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Kutztown University's Geology Program - Recent Highlights
News!:  Dr. Oakley and her five student researchers have just returned from their deep sea oceanographic research cruise in the Pacific.
Please visit the expedition's website with blogs written by Dr. Oakley and her students, plus pictures to see how they fared!

Mineralogy Adirondacks 2009Contents:

Kutztown University Geology Club Pie-Your-Professor fundraiser - April 2011

Kutztown University
      Geology Club 2011 - Sunshyne pies Dr. TindallDr. Tindall takes a pie in the face for charity from Sunshyne.

Dr. Sherrod cleans up after Kutztown
      University Geology Club 2011 - Dr. Sherrod cleans uptaking a pie in the face for charity.

Kutztown University
      Geology Club 2011 - Dr. Simpson takes a pieDr. Simpson takes a pie in the face for charity.

Field trips in Courses

Adirondacks, New York - Mineralogy - September 2011

Dr. Kurt Friehauf and Dr. Laura Sherrod  took the Mineralogy and Field Geology classes on a weekend field trip to the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York.  Hurricane Irene destroyed many of the roads in the region, so we made some fascinating detours that proved to be very educational!

Adirondack trip 2011

Active strip mine of the Mammoth coal vein in Wadesville, Pennsylvania- Physical Geology - April 2011

Dr. Laura Sherrod 

Remediated stream channel where a seep to the underlying coal mine was sealed, Pennsylvania - Hydrogeology - April 2011

Dr. Laura Sherrod 

Pennsylvania coal country acid mine waters - Physical Geology - October 2010

Dr. Laura Sherrod took her introductory level Physical Geology class on a now annual tour of abandoned coal mines in cooperation with the Pennsylvania.

Wallops Island, Virginia - Intro to Oceanography - late October 2010

Dr. Adrienne Oakley
      and Dr. Erin Kraal - Intro to Oceanography 2010Dr. Adrienne Oakley's Introduction to Oceanography class returned to the Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium to study coastal processes.  Planetary surface processes scientist Dr. Erin Kraal also led the trip.  What a great experience to be out on the beach, measuring nature with two such experienced scientists!

The Wallops Island facility has microscopes and other analytical tools for studying marine science samples.

Dr. Adrienne Oakley
      and Dr. Erin Kraal - Intro to Oceanography 2010Dr. Oakley displaying a map of the area to be visited during the day's cruise. 

Dr. Adrienne Oakley
      and Dr. Erin Kraal - Intro to Oceanography 2010It was a chilly morning to be out on a boat, but adventure calls!

Dr. Adrienne Oakley
      and Dr. Erin Kraal - Intro to Oceanography 2010Analyzing the texture and composition of stinky marsh mud - not just hands-on learning - this is hands-IN learning! 

Dr. Adrienne Oakley
      and Dr. Erin Kraal - Intro to Oceanography 2010Students preparing to cast the sampling net.

Dr. Adrienne Oakley
      and Dr. Erin Kraal - Intro to Oceanography 2010Charismatic macrofauna are always a pleasant surprise!

Dr. Adrienne Oakley
      and Dr. Erin Kraal - Intro to Oceanography 2010Students digging a pit in the beach sand to study the stratigraphy of the sedimentary layers. 

Dr. Adrienne Oakley
      and Dr. Erin Kraal - Intro to Oceanography 2010Students profiling the beach to delineate the different beach zones.

Dr. Adrienne Oakley
      and Dr. Erin Kraal - Intro to Oceanography 2010We really got into digging the sampling pits!  There is so much to see!!

Sterling Hill Zinc Mine, New Jersey - Field Geology - October 2010

Dr. Sarah Tindall and Kurt Friehauf took the Field Geology class on a trip to to make geologic maps underground in the Sterling Hill Zinc Mine.  Nothing like having 100% outcrop and 3-dimensional data distribution!  (no pictures because we were so absorbed in our work - c'est la vie!  /:-)  )

Sterling Hill Zinc Mine, New Jersey - Mineralogy - October 2010

Sterling Hill
        west shaft stationDr. Kurt Friehauf took his Mineralogy class to the Sterling Hill Zinc Mine to learn about mining and zinc ore formation.  This field trip is timed to coincide with our discussions of solid solutions and ion substitution in crystal lattices in the classroom.  Mineralogy is a form of applied chemistry.  Going out and actually seeing things in real life makes the chemistry a lot more tangible and learning both better retained and fun!

Underground with guide Ron Mishkin. 
Ron is a mining geology sage!
  He graciously shares his lifetime of adventures as a mine geologist all over the U.S. with the class.

Sterling Hill
        Jess and MattSterling Hill Matt Amanda Jess and Dan
Matt brought his high-end UV lamp to better find fluorescent minerals underground.  Jess is clearly having a great time (and taking notes in her field book - a very wise practice!)  Dan and Amanda are really into it, too.  Good job!

Wallops Island, Virginia - Intro to Oceanography - September 2010

Dr. Adrienne Oakley -
      Intro to Oceanography 2010Dr. Adrienne Oakley's Introduction to Oceanography class went to Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium to study marine marine science. 

Puffer fish are cool!

Dr. Adrienne Oakley -
      Intro to Oceanography 2010Students preparing nets for sampling.

Dr. Adrienne Oakley - Intro to Oceanography 2010Measuring beach profiles.

Dr. Adrienne Oakley -
      Intro to Oceanography 2010Digging pits in the sand to study the stratigraphy of the sediment layers.

Dr. Adrienne Oakley -
      Intro to Oceanography 2010What's a trip to the ocean without a quick dip?!

Adirondack Mountains, New York - September 2010

Dr. Kurt Friehauf took his mineralogy class on our annual five-day-long field trip to the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of northern New York.  It was beautiful and a lot of fun!

Friehauf - Kutztown Geology
        Adirondack field trip 2010
On top of Giant Mountain 2010

Friehauf - Kutztown
      Geology Adirondack field trip 2010Camping is cheaper than hotels and MUCH more fun!

Friehauf - Kutztown
      Geology Adirondack field trip 2010James and Rick estimating percent quartz to distinguish between charnockite and mangerite.  Note how Rick wisely holds the sample to the side of his hat bill to get better light on the rock.  Good job! 

Friehauf - Kutztown
      Geology Adirondack field trip 2010Shared geologic experiences in the field are truly enriching!  Who would have thought that a discussion of the oxidation state of granitic magma buffered by fayalite-magnetite-quartz mineral assemblage would bring such merriment? 

Abandoned Coal Mine Hydrogeology, Pennsylvania - April 2010

Dr. Sherrod
        - Hydrogeology - Acid Mine DrainageDr. Laura Sherrod took her hydrology class on an full-day field trip.  This abandoned coal mine pit is lined with pyrite-bearing shales.  Oxidation of that pyrite by rainwater forms a dilute sulfuric acid solution we see in the pit.  The pit water level also tells us something about the elevation of the groundwater table in the region.  Hydrogeology studies great stuff!

Dr. Sherrod
        - hydrogeology acid mine tripThe class by one of the old shovel buckets from the mining operation. 

Palisades Sill, New Jersey - March 2010

Petrology at Palisades SillDr. Friehauf's Petrology class took a quick day trip to find the olivine layer of the famous Palisades Sill in New Jersey.

We found what might have been the olivine layer, but it was too high on the cliff to observe carefully. 
Our secondary objective was to measure the orientations of a large number of cooling joints for structural analysis.  We now have a great data set for analysis in lab!

Shane measuring strike and dip of joint

photo by Chris Seligman - Kutztown University Geology
          students at NE-SE GSA 2010Geological Society of America meeting, Baltimore, Maryland - March 2010

The whole class couldn't go, but four students from Petrology/Geochemistry class went to the Northeast sectional meeting of the Geological Society of America in Baltimore, Maryland to hear talks on cutting edge geoscience research and to support their classmates who are presenting at the meeting.  Dr. Edward Simpson and Dr. Sarah Tindall both attended to help Kutztown University students Max Needle, Lauren Storm, and Casey Smith present their research results.

Grand CanyonArizona mines and mountains - March 2010

Dr. Kurt Friehauf's Economic Geology class traveled with  to Arizona.  In addition to touring copper mines in southern Arizona, we made sure to visit several of Arizona's other natural wonders. 

We started by visiting the Grand Canyon.  A large open pit mine moves around 250,000 tons of rock each day.  It would take humans roughly 125,000 years to dig the Grand Canyon at that rate!  Here, Harley, Shane, and Anthony await the sunset together.

cinder coneAlthough hiking is forbidden on Sunset Crater volcano itself, there are plenty of other cinder cones in the area on National Forest land.  Matt, Jeremy, and Dan here look out over the broad Arizona landscape from the lip of the crater of one such volcano. 

Meteor CraterBarringer Crater (aka Meteor Crater) is the site of a meteorite impact crater that formed 40,000 years ago when 300,000 ton chunk of iron slammed into the Earth at a speed of 45,000 miles per hour.  The resulting explosion overturned the sedimentary rock strata in the area and left a mile wide hole.  Standing on the rim of the crater really brings home the reality of Earth's place in the bigger astronomical scheme of things - especially when one considers this meteorite was only 50 meters in diameter and the asteroid that allegedly wiped out the dinosaurs was 10,000 meters across!

        ForestPetrified Forest National Park is extraordinary!  Thousands of giant, silicified logs of wood lay scattered across the desert floor, exhumed from their resting place by erosion.  The details of the wood are preserved right down to the burrows dug by beetles beneath the bark.

copper mineEconomic Geologists determine the sequence of mineralization events by carefully studying the veins in the rock.  Younger veins crosscut older veins.  By deduction, we can learn how mineralization proceeded to form the ore deposits that we rely on for all of our metal needs. 

Abandoned coal mine in the anthracite region, Pennsylvania - October 2009

        Sherrod's class visits coal mine clean-upDr. Laura Sherrod took her Physical Geology (GEL100) to visit the reclamation of an abandoned coal mine. 

        Sherrod's 2009 GEL100 trip to abandoned mineDr. Sherrod's expertise includes hydrogeology - the study of water in the environment - so a visit to a mine portal with acid drainage was a bit of a treat.

Research Travels

Planned course of the Joint
        Geological Research Cruise 2011Deep-sea AUV magnetic and seismic study of the Hawaiian Jurassic crust beneath the Pacific Ocean floor - Autumn 2011

Dr. Adrienne Oakley will travel with five Kutztown University undergraduate students this fall on a six-week deep oceanographic research cruise to study the properties of the ocean floor in the southwest Pacific. 

Friehauf - Namibia projectNamibia - August 2011

Kutztown University geology student Jewels Wilk spent a month in the Namibian desert with Dr. Kurt Friehauf studying one of the oldest intrusion-related copper deposits in the world.  Remarkably, the two billion year old deposit is almost completely untouched by subsequent metamorphism.  Studying this deposit will help us understand how copper mineralizing processes may have differed in the ancient geologic past compared to processes that formed more recent deposits. 

Dr. Laura
          Sherrod - NY landslide projectNew York Adirondacks - the biggest landslide in New York history - May 2011

Dr. Laura Sherrod, working with Kutztown Geology students Ken Schlosser and Jarred Swiontek, in cooperation with geologists  Andrew Kozlowski and Brian Bird of the NY State Geological Survey, used Ground Penetrating Radar to map and characterize an actively-moving massive landslide in upstate New York.  This landslide is the largest in the state's history. 

Drs. Erin Kraal and Ed
        Simpson - Salton SeaSalton Sea, California - May 2011

Dr. Erin Kraal and Dr. Ed Simpson worked with Kutztown Geology students Liz Heness and Jewels Wilk along the shores of the Salton Sea on a multi-disciplinary project studying the interplay between sedimentological and geomorphological processes.  The site is unusual because the beach sand is composed almost entirely of fish bones!

Wallops Island Coastal Zone - Virginia - Summer 2011

Dr. Adrienne Oakley, working with Kutztown Geology students Eric Sergent and Matt Sabetta, and Kutztown Marine Science Jaclyn Chariw,
profiling beach forms using total station surveying and quantitatively analyzing sediment samples.  They are integrating that data with tidal and wave data, as well as storm surge information to learn how weather affects coastal processes and beach morphology. 

Dr. Laura
          Sherrod AMD researchPennsylvania Acid Mine Drainage - June 2011

Dr. Laura Sherrod, working with Kutztown Geology students Jarred Swiontek and Jeff Kadegis, used electrical resistivity geophysics to track water flow into abandoned coal mines from river channels in Pennsylvania.  Once the source of water entering the coal mines is discovered, steps can be taken to redirect the water, keeping our streams running clear and free of contaminants.  This is novel approach to groundwater monitoring is a way to use geophysics to peer beneath the Earth's surface and study subterranean processes. 

Friehauf - Alaska projectAlaska - May 2011

Kutztown University geology students Melania Tkach, Dan Ruth, and Ken Schlosser spent a month in the interior of Alaska with Dr. Kurt Friehauf where they geologically mapped a Tertiary volcanic complex.  Parts of the mountain were hydrothermally-altered, a characteristic of many gold deposits.  The students also quantitatively analyzed drill core to assess the potential of a prospect of metamorphic rocks for zinc mineralization. 

Dr. Sherrod's mass grave projectPennsylvania - search for a historic mass grave - 2010-2011

Dr. Laura Sherrod and Dr. James Higgins, working with Kutztown Geology student Connor Messler, used Ground Penetrating Radar to assess whether or not a historic cemetery in eastern Pennsylvania is the site of a mass burial related to the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic that killed between 50 and 100 million people worldwide in just two years.  They presented their findings at the Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems in Charleston, South Carolina (10-14 April 2011).

Edward Simpson - South Africa research 2010South Africa - May-June 2010

Dr. Edward Simpson took several students to do research with him on ancient sedimentary rocks in South Africa.  The expedition was very successful.  Results of this research will be presented by Dr. Simpson and his students at the national Geological Society of America meeting in Denver.  Samples taken during the trip are the subject of ongoing analysis in the labs at Kutztown University. 

Kutztown University students studying molybdenite mine in
          Henan Province, ChinaHenan and Beijing, China

Kutztown geology undergraduate students Anthony Moorehead and Lauren Storm traveled to Beijing, China with Dr. Kurt Friehauf to participate in a graduate course in economic geology taught by Dr. Friehauf at the China University of Geosciences.  While there, they took time off to visit the many wonderful historic sites in and around Beijing, including the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Great Wall of China, and a historic farming village.

The group then traveled to the remote Qinling Mountains in Henan Province to study molybdenum mineral deposits.  Because mineral deposits have strategic value, geologic access was restricted in some areas by the Chinese government (indeed!  We were evicted from one city because it was too close to a military base - no foreigners were permitted in the area!)  We were, however, lucky to get access to some remarkable rocks never before seen by westerners!

We are currently studying samples taken on that expedition to determine the geological/geochemical processes that formed the mineral deposits over 100 million years ago!

Southern Utah

Tindall and Simpson
      project in UtahOne of the most prolific and exciting research projects at Kutztown University combines Dr. Sarah Tindall's studies of structural geology (how mountains form, and how rocks fracture and fold) with Dr. Edward Simpson's studies of the sedimentology (how sand and silt deposit), stratigraphy (layering of sedimentary rocks), and paleontology (fossils).  Some of the exciting things they've discovered include evidence of ancient earthquakes that violently shook the region when the sandstone was still just a mush of sediment, resulting in the eruption of mud volcanoes and contorting the bedrock like a twisted puzzle.  Their studies have also helped unravel the history of when and how the Rocky Mountains formed during the time of the dinosaurs.

This project involves undergraduate students traveling to the Utah desert every summer.  Almost a dozen students have now contributed to the science on this project and presented their findings at Geological Society of America meetings. 


Geology Club Travels (see also the Kutztown University Geology Club's website!)

collecting fossilsAnthracite region fern fossils and underground coal mine fire, Pennsylvania - November 2010

The Kutztown University Geology Club took a weekend off to visit the underground coal fire at Centralia and collect fern fossils from abandoned coal mine spoils. 

Kutztown University Geology Club -
          Nova Scotia - Maine trip 2010Nova Scotia, Canada + Maine - May 2010

The Kutztown University Geology Club took a trip north to tour Acadia National Park in Maine, as well as the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. 

Southern Arizona - Tucson Gem and Mineral Show + climbing/hiking - February 2010

(photos coming soon)
Geology Club took a couple days off from school to go to the greatest mineral/fossil show on Earth. 

Hawai'i - January 2010

Kutztown University Geology Club in Hawaii 2010The Geology Club traveled to Hawaii to visit volcanoes and beaches.  Dr. Adrienne Oakley accompanied them for much of the trip because she knows Hawai'i well, having done her PhD research at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. 

Faculty Publications and Grants - see also undergraduate student research

Clementz, M.T. and Sewall, J.O., 2011, Latitudinal Gradients in Greenhouse Seawater d18O: Evidence from Eocene Sirenian Tooth Enamel, Science, v. 332, p. 455-458.

Simpson, E. L., Hilbert-Wolf, H. L., Wizevich, M.C., Tindall, S.E., *Fasinski, B. R., *Storm, L. P., and *Needle, M.D., 2010, Predatory Digging Behavior by Dinosaurs: Geology, v. 38, p. 699-702. (picked up  by major internet news organizations, written up in he international magazine the Economist, and BBC 3  and 4 radio interviews).

Simpson, W.S., Simpson, E.L., Wizevich, M.C., *Malenda, H.F., Hilbert-Wolf, H.L., and Tindall, S.E., 2010.  A preserved Late Cretaceous biological soil crust in the capping sandstone member, Wahweap  Formation, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, Palaeoclimatic implications:  Sedimentary Geology, v. 230, p. 139-145.

*Moran, K., Hilbert-Wolf, H.L., Golder, K., *Malenda, H.F., *Smith, C.J., *Storm, L.P., Simpson, E.L., Wizevich, M.C.,  and  Tindall, S. E., 2010,  Implications of the wood-boring trace fossil Asthenopodichnium in the Late Cretaceous Wahweap Formation, Utah, USA:  Palaeogeography,  Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 297, p. 662-669.

*Storm, L., *Needle, M.D., *Smith, C.J., Fillmore, D. L., Szajna, M., Simpson, E.L., and Lucas, S. G.,  2010,  An upper Mississippian vertebrate burrow from the Mauch Chunk Formation, Eastern  Pennsylvania: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 298, p. 341-347. (Highlighted in Discovery News).

*Malenda, H.F., Simpson, E.L., Wizevich, M.C., and Tindall, S.E., Accepted February 2011, Towards  the recognition of biological soil crusts in the rock record: Key features from the study of modern and  Cretaceous examples, In, Noffke, N., and Chafetz, H., Eds., Microbial Mats in Sandy Deposits (Archean  to Today): Society of Sedimentary Geology Special Publication. 

Oakley, Adrienne, 2010, Collaborative Research Grant: A DEEP-AUV Magnetic and Seismic Study of the Hawaiian Jurassic Crust - The Global Significance of Jurassic Magnetic Anomalies: National Science Foundation (NSF - $54,000).

Sewall, Jacob, 2010, Virginia Climate Change Modeling and Adaptation Project: Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Research Grant ($75,000).  

Haug, E. W., Kraal, E.R.Sewall, J. O., van Dijk, M. V, and Chong, G., 2010,  Modeling paleo-flow events on alluvial fans in the Atacama Desert, Chile:  Geomorphology, v. 121, p. 184-196.

Speelman, EN, Sewall, J. O., Noone, D, Huber, M, von der Heydt, A, Sinninghe Damsté, JS, and Reichard, G-J, 2010, Modeling the influence of a reduced equator-to-pole sea surface temperature gradient on the distribution of water isotopes in the Eocene, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 298, p. 57-65.

Tindall, S. E., Storm, L. P., Jenesky, T. A. and Simpson, E. L., 2010, Growth faults in the Kaiparowits basin, Utah, pinpoint initial Laramide deformation in the western Colorado Plateau: Lithosphere, v. 2, no. 4, p. 221-231.

Simpson, E. L., Hilbert-Wolf, Hannah L., Wizevich, Michael C., Tindall, Sarah E., Fasinski, Ben R., Storm, Lauren P., and Needle, Mattathias D., 2010, Predatory digging behavior by dinosaurs: Geology, v. 38, no. 8, p. 699-702.

Volkert, Richard A., Monteverde, Donald H., Friehauf, Kurt C., Gates, Alexander E., Dalton, Richard F., and Smith II, Robert C., 2010, Geochemistry and origin of Neoproterozoic ironstone deposits in the New Jersey Highlands and implications for the eastern Laurentian rifted margin in the north-central Appalachians, USA: Tollo, R.P., Bartholomew , M.J., Hibbard, J.P., and Karabinos, P.M., eds., From Rodinia to Pangea: The Lithotectonic Record of the Appalachian Region: Geological Society of America Memoir 206, p. 283–306.

Hilbert-Wolf, H.L., Simpson, E.L., Simpson, W.S., Tindall, S.E., Wizevich, M. C., 2009, Insights into syndepositional fault movement in a foreland basin; trends in seismites of Upper Cretaceous Wahweap Formation, Kaiparowits Basin, Utah, U.S.A.: Basin Research, v. 21.

Fillmore, D. L., Simpson, E. L., and Lucas, S. G., 2009, Issac Lea’s Palaeosauropus (=Sauropus”) primaevus: a review of his discovery: Ichnos v. 16, p. 220-229. (DOI: 10/1080/10420940802686152)

Simpson, E.L., Wizevich, M.C., Hilbert-Wolf, H.L., Tindall, S.E., *Bernard, J.J., Simpson, W.S., 2009, An Upper Cretaceous sag pond deposit: Implications for the recognition of local seismicity and surface rupture along the Kaibab Monocline, Utah: Geology, v. 37. p 967-970.

Friehauf, K.C., 2008, Iron-sulfur redox and its effect on sulfur-isotope fractionation in carbonate-hosted Cu-Au replacement ores, Superior, Arizona, in Spencer, J.E., and Titley, S.R., eds., Ores and orogenesis: Circum-Pacific tectonics, geologic evolution, and ore deposits, p. 583-590.

Eriksson, P. G., Long, D. G. F., Bumby, A. J., Eriksson, K. A., Simpson, E. L., Catuneanu, O., Claassen, M., Mtimkulu, Mudziri, K.T., M. N., Brümer, J. J., and van der Neut, M., 2008, Palaeohydrological data from the 2.0-1.8 Ga Waterburg Group, South Africa: Discussion of a possible unique Palaeoproterozoic fluvial style: South African Journal of Geology, v. 111, p. 183-206.

Simpson, E. L., Hilbert-Wolf, H. L., Simpson, W.S., Tindall, S. E., *Bernard, J. J., *Jenesky, T. A., and Wizevich, M. C., 2008, The interaction of aeolian and fluvial processes during deposition of the Upper Cretaceous capping sandstone member, Wahweap Formation, Kaiparowits Basin, Utah, U.S.A.: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v 270. p. 19-28.

Tindall, Sarah and Simpson, Edward L. - American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund Grants - Structural, sedimentologic and stratigraphic study of Late Cretaceous normal faults and syntectonic sediments in the Kaiparowits basin region, southern Utah. $49,964.  (Fall 06-Summer 09)

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Kurt Friehauf - January 2012