On January 25-27, 2020, Professor Cecilia McHugh presented the results of her research on earthquakes at the “International Conference on Earth and Environmental Sciences & Technology for Sustainable Development” (ICEEST) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Seventy-five scientists representing 21 nations and a large component of Bangladesh dignitaries including Abdul Hamid, the President of Bangladesh, Minister of Education, Vice-Chancellors of Universities, Navy officers, Professors, and students attended the ICEEST 2020. Five scientists represented the US from Vanderbilt University, Lamont and Queens College, CUNY.
On Tuesday, December 17th, students from Geology 200 (Methods in Geoscience) presented their final research projects at a poster symposium. For their projects, the class was split into eight groups and sent to Central Park to observe and record data of the outcrops found there. The class measured the azimuth of glacial striations, strike and dip of foliations, and examined the rock types they found. Their data was compiled and shared with the rest of the class and then each group researched the geology of area to reach conclusions about their findings.
This project is an excellent opportunity to prepare our students for research and presenting it to a professional audience.
On Wednesday December 4th, undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs presented their research at the first SEES Student Poster Symposium. Topics included volcanology, geochemistry, geomorphology, climate change, and more! This event allowed our majors the to present their research in an inviting environment to prepare them for presenting at larger conferences.
On Nov. 22nd, the 3rd VolcaNYC symposium took place at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and SEES had strong representation, with 9 presentations (8 from students). In the picture, from top left to bottom right:
Michael Kausch has had his most recent paper, "Bacterial quality of groundwater downgradient of onsite wastewater disposal systems and the influence on eastern Long Island's embayments" published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.
Michael is an alumni of SEES, having graduated in 2014 with a MS in Applied Environmental Geosciences where he worked under SEES Professor Gregory O'Mullan, and is currently pursing a PhD in Aquitic Ecology at Fordham University. He conducted his research for the paper in Dr. O'Mullan's lab here at Queens College and at the USGS.
From the abstract:
Onsite wastewater disposal systems (OWDS) can introduce bacterial and chemical contaminants, via groundwater, into aquifers and adjacent waterways. We evaluated the concentration of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) in the shallow groundwater of Eastern Long Island, New York, downgradient of OWDS using cultivation approaches and analysis of 16 S rRNA genes. While FIB and ARB were detected in 80% and 67% of groundwater samples, respectively, concentrations were low, suggesting that, at least at the time of sampling, groundwater was not a large-scale source of fecal bacterial contamination to adjacent embayments. ARB isolates did not include common fecal associated genera and the concentration of FIB and ARB did not correlate well with the concentration of pharmaceutical contaminants, suggesting that bacterial contaminants were poorly linked to OWDS discharge. Concentrations of FIB in the studied embayments were significantly greater in nearshore compared to mid-channel environments, suggesting that land-based sources are likely to be the major contributors of bacterial contamination.
Students from Geology 200: Methods in Geoscience, will be presenting their final project posters in the Science Building Atrium on Tuesday, December 17th from 1:45 PM - 3:45 PM. Coffee and cookies will be served to all attendees.
Professor Cecilia McHugh will be presenting a seminar at 1:15 PM at the American Museum of Natural History on October 24th, 2019. Her talk is titled “Submarine paleoseismology as a tool for identifying earthquakes and tsunamis: Lessons learned and future challenges” and will be held in The AMNH Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences on the fourth floor in the Wallach Orientation Center on the south or 77th Street side of the building. Faculty and students are welcome to attend!
Tuffani Taigeshwar (right) with Professor Jacquelyn Bracco (left)
SEES’ own Tuffani Taigeshwar has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship donated by Chaim Wachsberger in memory of his parents, Samuel and Karola Wachsberger. This scholarship is awarded to students with exceptional academic records in the Queens College Accelerated Master’s program.
Tuffani is a Geology major in the SEES department and is working as a research assistant under Professor Jacquelyn Bracco in her Environmental Nanogeochemistry Lab. Her research project there is titled: Strontium Incorporation into Calcite: A Thermodynamic or Kinetic Effect?
Congratulations to Inva Braha and Samantha Tramontano, recipients of the Paula and Jeffrey Gural Graduate Scholarship! Paula received her MA from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2005 and along with her husband Jeffrey Gural, has been the supported of the college since 2008. The Gural’s have pledged $1 Million to fund both faculty positions within SEES and graduate student scholarships. Inva and Samantha are the latest to receive such support.
Inva joined the SEES MA program in January of 2019 and is interested in paleoceanography, paleoclimate, micropaleontology, global warming, and geochemistry. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a B.S degree in Geology, she worked for International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) as a Research Associate/Curatorial Specialist. Inva sailed four expeditions on JOIDES Resolution, where she helped facilitate science and scientists from around the world by conducting research and acquiring core data from deep sea drilling cores. She is currently working under her advisor, Professor Jacquelyn Bracco, in the Environmental Nanogeochemistry Lab and is working on her thesis: Defect Driven Pb Adsorption at the Mineral-Water Interface.
Samantha is a PhD graduate student and adjunct lecturer with positions at The Graduate Center, Queens College, and the College of Staten Island studying volcanology, petrology, and mineralogy. Most of her graduate research examines the evolution of magma systems prior to eruption, and many of her projects combine analytical geochemistry methods, field work, and computational thermodynamic modelling. As part of a geo-education project during her Master’s work at Vanderbilt University, Samantha has developed videos and associated quizzes to aid in teaching optical microscopy – they are available as an open-source educational resource at earthopticsmineralogy.com. Currently, she is working under her advisor, Professor Marc-Antoine Longpré, and is deciphering how and why volcanoes erupt after quiet periods of 100 years (or more). She is a huge advocate for including field methods in research, and is very grateful for meeting the rocks in New Zealand, Brazil, California, Nicaragua, New York, and New Jersey.
“The BRAVOSEIS (Bransfield Volcano Seismology) Project”
The Bransfield Strait is a seismically active extensional rift located between the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands that is forming in continental crust but may be near the transition to seafloor spreading. As part of the BRAVOSEIS project, an international effort focused on the seismological research of submarine volcanoes and rift dynamics in the Bransfield Strait, we deployed a nested, amphibious seismic network in the area during the 2018-2018 field season. The recorded seismicity will be analyzed using state-of-the-art techniques. The results may shed light on the crustal structure and tectonic regime in the South Shetlands region; elucidate among different theories on the origin of the Bransfield rift; image the location and extent of magma accumulation zones related to submarine volcanic structures; and assess the internal processes that occur in the submarine volcanoes of the Bransfield area.
Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 5:30p.m.
Science Center, Rm. 4102
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue, NYC
Reception to follow