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    Congratulations Fall 2014 Graduates!

    The Geography and Earth Science Department would like to congratulate all of its graduates and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

    Congratulations to Dr. Rafique Ahmed on his retirement!

    Rumi and Rafique

    Past and current faculty and staff met on Saturday, December 6 th  to celebrate the retirement of Dr. Ahmed effective the end of the year. Dr. Ahmed has been a valued faculty member since 1984. We wish him all the best in his retirement.

    Congratulations on your retirement Rafique

    2014 Ryan M. Poehling Memorial Scholarship Recipient - Jonas Rugvedt

    The Geography and Earth Science Department would like to congratulate Jonas on this outstanding achievement!

    Poehling award

    GIS Student Poster Competition

    The Department hosted its second Poster Competition on Friday December 5 th  in Cartwright Center. Over 40 students from Dr. Gargi Chaudhuri's Introduction to GIS and Fundamentals of Cartography courses, Dr. Colin Belby's Field Methods course and Dr. Joan Bunbury's Spatial Data Analysis course participated in the competition. There was a tie for first place in the Beginner Category between a poster prepared by  Caitlin CullimoreJordan KellerKevin Krause  and  Susan Smith , and a poster prepared by  Brittany MauleJordan Keller  received an honorable mention for a poster that he prepared on his own. First place in the Advanced Category went to  Arthur Brueske , and second place went to  Corinne RabayAlicia Weeks  received an honorable mention.

    Congratulations to all of the winners and to all of those that participated in what is now an annual event!

    Recent Conferences and Presentations

    Dr. Joan Bunbury  gave a talk at the Geological Society of American Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B.C. in October. Her talk was titled  Observed changes in aquatic ecosystems over the past 20 years in the Upper Midwest .

    Arthur Brueske  presented a poster entitled  Land Cover Mapping and Change Analysis: Dhaka, Bangladesh  at the Undergraduate Research and Creativity Day in August, 2014. This was the undergraduate research he conducted during the summer of 2014 with Dr. Gargi Chaudhuri.

    Arthur Brueske

    Guest lecture sponsored by the Department of Geography and Earth Science 

    Monday, October 27, 2014
    2:15-3:15 p.m.
    1309 Centennial Hall


    Health Impacts of Unconventional Fossil Fuel Extraction
    Michelle Bamberger, MS, DVM

    Abstract
    Michelle Bamberger
    Health impacts from unconventional oil and gas extraction continue to be a concern in intensively drilled areas of the US. The lifecycle of a tight oil or shale gas well includes silica mining, trucking, road and well pad construction, vertical and horizontal drilling, high volume hydraulic fracturing, wastewater holding and injection, waste sand disposal, condensate production and storage, flaring, compressor stations, processing plants, pipelines, and gas storage. Exposures to people and animals may occur during any of these phases and may result in health impacts. As animals and children have high exposure rates, they can be viewed as sentinels for health problems. Initial study of cases of food and companion animals showed that reproductive problems were linked to drilling operations, and that in people, acute respiratory, neurological, gastrointestinal and dermatological symptoms were associated with drilling operations. On long-term follow-up, the distribution of symptoms was unchanged for humans and companion animals, but in food animals, reproductive problems decreased and both respiratory and growth problems increased. Definitive evidence linking health impacts to drilling operations cannot be obtained due to incomplete testing before and after drilling, incomplete disclosure of chemicals and nondisclosure agreements. Without such knowledge, it is impossible to know if this process can be done safely or not.

    Bio
    Dr. Michelle Bamberger is a veterinarian in private practice in Ithaca, NY and serves on the advisory board of Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy. Dr. Bamberger received her DVM from Cornell University in 1985. Before attending Cornell, she earned her masters degree in pharmacology from Hahnemann University Medical College and then worked in equine research for two years at New Bolton Center, University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School. After graduating from Cornell, Dr. Bamberger studied at Oxford University and practiced small animal and exotic medicine and surgery in both Massachusetts and New York. Before opening Vet Behavior Consults in 2002, Dr. Bamberger returned to Cornell for training in the field of behavior medicine as a Visiting Fellow. She has a special interest in educating the public on veterinary topics and has taught adult education courses and written two books on the topic of first aid. She devotes much of her time to documenting and studying the impacts that hydraulic fracturing for extraction of hydrocarbons has on both human and animal health, and has coauthored articles and a book on this subject.

    Welcome, Dr. Paul Reyerson!

    The Geography and Earth Science Department would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest faculty member. Paul received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Department of Geography at St. Cloud State University where his research focused on focused on paleoenvironments of the interior Pacific Northwest.  During his time as a Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Geography, Paul conducted research involving soils, geomorphology, and biogeochemistry. His study areas spanned from Nebraska to Illinois, with a special focus on the Driftless Area of the Upper Midwest. As a University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Botany post-doctoral associate, he studied forest-grassland dynamics in the interior of Hawaii's Big Island. As a research associate with the University of California, Irvine, Keck-CCAMS Group Earth System Science Department, Paul researched the presence of carbon in microscopic grains of silica produced by plants, called phytoliths.

    Paul's research is multidisciplinary, connecting the fields of soil science, geomorphology, ecology, and archaeology, and aims to better understand how terrestrial environments have changed through time. He also is keenly interested in linkages between biotic and abiotic systems - particularly plants and soils - and how they can influence each other. Paul will continue his work in both of these research areas, and looks forward to working with students and faculty at UW-L to explore new research frontiers in the Upper Midwest.

    In his off-time, Paul enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, biking, and reading.