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Thursdays at the U to feature UW-Eau Claire geology research team

| Linda Tollefsrud

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Barron, Rusk and Chippewa counties showcases spectacular glacial landforms. The Ice Age Trail Alliance commissioned a research team from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to study the glacial geology of the region and produce materials to be published in a future interpretive guide.

Team members Dr. Kent Syverson, a professor of geology and environmental science at UW-Eau Claire, and students Makenzie Sedlacek and Jackson Avery White will share results of their research and explain the origin of the glacial landforms during Thursdays at the U April 6 at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County.

The presentation will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall in Ritzinger Hall and will be livestreamed at

They will focus on features along the proposed “Dreamer Segment” of the Ice Age Trail in the Blue Hills, including the origin of the Blue Hills Felsenmeer. 

Sedlacek, a sophomore from Eagan, Minnesota, and White, a senior from Burnsville, Minnesota, are geology majors with an environmental science emphasis. They have conducted research on this project since summer 2022.

Syverson has conducted glacial geology research with UW-Eau Claire students in Maine and Wisconsin. In addition to the Ice Age Trail project, other areas have included the Chippewa Moraine and Straight Lake State Park. He also mapped the glacial geology of Chippewa County for the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. In 2012 Syverson received UW-Eau Claire’s Excellence in Teaching Award and, in 2020, his book “Adventures in Glacier Bay” was published.

The Thursdays at the U weekly series is free and open to the public thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation. Neither seating reservations nor parking permits are needed for campus guests. In addition to the livestream option, the recordings are archived on the Thursdays at the U webpage.

The next presentation in the series will be Thursday, April 13, with Paul Kluge presenting “Vietnam: The War’s Setup Story.”

For more information about the series, call the campus at 715-788-6244 or email Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, the series organizer, at