Carleton Geology Alums In The News

  • HELENA, Mont. — President Donald Trump's Interior Department prevented Glacier National Park's superintendent from accompanying Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on a recent park tour to save money, not to mute criticism over climate change, a spokeswoman for the agency said Thursday.

    Park superintendent Jeff Mow and U.S. Geological Survey ecologist Daniel Fagre had planned to accompany Zuckerberg last weekend, but Interior Department officials in Washington, D.C., decided to assign park rangers to the tour instead.

    Zuckerberg, who has previously criticized Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate decision, highlighted the effects of climate change on the park in a Facebook post.

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    Another Version Of The Story From The Washington Post

  • June 16, 2017 - Mercer Island High School science teacher Patty Weston has won the 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Chemical Education Glenn and Jane Crosby Northwest Region Award for Excellence in High School Teaching.

    In its announcement, ACS said it was making the award to Weston “in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the quality of chemistry education in the Northwest Region.”

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  • On June 4, 2017, Mike Murchison and Ray McGaughey will run the Steamboat Springs Marathon to raise money for Full Circle of Lake County.  Full Circle provides mentoring and outdoor leadership opportunities for the youth of Lake County, Colorado. These youth are predominantly the children of Latin American immigrants--or immigrants themselves--whose parents commute long hours each day to the resort towns of Vail, Breckenridge, and Aspen. Full Circle connects adult mentors in Leadville with 4th-6th graders in need of a stable, positive influences in their lives.

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  • Christopher Rautman, Carleton Geology class of 1972 passed away May 12. Chris was a well known and liked geologist having spent 26 years at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico prior to his retiring in 2011. After "retiring" Chris continued consulting with various firms, including a position with C Tech Development Corporation as chief geologist, volunteering as resident geologist at Philmont Scout Ranch, working in his woodshop and spending time with his wife, Janice,  kids and grandchildren. Chris was also a great supporter of Carleton and Carleton Geology having established the Chris Rautman endowed fund to support research and field experiences for students.  

    Memorial information and obituary can be found here.

  • For well over a century, miners have clawed huge amounts of iron ore out of the red earth of northeastern Minnesota. Other companies are hoping to tap into the region's rich deposits of copper, nickel and precious metals.

    Now, scientists believed they've unlocked the key that could lead to another kind of mining in the region.

    Researchers with the Natural Resources Research Institute, an arm of the University of Minnesota Duluth, announced Thursday they've demonstrated on a pilot-scale a new technique to separate high-purity titanium oxide from a mineral called ilmenite.

    Titanium dioxide is valued around $3,200 per ton, compared to a value of around $70 for the taconite pellets produced on the Iron Range. It's used in a range of everyday products, "ranging from paint to lotions to lip balm to the white on your powdered donuts," said George Hudak, NRRI's minerals, mining and metallurgy director.

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  • Pipestone Vineyards recently sold its west Paso Robles property, but the label will carry on, owner Jeff Pipes said.

    The winery, begun by Pipes and his wife, Florence, in 1996, still has two vintages of Pipestone wine aging in barrels and is looking to start sourcing other westside fruit to carry them forward, he said.

    The family will make future vintages at a custom crush facility and sell its wine mostly through its wine club, telephone and website sales, aiming to keep production at about 1,500 to 2,000 cases per year.

  • Hawaii is known for its volcanoes, but most volcanoes on earth exist along tectonic plate lines. Hawaii does not! What causes Hawaii to form, and how is it related to the mystery of a magnetic bar code across the Pacific Ocean? Host Dianna Cowern chatted with geologist Noah Randolph-Flagg from UC Berkeley while hiking on the island of Kauai.

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  • New research by scientists at UC Santa Cruz suggests the steep slopes of West Coast mountains, which slough off lots of sediment, make the region’s rivers unique. The study, published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” Monday, found that the more sediment is fed into a river, the more dynamic a river is. These dynamic rivers shift their channels more often, and resist forming an “armored” river bottom with unmoving gravels.

    The results could help engineers and geologists predict the effects of removing dams and restoring streams and to understand what the river’s “natural state” will look like.

    “That’s an important thing we can be able to answer,” said UC Santa Cruz doctoral candidate Allison Pfeiffer, who is the lead author of the new study. “For the practical engineering-side purposes ... and in part for predicting salmon habitat.”

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  • A new web-based app developed by the Department of Natural Resources gives people the ability to submit reports on the location of springs in Minnesota.

    The data will help researchers with important groundwater research.

    A spring is any natural flow of water from an aquifer–an underground layer of rock–to the Earth’s surface. “We can’t protect something we don’t know is there,” said DNR research scientist Jim Berg. “We need a better inventory of springs in Minnesota, and this new app is the tool to improve the inventory.”

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  • BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Two federal agencies have approved a 2.4-mile-long open pit phosphate mine proposed by a Canadian company in southeastern Idaho.

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service late last week issued separate decisions approving the plan by Calgary-based Agrium Inc.

    The BLM manages the area where the mining will occur, while the Forest Service manages land that will receive waste materials. [...]

    Virginia Gillerman, an associate research geologist with the Idaho Geological Survey, said the area is rich in phosphate because it was once an 116,000-square-mile inland sea where organic material from fish, plants and small animals was deposited over a 5-million-year span about 265 million years ago.

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