Geosciences Highlights

Total Listing: 36 (Listed by the order of record adding time, Descending)

( 1 )

Recorded at: 2/1/2019 back to top
Title Using Drones to Generate New Data for Conservation Insights.
Citation International Journal of Geospatial and Environmental Research. 2018; 5:2: 2. Lorah P, Ready A, Rinn E. University of Saint Thomas.
Description Human impact on the environment is driving a decline in biodiversity that heightens the need for informed management of conservation lands. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, are an increasingly cost-effective tool for generating high-quality data used to map landscape features, analyze land cover change, and assess the effectiveness of conservation efforts. Traditional sources of remotely sensed data such as satellites and aircraft can be costly, inflexible and unable to detect fine-scale surface variation. This paper explores the advantages (and challenges) of analyzing data collected by drones to generate useful conservation management insights. We focus on three key considerations. The first is pre-flight planning. This includes FAA regulations, flight control software and study area considerations. The second is acquiring and processing drone captured still images to generate georeferenced map layers. The third is developing GIS models that analyze relationships between drone-derived data layers at multiple scales. To demonstrate how data collected by UAVs can provide useful conservation insights, we analyze the relationship between fire behavior and landscape features at the Weaver Dunes Preserve in Minnesota. Here, the Nature Conservancy is restoring a high-quality prairie habitat via a series of prescribed burns. Because prairies benefit from “patchy” burns (as opposed to fires that consume the entire burn site), we map landscape features (slope, elevation and aspect) and analyze their correlation with the location and extent of postburn patches of ash.
Faculty Paul Lorah is assistant professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.
Student Alice Ready and Emma Rinn are fourth-year students in geography and environmental studies, slated to graduate in spring 2019. They conducted the research for this study from summer 2017 through fall 2017.
Funding The research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and a Sustainability Scholars Grant at the University of Saint Thomas.

( 2 )

Recorded at: 7/24/2017 back to top
Title Barrier Island Migration Dominates Ecogeomorphic Feedbacks and Drives Salt Marsh Loss Along the Virginia Atlantic Coast, USA
Citation Geology, 2016; 45: 123-126, doi:10.1130/G38459.1. Deaton, CD, Hein, CJ, Kirwan, ML. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary
Description Coupling between barrier islands and their associated salt marsh and tidal flats leads to complex feedbacks that are proposed to control the response of barrier-island systems to sea-level rise. This study tested the applicability of these concepts through investigation of the Virginia barrier islands. Using historical maps and photographs from 1851 to 2010, we determine that rapid landward island migration is leading to backbarrier area reduction and large-scale salt marsh loss (19 percent). Landward barrier-island migration was responsible for 51 percent of marsh loss, with the remainder due to backbarrier processes (e.g., edge erosion). These results indicate that, for barrier island systems already undergoing migration, the primary barrier-backbarrier coupling is the loss of marsh and tidal-flat area because of barrier-island migration itself.
Faculty Department of Physical Sciences
Student Charles (Charlie) Deaton completed this work as part of his senior thesis at the College of William and Mary, from which he graduated in 2015. Deaton is now completing his master's degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Christopher Hein and Matthew Kirwan are assistant professors at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
Funding This work was supported by NSF LTER (1237733) and Coastal SEES (1426981 and 1325430) programs.

( 3 )

Recorded at: 9/22/2016 back to top
Title Enigmatic Spheres from the Late Triassic Lockatong Formation, Newark Basin of Eastern Pennsylvania: Evidence for Microbial Activity in Marginal-lacustrine Strandline Deposits
Citation Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 2015; 95: 521-529, Simpson EL, Fillmore DL, Szajna MJ, Bogner E, Malenda MG, Livingston KM, Hartline B.. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Description This study documents a new type of microbially produced structure from a 210-million-year-old lake system in eastern Pennsylvania. This new microbial structure aids in reconstruction of the paleoecosystem that was developed along the lake shoreline.
Faculty Department of Physical Sciences
Student E. Bogner and M. Malenda are current undergraduate geology majors who will graduate in 2016-2017. Both have internships lined up for the summer and plan to attend graduate school starting in fall 2017. K. Livingston graduated in 2015 and is currently working for an environmental consulting firm.

( 4 )

Recorded at: 3/7/2016 back to top
Title Integrating hands-on undergraduate research in an applied spatial science senior level capstone course
Citation International Journal of Higher Education., 2015; 4: 1:52-60, Kulhavy DL, Unger DR, Hung I, Douglass, D.. Stephen F Austin State University
Description A senior within a spatial science Ecological Planning capstone course designed an undergraduate research project to increase his spatial science expertise and to assess the hands-on instruction methodology employed within the Bachelor of Science in Spatial Science program at Stephen F Austin State University. The height of 30 building features estimated remotely with LiDAR data, within the Pictometry remotely sensed web-based interface, and in situ with a laser rangefinder were compared to actual building feature height measurements. A comparison of estimated height with actual height indicated that all three estimation techniques tested were unbiased estimators of height.
Faculty David Kulhavy is a professor of landscape ecology. Daniel Unger is a professor of spatial science. I-Kuai Hung is an associate professor of GIS.
Student David Douglass is a spatial science senior and participated in the research as an independent study spatial science course. David Douglas has graduated and is currently pursuing employment opportunities within the spatial science field.
Funding The research was supported in part by the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forestry Research Program.

( 5 )

Recorded at: 3/7/2016 back to top
Title Trace Elements in High Elevation Soils on Six Mountains in Maine
Citation Soil Horizons., 2015; 56: 2:Hardy, A, Langley-Turnbaugh SJ, Murphy D.. University of Southern Maine
Description The study examined trace element concentrations in high-elevation soils in Maine. Samples were collected from different elevations on six mountains. The samples were analyzed for concentrations of ten different trace elements. Differences were found between organic and mineral horizons, and among elevations.
Faculty Samantha Langley-Turnbaugh is an Associate Provost of Research and Graduate Studies and a Professor of Environmental Science.
Student Amber Hardy conducted this work as an undergraduate research assistant in 2012-13. She is currently completing her M.S. at Tarleton State University.
Funding This research was supported, in part, by an NSF RDE grant awarded to Langley-Turbaugh

( 6 )

Recorded at: 3/7/2016 back to top
Title Effects of management and landscape composition on the diversity and structure of tree species assemblages in coffee agroforests.
Citation Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment., 2015; 199: 43-51, Häger A, Otárola MF, Stuhlmacher MF, Castillo RA, Arias AC.. The School for Field Studies, Center of Sustainable Development Studies, Costa Rica
Description Understanding the processes that influence tree species composition in agricultural landscapes is essential for conservation of tropical biodiversity. The research analyzed the effects of landscape composition (amount of surrounding forest cover) and farm management (conventional vs. organic) on the diversity and structure of woody plant species assemblages in Costa Rican coffee agroforestry systems. It was found that most tree species on the farms were native and originated from natural regeneration and organic agroforestry may enhance reproduction and survival of native trees.
Faculty Achim Häger is Resident Lecturer in Principles of Natural Resources Management at The School for Field Studies, Center for Sustainable Development Studies in Costa Rica. Mauricio Fernández Otárola is a professor in the Universidad de Costa Rica, Escuela de Biología with Rafael Acuña-Castillo. Agustín Contreras Arias was a Master of Science student at Universidad Estatal a Distancia.
Student Michelle Faye Stuhlmacher participated in this research as part of her study abroad experience with The School for Field Studies in the summer between her sophomore and junior year. Michelle is a full time student at George Washington University.
Funding This research was supported by The School for Field Studies, Center for Sustainable Development Studies, as well as partial funding from Lyndon State College.

( 7 )

Recorded at: 3/7/2016 back to top
Title Environmental Correlates of African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Distribution in Manyara Area, Tanzania.
Citation Annual Research & Review in Biology., 2015; 5: 2:147-154, Kioko J, Herbert V, Mwetta D, Kilango Y, Murphy-Williams M, Kiffner C.. The School for Field Studies, Center for Wildlife Management Studies, Tanzania
Description African elephant numbers are declining, partly due to habitat alteration and loss. Understanding how elephants respond to environmental variables and anthropogenic activities is necessary in conserving elephant habitats. This study presents a baseline survey on the effects of formal protection, and the presence of agriculture, roads, urban areas and specific habitat characteristics on elephant distribution (indicated by elephant dung) in Manyara Ranch, Lake Manyara National Park, and the adjacent community area.
Faculty John Kioko is Associate Professor in Wildlife Ecology and Christian Kiffner is Deputy Director/ Lecturer in Techniques of Wildlife Management at The School for Field Studies, Center for Wildlife Management Studies in Tanzania. Daniel Mwetta and Yustina Kilango are at Lake Manyara National Park, Arusha, Tanzania.
Student Victoria Herbert and Maia Murphy-Williams participated in this research as part of their study abroad experience with The School for Field Studies. Both students attended SFS during the Fall semester of their junior year at Colorado College.
Funding This research was supported by The School for Field Studies, Center for Wildlife Management Studies.

( 8 )

Recorded at: 3/7/2016 back to top
Title A road guide to the Harpeth River and Stones River fault zones on the northwest flank of the Nashville dome, central Tennessee
Citation Geological Society of America Field Guide, 2015; 39: 1-20, Abolins M, Young S, Camacho J, Trexler M, Ward A, Cooley M, and Ogden A. Middle Tennessee State University
Description The authors use geologic structures in rock outcrops and existing geologic maps to infer the locations of four underground normal faults ~30 km south of downtown Nashville. Much fault movement likely happened during the Paleozoic Era. Dye traces show that groundwater flows along cracks which formed during deformation near one of the faults.
Faculty Mark Abolins is a professor in the MTSU Geosciences Department.
Student Joe Camacho and Shaunna Young performed research as part of a REU during Summer 2013. Joe is now in an education master’s program involving work at both the IslandWood Institute and the University of Washington, and Shaunna is completing a bachelor’s in geology at Radford University in Virginia. Mark Trexler and Alex Ward performed research during early 2013 through Middle Tennessee State University’s Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity (URECA) program, and Matt Cooley completed undergraduate research during 2010 as part of a NSF STEP project. Mark now works for ESC Lab Sciences in Tennessee, and Alex and Matt are master’s students at the University of Memphis in Tennessee.
Funding Undergraduate research was supported by NSF-EAR1263238 to Mark Abolins and Heather Brown, NSF-DUE0431652 to Tom Cheatham and co-investigators, and MTSU URECA grants to Mark Trexler and Alex Ward.

( 9 )

Recorded at: 2/27/2015 back to top
Title Geochemical characteristics of an urban river: influences of an anthropogenic landscape
Citation Applied Geochemistry, 2014; 47: 209-216, Connor NC, Sarraino S, Frantz D, Bushaw-Newton K, MacAvoy SE.. American University
Description Here we examine approximately two years of aqueous geochemical and nutrient data in order to identify urban influences on river chemistry along a gradient from suburban to urban in the Anacostia River, Washington DC. The objectives are to 1) use relationships among geochemical components and concentrations of Ca, Mg, K and Na to assess urban influences, and 2) determine concentrations of nutrients (NO3-, NH4+, PO43-) in this anthropogenically influenced river in the United States capital.
Faculty Stephen MacAvoy is an assistant professor of environmental science
Student Deborah Frantz, 2010, independent study project. employed
Funding US Geological Survey

( 10 )

Recorded at: 2/27/2015 back to top
Title FT-Raman spectroscopy as a method for screening collagen diagenesis in bone
Citation Journal of Archaeological Science., 2014; 42: 346-355, France CAM, Thomas DB, Doney C, and Madden O.. Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute
Description This study explored the use of Fourier transform Raman spectroscopy as a non-destructive method to evaluate collagen preservation in bones. Statistical analyses were used to determine a specific peak height ratio indicative of collagen preservation with >95% accuracy from freshly cut or broken bone surfaces and >65% accuracy from exposed outer surfaces. This technique can now be used to pre-screen finite and irreplaceable archaeological and paleontological bones prior to destructive analyses, such as carbon dating or stable isotope analysis, that require well-preserved collagen for viable results.
Faculty Christine France and Odile Madden are research scientists at the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute; Daniel Thomas is a lecturer at Massey University.
Student Charlotte Doney was a senior archaeology major at George Washington University and undertook this research as part of an REU program in 2012. She is currently pursuing graduate studies in appraisal and historical archaeology.
Funding This research was supported by an NSF REU grant and the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute.

( 11 )

Recorded at: 2/27/2015 back to top
Title Large-amplitude ULF waves at high latitudes
Citation Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 2014; 119: 102-109, Guido T, Tulegenov B, Streltsov AV.. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Description We present results from the statistical study of ULF waves detected by the fluxgate magnetometerin Gakona, Alaska during several experimental campaigns conducted at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility in years 2011–2013.
Faculty AV Streltsov is an Assist Professor at Physics Department
Student Guido worked on this project for 3 years form 2011 until 2014 as an independent study; Tulegenov worked on this project for 2 years 2012-2014 as an independent study
Funding Project was funded by DARPA

( 12 )

Recorded at: 2/27/2015 back to top
Title Artificial excitationofELFwaveswithfrequencyofSchumann resonance$
Citation Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 2014; 119: 110-115, Streltsov AV, Guido T, Tulegenov B,Labenski J, Chang C-L.. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Description We report results from the experiment aimed at the artificial excitation o fextremely low-frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves with frequencies corresponding to the frequency of Schumannresonance. Electromagnetic waves with these frequencies can form a standing pattern inside the sphericalcavity formed by the surface of the Earth and the ionosphere. In the experiment the ELF waves were excitedby heating the ionosphere with X-mode HF electromagnetic waves generated at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility in Alaska.
Faculty AV Streltsov is an Associate professor at Physics Department
Student Guido worked on this project as an independent study in years 2013-2014; Tulegenov worked on this project as an independent study project in 2013-2014.
Funding the reserch was supported by DARPA

( 13 )

Recorded at: 9/15/2014 back to top
Title Formation of semi-solid, oligomerized aqueous SOA: cloud and aerosol lab simulations.
Citation Environmental Science and Technology., 2014; 48: 4:2273-2280, Hawkins LN, Baril MJ, Sedehi N, Galloway MM, De Haan DO, Schill GP, Tolbert MA.. University of San Diego
Description Aerosol particles formed in reactions between atmospherically significant C1 – C3 aldehydes and methylamine were examined by hygroscopicity tandem differential mobility analysis (HTDMA) and Raman microscopy. Water uptake by these dried particles was observed to be very slow, on the order of minutes, suggesting that oligomer formation had solidified the particles. This idea was confirmed by direct observations of particle shattering under mechanical impact.
Faculty Lelia Hawkins and Melissa Galloway are teaching and research postdoctoral scholars. Lelia is now an assistant professor of chemistry at Harvey Mudd College. David De Haan is a professor of chemistry. Gregg Schill is a graduate student, and Maggie Tolbert is a professor of chemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Student Molly Baril and Nazin Sedehi are USD seniors who began research as freshmen. Both participated in research as independent study projects; Nazin also participated during multiple summers.
Funding The research was supported by NSF-RUI grant AGS-1129002.

( 14 )

Recorded at: 9/15/2014 back to top
Title Validating Nevada ShakeZoning predictions of Las Vegas basin response against 1992 Little Skull Mtn. earthquake records
Citation Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 2014; 104: 1:439-450, Flinchum BA, Louie JN, Smith KD, Savran WH, Pullammanappallil SK, Pancha A.. University of Nevada, Reno
Description This study developed a method of computing ground motions from earthquakes in Nevada, and validated computations for Las Vegas against recordings of southern Nevada's largest natural earthquake.
Faculty John Louie is a professor of Geophysics in the Nevada Seismological Laboratory who teaches in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering of the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, College of Science.
Student Flinchum and Savran were employed with Louie as undergraduate interns from 2011 to 2012. Flinchum is currently in a Master's program in Geophysics at the University of Wyoming; Savran is currently in the Joint San Diego State University - Scripps Institution of Oceanography Ph.D. Program.
Funding The research was supported by Federal grants, UNR Foundation funds, and Lab funds. Savran won a related undergraduate research award from UNR and a Southern California Earthquake Center summer internship; Flinchum had a summer internship from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, at Miami U. of Ohio.

( 15 )

Recorded at: 7/9/2014 back to top
Title Geology Majors Take 1st Place at Annual Conference
Citation 2013; Gartner C, Lassen E.. Lamar University
Description The research into micro-mammal fossils provides a unique glimpse into the mammal community that inhabited the Uinta Basin near the end of deposition of the Eocene Uinta Formation. The Eocene epoch lasted from 56 million to 33.9 million years ago. In 2012, Lamar University field crews excavated five tons of bulk material from the first micro-mammal site discovered in the Uinta Formation in the Uinta Basin. After concentrating the sample by local screen washing, it was taken to the university Paleontology Lab. By soaking the concentrate in mineral spirits and then water and screen-washing again, it was further reduced then sorted by size using screens. Researchers identified approximately 100 mammalian fossils by genus and or species, thus increasing the sample size of identifiable mammal specimens from the site by 45 percent. The sample now exceeds 300 mammal specimens. The Uinta Formation is the type locality for mammalian specimens that define the Uintan North American Land Mammal age.
Faculty James Westgate, university professor of Earth and Space Sciences, Lamar University, served as faculty advisor.
Student Christine Gartner is a senior in geology and Erica Lasses is a junior in geology. Both of them are from Beaumont, TX.
Funding American Chemical Society and Lamar University

( 16 )

Recorded at: 7/9/2014 back to top
Title The Volcanic Geology of the Mid-Arc Island of Dominica, Lesser Antilles: The surface expression of an island arc batholith
Citation 2013; 1-249, Smith AL, Roobol MJ, Mattioli GS, Fryxell JE, Daly GE, Fernandez LA.. California State University, San Bernardino
Description This study on the geology of the island of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles was a combination of extensive field and laboratory work that resulted in the generation of a new geological map of the island, an extensive revision of the volcanic hazards on this island of over 75,000 people, and the geochemical and mineralogical analysis of over 300 rock samples. This combination of field and laboratory work resulted in a new approach to the interpretation of the geological and petrological evolution of a complex volcanologic and plutonic magmatic system over time.
Faculty Department of Geological Sciences
Student George participated in the field work as part of a REU program, he also undertook this research (field and lab) as his senior research project. He is currently in a doctoral program at Miami University Ohio
Funding The research was supported by a NSF REU grant (Smith), McNair grants (Daly), a Summer Research grant from CSUSB (Smith and Daly).

( 17 )

Recorded at: 4/3/2014 back to top
Title Using numerical modeling to explore the origin of intrusion patterns on Fernandina volcano, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Citation Geophysical Research Letters., 2013; 40: 4565-4569, Chestler SR, Grosfils EB. Pomona College
Description Using numerical finite element models, and targeting Fernandina volcano as a case study, this article demonstrates how minor, volcanologically plausible geometric variations in a magma reservoir system can lead to the emplacement of radial, circumferential, and corkscrew-style intrusions akin to those that characterize many volcanoes in the Galapagos and elsewhere. This result helps resolve a problem that has intrigued geologists for some time, and excitingly we have now identified conditions that can lead directly to lateral intrusion of radial dikes from a shallow magma reservoir.
Faculty Eric Grosfils is the Minnie B. Cairns Memorial professor of geology.
Student Shelley Chestler led the research effort for her senior thesis research, is currently a graduate student at the University of Washington.
Funding This project was supported in part by NASA Planetary Geology & Geophysics grants NNX08AL77G and NNX12AO49G.

( 18 )

Recorded at: 4/3/2014 back to top
Title Roughness metrics of prismatic facets of ice.
Citation Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres,, 2013; 118: 8:3309-3318, Neshyba SP, Lowen B, Benning M, Lawson A, Rowe PM.. University of Puget Sound
Description Atmospheric ice crystals reflect more sunlight than expected based on their shape, but efforts to pin down an explanation have been hampered by a lack of in-situ images of sufficient resolution. To explore the hypothesis that roughening at the ice surface gives rise to this enhanced reflectivity, we undertook an examination of ice crystals grown in a variable pressure scanning electron microscope (VPSEM). The high resolution of VPSEM allowed us to document that the surface roughness is structured in a way, as rows rather than at random, that accounts not only account for greater reflectivity, but also accounts for unexpected halo properties sometimes evident in field measurements of atmospheric ice.
Faculty Steven Neshyba is a professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of Puget Sound.
Student Becca Lowen recorded VPSEM micrographs of ice as part of senior thesis research during academic year 2011-12. She is currently teaching English as Teaching Fellow with Israel Pathways. Mitch Benning recorded VPSEM micrographs of ice as part of a summer research project in 2011, followed by a senior thesis research during academic year 2012-13. Ariel Lawson carried out ray-tracing calculations as part of senior thesis research during academic year 2012-13.
Funding The research was supported the University of Puget Sound.

( 19 )

Recorded at: 12/5/2013 back to top
Title Chondrichthyans from the Menuha Formation (Late Cretaceous: Santonian–Early Campanian) of the Makhtesh Ramon region, southern Israel.
Citation Cretaceous Research., 2013; 40: 81–89, Retzler A, Wilson MA, and Avni, Y.. The College of Wooster
Description Exposures of the Menuha Formation (Santonian, Early Campanian, Mount Scopus Group) in the Makhtesh Ramon region of the southern Negev have produced numerous chondrichthyan teeth from at least ten different species. With little to no published material describing the chondrichthyan fauna of the Menuha Formation, these data improve interpretations of its paleoenvironment, which is important for understanding the larger stratigraphic/tectonic framework of the Ramon monocline region of southern Israel and global chondrichthyan paleobiogeography.
Faculty Mark A. Wilson is a professor of geology.
Student Andrew Retzler (class of 2011) completed this work in 2010-2011 as an undergraduate geology major and, after obtaining his masters degree, is now a geologist with the Minnesota Geological Survey.
Funding College of Wooster Wengerd Funds.

( 20 )

Recorded at: 12/5/2013 back to top
Title Original spotted patterns on Middle Devonian phacopid trilobites from western and central New York
Citation Geology., 2013; 41: 5:607-610, McRoberts CA, Hegna, TA, Burke, JJ, Stice, ML, Mize, SK, Martin MJ.. State University of New York at Cortland Western Illinois University
Description The published research documents very rare color spotted patterns in the exoskeletons Devonian Trilobites from New York The research employed surface pattern analyses, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray spectroscopy, wavelength dispersive and elemental analyses to confirm that the spots were original biologic structures embedded in the trilobite skeleton whose pattern would have provided camouflage.
Faculty Christopher McRoberts is a professor of geology Thomas Hegna is an assistant Professor of geology
Student Jeri Burke conducted the research as an independent study during her senior year and is now enrolled as a masters student at Univ. North Carolina Wilmington. Morgan Stice conducted the research as an independent study during her junior year and is now a senior at Western Illinois Univ.

( 21 )

Recorded at: 12/5/2013 back to top
Title Transboundary Conservation Across Scales: A World-Regional Inventory and a Local Case Study from the U.S.-Mexico Border.
Citation Journal of the Southwest., 2012; 54: 3:499–519, Brenner, JC, Davis, JG.. Ithaca College
Description This research addresses a recent boom in protected areas across international borders. Then it takes a critical look at transboundary conservation using the case of the Big Bend/Rio Bravo complex in the U.S.-Mexico borderland to illustrate how realizing transboundary conservation requires great amounts of dedicated grassroots work on the ground.
Faculty Jacob C. Brenner is Assistant Professor of geography in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.
Student John G. Davis is a 2011 Environmental Studies graduate of Ithaca College. This project took place as an independent study during his senior undergraduate year. John currently works in Brooklyn, NY.
Funding This research had no external funding, but was supported in indirect ways by Ithaca College, its School of Humanities and Sciences, and the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences.

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Recorded at: 12/5/2013 back to top
Title Chondrichthyans from the Menuha Formation (Late Cretaceous: Santonian–Early Campanian) of the Makhtesh Ramon region, southern Israel
Citation Cretaceous Research., 2013; 40: 1:81–89, Retzler A, Wilson MA, Avni Y.. The College of Wooster
Description This study examined chondrichthyan teeth from exposures of the Menuha Formation (Santonian-Early Campanian, Mount Scopus Group) in the Makhtesh Ramon region of the southern Negev. The isolated teeth represent at least ten different species: eight sharks and two other fish. This assemblage has important implications for Late Cretaceous chondrichthyan palaeobiogeography and the structural origin of the Ramon region. The majority of teeth were contained within a glauconite-rich, yellow-brown, soft chalk that included oysters, trace fossils, phosphatic peloids, and foraminiferans. The Menuha Formation probably represents a temperate to subtropical, shallow, open-shelf environment deposited during the formation of the Ramon anticline.
Faculty Mark A. Wilson is a professor of Geology at The College of Wooster; Yoav Avni is a geologist with the Geological Survey of Israel.
Student Andrew Retzler completed this work in 2011 as his Independent Study project at The College of Wooster. He is currently a graduate student at Idaho State University.
Funding The fieldwork was supported through the Wengerd and Luce Funds of The College of Wooster. The Geological Survey of Israel also contributed field vehicles and library resources.

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Recorded at: 12/5/2013 back to top
Title Fluvial transport and surface enrichment of arsenic in semi-arid mining regions: examples from the Mojave Desert, California
Citation J. Environ. Monit., 2012; 14: 1798-1813, Kim CS, Stack DH, Rytuba JJ. Chapman University
Description Arsenic enrichment in mine tailings, and the dispersion of tailings through natural weathering mechanisms, is a persistent environmental concern in abandoned mine lands throughout the western United States. This study characterizes the fluvial transport of arsenic through field sampling, chemical analysis, and geospatial mapping of dry streambed sediments, tailings piles, and alluvial fans at multiple mine sites. The result is a conceptual model in which episodic precipitation events mobilize mine wastes downstream and downslope as a series of discrete overlapping sediment pulses, with arsenic concentrations declining exponentially as distance from the source increases. Such a model is transferable to other abandoned mine lands in similar settings as a predictive tool for the fate and transport of arsenic and similar contaminants.
Faculty Christopher Kim is an associate professor of earth and environmental sciences.
Student David Stack completed a M.S. degree in hazards and global environmental change and is currently applying to Ph.D. programs. His work was conducted in 2011-2012 for credit as an undergraduate student researcher in Dr. Kim's Environmental Geochemistry Lab.
Funding This work was supported by USGS-MRERP (USGS award number 06HQGR0181) and NSF-CAREER (Award ID 0847811) grants.

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Recorded at: 12/5/2013 back to top
Title Unusual Holocene serpulid-tufa bioherms, Enriquillo Valley, Dominican Republic: morphologies and paleoenvironmental implications
Citation PALAIOS, 2012; 27: 693-706, Winsor K, Curran HA, Greer L, Glumac, B. Smith College
Description In the Enriquillo Valley, Dominican Republic, unusual meter-scale serpulid-tufa bioherms pepper valley walls and an old seaway floor. This study investigated the origin of the bioherms, determining a set of environmental conditions necessary for their formation. To facilitate comparison to similar features, a comprehensive morphological classification scheme was developed for the Enriquillo bioherms. Thus, this study enabled environmental constraints to be placed on serpulid-tufa bioherms found in other regions of the globe.
Faculty H. Allen Curran is a professor emeritus and Bosiljka Glumac an associate professor in the Smith College Department of Geosciences, and Lisa Greer is an associate professor in the Washington & Lee University Department of Geology.
Student Kelsey Winsor performed field work and analyses between 2005 and 2006 as part of an independent study and senior honor 's thesis. She is now a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studies paleoceanography and paleoclimatology.
Funding Funding for this project was provided by the Keck Geology Consortium.

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Recorded at: 12/5/2013 back to top
Title Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) Modulation of Atmospheric Circulation and Chilean Winter Precipitation
Citation J Climate., 2012; 25: 5:1678-1688, Barrett BS, Carrasco JF, Testino AP.. U.S. Naval Academy
Description The smaller cousin of El Niño, the Madden-Julian Oscillation, also affects weather around the world by modulating atmospheric circulation on intra-seasonal (30-day) time scales. Medium-range forecasts of rainfall in semi-arid regions, including Chile, benefit from knowledge of the ways in which different phases of the oscillation modify weather systems, and in turn, rainfall. This study found that two of the eight phases of the oscillation were associated with significantly above-normal rainfall in central Chile, and two were associated with significantly below-normal rainfall in central Chile. This finding is a promising first step toward improving medium-range (30-day) forecasts in those semi-arid regions.
Faculty Bradford S. Barrett is an Assistant Professor in the Oceanography Department at USNA. Jorge F. Carrasco is a senior meteorologist with the Chilean National Weather Service in Santiago, Chile.
Student Anthony Testino, an honors Oceanography major at USNA, graduated in May 2012. He was named the American Meteorological Society Macelwane Award winner for the top undergraduate research paper in 2012. He oversaw data gathering from online data bases and wrote several hundred lines of MATLAB code to statistically compare rainfall to the Madden-Julian Oscillation. He is currently stationed at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in South Carolina.
Funding This work was supported by an internal grant from the U.S. Naval Academy Research Council and the Office of Naval Research.

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Recorded at: 9/10/2012 back to top
Title Water Adsorption on Clay Minerals As a Function of Relative Humidity: Application of BET and Freundlich Adsorption Models
Citation Langmuir., 2012; 28: 1790-1803, Hatch CD, Wiese JS, Crane CC, Harris KJ, Kloss HG, Baltrusaitis J.. Hendrix College
Description Water adsorption on the three most abundant clay minerals found in the atmosphere, including kaolinite, illite and montmorillonite, was measured as a function of relative humidity (RH) using an attenuated total reflectance (HATR) Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer equipped with a flow cell. The measured water content was in excellent agreement with previous data and was fit using the BET and Freundlich adsorption isotherm models. Although the BET model represents the data well at low RH (<60% RH), fit integrity is lost at higher RH. Upon fitting the Freundlich model to the data, two distinct adsorption regimes are revealed in all three clays. The variability in adsorption properties observed was attributed to different water uptake mechanisms by the three clays.
Faculty Courtney Hatch is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Hendrix College
Student Jadon Wiese currently at the University of Arkansas Medical School.Cameron Crane is in graduate school in Chemistry at the University of Arkansas.Kenneth 'Josh' Harris is still enrolled at Hendrix College.Gracie Kloss is in Pharmacy school at the University of Tennessee.
Funding This study was supported by NSF (#ATM-0928121) and by single investigator Cottrell College Science Award. JW received support from ASGC Research Infrastructure Grant. CC received support from Hendrix Odyssey Program.

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Recorded at: 9/10/2012 back to top
Title Bedrock geologic map of the Bluestone National Scenic River, Flat Top and Pipestem 7.5' quadrangles, West Virginia
Citation WV Geol Econ Survey, 2012; 1101: Matchen DL, Allen JL, Peck R, Mercier D.. Concord University
Description This project produced a new geologic map for part of the Appalachian plateau that had not been mapped in detail since the 1920s. The project developed new structure contours for the Avis Limestone Member of the Hinton Formation and the Princeton Sandstone Member of the Bluestone Formation, and a basic GIS database.
Faculty Joseph L. Allen is professor of geology and chairman of the Division of Natural Sciences, David L. Matchen is associate professor of geology and PI for the project, and Robert Peck is an adjunct professor of geology.
Student David Mercier participated in the project for undergraduate research credit and is currently completing an M.S. in geology at Virginia Tech.
Funding This project was funded by the National Park Service through the West Virginia Geological Survey.

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Recorded at: 7/12/2012 back to top
Title An investigation of mass and brand diversity in a spent battery recycling collection with an emphasis on spent alkaline batteries: Implications for waste management and future policy concerns
Citation Journal of Power Sources, 2012; 203: 222-22, Krekeler, M.P.S., Barrett, H.A., Davis, R., Burnette, C., Doran T., Ferraro, A. Meyer, A.. Miami University Hamilton Campus
Description This was the first detailed count of batteries of its kind in the literature and provides numerous constraints for recycling, including a limited economic analysis. This work in part forms the basis for broader battery recycling technology research efforts which are currently funded by Procter & Gamble. This project also involved 40 introductory environmental geology classroom students who assisted in sorting and counting the batteries.
Faculty Mark P. S. Krekeler is an Assistant Professor Department of Geology & Environmental Earth Science.
Student Heather Barrett, BIS major and geology minor, managed data, oversaw 50% of the 40 students collecting the count data and contributed to manuscript writing in her junior and senior years. Now an M.S. student, she works on the project with Krekeler. Chris Burnette assisted manuscript writing and will graduate in fall 2012. Tricia Doran, senior art major, compiled and tabulated the data. Alyssa Ferraro was a sophomore / junior who contributed to the library work and manuscript editing. She switched to a cave sediment project with Krekeler. Amanda Meyer, senior geology major, contributed to the library work and manuscript writing, was involved in fact /spot checking data. She starts her M.S. program in geology at Wright State University in 2012.
Funding This work was supported by a start-up grant to Krekeler by Miami University-Hamilton.

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Recorded at: 7/12/2012 back to top
Title An investigation of heavy metal content from disposable batteries of non-U.S. origin from Butler County, Ohio: An environmental assessment of a segment of a waste stream
Citation Journal of Power Sources., 2012; 206: 414-420, Barrett, H.A., Ferraro A., Burnette, C., Meyer, A.L. Krekeler M.P.S.. Miami University Hamilton Campus
Description This was the first detailed analysis of heavy metals of disposable alkaline batteries in the literature and this work provides constraints for recycling. This work in part forms the basis for broader battery recycling technology research efforts which are currently funded by Procter & Gamble.
Faculty Mark P. S. Krekeler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology & Environmental Earth Science.
Student Heather Barrett, BIS major and geology minor, worked on the project during her senior year and contributed to writing during her early graduate career with Krekeler. She managed sample preparation and data acquisition writing, editing and library work. Now an M.S. student, she works on the project with Krekeler. Chris Burnette assisted in sample preparation and manuscript writing. Alyssa Ferraro as a sophomore / junior contributed to the scanning electron microscopy data interpretation, library work manuscript editing and presented group results at two national meetings. Alyssa switched to a cave sediment project with Krekeler. Amanda Meyer, senior geology major, contributed to the library work and manuscript writing. She starts her M.S. program in geology at Wright State University in 2012.
Funding This work was supported by a start-up grant to Krekeler by Miami University-Hamilton and a research incentive grant from Miami University.

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Recorded at: 6/13/2012 back to top
Title Polygonal sandcracks: Unique sedimentary desiccation structures in Bahamian ooid grainstone
Citation Geology., 2011; 39: 7:615-618, Glumac B, Curran HA, Motti SA, Weigner MM, Pruss SB.. Smith College
Description This article describes an unusual sedimentary structure—polygonal cracks in sand—from less than 6,000 years old dune and beach carbonate rocks on Cat Island, Bahamas. These structures resemble mudcracks—features formed by the drying of mud and commonly used to identify ancient sediments that were initially exposed to the air—but on Cat Island such cracks formed in sand without any mud. In experiments with modern Cat Island beach sand (made almost entirely of tiny spherical grains called ooids), cracks formed during the collapse of large irregular pore spaces when the ooid sand dried at ambient temperature. Sandcracks have been documented rarely because they are not easily preserved and their formation requires well-rounded spherical grains of relatively uniform size and shape.
Faculty Bosiljka Glumac is an associate professor, H. Allen Curran is a professor emeritus, and Sara B. Pruss is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences.
Student Sarah Motti and Madeline Weigner conducted this research as part of their Spring 2009 Carbonate Sedimentology coursework. Sarah is now working for a non-profit youth center in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She developed a new 'science in the field' program that involves children in studying Long Island Sound geology and marine science. Madeline is currently a graduate student at the University of Idaho. Her research focuses on Late Devonian shelly fossils from the Jefferson Formation in central Idaho.
Funding The research on polygonal sandcracks was funded by small research grants administered through Smith College.

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Recorded at: 6/13/2012 back to top
Title Tectono-stratigraphic setting of the Moreton’s Harbour Group and its implications for the evolution of the Laurentian margin: Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland
Citation Can J. Earth Sci. Special Volume in memory of Ward Neale, 2011; 50: 1-15, Cutts, J.A., Zagorevski, A., McNicoll, V.J. & Carr, S.D.. Geological Survey of Canada & Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre
Description This interdisciplinary field, geochemistry and geochronology research project was focused on rocks in Moreton’s Harbour, Newfoundland. Ophiolitic rocks originally formed as ancient ocean crust and were upthrust onto the continent during Appalachian mountain building events. This study determined that the Moreton’s Harbour Group is an ophiolite that formed 477.4±0.4 Ma in a supra-subduction zone setting, and is correlative with the Annieopsquoch Ophiolite Belt. These data were used to refine the tectonic model for the evolution of the Laurentian (former North-America) margin roughly 480 million years ago.
Faculty Dr. Sharon Carr is a professor in the department of Earth Sciences who specializes in the study of tectonics, structural geology and U-Pb geochronology. Jamie Cutts, undertook this research for his senior honours thesis project in collaboration with Alexandre Zagorevski and Vicki J. McNicoll of the Geological Survey of Canada.
Student Jamie is currently in the second year of his Master of Science program in Earth Sciences at Carleton University studying the geochemical and tectonic evolution of rocks of southern Ontario Canadian Shield.
Funding This research was funded by the Geological Survey of Canada’s Targeted Geoscience Initiative-3 program and Dr. Carr’s NSERC Discovery Grant.

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Recorded at: 6/13/2012 back to top
Title Mineralogical composition of diabase and altered dolomite near Annapolis, Missouri
Citation GSA Abstracts with Programs., 2011; 45: 5:Walter J, Rohs CR.. Northwest Missouri State University
Description The purpose of this project was to compare the mineralogy of a mafic igneous intrusion with the adjacent altered and then unaltered dolomite to establish the mineral changes associated with the alteration. Methods utilized in this project included thin section analysis of samples with a polarizing microscope to determine texture and mineralogy. X-ray diffraction was also used for verification of the coarse crystalline minerals and identification for the fine groundmass or trace minerals.
Faculty C. Renee Rohs is an associate professor of geology in the Geology/Geography department.
Student Jessica Walter, a senior geology at Northwest Missouri State University completed this project as part of her undergraduate studies. She completed the research during the summer 2011 and presented her findings at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN during the technical session titled: Results from Undergraduate Research in the Geosciences, October 2011.
Funding Undergraduate research funds were provided by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to cover analytical methods and travel for presentation awarded to the student and faculty member.

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Recorded at: 6/13/2012 back to top
Title Pilot study of heavy metal chemistry of cave sediments in the Springfield (MO) Plateau.
Citation Geol Soc Am Abs Prog., 2011; 43: 5:131, Doughty TM, Johnson AW.. Northwest Missouri State University
Description This project used bench-top x-ray diffraction to compare sediment metal chemistry in caves impacted by cattle operations or urbanization to that of a control cave. Sampling methodology was modified from standard stream sediment sample techniques. Metal concentrations were highest in caves impacted by urbanization, and lower, yet elevated in caves impacted by cattle operations. Heavy metal (Zn, Pb, Cu, and Hg) concentrations often were highly elevated.
Faculty Aaron W. Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Geology.
Student Travis Doughty, a Junior majoring in geology, completed this project as part of his undergraduate education. Travis is on track to complete his degree in 2012.
Funding Research funds came from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Access to equipment and training was provided gratis as part of a collaboration with Missouri State University.

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Recorded at: 6/13/2012 back to top
Title Sphenothallus-like Fossils from the Martinsburg Formation (Upper Ordovician), Tennessee, USA
Citation J Paleontol., 2011; 85: 2:353–359, Wei-Haas ML, Glumac B, Curran HA.. Smith College
Description This study documented the occurrence and characteristics of rare and enigmatic Late Ordovician carbonaceous tubular fossils utilizing petrographic, palynologic, and geochemical analyses. The fossils are morphologically similar to many of the previously identified forms of Sphenothallus, a tube-dwelling marine invertebrate with uncertain phylogenetic affinity. The results provide new information about these organisms and their early Paleozoic ecosystems.
Faculty Bosiljka Glumac is an associate professor of geosciences, and H. Allen Curran is a professor emeritus of geosciences.
Student Maya Wei-Haas conducted this research as an independent study project during her sophomore year. As a sophomore at Smith College, Maya was awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, as a junior and senior she was a Mellon-Mays Fellow, and she completed an honors thesis project related to her REU summer field research in Svalbard. Maya is currently a graduate student at the Ohio State University. She was awarded a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her research in the influence of dissolved organic matter on the photodegradation of brominated flame-retardants. This year she also spent a field season in Antarctica on an NSF-funded project focused on microbial carbon transformations and structural characterization of organic matter in supraglacial environments.
Funding This research was funded by small research grants administered through Smith College.

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Recorded at: 6/13/2012 back to top
Title Formation of Nitrogen-Containing Oligomers by Methylglyoxal and Amines in Simulated Evaporating Cloud Droplets
Citation Environ. Sci. Technol., 2011; 45: 3:984-991, De Haan DO, Hawkins LN, Kononenko JA, Turley JJ, Corrigan AL, Tolbert MA, Jimenez JL.. University of San Diego
Description The aerosol-forming reactions of methylglyoxal and amines were examined by scanning mobility particle sizing, NMR, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, and aerosol mass spectrometry. Under slightly acidic cloudwater-like conditions, the formation of imines occurs in seconds in drying aerosol droplets, followed by derivatized imidazoles and brown nitrogen-containing oligomer compounds on a timescale of minutes to hours. These reactions may explain the polymerized, brown material commonly observed in atmospheric aerosol particles.
Faculty David De Haan is an associate professor of chemistry at USD. Margaret Tolbert and Jose Jimenez are professors in the departments of chemistry and CIRES fellows at CU Boulder.
Student Lelia Hawkins is a postdoc about to begin a faculty position at Harvey Mudd College. Julia Kononenko and Jake Turley are scheduled to graduate in 2011, and participated in summer research as rising seniors. Ashley Corrigan participated in summer research beginning after her freshman year, and is now studying aerosol chemistry in the graduate program at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
Funding This research was supported by an NSF RUI award.

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Recorded at: 6/13/2012 back to top
Title UGR Highlight #3
Citation Quat Geochronol., 2011; 6: 233-245, Orem CA, Kaufman DS.. Northern Arizona University
Description Quantifying the variables that affect the rate of racemization is imperative for improving the reliability of amino acid geochronology. This study investigated the influence of basic pH on the rate of racemization and leaching of amino acids in freshwater mollusk shell. The amino acid composition of 376 shell samples and 132 buffer solutions was analyzed. The results show little difference in the rate of racemization between pH 8 and 9. Apparently, pH has a significant influence on racemization in shells only where the pH of the pore fluid is >9.
Faculty Darrell Kaufman is a Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability.
Student Caitlin Orem, the lead author on this data-intensive peer-reviewed journal article, conducted this research for her senior thesis, completing her BS degree in geology in 2007. In 2010, Caitlin finished her MS degree in geological sciences at Central Washington University. She is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of Arizona.
Funding Caitlin’s study was funded by NAU’s Hooper Undergraduate Research Award, with additional support from the Amino Acid Geochronology Laboratory, a National Shared User Facility funded by National Science Foundation.