The Department of Earth & Environment and the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies welcomes their new 2014-2015 Masters students.
2014 – 2015 Masters students
From left to right: Yang Du, Chris White, Kenneth Lacis, and Michelle Gilmore
The Department of Earth & Environment welcomes its new PhD students this morning at a brief orientation held in CAS 132.
2014-2015 New PhD Students
Getting to know the inner workings of a volcano might seem like a nearly impossible task, but that’s exactly what Earth & Environment Ph.D. candidate Kasey Aderhold and a team of geophysicists set out to do during the two and a half week long experiment dubbed iMUSH, or Imaging Magma Under St. Helens.
As reported by the University of Rice News & Media department, a team of 75 geophysicists covered Mount St. Helens in over “3,500 active seismological sensors and 23 seismic charges” in order to get a “‘clear picture of the mountain’s inner workings.’”
The experiment will help scientists predict when and to what severity Mount St. Helens might potientially erupt in the future.
As part of the team, Aderhold spent the weekend hiking the instruments up and around the mountain for installation.
As the Lunar New Year of the Horse approaches, members of the Department of Earth and Environment gathered together to celebrate the traditional holiday.
Held this past Saturday, January 25th 2014, the Department’s Lunar New Year Party featured traditional food, drink, and a dumpling wrapping contest.
The dumpling wrapping contest featured four winners: the cutest dumpling, the scariest, the most out-of-shape, and the ugliest dumpling.
Participants and spectators voted, and the winners were announced.
The party was a hit, and the winning–and losing–dumplings were cooked and enjoyed by all!
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.
Graduating Geophysics & Planetary Science major Daniel Friedman and Environmental Analysis & Policy minor Sarah Chudnovsky recently took part in the 16th annual Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) symposium.
The symposium was held in the George Sherman Union Metcalf Ballroom from 11am to 1:30 pm on Friday October 18th, 2013 as part of Parent’s Weekend here at Boston University. Along with over 260 other students, Friedman and Chudnovsky displayed research for the over 600 symposium attendees. All participating students earned two academic credits as part of the research and symposium.
Established in 1997, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program has “supported the research efforts of approximately 1500 Boston University students” (UROP). The deadline for Spring 2014 research applications are due by noon Friday December 6th.
Photos in this article were taken by Sayaka Yamaki
This past Saturday, Professor Ethan Baxter led a group of Boston University undergraduates and area high schoolers on a field trip to take samples of local rocks as part of the the Department of Earth and Environment’s “Rocks Beneath Our Toes” (RoBOT) Program.
Twelve of Dr. Baxter’s ES222 Mineralogy students along with 20 Acton-Boxborough high school students explored several sample sites in the Acton-Boxborough community, collecting rock samples for later analysis. The Mineralogy students carried on into the afternoon collecting samples from sites in New Hampshire, the last of which were outcrops on Dean Virginia Sapiro’s property.
Dr. Baxter and his students will use petrographic microscopes to analyze thin sections from the collected samples over the coming weeks; while RoBOT high school participants perform background research on the geography and underlying geology of the sample locations. Later this fall, the students will reunite at BU to discuss their findings and analyze the rock samples. The participants will then display their findings in a poster session.
For more information on the RoBOT program, check out Prof. Baxter’s flyer.
See pictures from the trip:
BU prof: estuary mud tells dire eco-story
For ecologist and biogeochemist Robinson “Wally” Fulweiler, every pungent vial of coastal muck tells a story. Meticulously pieced together in a laboratory that mimics nature, that story is alarming. As she explains, the life-sustaining chemical balance of the planet’s coastal ecosystems is changing dramatically, a result of ever-climbing levels of nitrogen and phosphorous from soil erosion, mining, urban waste, and synthetic fertilizers. In the coastal estuaries and marshes of the Massachusetts shore, Fulweiler, a College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of earth and environment and of biology, is charting the impact of this destruction, hoping that her findings will raise an alarm about the need to protect these marine resources from further harm.
From the tidal flats of Plum Island to the National Estuarine Research Reserve at Waquoit Bay in Falmouth, she is, in every sense, knee-deep in experiments probing changes in a range of marine nutrients along the Bay State coast. But her lab’s general mission, its “connecting theme,” as she puts it, is the ways that humans have altered coastal systems. From industrial pollution to sewage contamination to straining of resources, the list is long, and much of the damage irreversible, says Fulweiler, whose research focuses on global as well as local impacts of environmental change.
Funded by the National Science Foundation and Sea Grant, a program underwritten by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fulweiler’s work led her and several colleagues to create “The Eutrophication Commandments,” an environmental manifesto published this year in Marine Pollution Bulletin. Commandment number one: “Thou shall protect coastal ecosystems to deliver biodiversity and ecological services.” Click for full article and video on BU Today…
On October 13th, Undergraduates enrolled in ES222 “Mineralogy” were joined by Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) students as part of the 7th annual RoBOT “Rocks Beneath Or Toes” Outreach Program run by Prof. Ethan Baxter each Fall. Together, students sampled rocks and sediments from several sites in the Concord-Carlisle area and Massachusetts. The field trip was the first of three RoBOT events this semester, the next two of which will bring CCHS students together with BU students to analyze those samples in our mineralogy and geochemistry labs at BU. Click for more information on the RoBOT Outreach Program…