Geology Alum Rocks Politics

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[Department alum Vanessa Swenton and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley]

Geology program alum Vanessa Swenton, now working on her PhD at Portland State University, was recently honored by the Cordilleran section of the Geological Society of America. She was selected to represent Oregon at the recent Geoscience Congressional Visit Day in Washington, DC.  She writes “I was part of the UT-MT-OR team, where our task was to discuss the significance and need to prioritize funding and legislation for geoscience research and education. We met with staff members representing each Congress member, except for the meeting with OR Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, who was present for the entire duration of the meeting! We had great conversations with her and other staff members, and we were even complimented multiple times on our preparedness and ability to be clear and concise in what we were asking of them. I was also able to meet with OR Senator Jeff Merkley in a coffee meet-and-greet at his office, where I actually got to speak with him one-on-one! It was a really amazing experience.”

Congrats Vanessa, we’re very proud of you!

Meet CCSU Geologists at the Meriden Mineral Show This Weekend

[CCSU Geological Sciences faculty and students volunteering at previous local mineral shows]

Have you ever wanted to look inside a rock? Do you want to jump start your private collection with free samples of Connecticut rocks and minerals? Are you interested in learning more about educational and career opportunities in the geological sciences?

Join members of the CCSU Geological Sciences Department at the Meriden Mineral and Gem show this weekend to learn more.

Where/When: Maloney High School, Saturday, March 3rd 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday, March 4th 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Troy Schinkel: Tour Guide to the Environment

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One of our talented adjunct faculty, Troy Schinkel, is also part of the Master Naturalist Program at Goodwin Forest. He not only shares his broad knowledge of the natural environment in his classes at CCSU, but through public talks. Here are some of his outreach events coming up in the near future.

Talks at Goodwin State Forest in Hampton, CT

  1. September 8th, 10 – 11:00 AM. Goodwin Topography

Topography is the shape of the land. During this talk we’ll take a look at topographic maps of the area and learn how to read them. We will also take a short walk to compare what we see on the map to what we see in nature.

2. September 8th, 11:00 – 12:00 AM. Phragmites – Invasive Species

Phragmites has been invading the state of Connecticut. Learn about this invasive species and what the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has done to decrease the growth of the plant.

3. September 8th and 29th, 10 – 10:30 AM. Today’s Weather at Goodwin

This talk will focus on the weather that is occurring today. Topics may include: temperature, dew point, humidity, pressure, cloud type, wind, etc. We will then discuss the relationship between the weather variables. We will also use the weather variables to try and predict future weather.

4. September 29th, 10:30 – 11:30 AM. Mosquitoes

Nobody likes them! The buzz around us and then leave these itchy bumps! Well, let’s learn a thing or two about these insects. During this talk we’ll learn about some of the different types of mosquitoes, where they breed, and some of diseases they carry.

Troy is also giving public talks at Indian Rock Nature Preserve – Bristol, CT

September 30th & October 22nd, 11:00 AM. Climate Change: 2 Part Series

Earth: The only livable planet that we know of is heating up. Learn about the process behind the heating and what’s causing it. We’ll focus on the deadly trio within our oceans: warming, acidification, and anoxia, and how this trio impacts our oceans. We’ll also take a look at the differences between natural and human induced heating.

Please contact the hosting facilities directly for more information. Read more about Troy here, and please join us in thanking Troy for his service to the general public. Troy Rocks!

 

CCSU now has the coolest sandbox (and it’s not just for playing in!)

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[Introducing the new Augmented Reality Sandbox]

CCSU is now the only university in Connecticut with an Augmented Reality Sandbox. Part computer, part sand pile, this 100% educational (and fun!) set-up demonstrates a variety of geological phenomenon in real-time, including floods, volcanic eruptions, and glacier melts. Read about this new addition to the Geological Sciences Department here, and expect to get your time in the sandbox at the next university open house event!

Rocking Ireland for A Good Cause

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[Dr. Piatek at Meteor Crater in Arizona during the 2016 field project]

Dr. Jen Piatek, our planetary geology specialist, is part of a project (funded through NSF’s IUSE: GEOPATHS program) titled “Engaging Students in Inclusive Geoscience Field Experiences via Onsite-Remote Partnerships”. This week, she joins a team of researchers from multiple universities [including Steven J. Whitmeyer and Eric Pyle (James Madison University), Christopher L. Atchison (University of Cincinnati), and Helen Crompton (Old Dominion)] and students for a week of field geology in western Ireland. The project’s goal is to identify techniques and technologies that can provide access to remote field sites for geoscience students with mobility limitations. The first field season took place this past May in northern Arizona (see above picture) with the same students – a video describing the project and the first season is also “live” this week as part of the “STEM for All” Video showcase. The video can be found at http://stemforall2017.videohall.com/presentations/920 – please come by to leave comments, ask questions, and perhaps give the project a vote.

CCSU Once Again Rocks the Northeast Geological Society of America Conference!

[Corbin MacDonald and Nick Zygmont present their research this morning in Pittsburgh]

March brings with it not only Spring Break, but the Northeast regional conference of the Geological Society of America. Once again, CCSU is a dominant player, with 16 students and 3 faculty members in attendance. On the first morning of presentations, Corbin MacDonald and Nick Zygmont present research done on the geology of Pennsylvania (under the mentorship of department chairman Dr. Mark Evans). Read about Corbin’s research here and Nick’s research here. Dr. Evans is also presenting in this same session. His research is described here.

 

 

Are YOU Ready for the August 2017 Solar Eclipse?

[Partial phases from the 2006 Total Solar Eclipse in Egypt. Pictures by K. Larsen, using a proper solar filter]

Dubbed “The Great American Eclipse,” this amazing celestial event will be visible from Connecticut as a partial, not total, eclipse. This means that you need proper preparation to view it safely. CCSU astronomy professor Dr. Kristine Larsen is available to speak on this important topic at libraries, schools, and other public venues within 20 miles of CCSU between now and mid-August, free of charge, schedule permitting. Please send email to Larsen@ccsu.edu with the subject line “SOLAR ECLIPSE TALK.” At least two week’s notice is required for any talk. The venue needs to provide a projection screen and a projector that can be hooked up to a laptop (or equivalent facilities).

Students Offer Free Crash Course in the Night Sky

Have you ever wanted to look through a telescope at the moon or another galaxy? If so, now’s your chance!

Join us for a free public Crash Course on the Night Sky, Monday through Thursday, December 5-8, 6:30 – 8 PM if skies are clear

Hosted by the students of AST 278 Observational Astronomy

Take the elevators to the 5th floor of Copernicus Hall at CCSU and follow the signs. For more information, see http://www.ccsu.edu/astronomy