Keck Geology Consortium

On the weekend of April 14, Williams geology majors Rebecca Atkinson ’00 and Anne Hereford ’01, accompanied by faculty sponsor Reinhard Wobus, Edna McConnell Clark Professor of Geosciences, traveled to Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. There they joined students and faculty from a dozen schools, including Amherst, Pomona and Smith, in sharing their research findings in the annual Keck Geology Consortium.

The symposium is the culmination of a year of inter-institutional, collaborative work on several projects around the world. Participants this year spent a month conducting research and fieldwork in California, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Jamaica and Greece. For senior thesis students, lab work and writing has continued throughout the year.

This year, Atkinson was selected to present her thesis “Petrogenesis and Correlation of the Mid-Tertiary Upper Bonanza Tuff, Central Colorado,” a 32-million-year old volcanic tock near the old gold-mining town of Bonanza. Hereford, in collaboration with Amherst junior Reed Porter, reported on her project “The Geochemistry of Surface Sediments in the Baker Woodlands Environmental Research Site, Lancaster, PA,” a reclaimed landfill area that still shows signs of contamination by heavy metals. Professor Wobus was the faculty advisor for both Williams students and is member of the governing board of the Consortium.

Since its conception in 1987, the Keck Geology Consortium has provided research opportunities for 62 Williams geology students. This summer, Hereford will continue her Keck research in Idaho on a project directed by Williams geology professor Paul Karabinos. In addition, Marlene Duffy ’01 and Carissa Carter ’01 will be performing glacial research in Alaska. In the past eight years, five Williams Keck participants have received prestigious NSF or NDSEG fellowships for graduate work in Geosciences. One Williams Keck participant has received a Fulbright.

Special thanks to Pat Acosta