Colorado College News: Geology http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/cc-rss-news.html?cat=geology, Jessica Badgeley ’15 Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Wed, 03 May 2017 09:15:00 MDT http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/jessica-badgeley-15-awarded-nsf-graduate-research-fellowship http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/jessica-badgeley-15-awarded-nsf-graduate-research-fellowship <p><strong>Jessica Badgeley &rsquo;15</strong>, who is the <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-glaciology/article/an-englacial-hydrologic-system-of-brine-within-a-cold-glacier-blood-falls-mcmurdo-dry-valleys-antarctica/B5C197906AD54619AEA26068AD92989A">lead author of recently published research</a> solving a <a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/jessica-badgeley-15-lead-author-on-blood-falls-research#.WQn2pUnrvcs">100-year-old mystery</a> of an Antarctica waterfall, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is one of six recent CC graduates to receive the award.</p> <p>The fellowship will support Badgeley&rsquo;s work at the University of Washington, where she is a graduate student in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences. Her research focuses on the Greenland Ice Sheet; although it has the potential to raise the global sea level by nearly 20 feet, the ice sheet&rsquo;s response to warmer climates is not well understood.</p> <p>&ldquo;My work will bring together the fields of glaciology, weather forecasting tools, and paleoclimatology, providing me with the background necessary to develop as a leading scientist in this emerging multidisciplinary field &mdash; a field that is key to preparing society for the impacts of climate change,&rdquo; Badgeley says.</p> <p>Badgeley graduated <em>magna cum laude</em> from Colorado College with a major in geology and a minor in math, and was named a <a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/jessica-badgeley-15-gautam-webb-15-recognized-as-goldwater-scholars#.WQfQl0nrvcu">Goldwater Scholar her junior year at CC</a>. She also worked with CC&rsquo;s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) lab and notes in her NSF graduate research fellowship application that her experience in math, glaciology, and coding makes her well-suited to conduct the research.</p> <p>Her research would advance understanding of Greenland Ice Sheet by combining cutting-edge paleoclimate reconstructions, ice sheet modeling, and geological constraints. She proposes to use a novel method &mdash; paleoclimate data assimilation &mdash; to combine Greenland ice core measurements with regional high-resolution climate model simulations.</p> <p>&ldquo;This will allow me to reconstruct past surface boundary conditions using the wealth of information in the ice core record while maintaining spatial consistency with regional ice sheet climate patterns,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Skillful paleoclimate reconstructions should improve our ability to combine numerical models with geological constraints to improve our ability to predict future Greenland Ice Sheet contributions to sea level change.&rdquo;</p> <p>The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master&rsquo;s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. It is a five-year program that includes three years of a $34,000 stipend for research as well as tuition coverage. During the 2017 awards cycle, the NSF received more than 13,000 applications and granted 2,000 fellowships.</p> Jessica Badgeley ’15 Lead Author on ‘Blood Falls’ Research Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:15:00 MDT http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/jessica-badgeley-15-lead-author-on-blood-falls-research http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/jessica-badgeley-15-lead-author-on-blood-falls-research ]]> <p><strong>Jessica Badgeley &rsquo;15</strong>, who graduated from Colorado College <em>magna cum laude</em> as a geology major and math minor, is the lead author of a study published in the <em>Journal of Glaciology</em> that solves a 100-year-old mystery surrounding Blood Falls, a red waterfall in Antarctica.</p> <p>During the fall semester of her junior year at CC, Badgeley worked with University of Alaska Fairbanks glaciologist Erin Pettit and her team, seeking to understand why the waterfall sporadically would release iron-rich salty water, or brine. The brine exits the end of Taylor Glacier in East Antarctica, turning red from air contact as it descends 60 to 80 feet to the shore of a frozen lake below.</p> <p>Pettit said she enlisted Badgeley to lead the study while she was still an undergraduate student to help with the overall mission of understanding the hydrological &ldquo;plumbing&rdquo; of cold-based glaciers. &ldquo;Jessica&rsquo;s work is a perfect example of the high level of work undergraduate students can do when you give them a challenge and set the expectations high,&rdquo; says Pettit.</p> <p><a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/jessica-badgeley-15-gautam-webb-15-recognized-as-goldwater-scholars#.WO68FIWcHct">Badgeley was named a Goldwater Scholar</a> her junior year at CC and currently is a graduate student at the University of Washington in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences.</p> <p>New evidence links Blood Falls to a large source of salty water that may have been trapped underneath Taylor Glacier for more than a million years. The study, <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-glaciology/article/an-englacial-hydrologic-system-of-brine-within-a-cold-glacier-blood-falls-mcmurdo-dry-valleys-antarctica/B5C197906AD54619AEA26068AD92989A">&ldquo;An englacial hydrologic system of brine within a cold glacier: Blood Falls, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica,&rdquo;</a> maps the pathway this salty water takes from underneath the glacier to where it emerges as a red waterfall flowing over the glacier ice. The pathway has been a mystery since Blood Falls was discovered in 1911 by Griffith Taylor.</p> <p>&ldquo;The salts in the brine made this discovery possible by amplifying contrast with the fresh glacier ice,&rdquo; says Badgeley. &ldquo;Now we can tackle the challenge of understanding the role of liquid water &mdash; salty or fresh &mdash; in other extremely cold glaciers or permafrost environments.&rdquo;</p> <p>One of the study&rsquo;s exciting findings, says Badgeley, is that liquid water can persist inside extremely cold glaciers, in this case 0&deg;F, without freezing, something that scientists previously thought was nearly impossible.</p> <p>Taylor Glacier is known as a cold-based glacier, which means the core of the glacier is persistently below freezing everywhere and its bottom remains frozen to the ground. More commonly, glaciers have a significant amount of ice that is at the freezing point (32&deg;F) and very close to melting.</p> <p>Pettit says that the flow of water in a cold glacier is possible because of how water freezes. &ldquo;While it sounds counterintuitive, water releases heat as it freezes, and that heat warms the surrounding colder ice,&rdquo; she says. This source of heat within Taylor Glacier combines with the lower freezing temperature of salty water (brine) to make brine movement in the extremely cold ice possible. &ldquo;Taylor Glacier is now the coldest known glacier to have persistently flowing water.&rdquo;</p> <p>The research team used a technique called radio echo sounding, or radar, to detect and image the pathway of brine within the glacier. The method uses two antennae &mdash; one to transmit electrical pulses and one to receive the signals.</p> <p>&ldquo;We moved the antennae around the glacier in grid-like patterns so that we could &lsquo;see&rsquo; what was underneath us inside the ice, kind of like a bat uses echolocation to &lsquo;see&rsquo; things around it,&rdquo; said coauthor Christina Carr, who is a doctoral student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.</p> <p>The salts in the brine made the image possible because they create a large contrast to freshwater glacier ice.</p> <p>The resulting image clearly shows that there is a pathway of brine feeding Blood Falls. It appears from underneath the glacier and then extends horizontally more than 300 feet to Blood Falls.</p> Sierra Melton ’18 Named Goldwater Scholar Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:15:00 MDT http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/sierra-melton-18-named-goldwater-scholar http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/sierra-melton-18-named-goldwater-scholar ]]> <p>Colorado College&rsquo;s <strong>Sierra Melton &rsquo;18, </strong>a geology major and environmental issues minor, has been named a <a href="https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org/">2017 Goldwater Scholar</a>.</p> <p>The prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, given annually to sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering, covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year. <span>The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program awarded 240 scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year and an additional 307 nominees were named as Honorable Mentions.</span></p> <p>&ldquo;Being selected to receive the Goldwater Scholarship is both&nbsp;confirmation that I am making progress toward my goals and&nbsp;a vote of confidence&nbsp;from the scientific community,&rdquo; says Melton, who received an Honorable Mention <span>in 2016. </span>&ldquo;This incredible honor encourages&nbsp;me to continue&nbsp;pursuing&nbsp;my scientific passions with&nbsp;ambition and validates the importance of my research. The award will help me&nbsp;maximize my impact in geoscience research.&rdquo;</p> <p>In addition to being recognized by the Goldwater Foundation, Melton also will be working with <a href="http://www.thepolarisproject.org/">The Polaris Project</a> this summer. The CC junior plans to pursue a Ph.D. in glaciology, with the goal of conducting meaningful research that directly contributes to the understanding of the interactions between cryosphere, climate, and human systems. &ldquo;My research will utilize remote sensing, GIS, ice penetrating radar, ice cores, modeling, and isotopic analysis to investigate the effects of a changing climate on glacier and ice sheet dynamics and Arctic and alpine meltwater resources,&rdquo; she says. Specifically, Melton intends to measure changes in glacial mass and extent, quantify glacial erosion, assess the internal structure and basal conditions of glaciers, and research subglacial hydrology and glacial melt runoff.</p> <p>&ldquo;With an enhanced understanding of glacial dynamics and the factors that influence mass balance (positive gain or negative loss of ice), I will be able to improve the accuracy of glacial models. This will allow for increased certainty in sea level rise projections, as ice loss from mountain glaciers and ice sheets plays a significant role in sea level rise,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>Melton&rsquo;s work this summer with The Polaris Project focuses on&nbsp;investigating the fate of carbon in Arctic permafrost in the face of climate change. She will be travelling to the&nbsp;Yukon&ndash;Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska, a remote and vulnerable environment with&nbsp;vast stores of ancient organic carbon, to collect samples and field observations. The work is coordinated by scientists from the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where Melton will then analyze her&nbsp;samples from Alaska.</p> <p>&ldquo;Sierra has thrown herself into research; three times over she has been selected for highly competitive undergraduate research programs,&rdquo; says Rebecca Barnes, assistant professor in Colorado College&rsquo;s environmental program. &ldquo;These experiences have taken her to tidal rivers in Texas to soils on construction sites in North Carolina and soon to streams in Alaska. Her enthusiasm for research is hard to match and I am so excited to see what she does next!&rdquo;</p> <p>The Goldwater Scholars were selected based on academic merit from a field of 1,286 natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering students nominated by the campus representatives from among 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide. Of those reporting, 133 of the Scholars are men, 103 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Twenty-two are mathematics majors, 153 are science and related majors, 51 are majoring in engineering, and 14 are computer science majors. Many have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer science.</p> Steve Weaver Photo on Cover of Travel Book Thu, 30 Mar 2017 11:30:00 MDT http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/steve-weaver-photo-on-cover-of-travel-book http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/steve-weaver-photo-on-cover-of-travel-book <p>A photo by Stephen Weaver, Colorado College&rsquo;s technical director of geology, is on the cover of <a href="https://shop.nationalgeographic.com/product/books/books/travel/50-states--5-000-ideas">&ldquo;50 States, 5,000 Ideas,&rdquo;</a> a new book from the travel experts at <em>National Geographic</em>.</p> <p>The photograph, called <a href="http://www.stephen-weaver.com/photo/grasslands-sunrise">&ldquo;Grasslands Sunrise,&rdquo;</a> was taken in late June 2009 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.</p> <p>The book showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, Civil War battlefields, dude ranches, and out-of-the-way museums. Among the entries: the world&rsquo;s longest yard sale in Tennessee, swamp tours in Louisiana, dinosaur trails in Colorado, the oldest street in New York City, and the best spot to watch for sea otters on the central California coast. In addition to the 50 U.S. states, the book includes a section on the Canadian provinces and territories.</p> <p>Weaver&rsquo;s photos have been featured in numerous Colorado College <a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/">State of the Rockies Project</a> reports and posters.</p> Sierra Melton ’18 Receives Udall Scholarship Honorable Mention Fri, 13 May 2016 15:30:00 MDT http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/sierra-melton-18-receives-udall-scholarship-honorable-mention http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/sierra-melton-18-receives-udall-scholarship-honorable-mention ]]> <p><strong>Sierra Melton &rsquo;18</strong>, a geology major and environmental issues minor from Boulder, Colorado, has received a Udall Scholarship Honorable Mention.</p> <p><a href="http://www.udall.gov/ourPrograms/scholarship/scholarship.aspx">The Udall Foundation</a> awards scholarships to sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to American Indian tribal policy, Native American health care, and the environment.&nbsp;</p> <p>Melton, the co-chair of EnAct and one of two Colorado College students this year to receive a Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention, plans to conduct research on the effects of environmental changes on natural resources and human society, specifically studying hydrogeology, paleoclimatology, or glaciology. Her longstanding geological passions include gaining insight into climate change through paleoclimatology and investigating the role of glaciers in sea level rise.</p> <p>In her application to the Udall Foundation, Melton notes &ldquo;Sometimes feel that geology is a misunderstood profession. When I tell people I am a geologist, they often assume that I want to make a profit in the oil and gas industries, or that I just enjoy looking at rocks. I tell them that geology is so much more than that: It is the study of our beautiful, dynamic earth, and it has the power to change the world.&rdquo;</p> <p>Melton participated in the Teen Science Scholars program at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science during the summer of 2013, where she conducted ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys of archaeological sites in New Mexico. Last summer she participated in an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, where she analyzed sediment grain size, porosity, and organic matter in sediment cores from tidally-influenced freshwater rivers to support research on nitrogen cycling.<br /> <br /> When asked to name an important or illuminating experience, Melton cites her First-Year Experience course, Physical and Environmental Geology, led by Professor of Geology Jeff Noblett. &ldquo;The 16 students in the class followed the professor all over Colorado Springs as we learned about the local geological history and hazards, including expansive soil, landslides, mine subsidence, and minor earthquakes along the Ute Pass and Rampart Range fault,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;We learned of the conflicts and harmonies between society and the natural systems, studied deep ecology, discussed eco-feminism and environmental racism, analyzed our own environmental impacts in the face of diminishing resources, and even learned about aspects of Hopi environmental philosophy. After the class, I was extremely motivated to become involved in environmental initiatives on campus.&rdquo;</p> <p>In addition to coordinating a highly successful land conservation fundraising effort with the Palmer Land Trust, Melton is an Office of Sustainability residential life intern and a student leader with Colorado College Learning Initiative in the Mountains (CCLIM). She leads local middle-school students on educational geology hikes through the nearby Red Rock Canyon Open Space. &ldquo;I teach them how to &lsquo;taste&rsquo; the rock to differentiate between shale and siltstone, point out fossils, and demonstrate the &lsquo;fizzy&rsquo; property of limestone reacting with hydrochloric acid,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>&ldquo;I cannot wait to use my passion for geology to increase understanding of crucial natural processes and encourage conservation of landscapes that are important in the functions and history of Earth,&rdquo; says Melton.</p> CC Team in Top 8 Percent in International Math Contest Thu, 28 Apr 2016 11:30:00 MDT http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/cc-team-in-top-8-percent-in-international-math-contest http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/cc-team-in-top-8-percent-in-international-math-contest ]]> <p>A paper by a team of three Colorado College students entered in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling received one of the top designations. The solution paper by <strong>Ellen Smith</strong> <strong>&rsquo;16</strong>, <strong>Hanbo Shao &rsquo;18</strong>, and <strong>Thomas Braine &rsquo;16 </strong>garnered a Meritorious Winning designation, putting their paper in the top 8 percent of 7,421 submitted solutions worldwide.</p> <p>Smith, Shao, and Braine researched, modeled, and submitted a solution to one of three modeling problems. The question they selected posed a&nbsp;subtly complicated problem involving a person faced with the dilemma of taking a bath in a standard tub in which the water temperature is cooling and gradually becoming uncomfortable. Teams were challenged to model this situation in both time and space in order to identify an effective strategy under which a person should add heated water to raise the temperature back to near starting levels while minimizing the overall use of water. The combination of thermodynamic heat transfer in discretized space involving a human body, dynamic evolution and distribution of temperature and human motion over time, and optimizing water resource use strategy proved to be substantial for all teams.</p> <p>Smith, a geology major from Dallas, Texas, will be working with the USGS this summer. Her final placement hasn&rsquo;t yet been determined, but one possibility is conducting <strong>seismic </strong>data research in Ecuador, following the recent earthquake. After that, she hopes to teach.</p> <p>Shao, from Hangzhou, China, is a math major. Following graduation he hopes to conduct math or operations research.</p> <p>Braine, from New York City, is a physics major. He plans to work as a math and physics tutor in Denver this coming year while applying to graduate school in physics.&nbsp;</p> <p>The 2016 CC team was advised by Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Andrea Bruder, who also advised the 2013 and 2015 teams. &ldquo;I couldn&rsquo;t be prouder of their achievement. Colorado College teams entering the contest have been wildly successful in recent years,&rdquo; Bruder says, noting that the school has had three Outstanding Winning teams (1987, 2013, 2015), one Finalist Winning team (2014), and three Meritorious Winning teams&nbsp;(2011, 2014, 2016).</p> <p>This year 13 countries were represented in the contest. In addition to the United States, teams from Australia, Canada, China, Finland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom participated.</p> Two CC Students Receive Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mentions Thu, 07 Apr 2016 17:00:00 MDT http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/two-cc-students-receive-goldwater-scholarship-honorable-mentions http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/two-cc-students-receive-goldwater-scholarship-honorable-mentions <p>Two Colorado College students, <strong>Ingrid Wilt &rsquo;17 </strong>and <strong>Sierra Melton &rsquo;18</strong>, have received Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mentions. The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency, and its Scholarship Program is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.</p> <p>Wilt, a chemistry major from Minneapolis, plans to pursue a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. She hopes to conduct research in drug design and organic synthesis and eventually teach at the university level.<br /><br />Melton is a geology major and environmental issues minor from Boulder, Colorado. She plans to earn a Ph.D. in paleoclimatology or hydrogeology and conduct research on the effects of climate change on the Earth&rsquo;s waters at an academic institution, government lab, or science museum.<br /><br />&ldquo;Colorado College strongly supports&nbsp;student-centered research,&rdquo; says Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry Murphy Brasuel, CC Goldwater faculty representative. &ldquo;We are&nbsp;proud of the recognition our students receive both locally and nationally.&rdquo;<br /><br />CC students regularly receive recognition in the region for their research at the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.uccs.edu/~csurf/">Colorado Springs Undergraduate Research Forum</a> (CSURF), as well as nationally through organizations such as the <a href="https://goldwater.scholarsapply.org/">Goldwater Scholarship</a>.</p> Christine Siddoway Gets Grant to Study Ice Shelf Mon, 12 Oct 2015 11:15:00 MDT http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/christine-siddoway-gets-grant-to-study-ice-shelf http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/christine-siddoway-gets-grant-to-study-ice-shelf <p>Colorado College Geology Professor Christine Siddoway and her academic colleagues from Columbia University, Oregon State University, and Scripps Institute of Oceanography have been awarded $4.3 million from the National Science Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to support a research project in Antarctica that will contribute to environmental sustainability.<br /><br />Nicknamed &ldquo;ROSETTA-ICE,&rdquo; short for &ldquo;Uncovering the Ross Ocean and Ice Shelf Environment and Tectonic setting Through Aerogeophysical Surveys and Modeling,&rdquo; the project will assess the impact of the warming ocean and atmosphere on the Ross Ice Shelf, a critical structure keeping the West Antarctic Ice Sheet stable.&nbsp; A total of $2.2 million has been awarded by the Moore Foundation and the remaining $2.1 has been committed by the NSF.<br /><br />Siddoway has conducted long-standing and well-respected research in Antarctica, and her role in this project will give CC students access to some of today&rsquo;s most important research on ocean-ice sheet systems. CC&rsquo;s portion of the award, $155,138 from the NSF, includes funding for six student research stipends over the course of the grant.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Myrow, Louis Derry ’81: Himalaya Uplift Changed Composition of Oceans Wed, 25 Mar 2015 10:00:00 MDT http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/myrow-louis-derry-81-himalaya-uplift-changed-composition-of-oceans http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/myrow-louis-derry-81-himalaya-uplift-changed-composition-of-oceans <p>Colorado College Geology Professor Paul Myrow has authored a paper with a CC alumnus in the highly regarded journal <i>Earth and Planetary Science Letters</i>. The article by Myrow and <b>Louis Derry &rsquo;81</b>, a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University, titled &ldquo;Neogene Marine Isotopic Evolution and the Erosion of Lesser Himalayan Strata: Implications for Cenozoic Tectonic History,&rdquo; attempts to explain in part changes in the world&rsquo;s oceans over the last 16 million years.<br /><br />Myrow, Derry, and their co-authors from eight other institutions discuss results of stratigraphic studies undertaken from across the Himalaya to Rajasthan, India, which shares a border with Pakistan. They show that in the latest Cambrian Period, about 500 million years ago, the present-day northern part of India was the edge of a continent with a sea to the north and rivers draining off the continent into an ancient marine basin.<br /><br />The geologists found that some of these Cambrian (and slightly older) deposits contain an abundance of the element Os, which in this case has high ratios of two Os isotopes&nbsp;(<sup>187</sup>Os/<sup>188</sup>Os).&nbsp;The ratio starts to change in the oceans about 16 million years ago and continues to rise until the present. There has been no satisfactory explanation for this rise, although some scientists thought that uplift in the Himalayas might play a role. Additionally, at about 16 million years ago, there was a change from rapidly increasing to less rapidly increasing linear trends in two isotopes of Strontium (Sr) in the oceans.<br /><br />&ldquo;We contend that the shifts in Strontium and Osmium isotopes in the ocean&nbsp;are dynamically linked to changes to uplift&nbsp;along major faults in the Himalayas, and thus the types of rocks being eroded,&rdquo; Myrow said. &ldquo;Specifically, we postulate that a change in the movements of faults in the Himalaya &nbsp;16 million years ago led to uplift of Cambrian rocks that increased the Os ratios, and reduced the erosion of rocks that were increasing the Sr ratios.&nbsp;These simultaneous changes altered the isotopic composition of the world's oceans.<br /><br />&ldquo;Our model explains how changes in the isotopic composition of the ocean over the last 16 million years resulted from changes in tectonic forces, shifts in fault activity, and erosion of different rocks, all of which was initiated simultaneously approximately 16 million years ago,&rdquo; Myrow said.<br /><br />Myrow first met Derry at a CC reunion in the early 1990s and they kept in touch. Derry has returned to CC to give lectures, and he and Myrow started working on this research about eight years ago.</p> Special Volume on Snowmastodon Project Relies Significantly on Work of CC Geologists Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:15:00 MST http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/special-volume-on-snowmastodon-project-relies-significantly-on-work-of-cc-geologists http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/special-volume-on-snowmastodon-project-relies-significantly-on-work-of-cc-geologists <p>Four years ago, a bulldozer turned over bones at a construction site near Snowmass Village, Colo. Scientists called to the scene confirmed the bones were those of a juvenile Columbian mammoth, setting off a frenzy of excavation, scientific analysis, and international media attention. The 2010 discovery culminated recently with the publication of the <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00335894/82/3">&ldquo;Snowmastodon Project Science Volume&rdquo;</a> in the international journal <em>Quaternary Research.</em> Of the 14 articles in the special issue, six are co-authored by Colorado College geologists, looking at various aspects of the extraordinarily well-preserved Ice Age site.</p> <p>The Snowmastodon Project, which was spearheaded by the Denver Museum of Science &amp; Nature, involved the work and expertise of numerous CC geologists. The papers in Snowmastodon Project Science Volume represent &ldquo;a new benchmark for understanding climate change in the American West,&rdquo; said paleontologist <b>Ian Miller &rsquo;99</b>, Snowmastodon Project co-leader and chair of the Museum&rsquo;s Earth Sciences Department.<br /> <br /> "The excavation&nbsp;project led to a major field and lab research effort to understand the biota, environment, and climate of the Colorado Rockies during the penultimate (or Bull Lake) glaciation about 140,000 years ago, and succeeding early part of the final (or Pinedale) glaciations,&nbsp;said CC Geology Professor Eric Leonard. Leonard led the glacier modeling effort on the project, contributing to the analysis of paleoclimatic conditions at the site.</p> <p>&ldquo;This was a&nbsp;time&nbsp;period of very pronounced environmental change&nbsp;here in the Rockies,&nbsp;for which little detailed information was available prior to the project,&rdquo; Leonard said. &ldquo;The findings of the project represent a tremendous breakthrough in our understanding of the period.&rdquo;</p> <p>In addition to Leonard, other CC geologists involved in the project were<b> Miller &rsquo;99</b>, curator of paleontology at the Denver Museum of Science &amp; Nature, who co-directed the entire project and was involved in several aspects of the scientific research. <b>Saxon Sharpe &rsquo;76</b>, associate research professor at the Desert Research Institute, led an effort using mollusks and ostracods to reconstruct the paleohydrology of the fossil site. <b>Gussie Maccraken &rsquo;11</b> and <b>Adam Freierman &rsquo;12</b> were among nine nationally selected student interns working on the project during 2011.</p> <p>The articles penned by CC geologists in the special Snowmastodon Project volume are:<br /> &nbsp;<a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003358941400026X">&ldquo;Numerical modeling of the Snowmass Creek paleoglacier, Colorado, and climate in the Rocky Mountains during the Bull Lake glaciations,&rdquo;</a> Leonard, CC faculty, first author<br /> &nbsp;<a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033589414000040">&ldquo;Introduction to the Snowmastodon Project Special Volume: The Snowmastodon Project&rdquo;</a> Miller &rsquo;99, second author<br /> &ldquo;<a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033589414000064">Geologic setting and stratigraphy of the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado&rdquo;</a> Miller &rsquo;99, second author<br /> &ldquo;<a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033589414000738">Biogeography of Pleistocene conifer species from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado</a>&rdquo; Miller &rsquo;99, second author<b><br /> </b>&ldquo;<a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033589414000179">A high-elevation MIS 5 hydrologic record using mollusks and ostracodes from Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA</a>&rdquo; Sharpe &rsquo;76, first author<br /> <em><a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003358941400088X">&ldquo;Summary of the Snowmastodon Project Special Volume<i>:</i> A high-elevation, multi-proxy biotic and environmental record of MIS 6&ndash;4 from the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site, Snowmass Village, Colorado, USA&rdquo;</a> Miller </em>&rsquo;99<em>, first author; Leonard, CC faculty, and Sharpe </em>&rsquo;76<em>, co-authors</em></p> <p>A bronze sculpture commemorating the Ice Age discovery was installed on the west side of the Denver Museum of Nature &amp; Science in October 2014.</p>