Carleton Geology Alums In The News
- 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.
- October 1, 2013
SAN ANTONIO - Diane Smith, professor of geosciences at Trinity University, will receive the Outstanding Educator Award on Oct. 28 from the Association of Women Geoscientists.
Hailed by colleagues as "a great mentor" who ably "balances innovation and rigor," Smith has been at Trinity for nearly 30 years. She chaired the geosciences department from 1998 to 2004 and again from 2012 to the present and served as associate vice president for Academic Affairs overseeing budgets and research from 2004 to 2011.
- September 23, 2013
I was fortunate to spend a full school day with the prep through year 7 students at Rollingstone State School, situated along the meandering Rollingstone Creek, just next to Balgal Beach. [...]
Once at school, the science teacher, Bruce, and his classes shared with me their gardening projects as well as their plant and insect research from the local creek. In return, I shared photos and stories from my geology fieldwork in Tanzania, and together we took a look at interesting rock samples, including fossils and bubbling calcite. [...]
Second, I have found that a mentor or role model in the flesh is more than just inspiration for students. Talking with young students, holding their hands, and carrying their rocks back from the creek gives them a sense of possibility—they can grow up to be like the scientists (or doctors, athletes, etc.) who they admire. Real interaction for them is equivalent to realising that their goals are achievable. Maintaining a presence, through consistent contact, hits this message home.