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Skidmore College
Geosciences Department

Geosciences News Archives


Congratulations to our senior class of 2016!

  • This year’s Roy T. Abbott III Memorial Prize in Geosciences goes to: Emma McCully
  • Ben Freiberg won the department’s Mente et Malleo Research Grant for his project “soil erosion rates in Saratoga County”
  • Candace Wygel is heading back to school at Lehigh University’s graduate program in Geology, with full funding and a teaching assistantship!
  • Richard (Alex) Ng-Yow was the project manager for Dana Science Center’s new Augmented Reality sandbox installation. Visit the Atrium to try it yourself, or check out Alex’s time-lapse video!         

Geo Summertime!


  • Evan Nitkin criss-crossed the Atlantic this summer studying the coastal ocean/human interface.  
  • Terra Begley is splitting her summer between Saratoga Springs and her home on the San Andreas. Neither one is her fault, really!
  • Anne LeClair is taking a break from fossil-hunting to pursue e-sports. AnneDroid Rocks!
  • Taimur Khan spent the summer in Europe as a research assistant investigating landscape change in the field


  • Eric Deutsch landed a summer internship with NASA, doing hyperspectral imaging of algal blooms in the Great Lakes. Optical!
  • Ann Hill headed down under for Field Camp in New Zealand. Field Camp is an intensive 4-6-week long course in field geology techniques: mapping, observational skills, 4-D data interpretation, and linking small points together to see the big picture. And, hiking around the great outdoors in amazing places!
  • Sam spent the summer on the Cape, as a research assistant at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Alumni Spotlight

Fall 2015

Geo Summers

  • Candace Wygel did summer research on lithium mineral geochemistry at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC.
  • Emma McCully and Melanie Feen researched marine carbon cycling at Skidmore with Meg Estapa, and Matt Kilgore worked on Devonian stratigraphy with Prof. Lindemann.
  • Ben Freiberg and Michaela Ritz landed undergraduate research opportunities on the west coast!
  • Rachel Barrachina had a great international summer with a paid internship for the Quebec-Labrador Foundation in Montreal.

Spring 2015

Skidmore geoscientist quoted in EOS article on Roman Aqueduct sinter research.

Fall 2014

Skidmore at AGU! Presentations in San Francisco Mon. 12/15 by Katie Kuklewicz (poster B13N-0065) and Kyle Nichols (talk EP13F-05)

Student-faculty research on hurricanes and the Maya collapse. Skidmore geoscientists studying what happened to the ancient Maya civilization: Hurricanes didn't cause collapse of Mayan civilization. ... or did they? USA Today by Doyle Rice, November 10, 2014 (Faculty member Amy Benoit Frappier and student Aurora Pinkey-Drobnis '12)

Prof. Estapa wins NASA research grant

Bon Voyage to students going abroad in the spring: Emma McCully (Iceland), Richard Ng-Yow and Pat Thieringer (New Zealand)

Summer research: On campus, Melanie Feen ’17 studied phytoplankton and marine carbon cycling with Prof. Estapa, and Candace Wygel ’17 used a new method to analyze small carbonate samples with Prof. Frappier. Katie Kuklewicz ’16 quantified forest fire impact on soil charcoal at Biosphere2 REU Program (University of Arizona).

Solar energy comes to Skidmore: Amy Frappier's Climateology class at press conference. The Daily Gazette, October 7, 2014

Spring 2014

Congratulations to the Class of 2014!

Geosciences Majors:
Mary Brill, Jennifer Garvin, Megan Killeen, Max Koenig, Jon Markowitz, Jeremy Rosen, and Shanna Williamson

Geosciences Minors:  
Joe Marto, Jamie Potter, and Dalton Weinstein

Mente et Malleo!

This year’s department awards go to:

  1. Mente et Maello Award: Jon Markowitz
  2. Roy T. Abbott III Memorial Prize:  Jeremy Rosen

Well done!

Congratulations to Sarah C. Turner ‘15, who earned a prestigious Honorable Mention in this year’s national Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education competition!  

Let’s hear it for Megan Killeen ‘14 and Mary Brill ‘14, who are headed out west for the summer with GeoCorps jobs at Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State and Dinosaur National Monument in Utah. In other news, Mike Gallant ’12 is back from a year teaching in America Samoa, and is currently an education assistant at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. Stop by to say Hi if you’re in the area this summer!

Good luck to Joe Marto ‘14, headed for the atmospheric sciences graduate program at SUNY Albany, and Jamie Potter ‘14, who will return to Dartmouth College next year to complete her five-year dual degree program in (geo!)physics and engineering.

Geosciences offered two great presentations at Academic Festival on April 30, 2014:

Frack-ademic Festival: Geoscience Senior Seminar Panel on Fracking in New York State
Faculty Sponsor: Kyle Nichols, Geosciences Dept.
Presenters: Mary Brill ’14, Jennifer Garvin ’14, Megan Killeen ’14, Maxwell Koenig ’14, Jonathan Markowitz ’14, Jamie Potter ’14, Jeremy Rosen ’14, Shanna Williamson ’14
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a controversial process used to extract natural gas from some geologic media. Proponents of fracking highlight the need for domestic energy, low greenhouse gas emissions of natural gas compared to coal or oil, and economic benefits. Opponents claim environmental damage both locally (groundwater contamination) and globally (global warming). The geosciences Class of 2014 will discuss these, and other, aspects of fracking and conclude with a question and answer session.

Responding to the Challenges of Climate Change
Faculty Sponsors: Amy Frappier, Geosciences and Nurcan Atalan-Helicke, Environmental Studies
Presenters: Patrick Babbitt ’14 (IA), Jacqueline Carames ’17 (GE), Joshua Inaba ’14 (ES), Matthew Kilgore ’16 (GE), Eliza Sherpa ’14 (ES), Caitlin White ’14 (ES)

IPCC assessments of Earth system science have shown that climate is already changing, mainly due to human activities. Climate change impacts vary across time and space, posing key challenges for humanity. Scientific uncertainties about future climate change impacts arise from natural processes and the choices people make about energy and land use. This interdisciplinary panel discusses climate science as well as social-political-economic-practical aspects of responding to the challenges of climate change at Skidmore and beyond.

Congratulations to the following students for being inducted into the Thoroughbred Society for student athletes earning a GPA of at least 3.67 during the Fall 2013 semester:

Katie Kuklewicz '15 for womens' swimming (geoscience major)
Jacqueline Carames '17 for womens' soccer, (geoscience minor)

Logan Brenner '12

Spring 2011

A huge congratulations goes out to Logan Brenner ’12 (at right) for being named as a recipient of the highly competitive and prestigious 2011 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. Congratulations Logan! Check out Scope magazine's article on Logan's experience at Skidmore and her recent award here.

Congratulations to Joe Flowers '11 for being named to the Ping NCAA Division III All-America Third Team for golf!

Congratulations to the following students for being inducted into the Thoroughbred Society for student athletes earning a GPA of at least 3.67 the previous semester:

  • Joe Flowers ’11 for men's golf (geoscience minor)
  • Logan Frederick ’13 for womens’ basketball (geoscience major)
  • Kate Ito ’11 for womens’ soccer (geoscience minor)
  • Carrie Koch ’13 for womens swimming (geoscience major)
  • Geneva Kraus ’11 for women's crew (geoscience minor)

We have several students who are abroad for the semester. Check out our department blog to see what they're up to.

Our seismograph is up and running and we've already recorded some earthquakes! Check out the seismograph page for more information.

The Skidmore seismograph even recorded the arrival of the magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan on March 11.



Japan Quake recording


Fall 2011

Kyle Nichols' research on the NSF website on his geological field research on water in arid southwestern Africa, "Something Odd Is Happening with Namibia's Weather: Southwestern African Country Is No Arid Desert—This Year."

Amy Frappier and Kyle Nichols' major new $827,000 NSF grant, "MRI: Acquisition of a Light Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometer for High-Resolution Paleoclimatology and Undergraduate Education and Training in the Geosciences"


Geoscience graduates of 2010

Spring/Summer 2010

Congratulations to our 2010 graduates: Audrey Wronski, Morgan Violette, David Stein-Cowan, and Vince Weeks!

Congratulations to Audrey Wronski ’10 on receiving Departmental Honors and the Roy T. Abbott III Memorial Prize.

Kudos to Joe Flowers '12 (geoscience minor) for helping Skidmore Golf finish in the top 10 at the NCAA Division III Championships.

Congrats to Morgan Violette ’10 for winning an assistantship to the M.S. graduate program at Rutgers University.

Congrats to Logan Brenner ’12 for winning the SGA's VP for Academic Affairs seat for 2010–11.

Congrats to Aurora Pinkey-Drobnis ’12, 2010 awardee in the Summer Student/Faculty Research Program.

Congrats to Caroline Loehr ’12 for winning a 2010 summer research award through the Schupf Scholar Program.

Congrats to Melanie Hoermann ’13 for a being a 2010 Scribner-Mellon Scholar.

Congrats to Jonathon Reeves ’12 for a 2010 Water Resources Initiative summer research project award. 


Fall 2010

Congratulations to the following students for being inducted into the Thoroughbred Society for student athletes earning a GPA of at least 3.67 the previous semester:

  • Logan Frederick ’13 for womens' basketball (geoscience major)
  • Kate Ito ’11 for womens' soccer (geoscience minor)
  • Carrie Koch ’13 for womens swimming (geoscience major)

Congratulations to Valerie Schwartz ’11 on receiving the Mente et Maello Award for the 2010–11 school year.

Spring 2009

Click here for an online version of the spring 2009 department newsletter.