1 KSU DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGY STUDENT BULLETIN Vol. 10, Winter 2010 WELCOME BACK TO A NEW YEAR WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT! Hopefully everyone had a relaxing and pleasant Winter Break and a good beginning to another semester chock full of geology! Congratulations on surviving the last one! Take a moment to check out the fresh-faced geology website at for info on opportunities within the department for students or feel free to apprehend any geology student organization officer! Note these Dates! Dr. Lisa Pratt (Feb. 25 and 26) Professor of Geological Sciences at Indiana University and Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Speaker Spring Banquet (April 29) NEW The KSGS T-shirts, Polos and Hoodies are officially on sale! And all proceeds go to undergraduate scholarships! Whether you re a Geology major or someone who just collects pebbles, these pieces of merchandise can dress the entire family. Dress up your squeeze or annoying little brother, these duds will make any outfit completely unique. So stop on by the Coffee Table or kidnap a KSGS officer, because once these t- shirts are gone, they re extinct!!! Prices T-shirts: $12 Polos: $18 Hoodies: $27 DID YOU KNOW? THIS PAST SUMMER we bid adieu to two professors who retired: our mastermind-behindit-all, Dr. Richard Heimlich and our man of the X-rays, Dr. Ernest Carlson. Both emeriti faculty are still hanging around the department though; Dr. Heimlich is making a flurry of phone-calls and s tracking down many of our lost geologist alumni, and Dr. Carlson is working on the finishing touches for a new edition of his classic Minerals of Ohio book. Both professors may appear inordinately busy but they always seem to make time to visit with and answer questions of wandering undergrad questions We are glad that even in retirement our professors persevere within the department! HAVE YOU MET THE NEW PROFESSOR? This month we welcome our newest faculty member to the department, Dr. Elizabeth Griffith (Stanford Ph.D.,2008)! As forecast in last year s undergrad geology film, The Search, she is our brand new low-temperature hydrogeochemist and is presently teaching Hydrogeochemistry and working on her labs and research. We look forward to getting to know her this semester and to working with her in the future! PETROLOGY REVAMPED Two of our Professors are joining forces as coinstructors of Petrology this semester: Dr. Wells and Dr. Holm. Each is focusing on their favorite rock type sedimentary and metamorphic, respectively. They will continue the enhanced course sequence of combined mineralogy and petrology for us undergrads. Good luck to professors, TAs, and undergrads alike! IN MEMORY OF DR. KSENIJA NAMJESNIK DEJANOVIC KSU Instructor of Geology A ginkgo biloba tree was planted outside of McGilvrey Hall (Rm. 240) in November in honor and in memory of our late faculty member, Dr. Namjesnik-Dejanovic. Let it flourish and thrive as a reminder of her perseverance both as a graduate student and instructor of geology within our department
2 KENT STATE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY (KSGS) We re the undergraduate club for geology majors, minors, and really anyone who is interested in rocks or fossils at Kent State. Every year we host a Fall Picnic and a Spring Banquet within the department, host other social events between students and professors, and we ve recently sponsored camping trips to such places as Mammoth Cave and Hocking Hills. Check out our website at or stop by the Coffee Table on the 3 rd floor of MCG, our year-round fundraiser for undergraduate scholarships, for more information. STUDENT CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS KENT STATE ASSOCIATION OF ENGINEERING GEOLOGISTS (KSAEG) As a student chapter within AEG, our mission is to connect and network with professionals within the career of environmental and engineering geology. As a tight-knit and wellrepresented chapter within our region, Kent State often attends scientific talks and meetings for the Allegheny-Ohio section of AEG in Pittsburgh. President: Tej Gautam Vice President: Adem Khalid Secretary: Natalie Cope Treasurer: Matt Waugh President: Tara Jonell Vice Presidents: Michael Faranacci (F 09), Dan Pratt, Jamael Sadallah, & Lindsey Brenizer (S 10) Secretary: Renee Crane Treasurer: Sara Newton SIGMA GAMMA EPSILON (SGE) This is the honorary society for geology majors who have a minimum of a 3.0GPA and have taken 10 semester hours of geology. We often host game nights for undergraduates and graduates alike, holiday parties and potlucks, and take field trips to the Museum of Natural History in Cleveland and Pittsburgh to foster interest in the earth sciences. Our main fundraising event is the construction of grain size folders which we then sell to environmental organizations such as the Forestry Suppliers. Take a chance to visit our website: http: //www.earth.uni.edu/sge/index.html President: Cristina Robins Vice President: Jenna Hojnowski Secretary: Adina Costache Treasurer: Adiël Klompmaker Senator/ Event Planner: Elizabeth Fein AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PETROLEUM GEOLOGISTS (AAPG) While we are not officially a student chapter yet, the paperwork is pending with Dr. Holm as our distinguished faculty advisor. After a visit from ODNR Head Larry Wickstrom, undergraduates became interested in starting our own chapter. As a part of AAPG, we will have a chance to battle against other students in a competition for scholarship money and be eligible for an annual undergraduate scholarship of $500. CONGRATULATIONS to the following graduates of 2009!!! Spring Andrew Adgate, B.S. Peter Bridges, B.A. Natalie Cope, B.S. Mike Duff, B.S. Jacob Ford, B.A. Brett Egresi, B.S. Nicci Iannacchione, B.S. Dave Plas, B.S. Scott Scheiner, B.S. Tina Sciara, B.A., Rick Skidmore, B.S. Joe Yensel, B.A. ESCI Summer Craig Helm, B.S. Fall Daniel Janke, B.S. Michael Faranacci, B.S.
3 Overview of Fall 2009 Field Trips New England Tectonics In late September students in the New England Tectonics seminar ventured to beautiful New England, where they learned several key points about camping in the Appalachians. Save an extra pair of pants for when you slip and soak yourself in river water (personal advice from Mike F.) Bring a large sack for those basketballsized garnets Avoid all areas featuring eclectic clothing, tons of children, and a wideeyed host denying that you re in a commune and offering you a cup of something on the house (personal advice from Dr. Holm) Bring a personal bottle of suds to insulate against the Vermont chill (highly recommended) Purchase plenty of wood for your fire so you don t need a reconnaissance team for huge, wily logs Always remember to bring your personal cooks and cocktail waitress KSGS Mammoth Cave Trip As the brain-child trip of graduating senior, Dan Janke, a large group lead by Dr. Hacker made it down to Kentucky in October to explore Mammoth Cave. Led by two trusty park guides, we spent over five hours within the cave itself learning the history, geology, and biology of the cave system. The only hitches in our plans were a horde of angry bees, losing one of our students in the karst terrain (sorry Billy), sacrificing another student in the River Styx, and horses grazing in the night on our tents. All in all it was a fabulous trip! Invertebrate Paleontology It was a brisk November day in Caesar s Creek when the Invertebrate Paleontology class went fossil hunting. Led by Dr. Smith and Dr. Palmer, students received a crash course for finding fossils simultaneously in the Ordovician and in a dam spillway. Teams battled for specimens (sorry Team Coral) and were successful; so many boulder err, hand-sized specimens made it out of the park that day. Engineering Geology This expedition was led by Dr. Shakoor and George Gardner to Pittsburgh in mid-november. Even at the beginning, going was tough; Jamael Sadallah was almost lost due to a faulty alarm clock and Dr. Shakoor on a raveled shale slope. But they continued to brave the mine subsidence, faulty foundations, terrible highway traffic, and slope failures of Pittsburgh in true geologist fashion. Structural Geology Dr. Holm led a small but close-knit group of structure students to West Virginia for a scary Halloween weekend of mapping. The weather turned out to be mostly just fine, the foliage better, and the rocks simply the best! In spite of having a few tents blown down a hillside, and stopping too many times at McDonald s, all the students felt it was a very worthwhile field experience and excellent preparation for summer 2010 field mapping in the Black Hills. SO, REALLY, WHAT DO YOU DO? AS AN UNDERGRADUATE, nothing is more frustrating than hearing the words, So, really, what do you do? especially when those words come from your good friends and, worse, your parents. The usual response of Uh geology doesn t really cut it and only confuses people more than it helps. In a world where the American s first taste of the science called geology occurs well into high school or college, even well-informed students are at a loss. Although rocks are an integral part of geology, we geologists don t just stare at rocks endlessly every day. We are like any other physical science; we work to better understand the processes of the world. We want to explain the phenomena we observe. As students, we ve noticed what a variety of opportunities we have within the department to apply ourselves. Below, geology students comment on how their experiences have helped them.
4 Independent Study Students get a chance to study one-on-one with a professor of their choice. I feel that as an undergraduate, an opportunity to conduct an independent research project is extremely beneficial. Not only does it give one a chance to conduct real research and possibly be published in a science journal, but also the experience of collecting data and making geologic inferences with said data. Individual Investigations are as close as a student can get in his/her undergraduate years to performing research as is done in masters or doctoral studies. - Mike Faranacci, December 2009 graduate Undergraduate Research Working alongside professors who are conducting leading research in their fields Working in Dr. Ortiz s lab and doing real scientific research has opened up a whole new world of opportunities. It has shown me the possibilities of what this degree can do for me and what I can do with it. I have matured academically in a way that no classroom or textbook could ever teach me. - Jamael Sadallah, senior Undergraduate Lab Assistant Students help lead lab modules to get handson teaching experience If I can t convert at least one other undergrad to becoming geology major each semester, then I don t think I did my job. Explaining the basics to someone who is just beginning to learn about geology only helps strengthen our ability to learn more advanced concepts. -Jon Wheatley, senior Helping students in lab is a great way to review material. It s a nice experience to be able to apply what you have learned. - Kristen Mulholland, senior Summer Internships Working at local area firms I ve been working at Sanborn, Head, and Associates since my internship last summer and I absolutely love it. I regularly spend time out of the office doing fieldwork at sites scattered throughout Ohio. The people here are friendly and down to earth; I ve never been treated so well at a job. I ve been using some practical skills learned in Dr. Wells geomorphology class on a regular basis. It s great work experience both in the field and in the office as well as establishing connections and getting an idea of how the applied geologic industry works. -Dan Pratt, senior Traveling Abroad An opportunity to travel abroad with international geology programs Dr. Heimlich always says, "Get out of northeast Ohio." That was the best advice I ever received. Studying volcanoes in Kamchatka was unforgettable in many ways. I remember eating our lunch in a fumorole field, and having a lecture at the caldera rim of Mutnovsky. Hiking daily with students from around the world, I was able to learn and share ideas and experiences that are unattainable elsewhere. Overall, if there is ever a chance to learn about geology in the field, it's worth it. -Carrie Frisky, senior Student Organizations Membership in one the of many groups that reinforce our student camaraderie It s impressive how tight-knit our student community is. Undergrads, grads, and doctoral students all hang out together at social functions and events. It s great because if you ever have a question, just ask friends who are further along and they ll help. They ve been in your shoes once; they know what it was like. -Tara Jonell, senior
5 CURRENT GEOLOGICAL EVENTS 7.0M Earthquake in Haiti he-geology-underlying-the-devastating-haiti-earthquake The recent 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti on January 12 th occurred in a major tectonic boundary zone between the North American plate and the Caribbean plate. More specifically, this zone is known as the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault system and is documented to accommodate about 7mm/yr of movement almost half of the total slip between the plates by left-lateral strike-slip motion. Historically this fault system has been known to release strain in large earthquakes, most notably in the June 1770 earthquake which completely destroyed Port-Au-Prince. Just by glancing at a geologic map, one can see that the tectonic behavior is one of the major players within this region. The unusual shape of Hispaniola itself is due to deformation of the underlying collision of the two plates. Haiti is geographically intersected by two major fault systems, both known to be quite active in recent history. Because of the strike-slip nature, it is fitting to note that earthquakes are not uncommon in this region. In fact, in 2008, Haitian officials were warned of the possibility of a devastating earthquake of >7.0M within the next two years. By measuring the strain accumulated within the Enriquillo zone and using historical statistics, scientists knew the likelihood of such an event. One of the geologists commented, "We were taken very seriously [by government officials] but unfortunately it didn't translate into action. The reality is that it was too short of a timeframe to really do something, particularly for a country like Haiti struggling with so many problems. The events in Haiti can only underline the importance of preparing for such hazards in at atrisk area; in such a tectonically active region, it is essential that not only the geology of the area be documented but that public awareness should also come into play. While it is beneficial for the scientific community to know the behavior, the data and findings should be transmitted publically. Awareness is key factor in instituting action and preparedness. As geologists, not only should we be concerned with the research and data involved, but also about translating that knowledge into public hazard prevention and mitigation. -Tara Jonell NOTE FROM THE CHAIR Our department saw a significant increase in enrollment from last year to this year, such that we now need to offer two sections of the Petrology lab this semester. Why are more students choosing a major in Geology at Kent State University? While it s true that enrollment is up all across the university, it s probably more than just that. It seems that one likely reason is the revamped requirements of our B.S. degree that went into effect this academic year. The number of required credits within this major is now on par with the other science B.S. majors at KSU. And we now offer our own course on statistics which focuses on geologic examples of interest to our students. Another reason may be the recruiting efforts of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. Events such as Geology Night and the Geology Open House during Homecoming Weekend increase awareness of Geology as a major. Additionally, our faculty and graduate students continue to improve their teaching and connectivity with students in our introductory courses. Since few students come to Kent State as declared geology majors, intro courses and labs are the front line of our recruiting efforts. There are probably other reasons, such as the 22% projected increase in demand for students with Geology degrees between 2009 and 2016 (higher than that projected for the other sciences) and the increased emphasis on cultivating a green economy and society. I d love to hear from you regarding your own personal reasons for deciding to major in Geology! Study Hard! -Daniel Holm