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Posts tagged with “Alumni” (All posts)

  • Leigh Stearns '99 Discovers Glacier Is Vanishing

    September 22, 2010

    On July 18th, 2005, around four in the morning, a research ship called the Arctic Sunrise was slowly making its way south along the eastern coast of Greenland. There was a helicopter on the deck, painted bright orange so it could be spotted easily if rescue were needed, and Hamilton saw its pilot, the only other person awake so early, coming down a nearby staircase. They had plans to fly to a massive glacier called Kangerdlugssuaq later that afternoon, to measure its speed and to see whether the warming climate had forced this part of the world into dramatic changes. The pilot asked if Hamilton wanted to take a quick flight over to the glacier now, to scout out a good landing spot. "Sure," Hamilton said. He went below deck to collect his maps.

    Returning to the Arctic Sunrise, Hamilton found the graduate student who was working with him, Leigh Stearns, and asked her to return to the glacier with him. On the way, he was purposely vague about what he'd seen; he still thought he might have missed something. 

    Later, back on the ship, Hamilton collapsed onto his bunk, exhausted. Stearns opened her laptop and started downloading data from the monitors. When she was done, the speed was so implausible that she checked her calculations five times to make sure she had the math right before she showed her boss. 

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  • Ben McLuckie '83 Leads Alaska's High Schools Into Aviation Science

    September 20, 2010

    Alaska students will have the opportunity to make their math and science classes relevant, and launch into hands-on aviation and aerospace education.

    Lt. Governor Craig Campbell announced the launch of the Real World Design Challenge program at a press conference in Anchorage on Friday. The program is being offered at no cost to high school students statewide. 

    The program focuses on using higher math and science skills students have already learned. Students will use professional engineering programs to work on an aviation challenge. Last year, the focus was on the tail of a business jet. This year the challenge will involve the wing of a Boeing 747. The project involves examining how to look for fuel efficiencies, examine the internal structure and other considerations. Campbell said further details will be released Oct. 4.

    Last year, Hoonah was the only school in the state to participate in the nation-wide program.

    Hoonah physics teacher Ben McLuckie and two of his students spoke about the program via a phone conference call. McLuckie said he heard about the program, but before participating felt Hoonah didn't have the resources for his students to complete a credible project. McLuckie said he found that not to be the case.

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  • Hannah Hilbert-Wolf '12 Helps Document A Fossil Mammal's Worst Nightmare

    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

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  • Discovery By Adam Maloof '98 Adds 70-90 Million Years To The Fossil Record

    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.

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    Listen To The BBC Interview

  • Bess Koffman '04 Probes Ancient Climates By Melting Ice

    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.”

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    Another Version With A Video Clip

  • Laura Bazzeetta '10 Wins Outstanding Student Paper Award At AGU

    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!!

  • Laura Cleavelenad Peterson '01 Co-authors Ocean-Temperature Paper Published In SCIENCE

    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.

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  • Ellen Root '07 Explains The Geology Of America's Western Coast

    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.

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  • Nate Evenson ’10 Cited For Outstanding Oral Presentation

    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.

    Congratulations Nate!

  • Nate Ryan '10 Is Among New Graduates Who Hunt For Jobs With College's Help

    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.

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