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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    GeoDaze spotlights student work

    JOSH FIELDS / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Geo Sciences show their research.
    JOSH FIELDS / Arizona Daily Wildcat Geo Sciences show their research.

    Research on topics from the study of earthquakes to lake sediment in East Africa is on display at the 34th annual GeoDaze geosciences symposium today.

    The student-run event showcases both graduate and undergraduate students’ research in many aspects of geosciences and features lectures, presentations and posters in the Student Union Memorial Center ballroom.

    The event is a chance for professors, alumni and people in industries related to geosciences to see what kind of research is currently being done, said James Girardi, co-chair of the event.

    “”It’s a great time to just talk about your research, because that’s ultimately why we’re here,”” Girardi said. “”It’s also a great way to get experience speaking in front of a group of people, because that can be nerve-racking.””

    The event, which costs about $5,000 to put on and gives out an additional $6,400 in prize money to participating students, is entirely funded by donations from individuals, alumni and corporations, said Scott McBride, event treasurer.

    Students are judged on their presentations and posters by a panel of professors and students and can be awarded money based on the content and delivery of their research and presentations.

    Jessica Conroy, a paleoclimatology graduate student, has been studying the history of El NiÇño and will be presenting her lecture at 9 this morning.

    “”GeoDaze is a really great way to present to the geoscience and academic communities,”” Conroy said. “”It’s good practice and preparation for national meetings and a great way to see what your peers are doing.””

    As part of her presentation, Conroy will be explaining her findings that the Pacific Ocean sea surface temperature has gotten warmer in the last 100 years than in the last 1,200.

    “”The best part of the experience is the feedback you can get from the community,”” Conroy said.

    Mark Barton, a UA geosciences professor and a judge for the event, said although he was very involved with the research, he was impressed with it.

    “”It’s a real commitment on the part of undergraduate and graduate students to do a poster or to give a talk,”” Barton said. “”It goes above and beyond what is expected of them.””

    Another judge, geosciences professor Eric Seedorff, said GeoDaze also brings people together within the geosciences community and in the department.

    “”This doesn’t get factored into anyone’s schedule,”” Seedorff said. “”Whether they’re giving a presentation or working out the logistics of this event, there are lots of thankless tasks that have been taken on by the students.””

    The symposium, which started yesterday morning, will wrap up starting at 4 this afternoon with a slide show, the awards ceremony and the annual GeoDaze party.

    “”Our work here is serious, but we like to have fun, too,”” Girardi said. “”The slide show is a collection of pictures from places we’ve traveled, cool scenic pictures and some spoof photos thrown in for laughs.””

    The event will culminate tomorrow with a field trip led by Barton and Seedorff to the Northern Tortilla Mountains.

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