Five Williams students attend Keck symposium

Five Williams College students and two of their faculty advisors participated in the 12th annual research symposium sponsored by the national Keck Geology Consortium.

This year’s meeting was held at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, one of the dozen undergraduate colleges in the consortium, from April 22-25. The symposium is the culmination of a year of inter-institutional collaborative research, which began with field and lab work last summer that involved students and faculty from all the member colleges of the consortium as well as several other colleges and universities.

Making presentations at this year’s meeting were Jana Comstock ’99, from Murrysville, PA, “Petrological and geochronological analyses of the Mazatzal Quartzite and related units from central Arizona”; Erik Klemetti ’99 of Westminster, MA, “The geochemistry and tectonic setting of the Vinalhaven Diabase, Coastal Maine Magmatic Province”; Jennifer Newton ’99 from Lenox, MA, “The Vinalhaven Rhyolite and Perry Creek Formations: felsic volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks of Vinalhaven Island, Maine”; Taylor Schildgen ’00 of Litchfield, CT, “Geologic mapping with GPS and GIS, Dagger Flat, Big Bend National Park, Texas”; and Martin Wong ’99 from Brooklyn, NY, “Veins as stress indicators, Mazatzal Mountains, AZ.

Faculty members attending the meeting were assistant professor of geosciences Ronadh Cox, who gave a report co-authored by professor of geosciences Paul Karabinos entitled “Mazatzal Mountains, Central Arizona,” and professor of geosciences and Edna McConnell Clark Professor of Geology Reinhard A. Wobus, who was co-author of a presentation “Igneous and Metamorphic Geology of Vinalhaven Island, Maine.” A proceedings volume published for the symposium contains papers by all participants.

The symposium is part of the year-round geosciences research and education program of the national 12-college Keck Geology Consortium sponsored by the W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles, which has contributed $5.2 million to the consortium to support undergraduate research in geology over a 15-year period. The consortium was created in 1986 in response to a proposal from Williams professors William T. Fox, Emeritus Professor of Geosciences, and Wobus. Cathryn Manduca, a 1980 geology graduate of Williams, is director of the consortium from her office at Carleton College. Parallel grants from the National Science Foundation have promoted the participation of minority students from a variety of colleges and universities in the consortium’s research projects. In addition to Williams, the member schools of the consortium are Amherst, Beloit, Carleton, Colorado College, Franklin & Marshall, Pomona, Smith, Trinity (San Antonio), Washington & Lee, Whitman and Wooster.

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