Newsletter Fall 2016

Michael Kaye’s Summer Research

Michael Kaye’s Summer Research

This summer I was awarded the opportunity to conduct important biogeochemical field work for my senior thesis on the Lake Junin watershed located between the Eastern and Western Cordilleras in the Peruvian Andes.  The watershed occupies approximately 900 km2 of land and sits at about 4100 meters above sea level (Flusche et al., 2005).  I worked alongside my advisor, Professor David Gillikin and Professor Don Rodbell of the Union College geology department and fellow classmate and friend James Molloy.  This location was chosen because of Professor Rodbell’s experience leading teams of...

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Katherine Swager’s Summer Research

Katherine Swager’s Summer Research

This summer I spent 2 weeks in Dominica, Lesser Antilles, working in the field with Professor Holli Frey. We collected hundreds of pounds of rocks, as well as water samples from meteoric and hydrothermal streams throughout the island. Back on campus, I processed my samples for their chemistry, and analyzed apatite grains on the Scanning Electron Microscope. Further research will see to understand the complex cathodoluminescence zoning in apatite crystals, and to determine their halogen content to infer eruptive and magmatic processes. For the second half of my summer I participated in a...

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Julie Sophis Summer Research

Julie Sophis Summer Research

My senior thesis will focus on the provenance and thermal history of clastic rocks in the mélange unit of the Yakutat Group in Alaska through detrital zircon of clastic sediments. I spent the beginning portion of the summer in Yakutat Bay of southerneastern Alaska with three students headed by professors John Garver of Union, Cameron Davidson of Carleton College, and Eva Enkelmann of University of Cincinnati.  The fieldwork experience  was incredible and led to my desire to attend graduate school to continue studying geology.  Our field camp in the Alaskan bush lasted ten days and every day...

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Rupert Aranda’s Summer Experience

Rupert Aranda’s Summer Experience

    This past summer I spent over a month in Mexico studying Spanish and learning about the archaeology and history of Mexico and Central America. I took part in an intensive Spanish immersion program where I was able to meet many locals and learn about Mexico’s rich history. I spent time visiting some ruins of Mexico including Teotihuacán, Uxmal, and Mayapan. Earlier in the year, I also visited Guatemala, where I stayed with a host family at the base of Volcán San Pedro on Lake Atitlan. There, I worked on a lake conservation project that involved traveling to the many...

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Nolan Lescalleet’s Summer Keck Fellowship

Nolan Lescalleet’s Summer Keck Fellowship

I spent the majority of my summer conducting field work for my thesis in Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island. Port Renfrew is an inlet opening up into the Pacific Ocean along the western coast of Vancouver Island. It is a small fishing town that used to be a 1st nation reservation, which has since been greatly reduced in size. I’m researching the kinematics and movement of the San Juan fault – a greatly under-researched major fault on Vancouver Island, striking sub-east-west. Research included lots of mapping, driving, and hiking to find different outcrops and take samples and slickenline...

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Dan Meandro

Dan Meandro

Over the 2016 summer I had the opportunity to travel to the small volcanic island of Dominica, located in the lesser Antilles island arc, with professors Holli Frey and Matt Manon, and fellow thesis students Carli Aragosa, and Katherine Swager. While on the island our research consisted of taking around 100 water samples from multiple locations (hydrothermal and meteoric), in order to determine the chemical and isotopic differences between samples from across the island. This project will build upon data collected from previous years in order to view island wide trends that can indicate if...

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Ben Lucas’ Summer Research

Ben Lucas’ Summer Research

This summer, I went to Massachusetts for three field days with Prof. Kurt Hollocher to sample the Prescott Complex, a crosscutting pluton comprised of bimodal metamorphosed igneous rocks. The complex apparently cuts several Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian units in the Hodge Brook recumbent syncline, all of which underwent medium-pressure metamorphism during the Devonian Acadian orogeny. The purpose of this study is to try to determine magmatic provenance of the Prescott Complex, and resolve a potential age-dating conflict: the felsic part of the pluton, dated at 442 Ma, apparently...

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Alex Dolcimascolo

Alex Dolcimascolo

This summer I traveled to Yakutat, AK to research Cordilleran tectonic processes on the western margin of the United States. The Yakutat microplate currently has two basement rock units: 1) Eocene basalts; and 2) Cretaceous flysch and mélange. It is currently hypothesized that this terrane may be due to a collision and juxtaposition of the two basement units.  The Yakutat Bay and Russell Fjord area geology is very complex and consists of three distinctive fault-bounded blocks. The field team, which consisted of Professor John Garver from Union College, Professor Cameron Davidson from...

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Carli Aragosa

Carli Aragosa

I am a senior Geology major with a French minor. I started off my summer by traveling to Dominica for two weeks in with Professors Frey and Manon, Dan Meandro, Katherine Swager and our research team of 9 underclassmen geology majors.  We were able to collect almost 90 meteoric and hydrothermal water samples and explore hydrothermal areas on the island such as Sulfur Springs, Cold Soufriere, Wotton Wavon, Valley of Desolation and Boiling Lake. Once the field work was complete, I spent a week analyzing the water samples in the Geochemistry Lab at Union College. Once my samples were processed,...

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James Molloy’s Summer Research

James Molloy’s Summer Research

  This summer I kept my boots dirty over five weeks of fieldwork between three projects. Right after the school year ended, I traveled to the Junín Provence of Peru with Professors Donald Rodbell and David Gillikin, and fellow student Michael Kaye. In Peru, we conducted fieldwork for my thesis project, The Heavy Metal Soil Contamination of the Lake Junín Basin from Mine Tailings Dust, and Mike’s project,Biogeochemistry of High Andes Streams. Fieldwork included: setting dust traps and rainwater collectors, collecting soil samples, coordinating with volunteer citizen samplers, and...

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Alison Horst’s Summer Keck Fellowship

Alison Horst’s Summer Keck Fellowship

This summer I participated in a Keck Geology Research Project focused on the tectonic evolution of the Salinian Block in central California. The fieldwork component was spent camping in Big Sur, where we collected rock samples and became familiar with the Santa Lucia Mountain ranges. The second portion of the project was spent in St. Paul, Minnesota at Macalester College doing lab work preparing the samples to be analyzed. My project focuses on the schist of the Sierra de Salinas and in particular dating and radiation damage in zircons from the schist. To get the zircon grains to where they...

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