2018 Chair’s Note

The leaves are turning and we’ve turned on the heat, so that means it’s time for the annual newsletter, with the fall Geological Society of America and American Geophysical Meetings just around the corner in November (Indianapolis) and December (Washington D.C.), respectively. The department continues to be vibrant and active, with students engaged in research projects with fieldwork around the globe and utilizing world-class instrumentation here at Union to analyze their samples. Our Geology Club was particularly active this year, spearheading our fall picnic at Prof. Rodbell’s house, the senior picnic send-off, outreach events at local science festivals and schools, and the ever-popular Dinner and Disasters movie nights once a term.
In terms of personnel, we said goodbye to Sarah Katz, lab technician in the stable isotope and core lab for the last two years. Sarah came to us after graduating from Colgate and quickly became an indispensable part of the research team, handling the
day-to-day running of the lab. Sarah is off to a PhD program at the University of Michigan. She will be missed, but the lab is now in the capable hands of Maddie Miller, a recent graduate of SUNY New Paltz. Welcome Maddie!
The faculty continue to be very research active and productive, earning several professional accolades, as documented throughout this newsletter. David Gillikin was promoted to full professor. In addition, he was named as a GSA Fellow, along with Kurt Hollocher. Dave was also the recipient of two NSF grants; one for studying Antarctic scallops as a proxy for sea-ice change and a second for documenting climate change in the Mediterranean region over the last 2.5 kyr. John Garver continues his NSF sponsored research in Alaska and directed another Keck project in the region. John also co-hosted the Mo-hawk Watershed Symposium for the the tenth time and this year will have a new co-host in Jacqueline Smith. Jacquie is currently working in the Mohawk and Hudson watershed on microplastics, with a grant
Chair’s Note
from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Also working in the local watersheds is Mason Stahl, who received funding from the Bender Scientific Foundation to study the role of river mixing on carbon cycling in the Capital Region. Mason also received funding from the USGS Powell Center to study the global variability of groundwater arsenic. Don Rodbell is wrap-ping up his NSF funded research on Lake Junin and is in the midst of synthesizing all the data and writing manuscripts. I’ve also been wrapping up some long-term research in Dominica and published a paper in the October issue of Geology. All in all, not a bad year!
We hope you enjoy the newsletter. We all (faculty, staff, and students) truly love what we do and hopefully we can convey that passion to you. Part of what we love is the connections we’ve made over the years with students. If you’re an alum, drop us a note or a paragraph to include in the next newsletter. We’d love to hear from you!
-Holli Frey

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