Summer Research Students Show Off Their Work

The 2012-13 school year has begun here at Denison, and tradition dictates that all the hardworking research students get to show off the science they’ve done. This year three Geoscience majors presented their summer research at the annual Summer Research Symposium. Check them out:

Mariann Bostic, presenting on stratigraphy of the earliest stages of the Kungurian Stage in the Pequop Mountains, Nevada(advisor: Kate Tierney)

April Strid presenting on models for carbon cycling in soils due to land use (advisor: Tod Frolking)

Amy Williamson presenting on pressure and temperature determinations for the Eagle Lake Pluton, California (advisor: Erik Klemetti)

Job well done … and now onto their senior year!

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Spring Seminar Series: Michael Krawczynski

Mt. Shasta in California

The third of our departmental Spring Seminar Series is on April 3. We will be welcoming Michael Krawczynski of Case Western Reserve University who will be speaking on “Super H2O-rich melts at Mt. Shasta Volcano: its hot and wet down there”. Here is a brief synopsis of his talk:

“Estimates for pre-eruptive volatile contents of magmas are vital for understanding the physical properties, magma ascent rates, and eruption characteristic for any volcanic system.

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Spring Seminar Series: James St. John

Our second seminar of spring semester is Thursday February 23rd. We will be welcome James St. John from OSU-Newark.

The talk starts at 4:30 PM with snacks at 4:15 PM, all in Olin 311. See you there!

Talk title: Understanding the Search for Affinities: the Earliest History of Trilobite Research from Antiquity to the 1820s

Talk summary: Trilobites are important, widespread, and common fossils in Paleozoic rocks. 

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Spring Seminar Series: Peter MacKenzie

The first of the spring seminar series in Geosciences begins January 31.

Peter MacKenzie – Vice President of Operations, Ohio Oil & Gas Association

Utica Shale – Why its the big deal, what it means for Geologists

The Utica Shale has become the focus of international attention and investment is a very short period of time, creating the Oil & Gas Boom we are experiencing today. 

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GEOS 111: Jiangxi Copper Mining Polluting Le’an River

[Photo: Xinhua]

As we saw in class, copper can be fairly easily extracted from malachite. The process involves crushing the malachite in order to increase its surface area and then mixing it with sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid and malachite create a solution composed of water, copper sulfate and carbonic acid. Steel is then added to the solution and the copper sulfate turns into native copper which collects on the steel.

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GEOS 211: Prokaryote Long-term Survival in Fluid Inclusions in Halite

Recently, GSA Today published an article by Tim Lowenstein, Brian Schubert, and Michael Timofeeff, which discusses the research they have done about microbial communities in fluid inclusions and their survival in halite. They specifically were researching the halophilic (“salt-loving”) prokaryotes and eukaryotes in Death Valley and Saline Valley, California, and their dependence on Dunaliella, which provides the carbon they need to survive in a hypersaline system.

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Fall Seminar: Dr. Jeff Richardson ’93 “Palynology and the Early Invasion of the Land in Eastern North America”

The third and final Dept. of Geosciences seminar talk for the semester is on November 15 at 4:30 in Olin 311.

We will be welcoming Dr. Jeff Richardson ’93 (see below) from Columbus State Community College. She will be giving a talk entitled “PALYNOLOGY AND THE EARLY INVASION OF THE LAND IN EASTERN NORTH AMERICA”. Here is a brief synopsis:

Palynology is the branch of palaeotology that deals with acid-resistant, organic- walled microfossils. 

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GEOS 211: Discovery of Evidence for Great Cascadia Earthquakes

Though the event shocked much of the world, the March 11 earthquake in Japan should have not come as such a big surprise in the eyes of geologists.  Evidence shows that “the entire subduction zone along the Japan Trench behaves as one enormous unit rather than segmented sections that rupture with different frequencies and strengths” [Suwa et al., 2006].

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Flint Ridge, Ohio

Being in the middle of Ohio as a petrologist you find out that there aren’t a lot of crystalline rocks to gaze upon – at least without drilling a 5-km hole directly below one’s feet. However, there are some cool localities that exhibit mineralization that might not be igneous or metamorphic basement, but at least have some great examples of minerals for an introductory rocks and minerals course.

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Views from an airplane

Some great images of the southwest to start off the week, courtesy of Dr. David Greene.

“Here are a couple of pictures I took from the window of a Southwest Airlines flight coming into Las Vegas, as I was returning to Ohio at the end of my field season. The yellow-orange rocks in the foreground are Jurassic Aztec Sandstone, and the grey-green vegetated slopes above with the prominent grey stripes are Cambrian limestone of the Bonanza King Fm.

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