Carleton Geology Alums In The News
Posts tagged with “Alumni” (All posts)
- September 14, 2010
Dinosaurs overshadowed mammals for most of the Mesozoic, but evidence of actual dinosaur-mammal interactions are very rare. On the mammalian score, a specimen of the relatively large Cretaceous mammal Repenomamus robustus described in 2005 was found with the bones of baby dinosaurs in its stomach—it had apparently fed on young Psittacosaurus shortly before it died. A new set of fossils from southern Utah, though, evens the score for the dinosaurs.
In Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, within the 80-million-year-old rock of the Wahweap Formation, paleontologists have discovered evidence that small predatory dinosaurs dug down into the soil to reach the burrows of small mammals. As reported in the journal Geology, the vestiges of these events are left behind as traces within the rocks—scratches made by dinosaurs and dens used by mammals—and by looking at them together scientists can replay what might have happened during those Late Cretaceous days at the end of the Mesozoic era.
Together the scratches and burrows tell of ancient interactions we could only previously infer on the basis of bones. It most have been terrifying for those small mammals, hearing the predatory dinosaur scratching deep into the ground in the hopes of catching them.
Edward L. Simpson, Hannah L. Hilbert-Wolf, Michael C. Wizevich, Sarah E. Tindall, Ben R. Fasinski, Lauren P. Storm and Mattathias D. Needle (2010). Predatory digging behavior by dinosaurs Geology, 38, 699-702
- August 17, 2010
In findings that push back the clock on the scientific world's thinking about when animal life appeared on Earth, Princeton scientists may have discovered the oldest fossils of animal bodies, suggesting that primitive sponge-like creatures were living in ocean reefs about 650 million years ago. The shelly fossils, found beneath a 635 million-year-old glacial deposit in South Australia, represent the earliest evidence of animal body forms in the current fossil record by at least 70 million years.
Princeton geosciences professor Adam Maloof and graduate student Catherine Rose happened upon the new fossils while working on a project focused on the severe ice age that marked the end of the Cryogenian period 635 million years ago. Their findings, published in the Aug. 17 issue of the journal Nature Geosciences, provide the first direct evidence that animal life existed before -- and probably survived -- the severe "snowball Earth" event known as the Marinoan glaciation that left much of the globe covered in ice at the end of the Cryogenian.
- July 20, 2010
BANGOR, Maine — Bess Koffman is spending her summer watching ice melt.
But Koffman, 29, of Orono doesn’t stand around a lab at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute 10 hours a day monitoring any ordinary frozen H2O.
Her ice is ancient. Some sections of the ice cores Koffman is melting this summer are 2,000 years old.
On Tuesday, she spent much of the day looking for evidence of dust in the melting ice from a volcano that erupted in A.D. 186 in New Zealand to see whether it had drifted as far as western Antarctica.
“It would be new and exciting to document that,” the graduate student said Tuesday morning in a demonstration of her research for Bangor-area news outlets. “This volcanic eruption has not been documented in Antarctica before.”
- July 13, 2010
We are very proud to announce that Laura Bazzetta '10 has received an Outstanding Student Paper Award for her presentation at the 2009 American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco, California. Her paper was entitled, "Linking river morphology to larval drift of an endangered sturgeon."
Good work Laura!!
- July 12, 2010
Laura Peterson, Luther College assistant professor of environmental studies, is the co-author of "Tropical Ocean Temperatures Over the Past 3.5 Million Years," a research paper published in the June 18 issue of the journal Science.
The paper explains the findings of a research project led by Brown University in which Peterson participated. The research team's discoveries that suggest that fluctuating carbon dioxide levels explain why temperatures in tropical oceans and arctic waters have changed together for the past 2.7 million years.
The research team analyzed cores taken from the seabed at four locations in tropical oceans: the Arabian Sea, the South China Sea, the eastern Pacific Ocean and the equatorial Atlantic Ocean.
- June 20, 2010
We are paddling along the western edge of the North American continent, where land meets water. For this week's Notes from the Trail, we asked Ellen Root, our geology expert, to provide us with an explanation of the geology of this region. Here is what she told us:
You may already know that sea level on Earth changes over time. This depends on temperatures on the whole Earth as well as the amount of ice that is frozen in glaciers and the polar ice caps. At different times in Earth’s history we could have been traveling through what is now land far from the ocean’s edge or among islands that presently lie deep beneath the surface of the water. Today we want to talk about another aspect of the coastline we see each day. We want to look at the rocks that form the support structure for the plants, animals, people, and buildings we have encountered as we paddle along the Canadian coast. Many people think of rocks as solid and immovable, but every day they are moving, very slowly, on a scale so large it can be difficult to comprehend. The science that explains this process is called Plate Tectonics.
- June 15, 2010
We have just learned that Nate Evenson ’10 was recognized for the “Outstanding Undergraduate Oral Presentation” at this spring’s Cordilleran Section of the Geological Society of America meeting in Anaheim, California. Nate’s title was, “U-Pb zircon geochronology and provenance of the Paleogene–Neogene Kootznahoo Formation, southeast Alaska.” The award includes a check for $400.
- May 25, 2010
Northfield, Minn. — College students graduating this spring face one of the toughest job markets in a generation.
Because of that, career counselors say networking with potential employers is more important than ever.
That challenge has prompted two Minnesota colleges to become more aggressive in connecting students with alumni who could help them get that first job.
Nate Ryan is doing his best to find a job, an internship, or anything at all, in this bleak job market. The 23-year-old graduates next month from Carleton College in Northfield.
Ryan isn't checking classified ads for work, that's so 1990s.
- May 7, 2010
It took her 16 years of discipline and hard practice, but only a handful of people in the world can say they’ve done what Northfield native Maria Peterson accomplished last month.
Peterson, who practices the Japanese martial art of Kyudo Archery, was one of three Americans selected to represent her country at the first Kyudo Archery World Cup. The first of its kind, the tournament pitted 20 teams from nations around the world against each other in a sport that is equal parts discipline, meditation and athleticism.
“Kyudo,” which means “the way of the bow” in Japanese, is not necessarily about hitting a target. Instead, practitioners try to attain a zen-like level of calm and control as they fire an arrow from a seven-foot-long bow at a bull’s-eye more than 90 feet away.
It was that mix of the philosophy and sport that drew Peterson to the activity, which originated in Japan.
- April 22, 2010
Glaciovolcanoes, they're called, these rumbling mountains where the orange-red fire of magma meets the frozen blue of glaciers.
Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which erupted recently, is but one of these volcanoes. Others, such as Katla, Hekla and Askja in Iceland; Edziza in British Columbia, Canada; and Mount Rainier and Mount Redoubt in the U.S., are also glaciovolcanoes: volcanoes covered by ice.
"When an ice-covered volcano erupts, the interplay among molten magma, ice and meltwater can have catastrophic results," says Sonia Esperanca, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Division of Earth Sciences, which funds research on glaciovolcanoes.
In Iceland last week, scientists were well prepared for the floods, called "jökulhlaups," that can happen after a glaciovolcano blows and melts its glacial covering. The floods were followed by tons of ash ejected into the atmosphere.
Most of the rest of the world, however, was unaware that an eruption from a small, northern island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean could freeze air transportation and stop global commerce in its tracks.
That, say NSF-funded scientists Ben Edwards at Dickinson College and Ian Skilling at the University of Pittsburgh, is the nature of glaciovolcanoes.
Understanding volcano-ice interactions occupies much of Edwards' and Skilling's daily lives.