Olivia DrakeApril 1, 20132min
Ellen Alexander '14, Professor Joop Varekamp and graduate student Lauren Camfield recently returned from Argentina where they studied the eruptive products of the Copahue volcano March 7-March 19. Varekamp, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science, professor of environmental studies, has studied the volcano since 1997. It erupted in 2000 and again in December 2012. "Many Wesleyan students have done their senior theses and grad theses on Copahue. It's exciting stuff for us volcanology types," Varekamp said. Camfield sampled the products of the most recent eruption of Copahue, which included ash, pumice and volcanic bombs. She will analyze her samples…

Olivia DrakeNovember 2, 20122min
The Wesleyan Weather Station recorded a strong drop in local air pressure during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29. According to the weather report, the local sea-level barometric pressure was a normal 760 mmHg (millimeters of Mercury) on Oct. 28. When Hurricane Sandy passed through Wesleyan's campus on Oct. 29, the pressure dropped to a low of 733 mmHg during the storm's peak. "Low pressure generally indicates stormy conditions whereas high pressure is associated with fair weather," explains Johan "Joop" Varekamp, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science. "We tend to only see the barometer drop this low in the…

Olivia DrakeOctober 22, 20124min
(Story contributed by Jim H. Smith) Senior thesis research conducted last spring by Audrey Haynes '12 at Costa Rica’s National University, under the tutorship of Johan “Joop” Varekamp, has shown that many residents of the Central American nation have levels of mercury in their hair that far exceed those recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Varekamp, whose student made the discovery as part of a broad evaluation of environmental mercury in Costa Rica, says the elevated mercury levels are probably a consequence of over-consumption of large ocean fish, not exposure to mercury in the air emitted by volcanoes, as…

David PesciNovember 2, 20114min
Six Wesleyan researchers, including a graduate student, were authors or co-authors of papers chosen for presentation at this year’s annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 9-12. It is the largest annual meeting of the preeminent scientific association in the geologic and earth science fields. Johan Varekamp, Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Sciences, professor of earth and environmental sciences, presented two papers. The first, “Wethersfield Cove, Hartford, Conn. – A 300 Year Urban Pollution Record,” detailed a study of the sedimentary record of the cove, which revealed unusually high levels of Mercury. The…

Olivia DrakeMarch 1, 20111min
Wesleyan’s College of the Environment has appointed faculty members Johan “Joop” Varekamp, Clark Maines, Vijay Pinch and Elise Springer as 2011-12 fellows. The fellows will gather with other Wesleyan scholars and undergraduate students for a year-long academic "Think Tank" on a critical environmental issue. The 2011-12 topic is "Water’s Past, Water’s Future." The aim of the Think Tank is not only to generate a deeper understanding of the thematic issue, but also to produce scholarly works that will influence national and international thinking and action on the issue. Scholars and students in the think tank are expected to produce scholarly (more…)

Olivia DrakeMarch 1, 20111min
Johan "Joop" Varekamp, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science, professor of environmental studies, was elected as president of the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE). The CFE is an organization of environmental advocacy, habitat restoration and outreach with about 20 staff members. Its mission is to protect and improve the land, air and water of Connecticut and Long Island Sound by using legal and scientific expertise and by bringing people together to achieve results that benefit the environment for current and future generations.  

Olivia DrakeMarch 1, 20111min
Johan “Joop” Varekamp, the Harold T. Stearns Professor of Earth Science, professor of environmental studies, is the co-editor of a special issue of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, titled Continental Margin Volcanism. He's also the co-author of an article titled "Back-arc basalts from the Loncopue graben (Province of Neuquen, Argentina)," which is published in the special issue.

Olivia DrakeNovember 30, 20091min
Johan Varekamp, the Harold T. Stearns Professor in Earth Science, and Ellen Thomas, research professor of earth and environmental sciences, presented papers at the Estuaries and Coasts in a Changing World conference of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation in Portland, Ore. Nov. 1-5. Their talks were titled "Proxies for Eutrophication in Long Island Sound" and " Hypoxia in Long Island Sound - Since When and Why."