s proposed “right to farm” amendment says “the right of Missouri citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices shall not be infringed.” For eight years, we have operated a diversified farm in northern Boone County, managing produce, dairy goats, poultry, timber and more. This experience, along with one of us spending several years on the board of a local farmers market, has made us quite open to a discussion about ways to protect farmers from unnecessary interference and regulation. As we follow this debate, however, the current approach is not aimed at benefiting all of Missouri’s diverse agriculture equally.  Read The Whole Story

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   Here is a sample chapter about The Chief.

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

6/24/2014: Steve Ela '85 Produces Organic Fruit In The Colorado High Country - The Good Food Blog - For more than 100 years, Ela Family Farms has cultivated a rich heritage of growing some of the tastiest fruit on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains. Located just outside the small town of Hotchkiss, fourth-generation farmer Steve Ela takes pride in growing organic peaches, apples, pears, and cherries. He also uses innovative, sustainable farming practices to ensure the health of his land and trees.  See The Whole Slide Show

6/10/2014 - Srabani Roy '93 Helps Write Water Management Work Plan For India - Indian Council Of Agricultural Research - The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) signed a memorandum of understanding for furthering scientific and technical cooperation in water management technologies through collaborative research and capacity building in a function held at the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) here on 10th June 2014.  [...]
The session was co-chaired by Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and DG, ICAR; and Mr. Jeremy Bird, Director General, IWMI, Colombo. Mr. Arvind Kaushal, Secretary, ICAR and AS (DARE), Dr A K Sikka, DDG (NRM), Ms. Srabani Roy, Director-Asia, IWMI, and other Senior Officers of ICAR and IWMI participated.  Read The Whole Story

5/22/2014:  Michael Benjamin '84 Directs Deployment Of Mobile Air Monitor To Sniff California's Roads - Autoblog.com - The old-school Toyota RAV4 EV you see above is the California Air Resources Board's version of a non-participant observer. The all-electric vehicle cruises around the state measuring airborne pollution. Since it's powered by batteries, there are no tailpipe emissions created as CARB tries to get a handle on how dirty the roadway air is.  Michael Benjamin, CARB's chief of air monitoring, told the Bee that the MMP, "paints a thorough picture about what air quality is in any given community." Read The Whole Story

5/10/2014:  Rachel Crabb '98 Says Urban Lake May Be Reaching A 'New Normal' - Minneapolis Star Tribune - The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District’s 10th annual report card for water quality in more than 100 west metro lakes, ponds and marshes shows a long-term positive trend. [...] Cedar Lake in Minneapolis had one of the steepest changes from 2004 to 2013, moving from an A- to a C+. But Rachael Crabb, water resources supervisor for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which manages the lake, said 2004 was a year of unusually good water quality at the lake, where alum had been deposited several years before that to control phosphorous.  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

3/13/2014:  Erin Endsley '96 Helps Convert An Old Landfill Site Into A Community Soccer Field - Wisconsin Public Radio - The Department of Natural Resources is issuing its first ever Certificate of Completion for the cleanup of a licensed municipal landfill, paving the way for a soccer complex near downtown Wausau. Community leaders ended up having to change state law to make it happen.  The final step comes this week when the DNR issues its Certification for Completion. DNR hydrologist Erin Endsley says it's the first ever for a licensed municipal landfill.  Read The Whole Story

3/3/2014: Ellenor O'Byrne '05 Leads Beloit's participation in the National Survey Of Student Engagement - Beloit College News Bureau - The NSSE, coordinated and administered by the Center for Postsecondary Research in the Indiana University of Education, has been around since 1998. Beloit College has been involved twice before, in 2008 and 2011. [...] "The NSSE findings will be one way we can tell if students are responding to these opportunities and engaging differently with their education than students in the past,” says Director of Strategic Research and Assessment Ellenor O’Byrne.  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

1/4/2014:  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

12/13/2013: 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

10/24/2013: Robert Brakenridge '75 Studies Floods, But Usually Not So Close To Home - Livescience -  DENVER — G. Robert Brakenridge has spent his career researching floods. But a lifetime's worth of knowledge didn't make it any easier when his own life was upended by rushing water.  Brakenridge, the director of the Dartmouth Flood Observatory and a senior scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, was among the hundreds of people cut off from the world in Lyons, Colo., in September, when days of heavy rain unleashed torrential floods along the Colorado foothills.   "You could hardly see the bridges anymore," Brakenridge told LiveScience. "They were almost invisible inside the river." Read The Whole Story

9/24/2013: Laura Reiser Wetzel '90 Recognized For Excellence In Teaching - Eckerd College - 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, Ph.D., was presented with the John M. Bevan Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award, and Professor of Visual Arts Arthur Skinner ’72received the Wrenn Award for Leadership and Service to General Education.  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 Was 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

5/28/2013:  John Huss '87 Explains The Philosophy Of Planet Of The Apes - The University Of Akron - Dr. John Huss, Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Akron, discusses the impetus behind "The Planet of the Apes and Philosophy: Great Apes Think Alike," and his role as editor of the book. [...] Viewer comment:  "AT FIRST GLANCE OF this clip in the results, I thought it was A kissing tutorial. As I looked closer, it appeared to be a tutorial on kissing some sort of animal, SCARY! IT had my complete attention. WHEW! - a philosophical discussion of "Planet of the Apes" by a Professor who edited the book- a popular show from the 60's - I have often thought back - WT Heck was THAT SHOW All about, anyway? A Planet of Apes? We learn in many Ways - VERY INTERESTING! mostly - for 60's-70's TV watchers" See The Video

5/21/2013: Jorge Selva '12 Helps Distribute Bicycles To Developing Countries To Raise Living Standards - In this video, Maria talks with World Bicycle Relief Founder F.K. Day and Development Assistant Jorge Selva about the organization's background and Po Campo's partnership.  See The Video

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

2/17/2013:  Ralph Harvey '82 Compares Meteorites Found In Antarctica To Pre-Darwin Biological Finds - CBS News - The meteor that shot through the sky over Central Russia on Friday, exploding into a shower of fireballs, created sound waves that were felt for miles.  [...]  Ralph Harvey, associate professor of planetary science at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University, has been leading the 37-year-old program since 1991. [...] "I would say that the study of meteorites is akin to where biology was in the pre-Darwin area," said Harvey. "We're bringing back all sorts of funky, new creatures, and we're trying to fit them into a framework and understand how one relates to another."  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

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

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

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

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

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

11/2/2010:  Ed Venzke '88 Calms Fears Of A Volcanic Chain Reaction In Indonesia - Livescience.com - Volcano watchers across Indonesia are on high alert after Mount Merapi erupted once again today (Nov. 2). It was the volcano's 10th eruption since Oct. 26.  Rumblings have also been detected at 21 other volcanoes in the region, the Associated Press reported, stoking fears and prompting mass evacuations as a precaution.[...]  There's some speculation that Merapi could trigger eruptions in other volcanoes. But unless they are very close, volcanic systems are generally isolated from each other, said Ed Venzke of the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program in Washington, D.C.  "There is no evidence that the activity at Merapi is having any influence on other volcanoes," Venzke told OurAmazingPlanet.  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

3/5/2010: Karla Hubbard '83 Teaches Her Geology Courses With A Field Emphasis - Oberlin College - Professor Karla Hubbard discussing the Geology Department. Her main research focus has been on the processes of preservation (taphonomy) particularly of molluscs and echinoderms.  As an extension of this research, I have developed an interest in the paleoecologic implications for encrusting organisms and bacteria and fungi that bore into shells.  Other research interests include hurricane effects on tropical coastlines including impacts on coral reefs, beaches, and the overall sediment budget in reef systems. I am also working on the ecology and paleoecology of hydrocarbon seeps and brine seeps.  Watch The Video

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

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

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:  Nicholas 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

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