The Students


Emily Backman '04, Hamilton College

Emily Backman '04

This year's trip to Antarctica marks the second visit for Hamilton geology major and math minor Emily Backman. Emily's geologic interests include sedimentology, meteorology and climatology, and she's most interested in educating the public about the environment.  She's currently involved in a paleoclimate independent study, trying to quantify fluctuations in Antarctic ice shelf coverage from the composition of sand in core samples taken from the Larsen B ice shelf last year.

"Part of what makes the trip to Antarctica so fabulous is that there are so many dedicated scientists there, and everyone is focused on environmental issues," she said.  "It's a lot of hard work, but I've enjoyed throwing myself into the subject matter -- an experience that has been totally valuable in the classroom."

On campus, Emily works in the Office of Admissions, is president of her sorority, and is an active volunteer with HAVOC, Hamilton's student-run community service organization.

Emily Constantine '04, Colgate University

Emily Constantine '04

"As a geology major at Colgate University, I'm focusing on marine geology and oceanography.  I am currently working on an independent study examining marine phytoplankton as a part of paleoclimate research. 

"I spent last summer on Colgate's Geology Off-Campus Field Study in the Adirondacks, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.  Last semester, I spent six weeks in Woods Hole, Mass., taking classes, and then six weeks on a sailing research vessel in the Caribbean as part of a semester with the Sea Education Association."

This is Emily's first trip to Antarctica.  She went to St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Del., and lives in Elma, N.Y. ( near Buffalo.) 

Sara Doane '03, Hamilton College

Sara Doane '03

A Hamilton geology major and sociology minor, Sara focuses on the environmental science aspects of geology and is currently in the midst of  her senior thesis on Antarctic marine geology.

"My thesis addresses the preemptive influences of the Larsen B ice shelf's breakup on ocean circulation and primary productivity," she said, "and I'll be helping with a lot of general data collection on this trip."

Sara spent much of last summer on Hamilton's Geology Field School in Colorado, and she recently returned from a mountaineering trip in Ecuador with the Hamilton Outing Club (HOC). She lives in Harwich, MA., a small town on Cape Cod.

Sara Draucker

B.S., Geology, CSU Bakersfield, June 2002
She is currently in the first year of work on her masters in Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno. As a graduate research assistant, Sara works in Dr. Berger's E.L Cord Luminescence Geochronology Laboratory located at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nev.


Zach Norcross

He is currently pursuing a B.S in Electrical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. Zach is a lab assistant in Dr. Berger's E.L Cord Luminescence Geochronology Laboratory located at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nev.