Hobart Students to Present Work at National Geological Society Meeting – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Hobart Students to Present Work at National Geological Society Meeting

Geneva, N.Y.—Four Hobart College students will present research at the 36th annual meeting of the Northeastern Section of the Geological Society of America, held March 12 through 14 in Burlington, Vt. Seniors Micah Nicolo, Timothy Riley, and Jon Amsterdam, and first-year student Peter Beaulieu will be accompanied by Professors John Halfman, Leah Joseph, Suzanne Orrell, and Don Woodrow of the geoscience department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, as well as Charles McClennen, of the geology department at Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y.

Micah Nicolo, from Horseheads, N.Y., will present his work on climate transition during the mid-Holocene period. His study analyzed the high-resolution seismic profiles and piston cores of sediment from Seneca Lake collected aboard the research vessel HWS Explorer. His findings suggest that climate abruptly changed after or near the mid-Holocene maximum summer insulation and affected sediment erosion and deposition.

Timothy Riley, from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, tested the HWS Data Logger for accuracy, precision, and suitability. The HWS Data Logger was developed by students and professors in the geoscience department as a small, inexpensive device to detect, digitize, and store voltage output readings from field studies. The Logger was tested for hydrological studies, using seven subwatersheds within or near the Seneca Lake Watershed of Central N.Y. In this test it measured stream stage and ion, nutrient, pesticide, and discharge levels.

Jon Amsterdam, from Wilmington, Del., studied barometry in kinzigitic gneisses (gneiss rock containing quartz, plagioclase, perthite, garnet, biotite, and sillimanite) in the southeastern Adirondacks of Whitehall, N.Y. His detailed microprobe analysis of the kinzigite to determine pressures showed data that may be evidence in favor of Whitney's anticlockwise metamorphic P-T (pressure-temperature) time path for the region (an increase of P towards the peak, with an initial stage of cooling at uniform [or perhaps still increasing] P).

Peter Beaulieu, from Ocean Park, Maine, obtained side scan sonar records of the near shore of eastern Lake Ontario as part of the Eastern Lake Ontario Sand Transport Study to provide a basis for development of a shoreline management plan. The records show a sand sheet, which laps on the bedrock, and give evidence that wave-generated currents moving the sand generate low-relief bedforms both parallel and perpendicular to shore.

The Hobart and William Smith geoscience department encourages students to involve themselves in research projects and paper presentations beyond the HWS campus. Many class and independent study projects result in presentations at national meetings and/or publications in national and international journals. The department prides itself in providing the opportunity for students to become part of the international geological community and for them to experience possible career paths.

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