Carleton Geology Alums In The News

  • Bara Raa Gregoire was throwing out some trash at the dumpster in Lutsen, Minn., yesterday morning when she discovered two pretty happy bears.

    Bara, a Cascade Vacation Rentals housekeeper, got quite the startle when going to dispose of her garbage in the CVR campus dumpster early Wednesday morning. By the time the rest of the Cascade Vacation Rentals crew arrived at their Lutsen office, the bear that Bara had spotted had indeed escaped from the dumpster and into a nearby tree. [...]

    Owner Steve Surbaugh thought it was odd that the bear was lingering so he decided to investigate the situation further. Inside of the dumpster he discovered the reason why the bear was hanging around the area- two baby bears, too small to make the escape by themselves.

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    The committee that oversees the 1000-mile Iditarod sled dog race announced yesterday that up to four dogs tested positive for a banned substance after they finished this year's race. The dogs were all on the same team. The musher has not spoken publicly and denies knowing anything about it. Emily Schwing of the Northwest News Network has more.

    EMILY SCHWING, BYLINE: The banned drug Tramadol would allow sled dogs to run through pain. It's an opioid that can cause drowsiness. And some mushers have never heard of it.

    JEFF KING: The fact that no one's ever heard about it doesn't mean that someone wouldn't do it.

    SCHWING: Jeff King has won the Iditarod four times, and he's finished in the top 20 two dozen times. Trying to figure out exactly what happened is what he calls a double-edged sword.

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  • Beneath Yellowstone National Park lies a supervolcano, a behemoth far more powerful than your average volcano. It has the ability to expel more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once — 2,500 times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980, which killed 57 people. That could blanket most of the United States in a thick layer of ash and even plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter.

    Yellowstone’s last supereruption occurred 631,000 years ago. And it’s not the planet’s only buried supervolcano. Scientists suspect that a supereruption scars the planet every 100,000 years, causing many to ask when we can next expect such an explosive planet-changing event.

    To answer that question, scientists are seeking lessons from Yellowstone’s past. And the results have been surprising. They show that the forces that drive these rare and violent events can move much more rapidly than volcanologists previously anticipated. [...]

    Kari Cooper, a geochemist at the University of California, Davis who was not involved in the research, said Ms. Shamloo and Dr. Till’s research offered more insights into the time frames of supereruptions, although she is not yet convinced that scientists can pin down the precise trigger of the last Yellowstone event. 

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  • Luther College is beginning the process of raising its levee system in accordance to a recommendation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

    Last year, FEMA informed administration that Luther’s dike did not meet the standards necessary for accreditation from the agency. As plans for the raising develop, the school is working with experts to solidify the details of the project. [...]

    These floodplain calculations are based on recent flooding patterns and can change over time. Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Chemistry Laura Peterson explained the importance of the changing map.

    “Recently FEMA reanalyzed the flood map for Decorah [in order] to figure out what the 100 year floodplain is,” Peterson said. “Their new calculation of the 100-year flood would bring water levels higher than the dike was built to sustain.”

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  • The U.S. oil industry remains heavily dependent on state and federal subsidies to make drilling profitable, particularly as the price of crude stays at historical lows, a new study found.

    Forty-seven percent of discovered oil reserves that remained untapped by the middle of last year required subsidies to turn a profit with prices at about $50 per barrel, according to the research published Monday in the journal Nature.

    “Almost half of new U.S. oil fields would not be profitable, and would not go ahead without subsidies,” Peter Erickson, the study’s lead author and a senior scientist at the nonpartisan Stockholm Environment Institute, told HuffPost by phone. “This is an industry that’s been around for a century, so for it to still be so dependent on these tax breaks, most of which are permanent, was surprising.”

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  • Sarah Crump '10 award

    September 28, 2017

    Sarah Crump '10, has been awarded the J. Hoover Mackin (PhD) Award by GSA's Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division.

  • Wildfire is an ever-present reality for many communities in the Western United States. As the West’s fires burn longer and hotter, some politicians have taken to scapegoating the region’s public lands, alleging that wildfire is worse on U.S. public lands than state-owned lands. Their claim, according to a new analysis of wildfire risk in the West, is entirely untrue. It’s time for public officials to abandon their baseless rhetoric and engage in pragmatic conversations and policy development to protect Western communities from wildfire risks.

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  • HANOVER, N.H. – James Holder, head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, has announced the hiring of Milana Socha as an assistant coach ahead of the 2017-18 season. Socha comes to Hanover from the University of Toledo, where she served as an assistant last season. 

    “We are extremely excited to welcome Milana to our staff,” Holder said. “She distinguished herself in our search process with her knowledge and passion for the sport. She has experience working with athletes that are both high-end academics as well as top athletes, which is the balance we strike here at Dartmouth. I couldn’t be happier to welcome her to our program and look forward to working with her.”

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  • This September is Eat Local Month – an event specific not only to Bellingham, but to all of Whatcom County. Sustainable Connections, the local nonprofit that orchestrates Eat Local Month, works with farmers, restaurateurs, food businesses and fishermen to help bring all together to honor and celebrate the amazing food Whatcom County has to offer. [...]

    Sophie Williams of Raven Breads says the reason she is in business is to make the best product she can, add substantially to her community and cause as little harm as she can to both people and the environment. “Using local [and regional] ingredients from farmers and producers I know is the only way I can fulfill all three of these objectives,” Williams says.

    In addition to using ingredients from local farmers and producers herself, other vendors and producers also use the bread Williams makes in their food. Cafe Vavilov uses whole grain bread from Raven Breads in their Vegan Farmers dish. The cafe, run by Erica Budzynski incorporates a slew of locally sourced and grown ingredients in their meals, and has a booth set up at the farmers market on Saturdays, during which they use enamel plates to serve food and cut down on waste.

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  • LAWRENCE, KANSAS -- Most researchers dedicate grant funds to things like lab equipment, travel expenses or salaries for graduate assistants. But not too long ago, University of Kansas geologist Leigh Stearns found herself at a Cabela's, grant in hand, asking the gun-counter staff which rifle might be most suitable for defending herself from a polar bear.

    "I got a Marlin Model 1895 Big Bore Lever-Action Rifle," she said. "I took private lessons. Then I went to KU Public Safety office, and they actually took me to the KU police range and helped show me how to shoot." [...]

    "You can think of Greenland as a big reservoir of ice that has around 200 glaciers draining it. However, there are only a handful of glaciers responsible for most of its mass loss. Helheim is one of them -- its annual mass loss doubled since 2001, but not in a linear or easily understandable way. Because Helheim Glacier discharges a lot of ice each year, we are very interested in understanding what controls its behavior."

    While one ATLAS system has been in place already since 2015, a continuing $569,000, three-year grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation will enable Stearns, along with a KU graduate student and researchers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), to install a second system. Stearns expects the new ATLAS station to deliver even more comprehensive data on ice dynamics and the glacier's response to atmospheric and ocean variability.

    Read The Whole Story: AAAS
    Another Take On It: University of Kansas Student Newspaper