St. Lawrence University
Geology Newsletter

Scott Carpenter '85

Scott and family are living in Iowa were they are being baseball parents among other things. Scott is Acting Director of the Paul Nelson Stable Isotope Lab at University of Iowa.He has collaborated with Dr. E. on a number of research projects, most recently on a growth sequence carbon and oxygen isotope study of Fox Hills otoliths that appeared recently in Nature. Check out the May 1 issue.

Carrie Denesha '00

Carrie just finished and passed the first part of the ASBOG exam.She writes that it was difficult and would advise anyone planning on becoming a professional geologist to take a class in hydro in preparation for the exam. She will be walking for graduation from Kansas State and will complete her thesis by the end of the Summer.

Dean Eppler '74

Dean once more visited Antarctica this past January as part of a meteorite collecting team. He sent the department a running commentary of the expedition's events which was intriguing, informative, humorous and exciting all at once.We got a great insight into how Antarctic field work of this type is conducted and thanks go to Dean for thinking of us.The letters from Dean were forwarded by Roy Christofferson'76 who also works at SAIC in Houston.Roy is doing well managing the email stream from Dean.Thanks, Roy.

Ned Ferguson '83

Ned paid a visit to campus last Fall and Mark briefly spoke with him.His parents have retired and have asked Ned to be the active family interface with the Ferguson Lecture Fund.We hope he will visit campus frequently when he can tear away from his legal work in D.C.

Andrew Fetterman '94

Andy is working at Synergy, Inc., a Pennsylvania environmental firm.He completed his M.S. at SUNY Oneonta a year, or more, ago. Most recently he took, and passed, the ASBOG exams.Congratulations, Andy!

Jay Fleisher '61

We hear regularly from Jay who is a consistent contributor to GSA meetings where he reports on behavior of the Bering Glacier (Alaska) which has been surging in recent years. His group has done some nice work returning frequently to the field for new data.Tough life, Jay!

Myron Getman '94

Myron reports that he is alive and now working in the Albany area as an Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Health. He can be reached at Stop in on campus some day, Myron.

Jon Grannis '78

Jon and Brian Powers '85 both work in large consulting companies in the Denver area and they visited Dr. E. while he was in Golden for a meeting of the Arthur Lakes Library Visitation Committee at Colorado School of Mines. It was a mix of North Dakota and SLU people who had many friends in common.Jon and Brian both said they would try to make the next SLUGAC!

Phyllis Hargrave '78

Phyllis sent another nice calendar from the Montana Bureau of Mines. She is just finishing up the abandoned inactive mines inventory for the Forest Service Contract (since 1994) so she's not sure what 2003 will see her doing.She writes:"My husband and I are still trying to spay/neuter every critter in Southwest Montana. We've raised funds via the 'Butte spay/neuter task force' since 1996.Our motives are selfish, we don't need anymore animals in our wall-to-wall fur-lined house."

Brett Harvey '02

Brett spent last summer leading a community service project (constructing a classroom for a primary school) in Tanzania.Last fall he went to California to lead climbing and kayaking trips around the Sierra Nevada Batholith.

Frank Henderson '81

Frank and his wife and daughter paid a brief visit while they were on the college tour circuit. They were pleasantly surprised by the look of the department and the campus.Frank runs his own gas exploration and drilling company in the Appalachian Basin and he reports fairly steady business.It was good to see the whole family here.

Trent Hubbard '94

Trent completed his Ph.D. at University of North Dakota in Glacial Geomorphology. After a stint in Alaska he will take up a faculty position in central Missouri in the fall.

Maureen (Moe) Jones '97

Moe sent an email to Mark with double news.She and Jeff Jackson were married in November and they have a new beautiful baby boy, Owen Bradley Jackson. Congratulations, Moe and Jeff. Moe is also getting back to work at Delta Environmental Consultants, Inc. and taking the North Carolina geology exam to become a geologist in training.

Charlie Kerans '77

Charlie had another paper in AAPG this winter and in the short biographical sketch with it the editors noted that Charlie has authored seven papers in various journals over the years that have been awarded "Best Paper" awards in their years of issue!!We think that is a noteworthy accomplishment.Congratulations, Charlie!

Jona King '02

After graduating last year, Jona and Nate Page '03 did field camp with the Lehigh University program.The student with the highest grade each year is invited to work at the USGS the following summer.That would be Jona!We guess that he remembered something from his Structure and Stratigraphy courses! Good work, Jona.

Tavis Lloyd '02

Tavis had been elected into Sigma Gamma Epsilon at SUNY Oneonta. His Masters Thesis will be a field stratigraphic Thesis on sequence stratigraphy.

Molly Mainelli '94

Molly is sailing new boats in the winter and skiing during her down time in Taos, New Mexico. In the Summer she leads geology tours down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon by raft.


Len Mason '99

Len now has a Harley and is enjoying riding from his environmental consulting job in warm California. He begins a MS program in Hydrogeology at U. Nebrasca in the Fall.

Meagan Mazzarino '97

Meagan was married in August of last year.She is still teaching high school in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Abbie Howe '98

Abbie emailed John Bursnall last year but a computer (operator) malfunction erased her file. Abbie, if you see this, please contact us again!!

Sarah McElfresh '98

Sarah and Scott had some exciting news to tell us – they are expecting a baby in the Fall. Congratulations!

Ron Metzger '85

Ron is busy with politics, working on his house, just accepted a position on the Jefferson Public Radio Foundation Board and recently got the first Menasha Community Service Award.

Andrew Nevin '61

Andy reports that Pebble Creek Resources, Ltd., his company, is developing some very promising prospects in India. If you email him at <> he will likely tell you about them. They sound interesting and we wish Pebble Creek Resources great success in the ventures.

Booth Platt '00

Booth is pursuing study of oribatid mites with Dr. Roy Norton at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse.He is working with the best and seems to be very happy.Booth and Dr. E. have a paper (with Doug Jennings '93) coming out soon.It describes paleoenvironmental interpretations from mite biofacies at the Hiscock Site in Byron, New York.

Kim Power '98

Kim is working for Adventure Life Journeys, an international adventure travel company based in Montana. Her official title is Marketing/ Operations Manager.She writes: "If you know anyone that wants a trip to Latin America, send them to our website (" Thanks Kim.

Bethany (Shepherd) Powers '96

Beth has sent birth announcements and photos of all types, as a proud parent should!In the photos Beth looks surprisingly like a radiant, doting mother rather than an ecotouristic multifielder as we knew her at SLU. Finn Michael Powers arrived April 2 so as not to fool his parents.Congratulations, Beth and Matt!

Alisa Scott '94

Alison has been teaching Earth Science at Brockton High School in Boston for four years.Much of her free time is spent in Vermont. She spent a month in Hawaii taking classes and was able to see lava erupting into the ocean.Also, she and her father were planning a trip to Antarctica last winter.

Brian Silfer '86

A cyptic note signed B.S. found on Dr. E's door is taken to mean that Brian Silfer is still alive and flourishing in Cazenovia, New York.It would be great to actually visit live with Brian one day!

Andrew Solod '01

Andrew presented his BS thesis results on oribatid mites of the Younger Dryas with Dr. Erickson at the 11th International Acarological Congress in Merida, Mexico last September. He returned for the winter to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but has now returned to the East Coast to begin planning his graduate school direction.

Gary Thomas '73

Gary touched base with Mark also through email.He had run into someone in North Dakota that knew a geology professor from SLU that had done work there. Gary has lived in Homer, Alaska since 1979 and is rekindling his old love of geology by taking a local college course on the Geology of Kachemak Bay.He offers any fellow graduates an extra bed and hot shower if you find yourself on the Kenai Peninsula.

Ralph Trumble '00

Ralph is training to be a teacher at SUNY Potsdam.

Mike Ward '72

Mike Writes: "Hi, I enjoyed meeting various SLU alums in Denver. I am still working in the mineral exploration business, currently as chief geologist for Anglogold (Colorado) Corp. in the historic Cripple Creek Gold district. My wife and I live in Woodland Park, Colorado. We almost got burned out last summer but enjoy living in the high country."

Arthur Waterman '73

Art visited campus briefly in April while he was attending the Annual Meeting of the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca where he is a Board member.Dr. E. regrets greatly that he didn't get to take Art around personally to show him campus changes.Art is President of Paleo-Data, Inc. in New Orleans.

Bill and Lucretia Romey

Retired Department Chair, Bill Romey and his artist wife, Lurcretia visited campus during graduation week. Bill continues to lecture on Antarctic cruises, which seem to be piquing his interest in plate tectonic and the petrology of Antarctic rocks!He, young Bill and Lucretia are considering a collaboration to lead a field trip for the 2004 NYSGA meeting to be sponsored by SUNY Potsdam. It was good to see them both.

Sev Brown and Sally Street

Sev and Sally are frequent visitors to the department. Most recently, they attended the Ferguson Lecture. They also spend a lot of time on the road visiting family members, attending meetings or checking out specimens at the Tucson rock and mineral show.

We have had notes from many others in the past year including Sean Sullivan'98, Mike Perfit '71, Erik Kent'97, Erik Wachtmeister'99, Larry Robjent '96, Erik Rodriguez '03.



Another graduation came off today without a hitch.Beautiful day! No snow!Eighteen geology students graduated; nine with Geology majors, four with dual majors (History, Physics, Economics, and Music) and five with Environmental Studies.Of the eighteen, five graduated Cum Laude, or better, three took Honors in Geology, one was commissioned in the Army, two were elected to Phi Beta Kappa, three held named scholarships, and six did senior theses in Geology. Among the latter, three were awarded SLU Summer Fellowships, one of which was the Ned and Anna Baker Fellowship, and one was also supported in the field by a NE section GSA Grant.

The research students and their senior theses are as follows:

Tim Bouchard – A Taxonomic study of Corbicula Species (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from a mixed Freshwater-Marine Molluscan Assemblage in the Fox Hills Formation (Late Cretaceous: Maastrichtian) of North Dakota

Ed Cavallerano – Implications of Eye Position for the Evolution of Flight

Rob DeLong – Exploring Local Cemeteries with Ground Penetrating Radar

Diana Odorczuk – Preliminary Hydrogeological Investigation of the Kipp Tract

Dan Peppe – Fox Hills I, a new Upper Maastrichtian Megafloral Zone within the Willison Basin of North Dakota

Josh Taylor – Origin and Subsequent Modification of K-Feldspar Megacrysts within the Gray's School Body of the Hermona Gneiss, Adirondack Lowlands, New York

It is worth noting that two of these theses were presented at GSA Annual Meeting in Denver and one was delivered at the NE Meeting at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Furthermore, Tim Bouchard has in press at the Journal of Paleontology, a paper with Dr. Erickson based on independent research presented at GSA in Boston in 2001.Undergraduate research is a huge interest at quality undergraduate colleges presently.It has been a hallmark of the Geology Department for several decades and is no small part of the reason St. Lawrence holds national prominence in undergraduate geological education.We continue to provide opportunities for students to exercise their scientific curiosities in a challenging, professional manner.The James S. Street Student Geology Fund has been an important support instrument in this process.It provides funding for both research travel, equipment and analyses, as well as travel to present or attend professional meetings.We thank you alumni who have donated generously to help grow this endowment.

It has been interesting to watch graduate school choices this year.They have been a response to a wide variety of influences and options. Ed Cavallerano will continue work on the functional evolution of sight as dinosaurs evolved into birds during the mid-Mesozoic transition.He will work at UNC Wilmington.Both Tim Bouchard and Diana Odorczuk are intending to go north to Alaska (Fairbanks), where Tim will do paleontology and Diana will continue some aspect of cold regions research. Dan Peppe will pursue doctoral studies at Yale in some aspects of Paleobotany, whereas Josh Taylor will continue work in Adirondack petrology at Syracuse.Robert DeLong is headed to the Peace Corps to put his geophysics to use.These and all our new alumni have tremendous intellectual curiosity; we anticipate hearing of their discoveries in the future and we wish them all success and satisfaction in their work.


GSA Denver was a good meeting for visiting with alumni.JME held a SLU reunion at the meeting.Strangely it was not well attended and we are considering not spending the money on these in the future. We would very much like to hear your views on this.Are the GSA receptions worth the cost and effort ?Please let us know by emailing Dr. E. at <> to express your view. Dr. E. did see, talk with or hear presented papers by the following alumni:

Barbara, David and Carolyn Tewksbury; Carrie Denesha; Mike Ward; Dave Waugh; Peter Clark; Don Pair; Ken Johnson; Jay Fleisher; Scott Carpenter; Don Rodbell; Trent Hubbard; Brett Palmateer; Steve Metzger; Dave Griffing; Mimi Katz .

The 2002-2003 academic year was a special one for me because they marked the 25th anniversary of the lecture series given in Susan's memory.I think I may be the only faculty member in the department who actually knew Susan, but through the lecture series we all remember her life and remember how tragedy can happen to any of us if we are not careful. The endowment fund in years past has provided a small surplus over the cost of speakers and these funds accrued to the point that we feel we are able to provide two lectures per year. This year was the first year of the new program.

In Fall 2002 our speaker was Dr. Nigel Roulet from McGill University, who is an expert on the carbon cycle in the environment.He had a large audience to hear his talk:"Northern Peatlands:Their Role in the Global Carbon Cycle and a Changing Climate."

Our spring Ferguson Lecturer was Dr. Kirk Johnson, Head of the Geosciences Department at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.Kirk spoke about the ways that his specialty of Paleobotany has interacted with geology studies in the Denver Basin.It was very well received. After presenting, Dr. Johnson spent a day with paleontology students particularly Dan Peppe who studied a Fox Hills flora that relates directly to the work Johnson did on the Hell Creek Formation floras in North Dakota.Both Dan and Kirk got new insights from the visit.The department benefits in many ways from the Susan Ferguson Lecture series, and we are grateful to Susan's family and friends for their generosity and foresight in establishing the fund 25 years ago. Thank you all.


Since last writing I've had some busy and interesting times.Summer of 2002 was spent first in North Dakota with a group of students, then in New Jersey helping my mother move from her home to Canton where she now lives with me.This was a nasty winter for her first in Canton, but she faced it like a trooper.

Andrew Solod '01 and I traveled to Merida, Mexico, for the XI International Congress of Acarology.We made many new connections at that meeting while Andrew presented results of his senior thesis, which recognized the Younger Dryas cold episode by using oribatid mites from a Glovers Pond core.It was a successful meeting that included a day trip to two major Mayan ruins, which I had always wished to see.

Next came our Cincinnati field trip which was just great.Then Denver for GSA where Dan Peppe '03 and Tim Bouchard'03 each presented papers that are discussed elsewhere herein.I had an enjoyable visit with Brett '96 and Jac Palmateer while there.Also had a good visit with Dave Griffing '83, who is teaching in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I spent my first Thanksgiving and Christmas in Canton in many years.It was a pleasure not to have to white-knuckle through the snow belt to and from New Jersey each time.My brothers joined us for Thanksgiving and I cooked the turkey. There were no complaints.

Spring semester has gone like a shot. Any "spare" time was spent working on a couple of papers including the otolith paper with Scott Carpenter'85 and Bud Holland and recently a description of a new ratfish with John Hoganson of the North Dakota Geological Survey.Dan Peppe and I are now working on a paper derived from his paleobotanical study of Fox Hills leaves.

Presently, I have a small in-house grant to work on GIS distribution plots of the mussel data I have collected from local rivers over the years.Chris Stevens '04 is working with me on that this summer.I gave a paper on preliminary results at the St. Lawrence River Institute on May 15 and will be teaching my mussel course this summer if all goes well and if I get enough students. GIS is showing some interesting results regarding mussel distributions so this summer I would like to complete study of the major drainages this year so that the gaps are not so large in my distribution maps!

On the home front, this is fishing time!I never wet a line last year, the first time in my life that has happened!So, I expect to catch up this year.Also, there is the obligatory work on the garage and the office piles, which I destabilized this semester.We are obliged to get new computers this summer as I will have to move tons of stuff anyway!Lance has finished his junior year at Macalester with a Physics major and Geology minor. He had another great year and seems to be enjoying the Geology as much as the Physics.I expect him home tomorrow and look forward to seeing him.

If things go well, some of us should be at GSA Seattle and we would look forward to seeing alums there. I am looking forward to Reunion in a couple of weeks when I expect many of you back for various anniversaries. Until we see you, take care and be safe.


Hi Folks!

Just a quick note as I’m busy getting ready to take 13 students with me on a summer session class to Peru.Last summer I spent 5 weeks in Peru with one student on a CIIS (Center of International and Intercultural Studies) Fellowship.We were working on related projects of interest to geology types might be my continuing study of rocks used in traditional healing. The course in Peru this summer will spend about a week and a half in the upper Amazon basin in and near Tarapoto, Peru and about a week and a half in the Cusco region ending in the 4-day trek to Machu Picchu.We will be studying a variety of topics, among them sustainable agriculture, ecotourism and, of course, the culture and healing traditions.And naturally, the students won’t escape hearing about the geology of Peru too, especially while we are in the Andes!After the students leave, I plan to spend an extra 10 days continuing my own work.

On the home front, we have begun some nice and long overdue interaction with the Potsdam State Geology department attending lectures given by visiting geologists and other scientists on each of the campuses and sharing a year-end dinner at the Cactus Grill.This is due largely to the efforts of SLU geology alum, Jeff Chiarenzelli who now teaches geology at Potsdam State.

For those of you who know our daughter, Teya (now 6), she thoroughly enjoyed attending last fall’s 103 weekend fieldtrip, especially camping out, and is looking forward to more of the same.She wowed some of the 103 students with her ability to sketch the fossils at Crown Point. I think art is in her future. She says she wants to study rocks when she grows up.Can’t imagine why. First, she has to get the skill of reading under her belt, though.Next, she’ll be ready for equal area nets, don’t you think?

All the best, and please keep in touch,


Greetings from Canton!

 My second year on faculty at SLU has just ended, so I have a few moments to pass on some news before the summer begins in earnest.Teaching has been going well, with my standard offerings being Geomorphology, Hydrology and Hydrogeology, and Global Climate (co-taught with Aileen O'Donoghue from Physics). I also put together a field-based half credit course in Glacial and Quaternary Geomorphology last fall, and co-taught a new interdisciplinary course titled Field Methods for Environmental Scientists last year.This latter course enrolled students from Geology, Biology, and Environmental Studies and taught many of the practical skills needed to monitor the environment. Major modules included sampling techniques, surveying, atmospheric monitoring, and applications of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The course went well so we plan to offer it on a regular basis.

 This summer promises to be very exciting.In late August, eleven Geology students from St. Lawrence and 13 students from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, are teaming up for a two-week field trip to south central Alaska.We plan on completing a circuit of the Chugach Mountains, camping along the way and examining aspects of glacial, fluvial, and slope geomorphology.The logistics are turning out to be a nightmare so far, but I'm hoping for a great trip and the students are certainly looking forward to it! This past semester the students spent time reading up on Alaska and preparing the field trip guide.

 Also this summer I have a student (Chris Stevens) who will be using ground penetrating radar (one of our new toys!) to map the sedimentary structure of late-glacial strandline deposits in Northern New York.We hope this study will yield some clues as to baselevel fluctuations of Glacial Lake Iroquois.

 My research into permafrost dynamics in northwestern Canada continues, with another field trip planned for July and the height of mosquito season.This research is funded by the Canadian Forest Service. If any Geology Alumni find themselves back in Canton, please drop by and say hello to the "new guy."


Steve Robinson

Hello folks,

It's hard to believe another school year has come and gone.It is driven home how fast time passes when a student from past geology classes drops by and surprises us with a visit.This Spring it was Sarah Czajka'01 and Jonathan King '02. For those that know Sarah, she is doing very well and working as a geologist in Connecticut doing phase 1 through 4 site assessments.Jona is doing well also and hadn't been back long from Jackson Hole over Wyoming way. He and Nate Page'03 had spent the past year or so out there and were now on to other adventures. Thanks for stopping by Sarah and Jona, it was great to see you both and very gratifying to hear of your professional work and your adventures.

I hear from Alane Yost from time to time as well.Alane is doing well in Connecticut also. She is working for a firm and is contemplating continuing her education.She has been giving classes to non-traditional students trying to ready them for continuing on their educational journeys.As for the rest of you SLU geogang, hope to hear from you sometime and maybe see you too in the near future.

Things are going well here in the department.I finally have the equipment on a maintenance schedule with regular servicing being done, and believe it or not it is being done at times other than when a particular piece of equipment is needed most.The current students probably don't appreciate this near as much as you folks do who were here when I first arrived on the scene, or shortly thereafter.I can tell you it is a relief for me.My job has become much simpler and less stressful since I have been able to keep things running when needed.

I am still keeping myself fresh in the field of geology by shifting gears when my 10 months are done for the school year.I have spent the last four years as an Environmental Inspector on Natural Gas Pipe Line Construction projects.The construction has taken place all over the country, with the exception of here.So, I have been away from home for those few months.The job is great even though the hours are long, it has been great getting to know the people in the different places that I go.A typical work week takes up between 80 and 90 hours with little time for much else. This summer, however, I will be working in New York State with a small Geotechnical Company located here in Canton. I look forward to getting back into working with a geoprobe, doing phase sight assessments, and writing the reports associated with that sort of thing – A nice change of pace from my duties here.

When the summer is over, I am ready and looking forward to another year here as your geology technician.It will be nice to be around so that I can get some chores done around my place also. With the burning of wood to stay warm during the winter months and the four horses we have, there's no shortage of chores that need doing over the summer months.

Well gang, don't want to take up too much of your time.Hope all is well in your world.If you get a chance, stop by and see us. Let us know what you're up to and how you have been doing.

 Best wishes always,

Matt VanBrocklin


This has been a successful year: a graduating class of eighteen, five students going directly to graduate school, a number of student presentations at conferences, and a paper in Nature. Please see Mark’s review for further details.Science facilities planning continues and we now know that the first phase (a new Biology/Chemistry wing) will be placed north of Bewkes.Geology will occupy space in both the ground and second floor of a renovated Bewkes and our space allocation has been increased by about nine percent. This will allow for future increase in faculty (much needed).The very recent decision regarding the footprint of the new building now allows us to move forward and put in place some of our Dolan Foundation rock outcrops. Progress was somewhat stymied last fall by the early onset of a ‘traditional’ winter and, as many of you know, a winter that lasted almost full blast until about six weeks ago. But we will be back on track with the placement of the initial samples (all metamorphics and igneous) and identification of sedimentary samples for later acquisition this summer.(For those of you who need a reminder about North Country winters, we almost had a frost last night – May 21st. It did not snow at graduation, however – as was the case last year).

Cathy, Teya and I had a wonderful time at Megan Mazzarino’s wedding at the end of last summer.We were also able to visit with Stefanie Hooe and Sarah Raposa (all were in my Priest College FYP of ten years ago; time certainly does fly!).

Finally, many, many thanks to all of you who have made financial contributions to the department.Your generosity helps us support those extra activities for our students (equipment, conference trips, field work support, etc., etc.) that can make their experience at St. Lawrence so much more rewarding.Thank you all so much.

With best wishes.


Geology Newsletter
Summer 2003

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