Brandon Bell is a master's student advised by Dr. Elizabeth Griffith. Here he describes how the Friends of Orton Hall furthered his academic career.
“Supported by Friends of Orton Hall, I was able to attend my first AGU conference in December, where I presented the start of my master’s research examining marine sediments from the equatorial Pacific over the middle Miocene (18-13 Ma) in a poster session. Using published XRF-derived accumulation records of opal, carbonate, barite, and trace metals in these sediments, I argued that intervals of elevated biological productivity and carbon export occurred not only in the cooler Middle Miocene Climate Transition (14.3-13.8 Ma), as found by previous studies for this region but also in the preceding Miocene Climate Optimum (16.9-14 Ma) warm period. Despite the virtual format, I was able to interact with others in my field – from fellow early-career graduate students to first authors of many of the papers I’ve read. It was a great experience to have in my first semester at SES, and I am thankful to FOH for allowing me to meet and network with others in the geoscience community, even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.”