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Students, faculty attend Geological Society of America’s annual meeting

Students and faculty from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology attended the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) this week (Oct. 9-12) in Minneapolis.

The theme of this year’s conference is Archean to Anthropocene: The past is the key to the future.

Presentations by WKU faculty and students included:

  • Understanding the Earth System through Field and Digital Mapping Techniques in the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian of Western Kentucky by undergraduate geology majors Buddy Price of Dubre, Chris Driver of Hopkinsville and Marvin Conn of Lewisburg, with Dr. Michael May.
  • Advances in Epikarst Zone Hydrogeology in the Pennyroyal Plateau of South-Central Kentucky: Implications for Contaminant Transport by Dr. Jason Polk (Hoffman Institute Associate Director), Dr. Chris Groves (Distinguished Professor and Hoffman Institute Director), and geoscience students Benjamin Haaff of Rockport, Ind., Ben Miller of Bowling Green and Sean Vanderhoff of Bowling Green.
  • Multiple Storm Event Impacts on Epikarst Storage and Transport of Organic Soil Amendments in South-Central Kentucky by graduate geoscience student Sean Vanderhoff of Bowling Green.
  • Portals in the Geology Curriculum for Undergraduate Research, a poster by Dr. Andrew Wulff, Dr. Michael May, Dr. Fred Siewers and Dr. Aaron Celestian.
  • Ion Selectivity Studies on Nanoporous Crystal Structures, a poster by undergraduate geology major Michael Powers of Bowling Green.
  • An Evolving Online Tool for the Assessment and Evaluation of Human-Environmental Interactions in Karst Landscapes by REU undergraduate student Victoria Allen of Auburn, with Hoffman Institute faculty Dr. Jason Polk, Dr. Leslie North and Dr. Chris Groves, and geoscience graduate student Taylor Hutchison of Nashville, Tenn.
  • Misconceptions among us: Insights from Informal Karst Learning Environments by Hoffman Institute associate Dr. Leslie North.

Dr. Fred Siewers led a group of 10 undergraduate geology majors to the conference as part of a for-credit geology enhancement course. At the conference, students attended paper sessions, explored postgraduate career opportunities and learned more about the professional side of the discipline.

“Student engagement in the Department of Geography and Geology is best exemplified by presentations of student research at conferences and workshops,” said Geography and Geology Department Head Dr. David Keeling. “The opportunity to conduct research with faculty and fellow students in advanced geology classes or through supervised independent projects makes WKU students highly competitive when external opportunities become available, including graduate programs. Our geology students always receive high praise at these conferences for the sophistication and thoroughness of their research.”

Contact: David Keeling, (270) 745-4555.

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