Tag Archive for Earth and Environmental Sciences

Article by Resor, Meer ’06 Accepted in Earth and Planetary Science Letters

Phillip Resor, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, and Vanessa Meer '06, are co-authors on a paper titled “Slip heterogeneity on a corrugated fault," to be published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters in December. In 2005, Royer, Marie Brophy '07, pictured in foreground, and Meer (pictured in background) scanned a fault in Greece using a reflectorless total station in the field. Meer and Dana Royer returned in 2006 to rescan with a newer instrument. The paper builds on Meer's honor thesis work in Greece.

Phillip Resor, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, and Vanessa Meer ’06, are co-authors on a paper titled “Slip heterogeneity on a corrugated fault,” to be published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters in December. In 2005, Resor, Marie Brophy ’07, pictured in foreground, and Meer (pictured in background) scanned a fault in Greece using a reflectorless total station in the field. Meer and Resor returned in 2006 to rescan with a newer instrument. The paper builds on Meer’s honor thesis work in Greece.

Faculty, Students Present Work at Geological Society Meeting

Several Wesleyan faculty, graduate students and alumni participated in the 2009 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting Oct. 18-21 in Portland, Ore.

Suzanne O’Connell, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, director of the Service Learning Center, presented a research poster and delivered a presentation titled “Techniques and Tools for Effective Recruitment, Retention and promotion of Women and Minorities in the Geosciences.” She spoke about the grant-funded organization Geoscience Academics in the Northeast (GAIN), which was established to build a community of academic geoscience women within a small geographic area.

Johan Varekamp, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science, professor of earth and environmental sciences, presented an abstract of his research titled “Twelve Years of Element Flux Measurements at Copahue Volcano.” He spoke about measuring water fluxes and river water compositions on the volcano for the last 12 years including a magmatic eruption period in 2000.

Varekamp and Ellen Thomas, research professor of earth and environmental sciences, presented the paper “Natural and Human Impacts on the Evolution of Block Island, RI.” Sarah Gillig ’09, Emma Kravet ’09 and Conor Veeneman ’09 also contributed to the paper.

Dana Royer, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, gave a talk titled “Leaf Economic Traits from Fossils Support a Weedy Origin for Angiosperms.” Royer explained how many key aspects of early angiosperms are poorly known. By studying leaf economic traits such as photosynthetic rate and leaf lifespan, Royer concludes that early Cretaceous landscapes were populated with weedy angiosperms with short lived leaves.

Royer’s former post-doc Dan Peppe and Maria Gabriela Doria Ramirez M.A. ’09 gave a talk. McNair Fellow Sofia Oliver ’10 attended and co-authored Peppe’s paper.

Earth and Environmental Sciences major James Rea ’09, who currently works at the Cascade Volcano Observatory, presented his work on “Regional Magmatic Setting of Callaqui Volcano (S-Andes, Chile).” Rea samples several rocks from lava flows, scoria cones and dikes around the volcano for trace elements, mineral chemistry and radiogenic isotope compositions.

Earth and Environmental Sciences graduate student Tristan Kading presented a similar abstract titled “Copahue Volcano, Argentina: Introducing ‘Extreme Environments’ on Earth to High School Students” and “Lake Caviahue, Argentina as a Source-Sink for Volcanic Arsenic and Phosphorus.”  Kadding has spoke to local high school students about field work in the small village of Caviahue. The talks highlight the nature of geological field work while touching on some important basic concepts in earth science.

Other attendees included Peter Patton, professor and chair of earth and environmental sciences and Emma Mendelsohn ’10.

Grad student Bennum Honored by Petroleum Geologists

Earth and environmental sciences graduate student George Bennum ’08 received an honorable mention for his student research poster titled “3D Modeling of Synsedimentary Faults in the Capitan Reef, Guadalupe Mountains, NM/TX” at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists “Rocky Mountain Rendezvous of Geoscience Students and Employers.” Phil Resor, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences, is Bennum’s advisor.

Blakemore ’65 Speaks on Psychologies of Global Warming

Bill Blakemore '65, an ABC News Correspondent, will speak on "The Many Psychologies of Global Warming," during a talk at 8 p.m. Nov. 3 in Memorial Chapel.

Bill Blakemore '65, an ABC News Correspondent, will speak on "The Many Psychologies of Global Warming," during a talk at 8 p.m. Nov. 3 in Memorial Chapel.

Four weeks before the nations meet in Copenhagen to try to avert the catastrophes that global warming may bring, ABC News Correspondent William Blakemore ’65 will identify many surprising psychological factors at play as people in all walks of life deal with the latest “hard news” on climate.

Blakemore will speak on “The Many Psychologies of Global Warming,” during a talk at 8 p.m. Nov. 3 in Memorial Chapel.

He’ll explore new definitions of sanity that may pertain, and give examples displaying different “psychologies, as well as manmade global warming’s place in “the long history of narcissistic insults to humanity itself.”

Two new time-line graphs of rapid and dangerous climate change will give fresh global context to the psychological challenges and experiences he has observed in the five years since he began focusing on global warming for ABC News.

Computer modelers trying to project the speed and severity of global warming’s advance often say that “the biggest unknown” in their equations is not data about ice or atmosphere, carbon or clouds, but “what the humans will do.” This talk probes that field and many states of mind already engaged.

The talk is sponsored by the Wasch Center for Retired Faculty, Department of Psychology, and the Robert Schumann Lecture Series in the Environmental Studies Program.

A follow-up discussion will be held at 4 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Wasch Center on Lawn Ave.

Freshwater Resources Topic of Where On Earth Are We Going Symposium

Patrick Osborne

Patrick Osborne, executive director of the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, will speak on climate change during the Where on Earth Are We Going symposium Nov. 7.

During the last 50 years, humans have degraded rivers and lakes through excessive water abstraction, pollution and by over-harvesting aquatic organisms. River flow has been impeded by dams, and floodplains have been converted for agriculture and urban areas.

The human population has doubled to nearly 7 billion and, per capita water availability has declined on all continents. During the past 50 years, global climate change has further impacted water resources.

On Nov. 7, three climate experts will speak on “Global Environmental Change And Freshwater Resources: Hope For The Best Or Change To Prepare For The Worst?” during the annual Where On Earth Are We Going? Symposium. The event is sponsored by the Robert Schumann Lecture Series in the Environmental Studies Program.

At 9 a.m., Patrick L. Osborne, executive director of the Harris World Ecology Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will look at ways climate change and global warming have altered river and lake function and the water resources on which humans rely. He has 30 years experience in tropical ecology research, education and environmental consultancy and was the head of the biology department at the University of Papua New Guinea and deputy director of the Water Research Center at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.

At 10:15 a.m., Frank H. McCormick, program manager of Air, Water and Aquatic Environments at the Rocky Mountain Research Station,

Filmmaker Speaks to Wesleyan About Water Crisis

Eco-activist. filmmaker and reality television star Shalini Kantayya spoke about the global water crisis during Wesleyan’s Earth Day Celebration April 15. Her production company, 7th Empire Media, is committed to using media to give a powerful voice to the unheard.

Kantayya captured the attention of the nation during the television series “On the Lot,” a reality show created by Steven Spielberg for the purpose of finding Hollywood’s next great director. Out of over 12,000 filmmakers, Kantayya was the only woman to finish in the top 10.

(Photos by Alexandra Portis ’09)

Varekamp Watching Alaskan Volcano Closely

Ascending eruption cloud from the Mount Redoubt volcano in 1990 as viewed to the west from the Kenai Peninsula. The mushroom-shaped plume rose from avalanches of hot debris that cascaded down the north flank of the volcano. A smaller, white steam plume rises from the summit crater. (Photo by R. Clucas)

Ascending eruption cloud from the Mount Redoubt volcano in 1990 as viewed to the west from the Kenai Peninsula. The mushroom-shaped plume rose from avalanches of hot debris that cascaded down the north flank of the volcano. A smaller, white steam plume rises from the summit crater. (Photo by R. Clucas)

About 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, the ground around Mount Redoubt has begun to shake and a smell akin to rotten eggs tinges the air. The last time this happened the 10,197-foot volcano erupted for five months, venting hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide gas and spewing ash into the air. Professor Johan Varekamp remembers it well. He was among scientists who analyzed the direct effects of the 1989-1990 eruption.

The ash he examined was ejected more than 40,000 feet into the sky; the resulting ashfall covered nearly 8,000 square miles of the surrounding landscape.

“As is often quoted in the newspapers, ash is an unpleasant substance for human lungs as well as jet engines, given the sharp edges of small glassy ash fragments,” says Varekamp, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science, who studies volcanoes and their effects. “Inhalation of volcanic ash leads to lung irritation and possibly lung damage. It is often compared to silicosis, which is a lung condition that many workers

‘Father of Environmental Justice’ Keynote at MLK Celebration

Robert D. Bullard.

Robert D. Bullard.

Robert D. Bullard, a leading authority regarding environmental justice and the author of Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality, will lead the Celebration of the Life of Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. keynote address. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 27 in Memorial Chapel.

Bullard is the Ware Distinguished Professor of Sociology and director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. Prior to joining the faculty at CAU in 1994, he served as a professor of sociology at the University of California, Riverside, as well as visiting professor in Center for Afro-American Studies at the University of California Los Angeles. His scholarship has distinguished him as one of the leading experts on environmental justice and race and the environment. He is one of the planners of the First and Second National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit.

“Robert Bullard, an activist and academic, is considered to be the father of environmental justice,” says Suzanne O’Connell, associate professor and chair of earth and environmental sciences, director of the Service Learning Center and member of the MLK celebration Planning Committee. “We’re very honored to have someone of his stature speak

NASA Grant to Fund Study on Venus’s Landscape

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Holding a globe model of the planet Venus, Martha Gilmore, associate professor of earth and environmental science, and Phil Resor, assistant professor of earth and environmental science, will study an area on Venus that contains the oldest rocks on the planet’s surface. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

Thanks to NASA, two Earth and Environmental Science faculty are going to spend the better part of their next three summers on Venus looking at volcanoes and mountain ranges.

Specifically, Martha Gilmore, associate professor of earth and environment science, and Phillip Resor, assistant professor of earth and environmental science, will be using a three-year NASA grant to examine an area of Venus called the Tellus Regio, which is contains some of the oldest rocks on the planet’s surface.

“It’s an area of interest for two reasons, primarily,” says Gilmore, who has done work on Mars and Venus missions, among others for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). “First, it’s an area that is high on NASA’s list of

Thomas Published in Science Magazine

Ellen Thomas, research professor of earth and environmental sciences, is a co-author of an article on the “long record of the Ca-isotope composition of seawater,” published in Science Magazine Dec. 15.

Wesleyan, Community Design Festive Greens

The Center for Community Partnerships hosted a "Green Your Holiday" craft event Dec. 6 for the Wesleyan staff, faculty and students and the local community. Volunteer Shelia Gray Smith, at left, taught participants how to make festive centerpieces using fresh pine greens.

The Center for Community Partnerships (CCP) hosted a "Green Your Holiday" craft event Dec. 6 for the Wesleyan staff, faculty and students and the local community. Volunteer Sheila Graham Smith, at left, taught participants how to make festive centerpieces using fresh pine greens. Elisa Del Valle, assistant director of student activities and leadership development, is pictured at right.

Thomas Paper Designated as ’Current Classic’

A paper by Ellen Thomas was identified as one of the most highly cited papers in the field of geosciences.

A paper co-authored by Ellen Thomas, research professor of earth and enviornmental sciences, titled “Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate 65 Ma to present,” published in Science, 292, in 2001, has been identified by Thomson Reuters Scientific’s Essential Science Indicators as one of the most highly cited papers in field of geosciences, and has been designated as a “Current Classic” for October 2008.

For more information go to: http://sciencewatch.com/dr/cc/08-octcc/’Article.