Fall 2019 Colloquia

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Department Meet & Greet
Greene Gallery, Lapham Hall 4-5

Thursday, September 19, 2019

GSA Practice Talks

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Prof. Beth Conerty, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
Title: Great Technology to Industry Adoption, the Long Road of Commercialization
Host: Paradis/Klapper
Abstract: A disconnect exists between scientific research in an academic lab and the implementation of a technology within industry. Proving a technology at a relevant scale and enticing industry to take a chance can be challenging and overwhelming, not to mention expensive. There are, however, paths and resources available to anyone who might be interested in seeing a great idea move beyond the research lab. Whether it is taking the leap to become an entrepreneur, or seeking the correct avenues within your institution to find an interested company, helping shepherd a discovery into relevant application can be rewarding. From an idea to commercialization is a long and exciting road, and exploring the different steps along the way can also benefit scientists wanting to better understand the process or risk-taking entrepreneurs ready to take the leap.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Prof. Steve Techtmann, Michigan Tech
Title: Methane transport and microbial community response during field-scale soil methane release experiments
Host: Paradis
Abstract: Portions of the Great Lakes are at risk for oil contamination due to oil transport via pipelines. Many microorganisms have been shown to respond to released oil and use hydrocarbons as a carbon and energy source. However, very little is known about the microbial diversity of oil degrading taxa in the Great Lakes. Diverse oil types are being carried in pipelines that run in or near the Great Lakes. Chemical differences in different oil types may select for a unique set of microbial taxa. In this study we sought to characterize the microbial response to two distinct oil types and the predictability of this response across the Great Lakes. Samples of surface water were collected from seven sites in Lake Michigan, the Straits of Mackinac and Lake Superior. Bakken crude oil and Cold Lake Diluted Bitumen were amended into surface water samples. Microbial community composition was profiled across a five-week microcosm experiment using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Our results indicated that the microbial community composition in oil-amended conditions was distinct from the control microcosms. We also observed a distinct microbial community composition in microcosms amended with different types of crude oil. These findings suggest that the Great Lakes contain a core set of taxa related to know oil-degrading microorganisms, with accessory taxa responding depending on the oil type. More recently we have begun to use machine learning to identify microbial biomarkers of different oil types as a novel tool for environmental monitoring.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Field Camp Orientation

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Prof. Chris Atchison, University of Cincinnati
Title: Moving beyond tradition: Rethinking field-based teaching and learning in the geosciences
Host: Paradis
Abstract: Regardless of the discipline, field-based coursework places an implicit prerequisite on the physical ability needed to navigate the often rugged, ever-changing and unpredictable, natural environment.  As a result, most field-focused disciplines marginalize those who do not fit the traditional model of a field practitioner.  This marginalization is derived from a social deficit model, where the barrier to inclusive field study lies in the inability of the individual rather than there being an issue with the physical environment.

Broadening participation research focused on accessibility in the geosciences is working to remove barriers to participation and catalyze a disciplinary shift toward inclusive practice.  Through intentional instructional design and technology integration, students are free to focus on the science and participate in communities of learning void of the social barriers of bias and stereotype.  This presentation will discuss an evolution in inclusive geoscience education:  how barriers to participation have been identified and addressed through examples of accessible field courses that embody elements of constructive and connective pedagogical strategies.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Prof. Ross Powell, Northern Illinois University
Title: The Glacial Yo yo – Inferring Glacial Regime and Ice Dynamics from Past Sedimentary Records
Host: Isbell
Abstract: TBA

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Prof. Chris Fielding, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Title: The end-Permian mass extinction from a high southern palaeolatitude perspective
Host: Isbell
Abstract: The dominant view of the continental biosphere at the close of the Permian asserts high concentrations of atmospheric aerosols and CO2 related to eruption of magmas from large igneous provinces, abrupt and severe warming, aridity, extensive loss of vegetation, and consequent changes in depositional systems. Most work on the continental record of the end-Permian mass extinction (EPME) has been carried out in low-paleolatitude locations, hence the extent to which earth surface systems at high paleolatitudes were impacted remains unresolved. We document a multi-disciplinary dataset focused on the relatively continuous paleo-continental margin succession of the Sydney Basin, Australia, constrained by a suite of high-resolution absolute ages from tuffs and relative dating via palynostratigraphy. We identify a complex record of floral extinctions and replacements from the latest Permian to earliest Triassic reflected by plant macro- and microfossil assemblages. We constrain the major turnover in the terrestrial vegetation in the Sydney Basin to ~410 kyrs before the Permo-Triassic Boundary (PTB). Moreover, this floral change occurred ~370 kyrs before the marine extinction interval, concurrent with the onset of the primary extrusion phase of Siberian Trap magmatism. The biotic collapse was decoupled from regional environmental parameters. Specifically, there is insubstantial change in fundamental fluvial style through the Permian–Triassic transition, insignificant reorganization of the depositional surface, no evidence of abrupt aridification, and only transient change in chemical indices of weathering. Fining-upward fluvial cycles of the Permian are typically capped by thick coal beds; in contrast, those of the lowermost Triassic lack coals but are capped by mudrocks retaining abundant organic matter and monotypic phytoplankton assemblages typical of stratified aqueous conditions. Our data suggest that the high southern paleolatitude biota responded to a series of environmental thresholds within a long-term trend of intensifying seasonality from the Lopingian to the Olenekian that were driven by far-field processes. Among these, the influence of Siberian Trap volcanism is implicated by the detection of enhanced nickel concentrations around the continental EPME.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Dr. Brandon Curry, Senior Quaternary Geologist from the Illinois State Geological Survey
Title: TBA
Host: Paradis
Abstract: TBA