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Last updated: Saturday, 14-Mar-2009 19:10:25 Central Daylight Time


UW-RF Profs, Students Present At Geology Conference

Two UW-RF faculty and two students recently presented their research and methods at the 37th annual meeting of the North-Central Section of the Geological Society of America in Kansas City, Mo. in March.

Plant and Earth Science Professor Robert Baker presented a session on using humor to engage students in large, introductory-level geology classes. Baker said his tried-and-true methods for keeping attention include top-ten lists, Jeopardy-type reviews, and humorous quotations and questions. Although there is no scientific evidence showing that humor helps students learn better, Baker finds that teaching in a large class is more fun when the students are engaged.

Plant and Earth Science Professor William Cordua assisted Jeffrey Bruesewitz, a junior geology major from Wauwatosa, in presenting research in Precambrian geology. Bruesewitz studied Cary Mound granite to determine if a small pluton located south of Marshfield, in Wood County, is the remains of an early Proterozoic collapsed caldera. These structures are rarely preserved in rocks the age of the granite, but Bruesewitz found the rock did contain them.

Robert Turnquist, a senior geology major from Fridley, Minn., studied the Rex Hill local fauna, a part of the Hell Creek Formation in Garfield County, Mont. The material he studied was collected in May 1970 and sat untouched for 30 years. Sorting and categorizing the collection, he discovered 12 different organisms in the fauna, and determined that site appears to have once been a large, deep river in a subtropical environment.

Approximately 350 geoscientists attended the meeting, which was hosted by the Department of Geosciences at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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