Geology students present original research in Denver

Alexa Harrison and Nick Schrecongost were awarded the Sigma Gamma Epsilon award for Best Poster in Undergraduate Studies at the Geological Society of America Meeting.

Several Radford University students presented original research at the Geological Society of America (GSA) Meeting, held Sept. 25-28 in Denver, Colorado.

Geology majors Antonio Conde, Alexa Harrison, Nick Schrecongost, Dylan Philippart, Abdullah Zulfiqar and Hans Voll traveled with professors Elizabeth McClellan and Skip Watts to the annual gathering at which they presented poster presentations of their research.

The research topics were:

  • Boy Scouts Rock: Updating and Digitizing Legacy Geologic Information for the Blue Ridge Scout Reservation, Antonio Conde
  • The Use Of Unmanned Aerial Systems for Digital Topographic and Thermal Modeling of Mountain Lake Virginia, Abdullah Zulfiqar
  • Leveraging Gigapan Imaging Technology for Helping Introductory-Level Geology Lab Classes for Understanding Glacial Processes and Global Climate Change, Dylan Philippart
  • An Investigation of Thermal Conductivities for Several Different Soil Types in Southwest Virginia, Hans Voll
  • Eruptive Sequence and Processes in a Neoproterozoic Intracontinental Rift: The Mount Rogers Formation, Southwest Virginia,  Alexa Harrison
  • Bracketing the Age of Neoproterozoic Glaciation in the Virginia Blue Ridge, Nick Schrecongost

At the conference, Harrison was awarded the Sigma Gamma Epsilon (SGE) Best Undergraduate Studies Poster for her research on the petrographic characteristics of the Bearpen rhyolite of Mount Rogers in Southwest Virginia. Schrecongost, who did fieldwork with Harrison and co-authored her research poster, was also honored.

The Geological Society of America (GSA) is one of the premier geoscience organizations in the world. The organization has a large international division as well as six sections across the United States and Canada. More than 7,000 attendees, representing 48 different countries, participated in the September conference.

Students in Radford's Department of Geology have regularly presented research at the GSA Southeastern Section meetings held in the spring. The past two years, they've also had a big presence at the annual meeting.

"It is very exciting and important for our students to have these types of experiences," said McClellan, associate professor of geology. "At these events, our students are exposed to individuals with similar interests and scientific pursuits. They exchange ideas and practice their public speaking and interpersonal skills. Most important, they leave more inspired, knowledgeable and confident than when they arrived."

Harrison said she enjoyed networking with representatives from graduate programs and companies she could potentially apply to and work for. The conference left her excited for the future, she said.

"I learned that geology is a much broader field of study than I originally thought, and it has countless career or educational paths to choose from," she said.

Conde said the conference was an "incredible opportunity," one he hopes will help him attain his future goals and aspirations.

"I got to hear from dozens of professionals, grad students and undergrads about their research, goals, experiences and recommendations about the future," he said. "I gained a sense of relief knowing that everyone has the opportunity to take their own path to success."


Abdullah Zulfiqar at Poster

Abdullah Zulfiqar

Oct 28, 2016
Mary Hardbarger
(540) 831-5150