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Carleton Geology Alums In The News

  • John Goodge '80 Granted $9 Million To Probe Antarctic Ice

    July 28, 2014

    Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- "It's a BIG DEAL to do this. It's not easy," says Penny Morton, Associate Dean at UMD's College of Science and Engineering

    That could be said about most any trip to Antarctica, but is especially true for a UMD professor who will be joining other researchers attempting to drill deep into Antarctic ice.

    "We're able to get to parts of the ice sheet that no one has ever seen before. We can not only get deeper and older paleo climate records by drilling into the deep ice, but we're hopeful we can see what the conditions are at the base of the ice sheet," says Professor John Goodge, UMD Earth and Environmental Sciences.

    Professor John Goodge is spearheading the project and he says those conditions have been widely speculated because they're up to two miles under ice.

    Thanks to a nearly nine million dollar grant to UMD, a new drilling platform called the Rapid Access Ice Drill, or RAID will be constructed to be transported to Antarctica. The project speaks highly of UMD researchers.

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  • Art Rodriguez '96 Named Dean Of Admission And Financial Aid At Vassar

    July 16, 2014

    After a national search Vassar has named Art Rodriguez to be the college’s new Dean of Admission and Financial Aid. Rodriguez is currently the Senior Associate Dean and Director of Admissions at Pomona College (Claremont, CA), and he will begin his new position on September 1.

    As the senior member of the Pomona admissions staff Rodriguez’s roles range from day-to-day management of the Office of Admissions to development and implementation of admissions policy. He also has been responsible for incorporating new technologies to support the college’s admissions efforts. Rodriguez began his career at Pomona in 2000 and has also served there as assistant, associate, and acting dean of admissions.

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  • Jennifer Macalady '91 Probes Early Life Through Bacteria

    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.

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  • David Lewis '89 Leads Marin County Extension Service Into Its Second Century

    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.”

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  • Marcia Bjornerud '83 Emphasizes The Risks Of Wisconsin Mine Development

    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.

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  • Scott Linneman '83 Is Named Carnegie Foundation Professor Of The Year

    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.

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    Watch A Video Of Scott In Action

  • Isaac Larsen '01 Enlarges The Envelope For Soil Production

    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.”

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  • Deb Goodwin '00 Collects Data To Document The Plastisphere

    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.

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    Deb's Original Research Report

     

  • Dan Callahan '08 Helps Mozilla Make Passwords More Secure

    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."

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  • Carleton Geology Alums Honored at GSA Denver

    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!