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Geosciences

Research Opportunities

Field work is a vital part of study in the geosciences. At Hamilton it has been integrated into nearly all courses at every level. In recent years, students and professors have conducted expeditions not only to Antarctica but to Hawaii, Iceland, the Florida Keys, Colorado, the Pacific Northwest and the European Alps. They also regularly do field work in the Central New York region surrounding the College.

The department encourages student-faculty collaboration on a range of projects, and it provides substantial financial support for students who are interested in pursuing summer research. Many students present the results of their work at regional, national and international conferences; some co-author scholarly papers and journal articles in collaboration with faculty partners and mentors.

Nicole LaBarge '15
From Farm to Fork: Food Sustainability at Hamilton College

The corn from Ohio, the blueberries from Maine, and the strawberries from California that all ended up at your summer barbeque traveled quite a distance before arriving on your plate. “Farm to Fork,” a term used by the college’s food service provider, Bon Appétit, entails buying locally grown products when possible in order to reduce carbon emissions caused by transporting food long distances, as well as to stimulate the local economy. Nicole LaBarge ’15 is working on a Levitt Project, “Analyzing the Sustainability of Bon Appétit at Hamilton College Using Life Cycle Assessment.”  More ...

Jorge Mendieta '14
Mendieta ’14 Presents Research at GSA Meeting

Jorge L. Mendieta, a senior geosciences major, presented a poster titled “Plymouth Long Beach, MA and Winthrop Beach, MA: An Analysis of Coastal Protection Projects” at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) - Northeastern Section. The conference was held March 23-25 in Lancaster, Pa.  More ...

Emma Hedley '14
Emma Hedley ’14 Presents at Geological Society Meeting

Emma L. Hedley, a senior in the Geosciences Department, presented a poster titled “Beach Nourishment at Virginia Beach, Virginia” at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America - Northeastern Section.  Hedley’s work in coastal geology was presented as a poster in the Coastal/Marine Science session and her abstract was published in GSA Abstracts with Programs Vol. 46, No. 2.  More ...

William TIfft '14
William Tifft ’14 Presents at Geological Society Annual Meeting

William D. Tifft ’14, a senior in the Geosciences Department, presented a poster titled “A Reference Collection of Middle Devonian, Upper Hamilton Group Brachiopods from the Geer Road Quarry in Eaton, New York” at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America - Northeastern Section.Tifft's work in paleontology was presented as a poster in the Geologic Education session and his abstract was published in GSA Abstracts with Programs Vol. 46, No. 2.  More ...

Emily Pitman '15 collects an experimental tile from an inlet on the Atlantic Ocean.
Emily Pitman ’15 Interned with Environmental Advocacy Group This Summer

The North and South Rivers Watershed Association (NSRWA) is a non-profit grassroots organization attempting to protect the water and other natural resources in Southeastern Massachusetts.  Founded in 1970, the group manages environmental restoration projects and now has over 1,500 members.  Emily Pitman ’15 interned at this organization this summer and reengaged her connection with the environment, while conducting scientific and legislative research.  More ...

John DeGuardi '16 isolates isotopes to determine the age of a black shale sample.
John DeGuardi ’16 Analyzes Black Shale

John DeGuardi ’16 is a chemistry major but spent two months this summer working out the age of Woody Island Siltstone, an unusual black shale found in Tasmania, Australia. He and Adrien Hilmy ’13 were awarded a Dickson-Rodgers summer research stipend and worked in a high tech laboratory at the University of Houston.  More ...

Aubrey Coon '16 reviews engineering schematics of shoreline restoration with Village of Sylvan Beach Administrator Joseph Benedict.
Aubrey Coon ’16 Studying Beach Nourishment

With support from the Geoscience Department’s Dickson Rogers Fund, Aubrey Coon ’16 is working this summer to help understand the sediment budget of Sylvan Beach, on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake.  More ...

From left John McGuinnis, Andy Chen, Professor Todd Rayne and Zachary Pilson
Levitt Research Group Developing New Energy-Generating Models

Andy Chen ’16, John McGuinnis ’16 and Zachary Pilson ’16 are applying the science behind a survivalist water-collecting technique to develop an alternative energy-generating device. With a Levitt Research Group Grant, the team is utilizing a method similar to solar stills to generate energy from falling condensation.  More ...

Deanna Nappi '15
Nappi ’15 Awarded NSF Antarctica Service Medal

Deanna Nappi ’15 was awarded the Antarctica Service Medal by the National Science Foundation. Nappi served aboard the L.M. Gould in October 2012 during a challenging expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula.  More ...

From left, Daniel Lichtenauer '14, Elizabeth Huebner '13, Andrew Seraichick '13, Robert Clayton '15.
Measuring Microbial Diversity in Antarctica

Associate Professor of Biology Michael McCormick directed a group of four students on an adventure to Antarctica in 2012. They were part of a LARISSA expedition led by Principal Investigator Eugene Domack, the J. W. Johnson Family Professor of Environmental Studies.  Andrew Seraichick ’13 was one of the students who explored and sampled the ocean waters that are now accessible after the Larson A ice shelves disintegrated.  More ...

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