News / Events 2013
December 14 Holiday Party
The departmental Holiday party will be held this year on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at the Upland Brewery and Restaurant. All ages are welcome to attend. Party tickets will be available starting December 2 in GY 317.
Additionally, we are pleased to announce that nominations for departmental awards are now open for the following categories:
- THE UNABASHED NERD: This award is given to the Student who is not ashamed of their love for all things science and who embodies a child-like enthusiasm for their academic and scholarly pursuits.
- THE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD: This award is given to the best new addition to the Department that has made an immediate impact and increased the overall quality of life/research/talent in Geology. This individual (or object) must have joined the department between January 1, 2013 and today to be eligible for this award.
- CUTEST GEOLOGY COUPLE AWARD: This award is given to the cutest couple in the department. A couple is any two departmental members, department member plus significant other who unofficially "joined" the department by association or researcher-equipment pair who are the most inseparable and constantly show their love and affection for one another embodying the bad geology pun "don’t take them for granite."
- THE MOST ELIGIBLE GEOLOGIST AWARD: This award is given to a member of the department who is considered to be the most eligible bachelor or bachelorette in the department.
- THE MOST INTERESTING MAN/WOMAN IN GEOLOGY AWARD: This award is given to the student (grad or undergrad) who is most likely to have his or her research published in Nature or Science. Stay scholarly my friends.
- THE LEX LUTHOR AWARD: This award is given to the Department Member who is most likely to use their acquired geological knowledge for evil and become a super-villain.
- THE SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE AWARD: This award is given to the Department member who is most likely moonlighting as a superhero, using their Geologic powers for good, fighting for truth, justice, the American Way-and good beer!
- BEST DRESSED: This award is give to the best-dressed member of our department whether they are the snazziest dressed or the most… shall we say eclectically-dressed person.
- GEOLOGY MOM AWARD: This award is dedicated to the person most responsible for making the Geology Department run properly. Needless to say, we’d be lost without her.
- MOST LIKELY TO DROP A BEAKER, FALL DOWN THE STAIRS, INTO A MANHOLE AWARD: This award is self-explanatory.
All students, staff and faculty are eligible for nomination. Please send in your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Department announces the Mary Iverson Graduate Fellowship
In our fast–paced world, the presence of a knowledgeable and caring staff member is an extraordinary departmental resource. Mary Iverson has taken the time and made the extra effort to solve complex problems related to the course enrollment and financial support of our graduate students for nearly 50 years. Her reassuring demeanor and unpretentious manner provided a sense of well–being and comfort to any student experiencing a crisis.
The Department of Geological Sciences at Indiana University celebrates Mary Iverson’s extraordinary impact on the department with the goal of raising $150,000 to support graduate fellowships for students who are pursuing an M.S. or Ph.D. in Geological Sciences and need an additional semester of support to finish writing their thesis or dissertation.
If you would like to contribute to the Mary Iverson Graduate Fellowship in Geological Science (Account number 37AS17301), you may do so by sending your check to the Indiana University Foundation, P O Box 500, Bloomington, IN 47402. Please write the name of the account or the account number in the note section of your check.
Or, you may navigate to the IUF online donation page and simply enter the account name (Mary Iverson Graduate Fellowship in Geological Science) or account number (37AS17301) on this page, make a gift by credit card, and the gift administration folks will get it directed to the right fund.
Geology Building serves as a site for a BTN commercial
On November 5th and 6th, parts of the Geology building was transformed into the School of Business as IU alumnus Angelo Pizzo directed a commercial about fellow IU alumnus Mark Cuban for airing on BTN. For more than two days the film crew worked to build a true-to-1950’s-decor office in the present-day first floor lounge area, and remake the bulding’s entrance to look like the School of Business. more
The Department of Geological Sciences and the Geological Survey WON the IU FALL Energy Challenge.
Our Building is the winner of the Fall 2013 Energy Challenge for academic buildings on the Bloomington campus. There is a spectacular retro-trophy now on display in the Geological Survey and there is a water-bottle refill station on the way.
A big HIP HIP HOORAY for the leaders of the Energy Challenge Team for the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Survey: Amishi Kumar, Kaitlyn Danielle, Marni Dickson, and Michael Hamburger. more
2013 Science Open House at IU – What a blast! Thank you Open House volunteers!
A giant thank-you to everyone who contributed in one way or another to put together what was undoubtedly our best-ever representation at the Physics-Astronomy-Geology Open House! Hats off to several dozen volunteers who helped prepare and present seven or eight magnificent hands-on displays at the Open House to an audience that must have measured in the many hundreds. I think the volcanic eruption (thanks to Mike Bramnik) and the Mars Rover (thanks to Cindy Elbaz) definitely helped bring in the crowds this year. And no one got hit by flying shrapnel (ping-pong balls) from the eruption!
Special kudos to Xiaotao Yang, Anna Nowicki, and the members of the IU Geophysical Society for many hours of hard work pulling this event together.
Thanks, too, to John Steinmetz and Rick Hill of the IGS for contributing poster materials for an elegant display in Swain Hall. Geology rocks—thanks to you guys!
Quoting the IU Newsroom: "Built your own comet lately? Or would constructing a volcano be a more down-to-earth experience for you? Indiana University scientists will let you take your pick Saturday, Oct. 26, when IU Bloomington’s astronomy, chemistry, geological sciences, mathematics and physics departments collectively host their annual open houses."
The Department participated in the annual Science Open House on Saturday, October 26. We had 10 stations with wonderful activities, fossils, geodes, earthquake and volcano simulation, etc. The Geological Sciences event was housed in Swain Hall, and ran from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with booths for a Rock/Mineral/Fossil show, a volcano simulation, fossil digging, Mars Rover activity, geode smashing, the solar system, a GPR demonstration, career opportunities in Geology, and Make Your Own Earthquake, complete with a volcano, which is predicted to erupt at 1 p.m. "Dr. Rock" was on hand to identify any rock or mineral sample. more
October 9: G420 Regional Geology Field Trip
Bob Wintsch and Julie Fosdick led the fall, 2013 G420 field trip in which three graduate and six undergraduate students from IU Geology were enrolled. The trip started on Wednesday Oct. 9th in Pennsylvania, where Acadian foreland-basin sediments were examined. The second stop was to examine very high-grade rocks in Connecticut on Thursday. Then on Friday we examined igneous rocks and their metamorphic contact aureoles associated with the Acadian Orogeny in southern Maine. The highlight of the trip was our visit to lower grade metamorphic rocks and magma mingling in Devonian igneous rocks in east central Maine on Saturday, where IU Ph.D. student Hind Ghanem and junior undergraduate student Joe Biasi led an official field trip for the 2013 New England Intercollegiate Conference (NEIGC). This field trip was well attended by other scholars and their students, including Boston College, Queens College, Stony Brook University, the universities of Maine and Rhode Island, among others. On the return trip on Sunday and Monday, a quick stop was made again in southern Maine and features of the Valley and Ridge province were discussed in Pennsylvania as we drove through it. Below are some photos that were taken by IU student Andrew Redifer.
The Department of Geological Sciences and the Geological Survey WON the IU FALL Energy Challenge.
It is official! The Department of Geological Sciences is participating in the FALL Energy Challenge. Now in its fourth year, the Energy Challenge is to help instill conservation habits in participants. It rewards participants for making small behavior changes that, when performed collectively, can substantially decrease Indiana University's environmental impact. Over the past four years, this effort has saved an estimated 3 million kilowatt-hours of energy and 6 million gallons of water. That is real money that the university is saving (and ideally turning directly into increases in the bloated graduate student stipends!). This year, our participation in the Energy Challenge is co-sponsored by SGE.
This is a 4-week challenge, beginning Monday October 7 and ending Monday November 4, to reduce energy and water consumption in our building. We are in the Academic Buildings Division once again. We’ll be competing with 7 academic buildings (Kelley Grad, Swain, SPEA, Geology, Informatics, Wright, Woodburn) for this year’s prize: a Water Bottle Refill Station. So if we want to win back our prize (and our trophy), we will have our work cut out for us. We’ll be working together with our neighbors at the Indiana Geological Survey to show what we geologists are made of!
How Does It Work?
Same as in the Spring: we are competing against our own past record. A baseline has been established for our building based on the same 4-week period over the past three years, not on the new, lower levels we have achieved. The goal is to have the highest, combined percentage reduction of electricity and water. Readings will be taken once a week, tallied, and posted on the IU Energy Challenge website: http://energychallenge.indiana.edu/Home.html.
- TURN OFF THE LIGHTS WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR OFFICE OR LAB
- TURN OFF LCD PROJECTORS WHEN NOT IN USE (i.e, log out of lecterns in lecture rooms)
- CLOSE FUME HOODS WHEN NOT IN USE
- Get some exercise and kick the elevator habit!
- Don’t leave appliances plugged in when not in use
- Don’t constantly charge laptop or phone (charge when present...not overnight
- Turn off computer display and peripherals when not in use
- Dim screen on laptop/computer so to charge it less often/uses less electricity
- Put computer into sleep mode when leaving the office
- Use ambient light or small desk light instead of having whole room lit
- Set AC to 78 degrees and heat to 68 (optimal for energy efficiency)
- Make sure all windows and doors are closed when heat or AC is on
- Pull down drapes when sun is out and it’s hot out...your AC won't have to work as hard
- When cooking, match size of pan to size of heating element
- Use cold water instead of hot
- Fix leaky faucets
- Don't leave water running
We will be posting signs around the building to inform visitor to the building of the challenge and our goals. We will have additional signs for staff, as well as emails, to serve as friendly reminders and to provide some facts, tips, and tricks for greener living. If you have any ideas, please share them with us!
If you have any questions about the Energy Challenge or general green activities, please feel free to contact me, Michael Hamburger (email@example.com) or our co-chairs from SGE, Amishi Kumar (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kaitlyn Waling (email@example.com).
We were able to significantly reduce our energy/water consumption over the past three years' Energy Challenges and we developed great practices that we incorporated into our everyday work environment. For this challenge we simply need to expand the effort. Encourage everyone, including hourlies, students, and visitors, to join in the challenge!
October 2: IU Bloomington geologist P. David Polly and former IU Master's student David Grossnickle co-authored a report on the decline of early mammal varieties.
Quoting the IU Bloomington Newsroom: The dramatic explosion of flowering plant species that occurred about 100 million years ago was thought to have been good news for evolving mammals, providing them with new options for food and habitat. But research by geologists at Indiana University Bloomington suggests that wasn't necessarily the case.
In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, David Grossnickle and P. David Polly present evidence that mammal varieties declined during the great angiosperm radiation of the mid-Cretaceous, a time when a great diversity of flowering plants appears in the fossil record. more
September 26: IU Bloomington geologist reports results of Mars mineralogy investigation. more
June, July, August
SEISMOPHOTOGRAPHY: "Imag(in)ing Science" Exhibition at the Grunwald Gallery
James Nakagawa, Professor of Photography in the School of Fine Arts, collaborated with geophysicist Michael Hamburger to produce a suite of images that combines photography and earth science. Photography is a medium that records information and data, producing visual representations of the world around us. The study of earth science creates visual data as well. The goal of this collaboration was to create work that transcended just the presentation of information but became a fully realized artistic endeavor.
As part of this unique collaboration between artist and earth scientist, Michael Hamburger modified the photographs using a number of traditional recording techniques that have been used by seismologists for over a century: smoke–paper and ink–pen recording of current seismic activity on rotating seismograph drums. They also experimented with manual tracing of specialized engineering recordings from "strong-motion seismographs" positioned close to the location of the photographic images. These techniques produced a new medium, "seismophotography": images that bring together photographic and seismological impressions of dynamic Earth activity. The combination of seismographic data and photographic images produce a mysterious, evocative, and sometimes powerful impression of the impacts of Earth activity on human agency and the ways in which we strive to understand and respond to them. More information: PDF
Date: Friday, August 30th. Location: Grunwald Gallery, School of Fine Arts. Panel Discussion: 5:00-6:00 p.m. Opening Reception 6:00-8:00 p.m. Themester wesbite
August 22: IU Research and Teaching Preserve Open House
Diverse natural habitats span the nearly 1600 acres that are the IU Research and Teaching Preserve. The propertes and 6000 sq. ft. field lab are close to campus and available for research, teaching, meetings, and outreach activites. Come and go as your schedule permits. See that the IU Research and Teaching Preserve has to offer you! For more information, contact Terri Greene (812-855-8742). Here is more information about the IU Research and Teaching Preserve.
The Department welcomes Dr. Julie Fosdick, Assistant Professor of Sedimentary Geology.
The renovations for Julie’s new Basin Analysis and Thermochronology Laboratory are currently underway. She is seeking students with interests in sedimentary basins and tectonics. If interested, please contact her about research opportunities in field–based projects and quantitative thermochronologic analysis. more
Field Trip: G190 Volcanoes Seminar "Volcanoes of the Eastern Sierra Nevada."
The annual field trip was held May 18-June 1, 2013. Papers and images can be found on the course website here
Judson Mead Geologic Field Station
Summer courses from June 30th through August 12th at the IU Judson Mead Geologic Field Station more
The GETGAMM research team traveled to field sites in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland from July 9 through August 2. more
The mystery of "eternal flames"
Quoting the IU News Room: "Eternal flames" fueled by hydrocarbon gas could shine a light on the presence of natural gas in underground rock layers and conditions that let it seep to the surface, according to research by geologists at the Department of Geological Sciences and the Indiana Geological Survey at Indiana University Bloomington.
A little-known but spectacular flame in Erie County, N.Y., is the focus of an article in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology, co-authored by Agnieszka Drobniak, research scientist with the Indiana Geological Survey, and Arndt Schimmelmann, senior scientist in the Department of Geological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. more
Students enrolled in courses at the Indiana University Geologic Field Station prepare to travel to Cardwell, Montana.
Classes start on June 30 and run until August 12. The Field Station’s flagship course, G429, Field Geology in the Rocky Mountains, is the frequently required capstone course for advanced college geosciences majors. G129, Earth Sciences: Materials and Processes, has been added for rising college freshman, and primarily non-majors in geology regardless of class standing.
April 2-12: IU researchers in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland sampled gas and sediment at project field sites.
Photo: (left to right) Seth Young, Sarah Cadieux, and Jeff White work with a data sonde to gather information about Potentilla Lake.
April 11: Jeff White writes: "All goes well here in Greenland. Many hours of fruitful field collections and lab analyses. Going from 8am to 10pm every day. But spirits are high as the data look excellent. JW" Research website
Professor Michael Hamburger to recieve the Distinguished Service Award
Michael Hamburger has been selected to receive the Bloomington campus Distinguished Service Award for the 20 12-20 13 academic year. In the words of Vice Provost Tom Gieryn, "Your exemplary career at Indiana University represents an extraordinary picture of truly distinguished service. The Bloomington Faculty Council created the Distinguished Service Award in order to recognize leadership and dedication within the university, within a discipline, and/or in the community.The committee and I single out your persistent and thoroughly successful efforts to launch an Office of Sustainability on the Bloomington campus. Without your steadfast commitment to this project, in the face of many obstacles eventually overcome, the magnificent sustainability programs at IUB simply would not exist." A reception will be held on April 22, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. in the President’s Room, University Club, Indiana Memorial Union.
Crossroads Conference at IUB
The annual Crossroads Geology Conference at IUB was held April 5th and 6th, 2013 in the Geology building.
Dr. Erika Elswick, Faculty sponsor of SGE, writes: "The Rho Chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon (SGE) did a great job of organizing and conducting the Conference with a record number of 60 student participants from the department and guests from IUPU South Bend, Wright State University, Indiana State, IUPUI, and the University of Northern Illinois.
Congratulations to the Crossroads Committee: Jeremy Maurer (chair), Kellie Donoghue, James Wallace, Justin Zabrecky and Scott David and SGE Officers Rebecca Caldwell, President; Robin Green, Treasurer; and Liz Cola, Secretary. You and the SGE members did a great job and the Department is very proud of your accomplishments and those of the student participants. Congratulations to all!
Congratulations to the Student winners acknowledged by the judges in the following six categories:
- PhD: Rebecca Caldwell – Best Poster; Rich Bykowski – Best Oral Presentation
- MS: Anna Nowicki – Best Poster; Teresa Ditz (IUPUI) – Best Oral Presentation
- Undergraduate: Erica Cotter (IUPU South Bend) – Best Poster; Emily Stewart – Best Oral presentation"
The Edmonds lab renovation is complete. GY 441 is the new home of Doug Edmonds’ laboratory. His research focuses on the stratigraphy and dynamics of depositional sedimentary systems. SedSystems Website
IU seismic network "OIINK" records North Korea’s nuculear explosion
The North Korean nuclear explosion was recorded at our midcontinent "OIINK" seismic network. The blast, which occurred at 0257:51 GMT (9:57 PM Monday, February 11th, local time) produced seismic energy equivalent to a magnitude 5.1 earthquake. Given the distance from southern Indiana (about 90 degrees, or a quarter of the way around the globe) that’s pretty close to our recording threshold, so it’s hidden in the background noise at many sites. The seismic waves arrived here around 13 minutes later, at 0311 GMT.
Abive are two recordings of the event, which show the strong, high-frequency P-waves produced by the blast. It is seismic recordings like these that provide the primary constraint on underground nuclear testing and the basis for verification of most nuclear testing treaties. IU Press also covered the story.
Meteorological masts (wind towers) arrive at IU Geosciences
Rebecca Barthelmie, Sara C. Pryor, and Post-Doctoral Researcher Karen Hornsby oversee the delivery of meteorological masts. Meteorological masts are designed for wind energy research in particular because they are portable yet durable and have a slender profile and booms that do not interfere with the precision of high quality wind and turbulence measurements. Website for Atmospheric Sciences
January 14. Terry Engelder Gives Tudor Lecture on "Shale Gas: Technical Details Behind Environmental Concerns." more
Quoting IU News Room: "Engelder’s Tudor Lecture will focus on technical issues surrounding natural gas development in the Appalachian Basin. The talk will be preceded by coffee and cookies in the lobby of the Geology Building. Copies of "The End of Country" will be available for purchase at an informal reception following the evening forum.
"Dr. Engelder’s visit to IU offers an extraordinary opportunity for our faculty and students," said Michael Hamburger, professor of geophysics in the IU College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Geological Sciences. "He is a highly respected research scholar, as well as a leader in the application of geological knowledge to critical energy issues. Our evening forum will allow Engelder to team up with writer Seamus McGraw to examine the complex social, economic and policy implications of natural gas exploration in America's heartland."
Climate Change in the Midwest: Impacts, Risks, Vulnerability, and Adaptation Edited by S. C. Pryor.
The research presented in this volume focuses on identifying and quantifying the major vulnerabilities to climate change in the Midwestern United States. By providing state-of-the-art spatially disaggregated information regarding the historical, current, and possible future climate within the region, the contributors assess the risks and susceptibility of the critical socio-economic and environmental systems. Key sectors discussed are agriculture, human health, water, energy and infrastructure, and the vulnerabilities that may be amplified under current climate trajectories. The book also considers the challenges and opportunities to develop local and regional strategies for addressing the risks posed by climate change in the context of developing an integrative policy for the region. more
Sara recently made a podcast for the Union of Concerned Scientists about these issues in the Midwest. You can view it here (Sara’s piece begins at 23 minutes).
We look back on the events of 2012 and look forward to an exciting new year in the Department! (News archives)
Check on upcoming due dates, ceremonies, conferences
Alumni and Friends
- Chair's Greeting to Alumni and Friends
- Alumni News, Events, and how to stay in touch
- Endowment Funds