Regionals Students Attend Geological Society of America Meeting

By Jade Smallwood, Student Writer for the Office of External Relations & Communications

Photo of Lydia Ryan with Mark Krekeler as she presents her poster on reflective spectroscopy of animal specimens to support conservation efforts and support search and rescue technology.Picture this, you’re a Miami Regionals student and you have put 360+ hours of research into a project. Sounds intense right? You’ve also been doing the research for over a year. You’ve conducted experiments, ran trial and errors, poured out your time and effort into this project. Then you get the opportunity to travel to Indianapolis to attend the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America with almost 6,000 other people. There are other students, geological professionals, high school teachers, mentors, and professors attending as well. While you’re there you present your information have a station set up telling people about all you’ve accomplished.

At this annual meeting, on the convention floor, there are 400 posters/presentations being displayed. Those who aren’t presenting are walking around the convention floor and having a question and answer session with those that are presenting the research they’ve done.

Mireille Fouh Mbindi is presenting her  project on unconventional rare earth element resources at the Geological Society of America meeting.This was a reality for Dr. Mark Krekeler’s students. Lonnie Flatt, Alex Balash, Isaiah Holmes, Erin Larry, Samara Ord, Lydia Ryan, Mirelle Fouh Mbindi, Jared Brum, Christopher Schlegel, and Claudia Dawson. These 10 students put hours and hours of their time for this research where they all presented their research at the Geological Society of America Meeting and they definitely deserve to be recognized.

The Regionals campuses see a large number of Geology students and approximately 70 of those geology students have completed research projects with Dr. Krekeler and often these culminate into research presentations. These projects are a huge asset for the students doing them because they’re useful for obtaining skills in working for geological sciences and preparing them to work within the geological field.

Student veteran Jared Brum and Christopher Schlegel did research looking at remote sensing of jet fuel, diesel and gasoline fuels and how they evaporate. They completed experiments to geologic material and measured the reflective light that emitted and then made a function with their results.

Chris Schlegel (left) and Jared Brum (right) presented a poster focused on remote sensing of environmental spills of jet fuel and diesel fuel.When asking Brum the impact the meeting and the research made he responded, “It was time-consuming but it gave me a lot of background experience and knowledge. I’ve gained experimental skills with the fuel and instrumentation and my first conference was eye-opening and I was able to learn how things are accomplished and ran. It was a great networking opportunity as well and I was lucky to meet with the people there.”

Aside from Brum and Schlegel’s research projects, all students completed one. Alex Balash and Isaiah Holmes completed a project on remote sensing of human blood. Claudia Dawson presented on remote sensing in makeup and tied to human trafficking, human violence, and allergens in makeup. Lonnie Flett completed the project on uranium pollution from her reservation in Spokane Washington. Mirelle Fouh Mbindi presented on rare earth minerals. Erin Larry researched unique clay from the Yucatan Peninsula. Samara Ord researched geochemical data from Ohio streams and Lydia Ryan focused on remote sensing of animals using museum specimens.

All of these students put a ton of work, time and effort into these projects and deserve to be recognized. The Regionals is lucky to have dedicated students who are willing to represent our campus everywhere they go!