Feb. 21, 2003
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724)
738-4854; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ROCK STUDENTS TO SHARE GEOLOGIC RESEARCH WITH
MEMBERS OF U.S. CONGRESS
ROCK, Pa. – Three Slippery Rock University students who
researched landscape development in Badlands National Park, S.D.,
have been invited to present their research to the U.S. Congress
via a symposium. Students will summarize their work and attend a
reception in the nation’s capital April 1.
Erney of Dover, Michael Jahn of Butler, and Erin Heffron of
Minersville were invitedby the Council on
Undergraduate Research to participate in its “Posters on the
Hill” program. Posters on the Hill provides a platform for
presenting outstanding undergraduate research once a year to the
SRU trio was accepted based on their abstract, said SRU’s Dr.
Patrick Burkhart, associate professor of geography, geology and the
environment. The abstract is titled “Magnetic Susceptibility
Studies of Paleosols to Advance the Understanding of Paleoclimate
in Badlands National Park, South Dakota.”
Posters on the Hill session will be held in the Rayburn House
Office Building, with many members of Congress in attendance,
Erney and Jahn are
environmental geoscience majors. Heffron is in the Environmental
Studies Program. Both are signature programs at The
not too often in one’s lifetime that the opportunity to meet
with members of Congress on a one-on-one basis comes by,”
Jahn said. “Knowing that, I plan on taking advantage of
this opportunity to ensure future research and job possibilities
for myself as well as SRU.”
Three weeks in a wind-swept
along with Burkhart and assistant Professor Dr. Jack Livingston,
visited the Badlands last May to study climate change and decipher
the origins of the landscape. They found clues, including many
soils more than 2,000 years old.
Badlands are renowned for layers of soil called “sod
tables.” Resembling a flight of stairs, they provide a
glimpse of climatic variation because each layer represents a
period of stability, which was later interrupted by erosion or
deposition of additional sediment, Burkhart said.
The goal of the study was to identify
distinctive paleosols – old buried soils – that could
be dated and used to correlate sod tables at various locations.
Radiocarbon dates are being interpreted and should assist in
placing the study into the context of climate change on the High
the students learn to prosper under harsh conditions, make
discoveries and developas scholars has been very
enjoyable,” Burkhart said.
Editor’s Note: Jahn graduated from Butler Area High School;
Erney from Dover Area High School; and Heffron from Minersville
Area High School.
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