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Spring 2017 Colloquia

Thursday, February 2th, 2017

Alison Donnelly, Associate Professor, Geography Department, UWM
Title: The bloomin’ Arctic: plant phenology at the edge of the Greenland ice-sheet
Host: Julie Bowles

Abstract: In this presentation I will describe a fragile ecosystem at the edge of the Greenland ice-sheet where I spent a field season observing and recording the development (phenology) of a range of plant species. I will demonstrate how vulnerable this ecosystem is to a changing climate which leads to a mismatch in the timing of carefully synchronized life stages of plants and animals.

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Tegan Blaine, Senior Climate Change Advisor, U.S. Agency for International Development
Title: Alternative international careers for scientist
Host: Julie Bowles

Abstract: Scientists have many options outside of academia. Since finishing her Ph.D., Tegan Blaine has worked on international policy and international development, primarily from the perspective of climate change, both at McKinsey Consulting and for the U.S. Government. She will provide an overview of how the U.S. government works on international climate change issues and the role of scientists in that work. She will also discuss the skillsets and mindsets that enable a transition from academia to consulting and/or government roles and will share some of the projects and day-to-day activities in which she is involved.

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Dr. David Malone, University Professor, Illinois State University
Title: Origin of the massive Eocene Heart Mountain Slide, Wyoming
Host: Margaret Fraiser

Abstract: The Heart Mountain slide is the largest terrestrial landslide deposit as yet recognized on Earth. The slide covers an area of at least 3400 km2, and the upper-plate rocks include 2-4 km of Paleozoic carbonate and Eocene volcanic rocks thrust out over 45 km of Eocene landscape. The precise age and duration of sliding is critical to emplacement models as well the slide’s effect on regional Eocene river systems. To address the timing issues, we sampled zircons from the basal fluidized layer 2 km from the slide’s breakaway fault (Silver Gate, MT) and 40-km downslope, nearer the slide’s toe (White Mountain, WY). Within this basal layer, we have identified mineral content and features consistent with a partially solidified magma. We interpret these observations to be consistent with the slide catastrophically dismembering an active magma body that mixed with the basal fault layer. The results yield remarkably similar U/Pb zircon crystallization ages at the proximal and distal locations: 48.78 +/- 0.51 Ma at Silver Gate (n = 48) and 48.88 +/- 0.22 Ma at White Mountain (n = 22). These zircon ages from the basal layer are tightly bracketed using various radiometric ages of Eocene Absaroka volcanic units involved in the movement phase of the slide and those deposited after emplacement, including detrital U/Pb zircon ages from the dissected Crandall Conglomerate river system. Our interpretation of the data is that the slide was catastrophically emplaced at 48.87 +/- 0.20 Ma.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Jason Sylvan, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University
Title: Those rocks are alive! – Geomicrobiology of the deep biosphere in subseafloor igneous basement
Host: Julie Bowles

Abstract: One of the great surprises in ecology during the last 20 years was the discovery of a vast microbial biome deep below the seafloor.  This environment, known as the deep biosphere, is the largest microbial habitat on the Earth.  We now know that as many prokaryotic cells live in subseafloor sediment as in the entire oceanic water column. Microbial biomass in the basement rocks underlying sediments is currently unknown, but can only add to that total.  Therefore, there are likely more cells below the seafloor than in the water column, making the study of the marine deep biosphere critical to understanding marine microbiology, chemistry and geology.  My research focuses on geomicrobiology in basement rocks – how many microbes are present, who they are, and what they are doing.  I will present findings from two recent IODP expeditions on which I sailed – Expedition 330, which sampled 55-80 million year old extinct volcanoes along the Louisville Seamount Chain in the southwest Pacific Ocean, and Expedition 360, which completed in January 2016 and drilled 789 meters below seafloor into 11 million year old lower crustal rocks as the first part of a multi-expedition program to drill to the Earth’s mantle.  Results from these cruises help redefine our understanding of biomass in igneous basement and provide insight into the types of lifestyles subseafloor microbes lead in these environments.

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Patrick Brady, Dept. of Physics, UWM
Title: TBA
Host: Julie Bowles

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Tenley Banik, Illinois State University
Title: What Lies Beneath: Using Detrital Materials to Explore Iceland’s Subglacial Volcanoes
Host: Julie Bowles

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Kenneth Kodama, Lehigh University
Title: Finding the duration of the Shuram 13C excursion using rock magnetic cyclostratigraphy
Host: Julie Bowles

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Michael Schnieders, Water Systems Engineering, Inc.
Title: Defining the Operational Age of a Well: Predicting Maintenance Issues in Advance of Failure
Host: Julie Bowles

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Pedro Marenco, Bryn Mawr College
Title: Increasing ocean oxygenation and the Ordovician Radiation
Host: Julie Bowles

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Evan Larson, University of Wisconsin – Platteville
Title: Drought, Water, People and Fire:
Environmental History of the Great Lakes Region through the Rings of Trees
Host: Julie Bowles

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Dan Wiitala, North Jackson Company: Environmental Science and Engineering
Title: Anatomy of a Mine: Eagle Project, Marquette County, Michigan
Host: Julie Bowles

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Timothy Paulson, University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
Title: Recent to contemporary stress of the West Antarctic Rift from
drill core and volcanic alignment studies
Host: Julie Bowles

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Haiyan Yang, Dept. of Geosciences, UWM
Title: Effects of colloids on the bacteria transport in saturated porous media
Host: Julie Bowles