Matt Manon


It has been another exciting, productive year here at Union. As ever, I am energized by the passion and hard work of our Union geology students. It was a great pleasure to work with Andres Gallego this year on his senior thesis, making a long-awaited return to studying slightly metamorphosed sediments from Greece that just happen to be blueschists. After many late nights probing chlorites and chloritoids and phengites (oh my) on the SEM in the lab downstairs, Andres did us all proud by giving a killer talk at NEGSA in March. It has been a year for do-ing more local fieldwork, as this summer I journeyed into the Adirondacks with Matt Cole and Drake McDonough on a quest for some nice gneiss (doesn’t work as well in print) to bring home, for Matt to find some zircons that we can ablate on the new ICP.
Stay tuned! (In this case, it’s best to tune to a high mass). More recently, I got to attend a trip partially led by our very own Kaitlyn Suarez, where she did an excellent job presenting her ongoing graduate work (at UMass) at the joint NYSGA-NEIGC field conference in Lake George this October. Another highlight was our recent trip to the American Museum of Natural History, in NYC. Mollie Pope, who did an internship probing apatites at the museum last summer, arranged this trip to meet her advisor, Nicholas Tailby, who took us on a romantic tour of Central Park in the rain. Glacial striations, isoclinal folds and migmatitic biotite abounded. Talk about Autumn in New York! We also got to go behind the tail of the Titanosaurus to visit the electron microprobe and experimental petrology lab at the museum. Those of you lucky enough to join us on one of our many field seasons to Dominica will be happy to learn the first of many papers from our work there was released into the wild this October. If you are at GSA in Indianapolis, you could go hear Holli talk about it!
We said a bittersweet goodbye to our faithful Elan ICP, but the Agilent 8900 arrived in December, and many of us have been spending time getting to know the ins and outs of this new instrument. With a quadrupole mass-filter both before and after the collision cell, and four cell gasses to choose from, there are many possibilities opening before us. We can measure As, we can measure Cl, we can react away
oxides of rare earth elements, we can measure Pb, without Hg interference. And yes, I can report that many of us now even know how to turn the instrument on! In related news, the NSF-major research instrumentation grant funded a collaborative proposal between chemistry, physics, engineering and geology to replace our work-horse powder XRD. So, next time the mineralogy class synthesizes salt solid-solutions (sss), we can analyze them in style. Stay tuned!
In family news, Zoe has graduated from daycare, and is now attending full time kindergarten. If you can remember before Natalie (who is already in second grade) was born, that makes you older than you used to be. As part of a week-long camping trip, they each hiked Mount Phelps this summer, their first peak over 1219.2 m! Stay in touch all. Can’t wait to see you next time you’re in town, whether it’s mine or yours.

Matthew Cole hunting for metamorphic zircon at Bennie’s Brook slide, Adirondacks

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