Carleton Geology Alums In The News
Posts tagged with “Alumni” (All posts)
- July 1, 2014
Bacteria are everywhere, in numbers we can scarcely imagine.
We may think of them as agents of disease and filth, the cause of cholera, syphilis, anthrax, leprosy, bubonic plague, and tuberculosis. But we can’t live without them.
Our debt to bacteria goes back to a time when Earth’s early atmosphere had no oxygen, but consisted of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane. Without oxygen, multicellular life wasn’t possible. The exact form of the very earliest life remains a puzzle, but the earliest fossils of life, dating back 3.5 billion years, are colonies of bacteria. “Microbes ruled the world,” says Jennifer Macalady ’91, an associate professor of geosciences at Penn State University. These bacteria took energy from waterborne chemicals, such as sulfide and iron. Sometime later, bacteria learned how to manufacture their own food through photosynthesis, probably increasing the mass of Earth’s biosphere by orders of magnitude. Cyanobacteria—photosynthetic bacteria that expel oxygen as waste—appeared more than 2.7 billion years ago, and slowly oxygen began accumulating in the atmosphere.
- April 23, 2014
Novato, CA – Long before people began virtual farming in Farmville, real farmers raised crops and livestock in California with the help of University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) advisors. Today, California produces about 400 agricultural commodities with an annual value of about $44 billion.
This year, UC is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension. On April 29, UCCE Marin will commemorate the centennial at a regular meeting of the Marin County Board of Supervisors at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael.
“This will be an opportunity to enjoy state and local history for UC Cooperative Extension,” said David Lewis, UCCE Marin Director, “and also recognize partners as part of expressing our appreciation for the privilege to serve all of Marin.”
- March 30, 2014
WISCONSIN has been an environmental leader since 1910, when the state’s voters approved a constitutional amendment promoting forest and water conservation. Decades later, pioneering local environmentalists like Aldo Leopold and Senator Gaylord Nelson, who founded Earth Day in 1970, helped forge the nation’s ecological conscience.
But now, after the recent passage of a bill that would allow for the construction of what could be the world’s largest open-pit iron ore mine, Wisconsin’s admirable history of environmental stewardship is under attack. [...]
Before the passage of the bill, Marcia Bjornerud, a geology professor at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., testified before the legislature that samples she had taken from the mine site revealed the presence of sulfides both in the target iron formation and in the overlying rock that would have to be removed to get to the iron-bearing rocks. (When exposed to air and water, sulfides oxidize and turn water acidic, which can be devastating to rivers and streams, along with their fish populations.) Sulfide minerals, Professor Bjornerud said, would be an unavoidable byproduct of the iron mining. But the bill does not mandate a process for preventing the harm from the sulfide minerals that mining would unleash.
- February 20, 2014
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University’s Scott Linneman, professor of Geology and Science Education, has been selected as the 2013 Washington Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Linneman, who has taught at Western since 2000, traveled to Washington D.C. with his daughter on Nov. 14 to accept the award – the first one ever received by a Western faculty member.
The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country – those who excel as teachers and influence the lives and careers of their students. It is recognized as one of the most prestigious awards honoring undergraduate teaching.
Whenever he can, Linneman teaches Geology out in the field, as opposed to the classroom; his students have observed geologic processes first hand on the area’s rivers, beaches, glaciers and landslides and gone on overnight trips to national parks.
- January 16, 2014
Geologic time is shorthand for slow-paced. But new measurements from steep mountaintops in New Zealand shows that rock can transform into soil more than twice as fast as previously believed possible.
The findings were published Jan. 16 in the early online edition of Science.
“Some previous work had argued that there were limits to soil production,” said first author Isaac Larsen, who did the work as part of his doctoral research in Earth sciences at the University of Washington. “But no one had made the measurements.”
- January 5, 2014
SAN DIEGO - Elizabeth Lopez maneuvered a massive steel claw over the side of a 134-foot sailboat and guided its descent through swaying kelp and schools of fish 10 miles off the coast of San Diego. She was hoping to catch pieces of a mysterious marine ecosystem that scientists are calling the plastisphere.
It starts with particles of degraded plastic no bigger than grains of salt. Bacteria take up residence on those tiny pieces of trash. Then single-celled animals feed on the bacteria, and larger predators feed on them. [...]
The plastisphere was six decades in the making. It's a product of the discarded plastic - flip-flops, margarine tubs, toys, toothbrushes - that gets swept from urban sewer systems and river channels into the sea. [...]
In October, Goldstein and oceanographer Deb Goodwin of the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole reported that one-third of the gooseneck barnacles they collected from the garbage patch had plastic particles in their guts. The typical fragment measured 1.4 millimeters across, not much bigger than a piece of glitter, according to their report in the journal PeerJ.
Some of the barnacles had bits of plastic in their fecal pellets too. That finding led Goldstein to speculate that some of the 256 barnacles that were plastic-free when they were captured by researchers had probably eaten plastic at some point in their lives but cleared it from their systems.
Since crabs prey on barnacles, the plastic the barnacles eat may be spreading through the food web, Goldstein and Goodwin reported.
- December 5, 2013
Dan Callahan is part of the Identity Team at Mozilla who are trying to solve some of the problems of privacy and security on the Internet that have been hitting the headlines recently. Dan works on the Mozilla Persona project, a system to both replace passwords with verified identities and put that verification under user control, rather than the control of large corporate entities.
Today's "social sign-ons" as offered by Facebook, Google, Twitter and others, offer users a fast, password-free login experience across sites, but have a significant problem. As Dan puts it, "The cost there is that I have to send all of my data, all of my logins through some central third party, usually an American advertising company. We think we should be able to find a way to give you the same login experience as Facebook or Google, but with the ability to still choose who you are."
- November 7, 2013
Carleton Geology would like to celebrate and acknowledge the following alums who were recently recognized at the annual GSA meeting in Denver.
Philip E. Brown '74 and Kurtis C. Burmeister were awarded the GSA/ExxonMobil Field Camp Excellence Award for their work with the Wasatch-Unita Field Camp.
The Association for Women Geologists recognized Diane Smith '77, with the Outstanding Educator Award. Diane is the 25th recipient of the award, which was established to "honor teachers who have played a significant role in the education and support of women geoscientists both within and outside the classroom".
Our very own professor Mary Savina '72, was recognized for her many years of mentoring students and awarded the GeoCUR Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. Read the award letter here.
The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) recognized Scott Linneman '83 for his service for furthering geoscience education with the Bob Christman Award.
Congratulations friends & keep up the good work!
- October 25, 2013
The Missoula, Montana Conservation Roundtable recognized four local residents for their environmental efforts in the past year.
Clark Fork Coalition science director Chris Brick was honored with the Arnold Bolle Conservation Professional award. Brick was instrumental in the restoration plans for the confluence of the Blackfoot and Clark Fork rivers when Milltown Dam was removed, as well as work on water quality and ecological health throughout the Clark Fork drainage.
- October 4, 2013
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Karin Brown has been named the associate head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs at MIT announced Julie Soriero, MIT’s Director of Athletics and Department Head. Brown brings almost a decade of coaching experience to the Engineers’ programs. In addition to her coaching duties Brown will also be working as a part of the Engineers’ Communications, Promotions and Marketing staff.
“We are thrilled to have Karin join our coaching staff and the MIT swimming and diving family,” remarked Dawn Dill, the Mary Francis Wagley, ’47 Head Coach of swimming and diving at MIT.