WSU Faculty and Student Researchers to Present at National Geology Meeting

OGDEN, Utah – Three undergraduate students and five faculty members from Weber State University’s Department of Geosciences will present results of their research at the 117th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, Oct. 16-19 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City.

WSU’s student presenters are:

     Traci Chavez (lead author), with Terry Price and Joe Simpson (co-authors), who will present “Modeling of Groundwater Flow Affected by Artificial Recharge in the Weber River Basin, Northern Utah.” This work was conducted with associate geosciences professor Marek Matyjasik as part of a grant from the Bureau of Reclamation to improve water resource management in the Ogden area.

WSU’s faculty presenters include:

Professor Jeff Eaton, who will present two discussions, “Review of Cretaceous Mammalian Paleontology: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah” and “Vertebrate Paleontology in the Cretaceous Sequence of Bryce Canyon National Park, Paunsaugunt Plateau, Utah.” Eaton, along with students Cameron Thompson and Rusty Goodin, have been extensively involved with studies of ancient environments and early mammal evolution preserved in southern Utah.

Associate professor Richard Ford is co-author for a poster session on “Little Ice Age Behavior of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Kane County, Utah.” Ford has used innovative techniques to better understand distinctive features of sand dunes in southern Utah that provide a record on long-term climate change.

Assistant professor Michael Hernandez will present a talk on “GIS-based Multiple Hazard Assessment of Southern Davis County, Utah: A Physiographic Bottleneck along the Wasatch Front.” Hernandez’s talk focuses on how to evaluate multiple hazards, such as earthquakes, landslides and flooding, in relation to development, and how to best communicate technical data with policy makers and the public. Additionally, Hernandez and Rick Ford will lead a discussion on flooding hazards associated with the Great Salt Lake as part of the “Geologic Hazards of the Wasatch Front, Utah” field trip.

Associate professor Marek Matyjasik will present “Precipitation by Wetting-Drying Mechanisms Observed on Calcite and Gypsum Surfaces with Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy.” He is also the co-author of “The Weber River Basin Aquifer Storage and Recovery Pilot Project – Geologic Setting and Implementation.” Using an atomic force microscope WSU recently obtained from a National Science Foundation grant, Matyjasik and his students have been studying a variety of processes, from calcite precipitation to effects of bacteria on mineral surfaces. Matyjasik’s ongoing research on artificially charging the aquifer at the western end of Weber Canyon has produced data that may help water districts increase culinary water supplies by capturing more water underground.

Professor and geosciences department chair Adolph Yonkee will present a talk on “Determining the 3-D Kinematic History of the Wyoming Salient of the Sevier Fold-Thrust Belt: Preliminary Results of Strain Analysis.” He is also a co-author on two related talks. These talks deal with how curved mountain belts form, focusing on results of a National Science Foundation grant to study part of the ancient Sevier mountain belt in Utah and Wyoming.

Yonkee also serves as the local chair for the GSA meeting, which will bring together more than 6,000 earth scientists to share recent advances and improve application of science in our lives. The meeting will include more than 250 technical sessions and symposia, as well as geologic field trips, workshops and special events exploring all facets of the earth sciences. Sessions will address such diverse topics as the 2004 South Asian tsunami, teaching of evolution, water resources and environmental policy, the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, and Hurricane Katrina.

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Adolph Yonkee, professor and chair of Geosciences department

(801) 626-7419 ·
John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
(801) 626-7212 •