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Carleton Geology Alums In The News

  • Julia Daly '94 Wins Grant To Study Effects Of Climate Change On Alpine Ponds

    October 6, 2009

    FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington Department of Geology has been awarded a $20,000 Quimby Family Foundation grant to study the effects of climate change on high elevation ponds in Maine.

    This grant was awarded to Julia Daly, UMF associate professor of geology, and is one of only two Quimby Family Foundation grants to be received by a university within the University of Maine System since the grant's inception.

    "I was thrilled when I received the notice from the Quimby Family Foundation," Daly said. "I knew this was a very competitive year, but I also knew the significance of this research and the answers that were possible because of it."

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  • Nick Swanson-Hysell '05 and Adam Maloof '98 Refine The Magnetic Reversal Record

    September 30, 2009

    Interpreting the past latitude and geography of the continents
    from palaeomagnetic data relies on the key assumption that
    Earth’s geomagnetic field behaves as a geocentric axial dipole.
    The axial dipolar field model implies that all geomagnetic
    reversals should be symmetric. However, palaeomagnetic
    data from volcanic rocks produced by the 1.1-billion-yearold
    Keweenawan Rift system in North America have been
    interpreted to show asymmetric reversals, which had led to
    the suggestion that there was a significant non-axial dipole
    contribution to the magnetic field during this time1,2. Here we
    present high-resolution palaeomagnetic data that span three
    geomagnetic field reversals from a well-described series of
    basalt flows at Mamainse Point, Ontario, in the Keweenawan
    Rift. Our data show that each reversal is symmetric. We thus
    conclude that the previously documented reversal asymmetry
    is an artefact of the rapid motion of North America during
    this time. Comparisons of reversed and normal populations
    that were time-averaged over entire polarity intervals, or from
    sites not directly on either side of a geomagnetic reversal, have
    previously led to the appearance of reversal asymmetry.

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  • Suzanne Savanick Hansen '89 Helps Macalester College Formulate Carbon-Neutral Plan

    September 17, 2009

    St. Paul, Minn. - Macalester College has completed its first long-term strategic plan to combat climate change. Among the college’s goals:

    • Achieving carbon neutrality by 2025
    • Eliminating waste by 2020 (zero waste)
    • Integrating sustainability into curriculum and student programs
    • Adopting a “green building” policy to reduce emissions in facility construction and operations
    • Decreasing carbon emissions from travel
    • Adopting a responsible purchasing policy

    "The threats posed by global climate change to our survival are daunting," says Macalester President Brian Rosenberg. "This plan demonstrates our commitment to living our values and preparing each generation to confront the challenges they will face in the years ahead. We hope that in 2025 our first-year students will be proud to attend a college that has successfully demonstrated leadership in sustainability and is carbon neutral.”

    Macalester’s plan has been submitted to the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

    Macalester’s strategic sustainability plan underscores its leadership among American colleges and universities in addressing climate change, explains Suzanne Hansen, sustainability manager. Only 88 of the approximately 400 colleges and universities who were to have submitted plans this week did so, and few of those plans are as ambitious and broad as Macalester’s.

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  • Andrea Earley Coen '90 Teaches Kids A Love Of The Land

    September 16, 2009

    Being connected to the land is a way of life in the American West. Nowhere is this more evident than at Guidestone, a sustainable-farm project nonprofit organization. Its roots have been firmly planted in Colorado soil since 1992 with a dedication to creating a sustainable local food economy.

    The farm originated in Loveland. Guidestone director David Lynch relocated the farm to Buena Vista in 2007 along with its educational branch, Farmhands. Andrea Earley Coen, the education director of the program, has been teaching environmental and farm education for 20 years throughout the U.S., and was excited to take on the opportunity.

    Coen said, "Farmhands is a year-round program and during the summer, we offer farm- and nature-based educational day-camps and three-day farm camps for children ages 5 to 11, as well as Family Farm Days for families with children of all ages. All of the programs are taught from Weathervane Farm on Crossman Avenue, which serves as the 'outdoor' classroom that we use as our teaching space ... and where Guidestone is based.

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  • Kevin Uno '01 Returns To Teach Intro

    September 14, 2009

    We are most pleased to welcome Kevin Uno ’01 back to the Carleton Geology Department for fall term – Kevin will be teaching Introductory Geology.

    Kevin’s Carleton comps project was entitled "Upper Cretaceous Paleomagnetism from Umbria, Italy: ‘Anchored’ poles set proposed True Polar Wander event adrift."  From that platform he launched himself into the graduate school of the University of Utah where he completed a masters degree in 2008.  His masters research was on the use of geochemical tracers in ice to identify subglacial processes at Storglaciären, Sweden.  For his dissertation, Kevin is using stable isotopes to study past and present climates.  This includes paleoenvironmental reconstructions in East Africa using carbon and oxygen isotopes in fossil tooth enamel, and using isotopes from modern elephant  tusks as a proxy for climate and life history.

    One of Kevin’s recent papers is Uno, K.T., Cerling, T.E., Nakaya, H., Nakatsukasa, M., Kunimatsu, Y., (2008), Stable carbon and oxygen isotope ratios of fossil tooth enamel from the Nakali and Namurungule Formations, Kenya: Capturing the C3-C4 transition in East African equid diet at ~9.6 Ma, J. of Vert. Paleontology, 28, 3: 155A.

    Kevin’s teaching experience is equally wide-ranging, with his student groups spanning the age range from elementary school to college. 

    Welcome Kevin!

  • Dave Schneider '99 Finds That Natural Cooling Cycle Has Been Reversed By Human Pollution

    September 4, 2009

    The Arctic is at its warmest for 2,000 years despite the fact natural cycles mean the area should be cooling, according to research which scientists say proves climate change is man-made.

    The wide ranging study used computer simulations to reconstruct summer temperatures across the Arctic over the last 2,000 years.

    It found that the area has been warming in the last one hundred years and reached its hottest years in the last decade.

    However, the Arctic should be in a cooling period caused by a "cyclical wobble" in Earth's orbit around the Sun, that means the Earth has been getting less sun on the North Pole in the summertime. 

    David Schneider, from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, who carried out the research, said the Arctic should now be in a natural cooling phase but temperatures were not dropping. 

    Read The Whole Story (press release)

    Read The Whole Story (London Telegraph)

  • Pixie Newman '78 Helps Guide Redevelopment Of Old Industrial Sites

    September 1, 2009

    Looking to develop on a contaminated site, but frustrated by the slow response of state officials to get involved? Many states are now quasi-privatizing the process to get old brownfields cleaned up and back on the tax rolls.

    Many a company or developer has discovered throughout the years that seemingly developable property was anything but — thanks to the presence of ground contaminants from previous uses. And while it is certainly possible (if not cheap) to clean and build on such sites, developers and companies often find the biggest hurdle to doing so is the availability of state officials to monitor the process and ultimately give approval to the final result.

    “All of these voluntary or streamlined programs have allowed the developer to interact with an entity on a real-time basis to help them walk through the process,” said Pixie Newman, Northeast lead for site remediation and redevelopment for the consulting firm CH2M Hill. “I see that as a significant change, because in effect, depending on how they interact with that licensed professional, the developer has the opportunity to have a partner who can understand, navigate, and get to the end goal.”

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  • Alton "Butch" Dooley '91 Finds Clues To Feeding Patterns And Handedness In Fossil Whale

    August 21, 2009

    From a patch of ancient seafloor that lies west of Interstate 95, a fossil whale with a broken jaw presents a mystery that may have been solved with today's publication of a paper by the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

    The partial skeleton came from a quarry north of Richmond that is considered the best fossil site in Virginia.

    "It's just incredibly rich," said Alton C. Dooley Jr., a paleontologist at the museum and co-author on the paper. "I can dig here for the rest of my life and we won't get it all done."

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  • Wendell Duffield '63: Twice Bitten By March Madness

    July 21, 2009

    “Hey couch potato,” Anne said in a voice tinged with impatience. “How about we turn off the TV and go for a walk.”
        “Well, okay,” I mumbled unenthusiastically as the ref cancelled an artistic slam-dunk with a call of travelling.
        “You’ll get more than enough basketball once the March Madness playoffs get underway,” Anne added, trying to soften my disappointment at leaving an unfinished tied game.


    I led them to the spring, lagging behind while giving voice and hand directions. Damned if the fox wasn’t still there — bloodied mouth, conscious again and about one hundred feet downstream from where he had attacked me. He charged madly as soon as he saw us.

  • Karen Swanberg '94 On The Leading Edge Of Urban Farming Trend

    July 1, 2009

    Minneapolis — We're entering the peak season for Minnesota-grown fruits, vegetables and other produce, and a small but growing amount of the state's food is coming from urban farmers.

    Urban farming is an old idea that is attracting new followers. Besides fruits and vegetables, urban farmers raise fowl and even fish. Urban farming advocates point to better taste and a smaller carbon footprint as benefits.

    Karen Swanberg has an aquaponics setup on the front porch of her south Minneapolis home. It consists of a big fish tank filled with tilapia and a nearby bed of edible greens.

    "Water is constantly being pumped into the grow bed, which in this case is made out of a 55-gallon drum cut in half lengthwise and then filled with gravel," described Swanberg.

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