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, July 25, 2016

Young Geologists' Field Day

Hello hello,

Lab work this summer has been lots of fun, it’s also been flying by! I feel like I’ve only just arrived but here it is, the last week to get some work done. Just a few days ago Monica and I had the opportunity to go and collect samples locally from the Vermillion river. While not as exciting as a trip to China, it was definitely a fun experience. Before we could go, Monica and I had to round up the supplies from the many different rooms Geology holds within Carnegie and Severance.  Those supplies included several sieves and buckets, a fair few sample bags, a large spoon to collect the sample from the river and a handful of spoons to move the sediment from the sieve into the bags (super scientific, I know!) Some people who are more critical of their terrain may look at the photos and say that we were not in a river as much as we were in a drainage ditch on the side of the road; I would say to those people, you’re right, but where’s the fun in that? We can nitpick the topographical features of the beautiful state of Ohio all we want but a day that has field work in it is a good day.

Monica here, with an update on the sediment we collected. Unlike Marcus I had a bit of a rougher time, as I was the one sacrificed to ride in the trunk with the sieves and freshly-collected samples. After much labor and help/interference from Amanda’s children we managed to collect the samples we needed from the river to be used further on our leaching adventures. They were collected as part of a project that I’ve been working on to determine the right ratio of Acid to Sample for leaching. Unfortunately the previous sample I leached was not collected recently enough so the fallout radio nucleotide Be-7 dissipated. By quickly leaching this sample we should be able to get the data were missing out on. They are currently in the oven, evaporating off the ditch-water and getting ready to be stripped in acid.

To make the field photos more enjoyable, we included some Gerber-baby level cuteness toddlers (Amanda’s children), who accompanied us into the field. Photo credit to Amanda’s wonderful au pair, Jenny. Enjoy! 

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