Student Research

Collaborative research between students and faculty members is an important part of the geology program at Beloit College. Under the direction of a member of the Geology faculty, students design and implement a research project, gather and analyze their own data, and present their results. 

Research opportunities are also available through the Keck Geology Consortium which is comprised of 18 colleges committed to undergraduate education in geology through intercollegiate programs that engage students and faculty in cooperative research. Among its founders was Beloit College Professor Emeritus Hank Woodard.

Examples of recent student research projects:

  • Hydrogeology of the Mount Vernon Creek watershed; Rick Blonn, '15; Advisors: Jim Rougvie and Sue Swanson.
  • Close-range photogrammetry of the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, Emery County, Utah: an updated taphonomic analysis of the world’s densest Upper Jurassic bonebed; Steve Clawson '15; Advisor: Carl Mendelson.
  • Dolomite abundance in lake sediments as a proxy for glacier extent in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA; Karly Clippenger '15; Advisor: Carl Mendelson.
  • The effects of soil type and nutrient availability on the spread of reed canary grass at Newark Road Prairie; Joni Denker, '15; Advisors: Jim Rougvie and Sue Swanson.
  • Determining water input to Chamberlin Springs and Spring Creek Reserve in Beloit, Wisconsin; Isaiah Farley, '15; Advisors: Carl Mendelson and Sue Swanson.
  • Geochemical analysis of Acropora cervicornis rubble and fossil framework at Coral Gardens, Belize: sampling strategy and modern environmental record; Sarah Holmes, '15; Advisor: Carl Mendelson.
  • Tracing sediment fluxes in a littoral cell: seven years of seasonal-scale variability at Moss Landing Beach, California; Kayleigh Kavanaugh, '15; Advisor: Carl Mendelson.  
  • Hydrogeology of Evansville Wildlife Springs, Rock County, WI; Monica Norton, '15; Advisors: Jim Rougvie and Sue Swanson.
  • Evaluating handheld XRF soil analysis methods at the confluence of the Rock River and Turtle Creek, IL; Sara Shaten, '15; Advisor: Jim Rougvie.
  • Alteration mechanisms in K-feldspar of the metavolcanic rocks of Skleton lake in the Mount Morrison pendant of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, California; Lauren Strug, '15; Advisor: Jim Rougvie. 
  • Identifying storm deposits in a dry flood control reservoir in western Massachusetts, USA; Amy Delbecq, '14; Advisor: Sue Swanson.
  • Using stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleontology to interpret the paleoenvironment of the Platteville Formation (Upper Ordovician), Rock County, southern Wisconsin; Daniel George '14; Advisor: Carl Mendelson.
  • Predictive hazard mapping of slope failure in Big Hill Memorial Park, Beloit WI; Nora Holte '14; Advisor: Jim Rougvie.
  • Hydrogeology of Chamberlin Springs, Beloit, WI; Harry Kuttner, '14; Advisor: Sue Swanson.
  • Increasing soil productivity at the Beloit Urban Garden (BUG); Lucy Lehman, '14; Advisor: Sue Swanson.
  • Stratigraphy and micromorphology of liquefaction features and human use surfaces in a ceremonial mound at Angel Mounds State Historic Site, Evansville, Indiana; Caitlin Rankin '14; Advisor: Carl Mendelson.
  • Magnetic provenancing of southwestern obsidian; Margo Regier '14; Advisor: Jim Rougvie.