Six members of Colorado College’s geology department will present their research at the2011 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, to be held Oct. 9-12 in Minneapolis. Those presenting are Ashley Contreras ’12, Eleanor Emery ‘12, and Benjamin Mackall ‘11, as well as Associate Geology Professor Henry Fricke, Geology Professor Christine Siddoway, and Geology Technical Director Stephen Weaver.
Contreras, who worked with Siddoway, will present a paper titled “New Insights on the Timing and Extent of Cretaceous Exhumation in the West Antarctic Rift System, from U-PB and (U-TH)/HE Zircon Analysis. Emery, who also collaborated with Siddoway, will present a paper titled “Use of Stereoscopic Satellite Imagery for 3D Mapping of Bedrock Structure in West Antarctica: Example from the Ford Ranges and Neogene Volcanoes of Marie Byrd Land.” Mackall, who collaborated with Geology Professor Eric Leonard, will present a paper titled “Estimates of Last Glacial Maximum Climate of the Snowy Range, Southern Wyoming, using Numerically Modeled Paleoglacier Reconstructions.”
Fricke’s research is titled “Stable and Clumped Isotope Study of Authigenic Carbonates from the Kootznahoo Formation, Alaska, and Implications for Study of Paleogene Climate and Hydrology.” Siddoway will present research titled “Potential Sources of Crustal Anisotropy in the Wyoming Province: Insights from Basement Structures of the Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming.” Weaver, who shoots the cover photos for Colorado College’s annual State of the Rockies Report and subsequent poster, will present “Beyond the Snapshot: Making the Excellent Geo-Photograph in the Field.”
Colorado College Geology Professor Christine Siddoway has been awarded a $145,260 grant from the National Science Foundation for geological research in West Antarctica. The grant, which begins this year, will enable Siddoway to continue her work examining “the transformation of a vast quantity of oceanic mud into lovely rose-colored granite that constitutes the continental crust of East Gondwanaland.” The process she is studying, in collaboration with University of Maryland researchers, is “analogous to distillation of clear, concentrated alcohol (grappa or single malt) from a dark, thick mash of grapes or grains.” Siddoway’s research also involves Colorado College students, on campus and off.
The work is part of an integrated research program that uses multiple approaches to explore the tectonic and climate evolution of West Antarctica. This is Siddoway’s second NSF-Polar Programs grant this year. She also was awarded $49,545 in June, which supports CC undergraduates who undertake “virtual geology” research on Antarctica while learning advanced GIS techniques in CC’s Keck GIS Learning Commons and the Antarctic Geospatial Information Center (agic.umn.edu). Colorado College alumni, parents, and friends took part in Antarctic explorations this year, as well, when Siddoway led a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula during the 2009-10 winter break.