The final gathering of the 8th Annual Rocks Beneath Our Toes (RoBOT) Program was held Wednesday night.
The brain child of Department of Earth and Environment Professor Ethan Baxter, the RoBOT Program brings together local area high school students and BU undergraduates in an effort to learn more about the geology of the area. The students collect and analyze local rock samples and then display their findings at the end of the semester.
This years program was organized by Prof. Baxter and graduate student and Teaching Fellow Emily Stewart. The first step in the program is the collection of rock samples. This took place back in October when Professor Baxter and 13 of his ES 222 Mineralogy students took 20 Acton-Boxborough Regional High School students out on a rock collecting field trip.
Then, two weeks ago, the students came back together to analyze their findings:
The students used the Department’s polarized light microscopes to get a closer look at their samples.
Then, Dr. Joel Sparks helped the students run the X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) system lab.
The culmination of the program took place Wednesday night as the 20 high school students returned to campus and were given special tours of our lab facilities:
First the students, donning special clean suits, toured our clean lab facilities where Department personnel and students prepare samples for analysis.
Then, Dr. Denise Honn led the students through a tour of the Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) lab.
Finally, Dr. Tom Ireland took the students through a tour of the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) facilities.
After the tours, the High School students were treated to a presentation of the Mineralogy students’ semester long research on their collected rock samples:
Dean Sapiro joined in as well. Here, her and a student discuss the results of the program.
The final results of the High School students’ and the Mineralogy students’ hard work are now on display in the halls of the Department, on the first floor of the Stone Science Building.
Department of Earth and Environment Assistant Professor Lucy Hutyra and her GE 475/675 Urban Ecology class will be holding a special end of semester session open to the public this Friday December 6th from 2 to 5 pm in CAS 132.
During the session, Hutyra’s students will be presenting posters that are the summation of their semester projects. These projects cover a wide range of topics related to urban ecology including
- green roofs as urban heat island mitigation
- coyotes in the city
- urban bird phenology changes
- urbain soil carbon losses
- urban heat islands
- and much, much more.
The session will begin at 2, followed at 3 by the students presenting short summaries of their work.
Please feel free to stop by anytime and check out some of their very impressive posters.
Department of Earth and Environment Graduate Student Parker Abercrombie will be presenting the defense of his Masters Thesis tomorrow Friday December 6, 2013.
The title of Abercrombie’s Defense is “Inter-annual Stability of Land Cover Classification: Explorations and Improvements.”
The talk will be held from 2 to 3 pm in B31C.
Please come out and support Parker!
Unger will be giving a talk on the subject of Climate Modeling.
The talk will begin at 3:30 and is being held in STO 442, the Graduate Student Lounge.
Refreshments will be served at the end of the lecture.
Despite not having a formal lecture series, UNO’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences’s interest in FitzGerald’s work prompted the department to invite FitzGerald to give his talk titled “Can Barrier Islands Survive Marsh Deterioration in a Regime of Accelerating Sea-Level Rise?”
The article, titled “POV: Is Philippines Typhoon the New Normal?” can be read by following this link.
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This week, December 2-7, 2013, scientists from across the global will gather together in Bogota and Leticia, Colombia to attend the “9th Regional Workshop on Forest Monitoring GEO GFOI: Methods for Biomass Estimation and Forest-Cover Mapping in the Tropics.” The workshop, sponsored by the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) and its partners, will focus on how UN REDD forest conservation efforts can help mitigate climate change.
Department of Earth and Environment Graduate Student Chris Holden will be one of the many scientists presenting research as part of the Workshop. Holden will present his talk titled “Optical and Radar Data Fusion for Mapping Activity Data, and Uncertainty Analysis of Emission Factors in the Tropics.”
In his talk Holden will discuss how he and his fellow scientists are working to develop an algorithm for monitoring land cover and land cover change that fuses radar and optical remote sensing data to mitigate issues of cloud cover while increasing change detection and land cover classification accuracy.
Holden will also discuss how he and colleagues propose to perform uncertainty analysis of forest carbon emissions estimated using all available sources of emissions factors (biomass density) for Colombia, Peru, and Mexico.
Holden’s talk is a product of the proposal and the initial work done on a recently funded NASA Carbon Monitoring Systems (NASA CMS) project, a collaboration with Josef Kellndorfer and others at Woods Hole Research Center.
Department of Earth and Environment PhD candidate Karina Veliz will be defending her dissertation tomorrow, December 4th 2013, at 12:30 pm in CAS B18A.
The title of her dissertation is “The Economic Impact of Climate Change on Electricity Demand in the United States.”
Karina is pursing her PhD in Geography; her focus is on energy and environmental economics and policy. Her advisor is Cutler Cleveland.
Please come out and support Karina!
Department of Earth and Environment Professor Sergio Fagherazzi gave a talk today, Monday December 2nd, 2013, at Indiana University’s Department of Geological Sciences.
Prof. Fagherazzi’s talk was titled “Nonlinear dynamics and alternative stable states in shallow bays.”
Research of former Grad Student Xu Liang and Prof. Ranga Myneni presented in Colloquium to King of Sweden
Professor Terry Callaghan of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom presented the findings of former Graduate Student Xu Liang and Department of Earth and Environment Professor Ranga Myneni to the King of Sweden as part of the Royal Colloquium convened roughly every two years by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf.
The topics of the Royal Colloquium usually focus on environmental issues of global importance; this year’s theme was “A Changing World: Redrawing the Map,” and it was held at the Abisko Scientific Research Station in the Swedish sub-Arctic and at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.
Prof. Callaghan presented a talk titled “Arctic climate change: mismatches in expectations among the players and possible consequences” as part of the Colloquium and included examples of climate change impacts from Liang’s 2013 Nature Climate Change paper, “Temperature and vegetation seasonality diminishment over northern lands,” in his talk.
Prof. Callaghan, who was also a coauthor on Liang’s 2013 paper, was presented the prestigious Vega Medal in 2011 by His Majesty.