Undergraduate Research

Opportunities for participation in original research projects conducted by the geology faculty are available for undergraduates on an individual basis. Research topics will vary in scope depending upon current faculty and graduate student research efforts. Time and skill requirements will also vary, as will the amount of academic credit received. As with all research, it is expected that students will seek to present the results of their work at professional meetings and to participate in preparing their results for publication. Students interested in pursuing research opportunities should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies or individual faculty members in their area of interest.

Recent undergraduate research projects:

"The isotope ecology of extinct proboscideans from the Cincinnati region" (senior thesis), Eric Baumann, advisor: Brooke Crowley.  Stable carbon, oxygen, and strontium isotopes values in molars were used to reconstruct the foraging and habitat preferences of mastodons and mammoths during the Late Pleistocene.  Results suggest that most individuals were regional residents, but one mastodon appears to have immigrated into the area, most likely from southern Appalachia.  Among the resident individuals, isotope data indicate mammoths foraged closer to the retreating ice sheet than mastodons.

"Sequence stratigraphy and biotic patterns of an unusual interval in the Upper Ordovician Lexington Formation, central Kentucky", Allison Young, Alex Reis, advisor: Carl Brett.  This research was presented at the 2013 meeting of GSA. 

"Correlating K-bentonites in the eastern United States: Implications for volcanic activity during the Silurian Period" (WISE project), Megan Moore, advisor: Warren Huff.  ESEM and XRD analysis of a collection of Silurian K-bentonites to show how well they could be correlated and visualization of the variety of volcanogenic phenocrysts within the K-bentonites.