Welcome to the blog for the Oberlin College Geomorphology Research Group. We are a diverse team of students working with Amanda Henck Schmidt on geomorphology questions. This blog is an archive of our thoughts about our research, field work travel notes, and student research projects. Amanda's home page is here.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Intro: Dom Fiallo

Hi Everybody,

I'm Dom and I'm a second-year from Western Massachusetts. I'm a Geology major with a minor in Chemistry and also play lacrosse at Oberlin. I started working in the lab this past fall and have been focusing mostly on the sediment erosion and transportation project. Right now I am at home running a lot and packing in as many days of skiing as New England's funky weather allows me. In a few days I will fly out to Oakland, California where I will intern at an elementary school for J-term and run a half marathon in the Santa Cruz mountains. This has been an amazing semester working in the lab and I can't wait to get back to research this spring!

This past semester I worked closely with Gabby preparing and running Soil samples in HARBIN, our germanium detector. When I get back to school Gabby and I will be able to look more closely at the sediment movement which has occurred in our watershed. I was recently accepted to the Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship and will be continuing my research on this project over the summer. I am also interested in learning more from Adrian about the journey meteoric isotopes take in Earth's atmosphere and how it affects the way geologists use these isotopes to learn about sediment movement.

Look at all that geology! Dead Man's Canyon, Sierra Nevadas. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Overview of lab research

Although I have an overview of all the different projects going on in the lab here and our research facilities here, I wanted to use this space to briefly introduce the research projects going on in the lab right now and the students you may hear from.

Location of several samples taken in summer 2013.
Photo by Tom Neilson.

One of the Chinese hydrology stations we visited.
Photo by Tom Neilson.
  1. The biggest project in the lab at the moment is an NSF project that we are working on collaboratively with the University of Vermont Geomorphology Group, the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, and Sichuan University. We are trying to understand how historic deforestation affected sediment erosion and transportation in Yunnan, China. Most of the students currently in the lab are working on this project. Yue Qiu (OC'14) is doing her honors research on one of the watersheds where we collected samples last summer; Gaby Garcia (OC'15) and Dom Fiallo (OC'16) are working on analyzing samples from another one of the watersheds we worked in last summer; Adrian Singleton (OC'16) is working on characterizing the grain size and mineralogical dependencies of fall-out radionuclides (including Cs137 and Pb210 which we measure in the lab, and Be10, which is extracted at UVM and measured at SUERC).
    Hard at work in the field.
    Photo by Tom Neilson.
    In January 2014 Yue, Adrian, and I will be traveling to Yunnan, China with three graduate students from UVM and Sichuan University, where we will complete fieldwork for this project. Adrian and Yue will be blogging about the trip. In January Isaac Pallant (OC'15) and Alice Lubeck (OC'14) will be keeping things moving in the lab here at Oberlin. They will be contributing blog posts from campus. Alice will be going to UC Irvine with a UVM PhD student to process and analyze radiocarbon samples collected in summer 2013. These will help us to determine paleoerosion rates for the region. 
  2. A smaller project right now is one that is trying to characterize the source and timing of loess deposition and subsequent terrace formation (and the mechanisms of terrace formation) in Jiuzhaigou National Park, China. Alice Lubeck will be processing some samples from this project when she is at UC Irvine in January. Alice will be blogging from California.
  3. I have been working on a project that aims to describe hydrological processes of large rivers draining the Tibetan Plateau through a case study of the Mekong River. This project was started with Alden Gilliom (OC'13) and is collaborative with two researchers at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences. I may post about this project a bit. 
  4. Katie Dunn (OC'14) working on a Keck project on extreme events for her honors thesis. She did field work in Massachusetts last summer and is working on data analysis and writing this year.