Student Researchers Rock Local Awards

Two Geological Sciences students received scholarship awards from the Environmental Professionals of Connecticut (EPOC). Kristina Landry received $1500. She has spent two, two-week field sessions in western Wyoming and eastern Idaho collecting geologic structure data from the Wyoming salient fold-and-thrust belt. She has also done fluid inclusion microthermometry on mineral samples to determine the deformation conditions during folding. Kristina also made a poster presentation of her research at the northeast section meeting of the Geological Society of America in Albany, NY in March 2016.

Max Meadows received $2000. He has spent the summer collecting soil samples from the Lebanon, Connecticut area in an attempt to document the source of arsenic contamination. He is currently doing geochemical analysis on the samples. Max will present the results of his research at the northeast section meeting of the Geological Society of America meeting in Pittsburgh, PA in March 2017.

We congratulate these two undergraduate researchers.




Representing CCSU at the World-famous Stellafane Convention


[Recent department graduate Jessica Johnson (left) and current GPS Club President Sara Poppa (right) delivering registration packets]

For many astronomers, the word “Stellafane” is synonymous with magic. The world-famous annual convention of amateur telescope makers, observers, and general astronomy aficionados is held each summer on Breezy Hill outside of Springfield, Vermont. Each year, members of the Geological Sciences Department at CCSU help to bring this event to life through their volunteerism and expertise. 2016 was no exception. Student Sara Poppa, recent graduate Jessica Johnson, and professor Kristine Larsen began their work on the convention months before the official August 5 start date arrived. Larsen, a member of the Springfield Telescope Makers, is co-coordinator of programming at the convention, as well as facilitator of four sessions of children’s astronomy activities at the convention, and is the moderator for all programming held in the McGregor Observatory Library. This year she also delivered a contributed talk on the observing programs of the AAVSO (in her role as AAVSO President) and was the invited “Shadowgram” speaker, a prestigious honor.

Jessica Johnson, a recent inductee into the Springfield Telescope Makers, reprised her popular 2015 Geology Tour of Breezy Hill, as well as assumed the duties of the docent of the scale model of the solar system walks during convention. She also succeeded Larsen as the coordinator of the Telescope Making Award Ceremony presentation.

This was Sara Poppa’s first Stellafane Convention, and was an active volunteer beginning during pre-convention, helping to set up the registration gate, which she and Jessica helped to man during the initial rush of arrivals. Sara also put in many hours volunteering wherever needed on the 80+ acre convention site.

Many thanks to all the GSCI department members who helped, and we look forward to seeing you on the hill again next year!