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UW-Eau Claire students, faculty present research at national geology conference

December 12, 2013
UW-Eau Claire students Ellen Buelow and Xai Her at their poster during the Geological Society of America conference.

EAU CLAIRE — Ten University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students and eight faculty members attended the 125th annual Geological Society of America meeting in October in Denver, Colo. The conference drew more than 8,000 attendees from universities across the country and the globe. Individuals from UW-Eau Claire presented and co-authored nine student presentations and seven faculty presentations.

Ellyn Swenson, a junior geology major from Osceola, presented and was the first author for "The Role of Ferrihydrite in the Transport and Bioaccessibility of Ni, Pb, As and Cd in Water, Soil and Air Particulates in a Variety of Metal Contaminated Environments." Dr. Robert Hooper, professor of geology, was a co-author.

Swenson, who gave an oral presentation of her research, said, "The feedback I received after my presentation was really helpful, and I was able to meet people working at different graduate schools who were very interested in my research. It was a full circle moment, realizing that those dark hours in the lab during sunny summer days do pay off and that people really care about what you are doing."

Scott Wipperfurth, a senior geology major from Sauk City, said that presenting at the conference also gave him networking experience.

"For someone going to graduate school and hoping to enter academia, it was an awesome experience," Wipperfurth said. "I attended numerous talks, got information from businesses and universities and made connections that I otherwise wouldn't have made."

The following UW-Eau Claire individuals also presented at the conference. Co-authors from other institutions are not listed:

  • Dr. J. Brian Mahoney, professor of geology, senior Samantha Taylor, a geology major from Roscoe, Ill., and 2009 alumna Elizabeth Balgord, originally of Madison, presented "Neoproterozoic to Cambrian Passive Margin? Evidence for Active Tectonism During the Sauk Transgression in Central Idaho and Montana."
  • Dr. Harry Jol, professor of geography and anthropology, and Sean Morrison, a senior geography major from River Falls, presented "GPR Imaging of Coastal Sedimentary Deposits Along the Lake Superior Shoreline of the Huron Mountains, Michigan, USA."
  • Ellen Buelow, a senior geology major from New Holstein, Xai Her, a senior geology major from Eau Claire, and Dr. Scott Clark, assistant professor of geology, presented "Scientists as Media Resources in the Aftermath of Disasters: Trends in News Coverage Following Two Devastating Tsunamis."
  • Her, Buelow and Clark presented "The Role of Proximity in How Individuals Describe Natural Disasters: Analysis of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami."
  • Samuel Castonguay, visiting assistant lecturer of geology, presented "New Mapping in the Amargosa Chaos, Death Valley National Park: Multiphase Deformation, Iron Oxide-Copper-Gold ± U ± LREE Deposit, and the Amargosa Fault."
  • Mahoney, Taylor, Dr. Geoffrey Pignotta, assistant professor of geology, Dr. Phillip Ihinger, professor of geology, and April Leistikow, a senior geology major from Hartford, presented "Advanced Undergraduate Geologic Mapping: The Use of Collaborative EDMAP Projects at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire."
  • Pignotta also presented "Magmatic Through Mylonitic Fabric Evolution in Arcs During Coeval Plutonism, Volcanism and Regional Deformation: Examples From North American Cordilleran Batholiths."
  • Christopher Stovern, a senior geology and chemistry double major from Poplar, Hooper and Swenson presented "Minor and Trace Element Analysis Using Analytical Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)."
  • Joel Smith, a senior geology and biology double major from Duluth, Minn., Deborah Freund, lecturer of biology and Clark presented "The Charles Darwin Research Station, Galapagos: Recommendations for Improving Financial Stability Through Public Outreach."
  • Wipperfurth, Todd Lindblad, a 2013 alumnus originally of Eau Claire, Aleisha Johnson, a senior geology major from Lino Lakes, Minn., and Ihinger presented "Tracking Growth Evolution in Contemporaneous Hydrothermal Quartz: High Resolution FTIR Characterization of Crystals Sampled at Windgallenhutte, Switzerland."
  • Johnson, Lindblad, Wipperfurth and Ihinger also presented "Chemical Fingerprint of Hydrothermal Quartz Crystals Sampled Along a Traverse Across the Swiss Alps."
  • Mahoney presented "Cause and Effect: Late Cretaceous Tectonic Inversion and Basin History in the Southern Canadian Cordillera."
  • Kelsey Franko, a senior geology major from Fall Creek, and Dr. Katherine Grote, associate professor of geology, presented "Estimation of Near-Surface Soil Density Using Electrical and Electromagnetic Geophysical Techniques."
  • Clark and Andrea Holm, a senior geology major from Elk Mound, presented "The Role of Extreme Weather in the Media's Attention to Climate Change."
  • Lindsey Lepak, a senior geology major from Stanley, Beth Wenell, a 1999 alumna and Mahoney presented "Chemical Weathering in Heterogeneous Schist Bedrock."

 More information about the Geological Society of America meeting is available online..



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