Matt Manon

The family atop the fire tower on Blue Mountain, in the Adirondacks.

Hello Union Alumni!
It has been another busy, fulfilling year teaching and working in the geology department. An especial highlight of teaching this past year was leading the lab section for geochronology, which allowed the students to take a rock sample from the Tunk Lake pluton in Maine through the process of obtaining a radiometric age, taking part in every step along the way. This meant a lot of mineral separation (including liquid nitrogen), some careful zircon picking and lots of SEM characterization.
It was once again a treat to work with students on many different thesis research projects. In all, I got to help with 13 different projects this year and I’m always amazed at the breadth of research our students undertake. For example, with Alison Horst we were able to get stunning color CL images out of the Horiba system on the new SEM, and different colors seem to correspond to different age zones and possible metamorphic events. We had another productive trip to the University of Arizona Laserchron Center, for a week this time, with John Garver, Cam Davidson and six students.
I worked very closely with Nolan Lescaleet ‘17, who undertook kinematic analysis of the San Juan Fault on Vancouver Island by analyzing numerous slicks as part of a Keck project with Kristin Morell and Tom Gardener. As his thesis advisor at Union it was a pleasure to see him come back from the field as an expert with a Brunton, and a passion for structural geology. As a result, he was a really excellent TA for the structural geology class in the Spring. In support of Nolan, I was fortunate to attend the 30th and final Keck symposium at Wesleyan, which brought back fond memories of the 15th symposium at Amherst back when I was a student myself. I also returned to Austin, TX for the second biennial North American Workshop on Laser Ablation, which has so far been a great venue to learn about both the earliest and the latest innovations in laser ablation, making the lab at Union that much more more productive.
This summer was an incredibly busy and productive one, as Holli went back to Dominica, this time as the leader of a 16 person Keck Frontier project. After two weeks in the field all of the students came back to the labs here at Union, to acquire the data they’d need for their senior theses. With some great student effort, and some late nights we had the ICP-MS, the ICs, the XRD and the SEM all rolling along at the same time, and everyone managed to get the data they needed to write up AGU abstracts, where they will present this year in lieu of the Keck symposium.
On the personal front, our two daughters Natalie (age 6) and Zoe (age 4) continue to grow into well rounded porphyroblasts. Natalie has gone through a year of kindergarten and is now a devoted reader, staying up way too late at night. Zoe is counting everything in sight and will surely be solving the diffusion equation any day now. The two love playing together, and getting out into the field for hikes, the more rocks the better. I wish you all the best. Don’t fail to stop by if you’re ever in the area.

On the structure trip, does Nolan Lescaleet observe the reduction spots in slate, the enormous fold hinge or just Lake Bomoseen, VT?

Skip to toolbar