William Smith Senior Wins Rochester Academy of Science Grant – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

William Smith Senior Wins Rochester Academy of Science Grant

Maximum award given for research to understand current and future climate changes
(Feb. 16, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y. – William Smith senior Caitlin Rogers recently received a grant from the Rochester Academy of Science (RAS) for her proposal titled “Got Varves? Reconstructing Holocene Climate Change in Seneca Lake, N.Y.” This funding will help support laboratory work for her honors project in geoscience under the direction of Assistant Professor of Geoscience Tara Curtin. Rogers and Curtin presented their research at a conference of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, Calif., last December.

Rogers' research explores laminated sediment, which provides a detailed but indirect record of climate spanning the last 14,000 years. Specifically, Rogers is measuring the grain size of sediment from two five-meter cores at a centimeter-by-centimeter interval in order to estimate the amount of energy available for sediment transport into the lake.

This information will help her to identify past events such as changes in lake level and storms. Records such as this are critical to our understanding of current and future climate changes because they provide perspective on the trends and magnitude of climate change observed today.

“Other attendees at the AGU conference were amazed that I'm doing this kind of research–and have the resources to do it and people to push me along–at the undergraduate level,” says Rogers.

The Rochester Academy of Science described Rogers proposal as “the best proposal submitted” and granted her its maximum award. She received $476 towards her honors project which will be used for radio carbon dating. Rogers also received a $50 unrestricted reward.

Rogers, of Concord, N.H., is the daughter of James and Denise Rogers.