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January 2023 News Note - Brevia

Claire Mondro, BS in Geological Sciences with Honors Research Distinction, 2010, recently started a position as a postdoctoral scholar at CalTech in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences

Congratulations to Claire!

Upon graduation from Ohio State in 2010, Claire went on to graduate school, completing an MS in structural geology at Penn State while working on the geology of Taiwan, then spent several years in oil exploration at Chevron in Houston for four years. In August 2022, Claire graduated from the University of Tennessee with her PhD in planetary geology. Claire’s dissertation, "Fan and Fracture Formation: Morphologic and Sedimentologic Characteristics of Alluvial Fans on Earth and Mars, and Fracture Population Distributions on Europa," enabled her to combine her varied interests: sed, structure, field work, and planets. Claire reports that she managed to keep one foot on Earth, figuratively, in terrestrial geology while expanding into planetary geology. 

At Caltech Claire is now working with John Grotzinger on Mars sedimentology (specifically on the depositional and diagenetic history of Gale Crater) and she will be joining the Curiosity rover team as a postdoc collaborator. John Grotzinger, National Academy member,  planetary geologist, and sedimentologist, was the 2019 Bownocker Lecturer and medalist.

Emeritus Professor Anne Carey served as Claire’s research mentor and supervised her Honors thesis, “Transport of Organic Carbon from the Tropical Volcanic Island of Dominica, Lesser Antilles.” For that research, Claire analyzed samples collected from the streams of Dominica by Professor Carey, Steve Goldsmith, and Brent Johnson. Once again, congratulations to Claire!

SES Alum Cole Edwards promoted to Associate Professor 

Former SES graduate student Cole Edwards (PhD 2014) was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at Appalachian State University. Cole’s research has focused on Paleozoic Earth history. Congrats on your promotion Cole! 

Cole Edwards wearing a hat and sunglasses poses on top of mountain

Columbus School for Girls students meet with Bownocker Lecturer Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton  

This past fall, the School of Earth Sciences recognized Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton as the prestigious Bownocker speaker, who is an inspiration to young women. To bring more engagement by the community to the lecture, Dr. Grottoli, Professor in SES, coordinated a visit for middle and high school students from the Columbus School for Girls (CSG) to meet with Dr. Elkins-Tanton (top photo). The students got a chance to ask her about her journey to becoming a prominent scientist and attended her presentation. At least half of the audience questions came from the CSG students. In addition, the girls were given a private tour of the Orton Geological Museum and given a quick tutorial of meteorites by the Director of the Orton Geological Museum, Dr. Loren Babcock (bottom photo). Dr. Elkins-Tanton is highly involved in all-girl science education and was delighted to interact with the CSG students.  

students from Columbus School for Girls sit and stand with Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton


students from Columbus School for Girls stand in Orton Geological Museum

Field work in the San Juan Precordillera, Argentina 

Last December, the Central Andes GNSS Project (CAP) research group from the Division of Geodetic Science – School of Earth Sciences visited 8 continuous GPS stations installed the San Juan Precordillera, Mendoza, and in northern Neuquén, Argentina. The purpose of the campaign was to download data and also install communications on 5 of the eight stations to automate the download process, reducing the frequency of visits to the stations. Additionally, weather instruments were added to three of the stations to monitor the atmospheric effects of strong downslope winds in the Andes, known as Zondas. The GPS data will help shed light on the underlying mechanism that drives the ongoing postseismic deformation fields of the 2010 Maule and 2015 Illapel, Chile, earthquakes in the Precordillera and in northern Neuquén. 

Station at the Veladero Mine (near the town of Tudcum), in San Juan, Argentina. Left: Dr. Juan Carlos Navarro, University of San Juan; right: Dr. Demián Gómez, OSU
Station at the Veladero Mine (near the town of Tudcum), in San Juan, Argentina. Left: Dr. Juan Carlos Navarro, University of San Juan; right: Dr. Demián Gómez, OSU
Station at Reserva Don Carmelo, in the San Juan Precordillera, Argentina.
Station at Reserva Don Carmelo, in the San Juan Precordillera, Argentina.
Google Maps view of Argentina with red pins denoting visited GPS stations and towns during this campaign
Visited GPS stations and towns during this campaign. Total roundtrip distance was ~6100 km!