Geoscience Horizons

Press Release

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

MAILED: Oct. 20, 2003

(715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

Students and Faculty to Present at GSA Meeting in Seattle

EAU CLAIRE - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will be sending six student and faculty representatives to present at the 115th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, which will be held Nov. 2-5, in Seattle, Wash.

Geology students Nick Freiburger, Jeremy Treague and Sarah Prindiville have been accepted to present at this year's GSA meeting. Dr. Harry Jol, associate professor of geography and anthropology, Dr. J. Brian Mahoney, associate professor of geology, and Sarah Gordee, a UW-Eau Claire alumna and University of British Columbia graduate student, also will be presenting results from their research.

"There is a lot of good work coming from our students," said Mahoney. "Their work is on par with any graduate school in the country."

Freiburger, a senior from Bloomington, Minn., will be presenting research from a project he worked on with Kristina Beuning, assistant professor of biology. His part in the project, "Widespread Drought in Tropical East Africa during the Grand Solar Maximum," was to analyze biogenic silica abundance in the sediments of core samples from Lake George, Uganda. Fluctuations in biogenic silica are related to certain climatic or lake level events and this research helps to map out past climate and lake activities.

Treague, a senior from Danbury, is a geology and computer science double major. He will be presenting research on a project he worked on with Dr. Stephen Abbott, associate lecturer of geology at Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia.

The purpose of his project, "Geological Context of Peat Deposition in Cumbebin Swamp, Northeast New South Wales: a Geological Framework for Carbon Sequestration Studies," was to determine the geological origin and evolution of Cumbebin Swamp. Treague and Abbott were especially interested in the history and extent of past peat deposition within the swamp.

A major objective of their study was to provide a geological framework for future studies on carbon sequestration.

"This project provided me with an excellent opportunity to take the geology skills and background that I have acquired so far at UW-Eau Claire and apply them in a completely new environment," said Treague.

Prindiville, a senior from West Allis, will present results from her research "Geochemical Characteristics of Glaciogenic Sediments, Puget Lowland, Washington." Prindiville prepared glacial sediments received from the Seattle area and analyzed the samples' chemical elements using an x-ray spectrometer. The main goal has been to use geochemical signatures as stratigraphic markers to help create a model for basin evolution.

Jol will be presenting one paper and co-presenting four others. He will be presenting "3-D Ground Penetrating Radar Visualization of an Earthquake Induced Scarp." Jol is co-leading the first ever thematic session on "Advances in Stratigraphic Analyses using Ground Penetrating Radar (T123)." The session is fully subscribed with an edited book already in the planning stages. He also will be co-leading a field trip on coastal evolution, dynamic shoreline processes and beach management controversies of the Columbia River Littoral Cell, Southwest Washington and Northern Oregon.

"We strive to take our students to this meeting," said Mahoney. "There's a real benefit for students to showcase their research and for them see how the professionals work."

Mahoney will be presenting research on four separate projects, including work on isotope chemistry, basin evolution along the western continental margin, and the magmatic development of the Canadian Cordillera, as well as chairing a session entitled, "Isotopic Determination of Sediment Provenance: Techniques and Applications." Gordee will be presenting research that she conducted while helping Mahoney with his research project "Magmatic Episodicity in the Eastern Coast Plutonic Complex."

The purpose of this study was to constrain the origin and evolution of the western margin of the Canadian Cordillera over the past 180 million years. The study focuses on the episodic pattern of volcanism and plutonism during continental assembly in western Canada.

For more information, contact Jol at (715) 836-3472 or Mahoney at (715) 836-4952, or visit the UW-Eau Claire geology department at Information about GSA can be found at



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