Carleton Geology Alums In The News
- December 14, 2009
Eiler Henrickson ‘43, Carleton College Charles L. Denison Professor of Geology emeritus, passed away on Dec. 10, 2009. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. at Northfield’s First United Church of Christ with burial at the Oaklawn Cemetery. Visitation is on Friday from 9-11 a.m., also at First United Church of Christ.
- December 10, 2009
It is with heavy hearts that we in the Geology Department report that Professor Emeritus Eiler Henrickson ’43 passed away this morning. Several of his children and family members were by his side.
Eiler's funeral service was held Friday morning, Dec. 18, 2009, at the First United Church of Christ (UCC) in Northfield. The schedule for the service includes visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. at the church, the service at 11:00 a.m., and then a light luncheon following the service.
We will be making up a picture board or slide show of pictures of Eiler doing the geology and wrestling that he loved. If you have a classic Eiler picture we might be able to use, please mail it or email it to Tim Vick or Ellen Haboroth. Email to me can be done with a reply to this email; my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and Ellen's email is email@example.com. Our mail address is Carleton Geology Dept., 1 N. College St., Northfield, MN 55057.
We also will be making a memory book of comments and stories about Eiler. Those can either be mailed to us on paper at the address in the signature block below, or you can use this handy on-line submission form.
Also, we will hold a special memorial service on campus to celebrate Eiler in conjunction with alumni reunion in June. That is tentatively scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 18, 2010. We hope to join many of you there.
Eiler Henrickson, age 89 of Northfield, passed away Thursday, December 10, 2009 under the wonderful care and support of the staff of Three Links CareCenter. Funeral Services will be 11am Friday, December 18th at the First United Church of Christ in Northfield with burial at the Oaklawn Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 9 am until the time of Services at the Church.
Prof. Mary Savina '72 And Suzanne Savanick Hansen '89 Help Win Funding To Study Adding Sustainability To Undergraduate CurriculumDecember 8, 2009
Professor Mary Savina '72 and another alum, Suzanne Savanick Hansen '89, were among those who recently received Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) grants from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) to support collaborative faculty workshops with their proposal entitled "Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum."
The goal of this cross-disciplinary and cross-college collaboration is to develop, assess, and then disseminate well thought-out pedagogical strategies and practical, meaningful, usable activities for introductory courses across the disciplines at our institutions and beyond. Teaching and learning resources that will be developed over the course of the project will be disseminated online.
- November 20, 2009
Carcasses of adult crocodiles do not usually signal the return of winter in South Africa, but mass death seems to be becoming the harbinger of the season. Rangers at the Kruger National Park have found Nile crocodiles floating in the Olifants River or bloated and decaying along its banks. Investigators are rushing to figure out the cause and worry that the deaths might be signaling the presence of toxins or pathogens that could threaten not only the croc population but also the livelihoods of the people living near the river.
The Olifants River runs several hundred kilometers through three South African provinces and into Mozambique. It supplies water to industrial agriculture operations that send food to Europe and to the local rural communities, which also depend on those waters for fishing and farming.
Thus begins one of Naomi's recent articles in Scientific American.
- November 20, 2009
There have been a number of disturbing reports recently about the reduction or elimination of various geoscience organizations, including the University of Wyoming Geological Museum and now (possibly) the Department of Geological Sciences at Michigan State University. I’ve heard other stories from various colleagues at numerous academic institutions about the loss (or feared loss) of personnel, that seems to go beyond the general economic hard times.
In parallel, there has also been a general decline in geoscience student enrollments over the last 25 years (although the drop has plateaued over the last five years or so, and was actually up this year). This persistent low enrollment means that a large number of professional geoscientists will be reaching retirement age in the next 10 years, and there are not enough up-and-coming students to replace them.
Why are geoscience enrollments relatively static or dropping, and what can we do to increase them?
- November 9, 2009
Granite may be common, but it's no ordinary stone.
Even if they don't know much about rocks, most people can name at least one place they have encountered granite. As a rock, granite is speckled, sparkly, and beautiful, and it is used in products we encounter every day, including countertops, headstones, and flooring. In the natural world, granite forms random boulders in fields and many of the planet's loftiest peaks. Granite is everywhere – from Georgia to Alaska and Maine to California – most states have somewhere with granite formations. Now, with What's So Great About Granite? written by Jennifer Carey, everyone can learn more about this enigmatic stone.
- November 6, 2009
Laura Veirs' seventh album July Flame is out January on her Raven Marching Band imprint. The collection includes appearances by Karl Blau, Jim James, and Eyvind Kang, among others. It also includes 13 gorgeous songs. See, for instance, standout "Wide-Eyed, Legless." We asked Veirs about it.
"Wide-Eyed, Legless" is an evocative title. It sounds like a stage direction, a Beckett moment. What inspired the narrative? Is it an Andy Fairweather Low reference?
- November 3, 2009
Heather Macdonald, Chancellor Professor of Geology at William & Mary, has been proclaimed the winner of the Neil Miner Award by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT).
According to the NAGT Web site, the award is presented to “an individual for exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the earth sciences.”
"All of us in the geology department are so pleased that Heather has been recognized in this way,” said Brent Owens, department chair. “She has been a role model and an inspiration to us as teachers, and to countless others across the country."
- October 27, 2009
Tsunamis are among the most-devastating natural calamities. These earthquake-generated waves can quickly engulf low-lying land and bring widespread destruction and death. They can deposit sand and debris far inland from where they came ashore.
Now, for the first time, a group of scientists working in the Kuril Islands off the east coast of Russia has documented the scope of tsunami-caused erosion and found that a wave can carry away far more sand and dirt than it deposits.
The fortuitous observations resulted because the Kuril Biocomplexity Project had made detailed surveys of some Kuril Island coastlines during the summer of 2006, and then returned for additional work in the summers of 2007 and 2008. That provided a unique opportunity for before-and-after comparisons following a magnitude 8.3 earthquake and accompanying tsunami on Nov. 15, 2006, and an 8.1 quake and resulting tsunami on Jan. 13, 2007.
When the scientists revisited coastlines they had surveyed in 2006, they found that in some places the amount of sand and soil removed by tsunami erosion was nearly 50 times greater than the amount deposited.
"It was so extreme. I was really surprised," said Breanyn MacInnes, a University of Washington doctoral student in Earth and space sciences.
- October 19, 2009
The story of the world’s first vegetarian spider appeared last week in numerous newspapers and other media, including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, on BBC radio, and on dozens of science and news websites. The public’s interest in the news of the bug-eyed and furry Bagheera kiplingi (named after the panther in "The Jungle Book") revealed a healthy appetite for the novel and quirky in the 40,000-species strong arachnid universe. But the story also reveals how we sometimes miss what’s important—despite its proximity right under our noses.
The known story of B. kiplingi goes back at least to 1896, when a Wisconsin taxonomist, who never actually saw the species in its native tropical habitat, gave the multi-colored spider its name. But then the jumping spider, which relies on hydraulically powered legs to go the distance, seems to have been largely ignored. Daniel Janzen, a luminary of tropical ecology and a specialist on plant-insect interactions, collected some specimens of the spider during his groundbreaking dissertation research on ant acacia trees in Mexico, but did not note anything unusual about the spider’s biology.
Fast forward to the jungles of Central America in 2001. Brandeis biologist Eric Olson had already spent two years researching spiders and herbivorous insects, and their host plant interactions, in the tropical dry forests of northwestern Costa Rica. To build an inventory of spiders he relied on Earthwatch volunteers to go out and find specimens for him to identify. But he advised them to avoid the ant acacia plant, home to colonies of stinging ants that cause impressive welts.