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Students Work Closely with GPR Expert on Summer Research Projects

RELEASED: June 30, 2005

GPR survey at Hapuna Beach
UW-Eau Claire researchers conducted GPR surveys at Hapuna Beach, Hawaii, on a previous excursion.

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire faculty are known for involving students in their research projects, and geography professor Harry Jol is no exception. Jol is an expert in the use of ground penetrating radar and uses it in many fields of the earth sciences, particularly geomorphology, sedimentology and more recently archaeology.

This summer five students will accompany him on projects in Israel, Spain and Upper Michigan, as well as an ongoing project on Half Moon Lake in Eau Claire.

Jenifer Bode, a senior geography major from Bemidji, Minn., will accompany Jol to Israel July 3-18 to work on archeology digs in Bethsaida, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Yavne, the birthplace of Rabbinic Judaism and its port, Yavne Yam.

In Bethsaida, home to several apostles and a wife of King David, they will do surveys for future excavation projects, Jol said. In Jesus' hometown of Nazareth, where a new archaeological dig is beginning based on surveys from 2002 and 2003, they will survey a new site.

"In Jerusalem a survey is tentatively scheduled at the Western Wall to deal with several questions of what is behind the wall," Jol said.

They will present research findings at a conference at the Beit Allong Museum in Galilee and the recently renovated Shrine of the Book (Israel Museum) in Jerusalem.

From Israel they will travel to Spain, where they'll participate in a geoarchaeological study in the north central community of Burgos. They will search below the ruins of a church for a Jewish synagogue and ghetto.

In early August, geography majors Susan Johnson of Cornell and Theresa Lenon of Waupaca will accompany Jol to Michigan where they'll work on a geomorphic project in the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula with Walter Loope of the U.S. Geological Survey.

"We're assisting with a large scale earth science project that's fine-tuning the lake level history of Lake Superior and determining what these changes did to the landscape," Jol said.

Senior geography majors Neil Trombly of Eau Claire and Craig Sternberg of Prairie du Sac, along with Doug Faulkner, an associate professor of geography, are assisting with a project that recently began on Half Moon Lake in Eau Claire. They are looking at the lake depth and thickness of the sediment to help determine how the saw mills of yesteryear contributed to the lake's current condition. In addition, Jol said, they are looking for large submerged logs.

Jol, who has a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada), has been to more than 1,000 sites in North America, Europe and Israel to collect GPR data and has extensive experience in deltaic and coastal environments. He frequently collaborates with other researchers. Funding has come from various sources ranging from federal to state agencies as well as private industry and academic research institutes. His students often receive collaborative research grants from UW-Eau Claire's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

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JW/JB

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