|Greetings From Dr. E.
As I write this, or better as I record this, I am traveling Route 17
in Canada next to the Ottawa River eastward, after taking Lance to begin
his freshman year at Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota. That makes
this that bittersweet trip that most parents take after they have left
their offspring in the big world for their first semester on their own.
Of course, they've really been on their own for at least the last four
years, probably longer than that, depending upon the high school situation
they found themselves in. Lance seems to be no exception to that. He's
confident, he's pleased to be starting college, he finished a wonderful
year - his senior year in Canton - as a National Merit finalist, and with
four AP courses to his credit and a full year of calculus at St. Lawrence,
where he managed a 4.0 both semester. As you can imagine, I'm very proud
of his accomplishments and he should be too. He applied to three colleges,
Swarthmore, Oberlin, and Macalester - all three of them small liberal arts
colleges with good academic programs. He was accepted at Oberlin, wait-listed
at Swarthmore, and accepted at Macalester. After looking at Oberlin and
Macalester pretty carefully, he chose Macalester. So I find myself on the
way back from a thousand mile drive having all those thoughts that parents
have about whether I've left him in the right hands, whether the faculty
is going to do their job well whether the University really cares about
its students. Is my tuition money going to the right place? All of the
sorts of things that some alumni are becoming familiar with now, and that
all of your parents were familiar with when they dropped you at St. Lawrence.
I'm still confident that the Geology program at St. Lawrence has done
well by its students. Obviously, whether we can continue to do so will
depend upon lots of conditions that are both in and out of our hands as
faculty. Your intense support has always been important and certainly will
continue to be an important factor in the degree of our success in the
To speak of parents and college, I'm beginning to have that past midlife
experience that faculty have of having their early students return with
their own offspring to look over St. Lawrence and let the youngsters evaluate
the program and the campus and decide if they'd like to go to school here.
Recently, Loren '73 and Janet '74 Bailey visited Canton with their daughter,
Erin. I missed them by a day, which I deeply regret. I hope they had a
good time and found the campus to their liking. The changes are astounding
and continue to unfold as Dan Sullivan's program for the University is
put in place. Others who visited included Mike Ward '72 and his son and
daughter, Scott and Lauren. Lauren is a junior in high school and made
a swing through campus to see what her father's alma mater really looks
like. We also had a surprise visit from Dale Chayes '73 and his wife, Kim
Kastens and their two children as they were taking a vacation in the north
country, actually an unheard of process for Dale. I'm glad to see that
he is able to spend some time on land instead of being out on shipboard
all the time. I imagine his family is glad of that too. It was good to
see them. I think that Dale was pleased to see the amount of activity on
campus. He did comment that he was waiting to see what the new science
complex looked like before he would agree that the financial expenditures
are in the right place.
Along that line, planning for the new science complex is well underway,
with considerations now being made for space needs and spacial arrangement.
I think this Fall members of the science departments will be visiting other
campuses looking at recent science complexes that colleges have constructed.
Particularly those are of interest that allow for interaction among the
sciences, interdisciplinary studies and interdisciplinary faculty activities,
which happens to be the way the science complex at Macalester was designed
- the Olin Rice complex. At a time when Columbia University has just decided
that the earth sciences should be a core program of the university because
of their focal point in the environment and the importance of their position
in understanding the past and suggesting the future, it's hoped that geology
at St. Lawrence will receive the same support as a new building is being
planned. Space is expensive and one wonders what the priorities will be.
I imagine that Dr. Bursnall will have some thoughts on that in his comments
for the newsletter. This will be a future-defining time for Geology at
I guess I should make a few remarks about last year and the Spring semester
in particular, then fill you in on what went on this Summer. In the Spring,
I taught Micropaleontology, Stratigraphy and Senior Thesis. My thesis student
was Booth Platt, who studied oribatid mites as paleoclimate proxies from
the Hiscock Site in Byron, New York. Some of you may remember that Doug
Jennings '93 and I have studied the mites in a preliminary fashion from
the Hiscock site in the early '90s and he reported on those in his thesis.
I had reported the prospect for mite study at a symposium that was held
in Buffalo prior to that. Booth's study takes that work further in the
paleoecological analysis. We will describe it at a symposium that will
be held next year as the 20th anniversary of the Hiscock site. Either Booth
and his work, or the micropaleo course, caught the interest of Andrew Solod,
who was then a junior, and he has decided to study the oribatid mite faunas
across the Younger Dryas in some cores from Glovers Pond as his senior
thesis this year. In order to accomplish that, Andrew and I went to Glovers
Pond in July where we met Scott Carpenter and his Ph.D. student, Heather
Quevedo from University of Iowa. They were taking some cores for her Ph.D.
work, which continues our collaboration on some of the earlier pre-Younger
Dryas carbon and oxygen isotope conditions in the sediments at Glovers
Pond. Andrew and I have two new cores that we are processing presently
for his study.
Other Recent Visitors and Callers to JME
We continue to hear from you in good numbers. Bonnie has included some
of your news. I share other news below:
Peter deMonocal '82 at Columbia's LDEO continues to publish interesting
paleoclimate studies relating climate change to the demise of civilizations
among other things.
Don Rodbell's '83 Science paper described efforts to track the history
of El Niño in the southern hemisphere as well as discussing the
Younger Dryas cold event.
Peter Connett '94 is married and doing beautiful stained glass work
at his studio in Binghamton.
David '95 and Marlene Egan are happy after their wedding this summer
in which Dr. E. participated as a groomsman; a great event.
Glenn Kays '96 and wife Lori are now in Bismarck, N.D. where Lori works
at the State Water Commission and Glenn consults for a company in Grand
Joe Perse '98 is now job hunting after MS work at Ohio State University.
Bethany Shepherd '96 was also married to Matt Powers this summer. Her
web site is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Cox '91, as I write, is preparing to be married in early November.
Have a good one Pete and Susan.
Pete and Erik Kent '97 both work at RETECH, Inc. Erik finished a masters
at SUNY Binghamton where he spurred Doug Jennings '93 on to complete his
thesis as well. Doug now works for Corning.
Heather Franco '97 has put aside her Ph.D. program at Dartmouth to enter
teaching at a high school in New Hampshire. We wish her great success.
Moe Jones '97 is working with a consulting firm after completion of
her MS at UNC Wilmington. I think she is waiting for Tim Woodcock '99 to
finish his MS also at UNC where he is studying predation on echinoids.
I never hear from them anymore!
Phyllis Hargrave '78 again sent a beautiful and informative Montana
calendar for Christmas 1999. Thanks, Phyl. We hope the fires did not damage
any of your favorite spots this year.
Bob Pickard '93 has settled in to office work in Atlanta for what used
to be Dames & Moore.
Also have talked with Brandt Temple '94, John Wyckoff '85, Andy Fetterman
'94, Dean '74 and Duane Eppler '71, Margy Walsh '74 and Roy Christofferson
'76 in recent months.
Trent Hubbard '94 is on the last phases of his Ph.D. dissertation at
UND after a summer at glacial school in Alaska.
Jonathon Wingerath '85 was recently featured in The Torch, an in-house
publication of the Smithsonian Institution. Jon is a museum specialist
in the Paleobiology Department at NMNH. Mark visited with him briefly when
Jon visted SLU for a concert event
Booth Platt '00 is lost in Tahoe(?) but he must be getting ready to
give our joint paper next Fall directly following the SLUGAC 4.
Mark had a breakfast visit with Tom Hudson '81 during the Cincinnati
Field Trip in September. Tom had some magnificent 3-D slides of the Grand
Canyon. Good to see him and them!
Mark spoke with David Waugh '99 from Kent, Ohio, where he is in year
two of his MS. We are planning to present his BS thesis in a pair of papers
in Ireland next Fall. Meanwhile David is working on crab taphonomy. Bonnie
Muller '99, also at Kent, is involved in statistical analysis of ostracode
distributions. I hope both Dave & Bonnie are challenged by their studies.
Mark had a great visit with Derrick Pitts '78 when he was in Canton
for the Spring meeting of the SLU Trustees. Derrick is doing some fine
things at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and at SLU!
David Griffing '83 says "Hello" from Charlotte, S.C. where he is teaching.
Mark will look for alums attending GSA-Reno in November. He knows that
Ken Johnson, Dave Waugh, Dean Eppler and Dave Griffing at least plan to
be there. It is time to get this letter out. More next time. Please keep
in touch and send us your news.
- Mark E.