2018 Student Research/Field Work Grant Winners
The SEGS Awards and Executive Committee members are pleased to announce the selection of three excellent student researchers for our 2018 Student Research/Field Work Grant. We started the year off with the intention of awarding one grant in each of our undergraduate and graduate entry categories. However, after receiving a trio of graduate applications (and no undergraduate applications) and being impressed with the merit of all three, the Executive Committee voted to—in addition to the advertised main $2,000 award to the first-place applicant—offer a $1,000 grant to each of the two runner-ups. In its decision, the Executive Committee noted the current strength of SEGS finances, writing that these worthy student projects were a worthy and prudent use of SEGS funds. We extend a warm congratulations to the overall winner, Mary Tiedman, and to runners-up Benjamin Davis and Mary Lupo!
The top winner, Mary Tiedman, a doctoral student with the Florida International University, seeks to explore whether certain fungi contribute to rock- and soil-building in Southern Florida and the transformation of phosphate-rich fertilizers to apapite in cultivated soils. Her research will explore how Florida’s biomineralizing alkaliphilic fungi respond to various concentrations of phosphate, with an eye on the resulting mineral products. Praising her technical and communication skills, Mary’s advisor, Dr. Krish Jayachandran, notes that the world is expected to run out of phosphorous in 2050 under pressure by mining and overfertilization. He writes that “[t]he idea that fungi could render P unavailable is also quite novel… The outcome of this research benefits various industries, including bioremediation, construction, and mining…” In addition to a $2,000 grant, Mary will receive up to $400 in travel expenses to a SEGS meeting to provide a technical presentation (which we can’t wait to hear). Mary’s grant will help cover travel and lab supplies for her work, scanning electron microscopy costs, and conference registration to the Soil Scientists of America Conference in San Diego.
Runner-up Benjamin Davis, a G.I.T. and doctoral student at Florida State University, is investigating the Dadeville complex, a Taconic age structure in the southern Appalachian Inner Piedmont. An extension of his master’s thesis, Ben’s mapping, geochemical and geochronological work will provide insight into the controversial question of whether the Southern Appalachians—which suffer an apparent and problematic absence of obducted Taconic arcs—were subjected to the same type of subduction as their Northern counterparts during the Taconic orogeny. The Dadeville complex, a possible accreted Ordovician arc, could be a “sorely missing piece of the Laurentian Taconic puzzle,” Ben notes. Ben’s advisor, Dr. James Tull, praised his field skills and explained that the research will shed light on a “poorly understood but tectonically very significant terrain of the southern Appalachian orogeny in Alabama and Georgia… He is working on producing detailed geologic maps of the Dadeville complex’s polydeformed and metamorphosed tectonostratigraphy, understanding its petrologic evolution, and using geochronology to decipher critical age relationships.” Ben’s $1,000 grant will help offset field and lab supply, thin section, geochemistry and travel costs.
Runner-up Mary Lupo, a G.I.T. and doctoral student at Florida State University, hopes to answer whether a “controversial stratigraphic sequence” in the Southern Appalachians Blue Ridge is part of a Neoproterozoic rift sequence or a younger Paleozoic formation. The recent discovery of Siluro-Devonian age conodont fossils in the target rocks has called into question their Neoproterozoic designation. Mary’s $1,000 grant will aid her in completing the mapping, fossil analysis, detrital zircons, geochemical, and petrographical analyses that are needed to properly constrain the age of the trouble rocks. Mary writes that their results could “call for a revised tectonic model for the southern Appalachian Blue Ridge.” Her advisor, Dr. James Tull, says she is a “top student” and that her work “on the stratigraphy and structure of a controversial sequence in the Appalachian Blue Ridge” could “signficantly modif[y] our understanding of the evolution of this mountain belt… [I]t looks like she will make a significant breakthrough in our understanding of the regional stratigraphy.”
In addition to their research awards, all three applicants will receive complimentary 2018 and 2019 memberships to SEGS. Furthermore, the winners have agreed to report on their work in a later SEGS newsletter—and we look forward to learning about their findings. Meantime, we have started turning the wheels for the 2019 SEGS Student Research/Field Work Grant, so make sure to spread the word. Any undergraduate and graduate student researching Southeastern U.S. geology and enrolled at an accredited postsecondary institution in Florida, Georgia, or Alabama is eligible to apply. The application information is below. Once again, congratulations to this year’s winners!
SEGS Grant Award 2019 (PDF 124 KB)
2019 SEGS Student Research/Field Work Grant Opportunity
Grant Overview: The Southeastern Geological Society (SEGS) is pleased to announce a competition for student research/field work grant awards. The purpose of the awards is to promote greater understanding of Southeastern U.S. geology through student research and/or field work. Grants are available on an application merit basis to any student, undergraduate or graduate, enrolled at any accredited University or College in Florida, Georgia, or Alabama.
For its 2019 grant, SEGS has allocated grant awards of $1,000 for one undergraduate student applicant and $2,000 for one graduate student applicant. However, at its sole discretion, the Executive Committee may extend reduced awards to outstanding runners-up. Awards are targeted for expenditures such as (but not limited to) field work, research travel, laboratory analyses, and research materials; they are not intended to fund indirect/overhead costs or wages.
Applications must be postmarked on or before a deadline of June 29, 2019 and be sent to the Awards Chairman at the below address. Applications will be reviewed by the SEGS Grant Awards Committee and judged based on the following criteria: 1) merit of proposed research/field work, 2) clarity of expression, and 3) strength of recommendation letter from a college faculty sponsor. All applicants meeting requirements will be acknowledged by email and provided one free year of SEGS membership (up to a $60 value). Following SEGS Executive Committee approval, awardee(s) will be notified, identified on our SEGS website, and sent check(s) by August 31, 2019.
It is expected that, during or after completion, awardee(s) will present their research/field work in the form of: 1) a brief article to be published in an SEGS Newsletter or Guidebook and/or 2) a presentation at an SEGS meeting. In the event of the latter, the student’s pre-approved travel expenses to the meeting, e.g., flight, rental car or mileage, meals, and lodging, shall be reimbursed, and associated field trip fee waived by the SEGS, up to a $400 value.
Download the application requirements below:
SEGS Grant Award 2019 (PDF 124 KB)
2018 Winter/Spring Newsletter
- Message from the President
- Research Update from SEGS 2017 Student Research/Field Work Grant Awardee, Derrick Vaughn,
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida
- Revenge of the Lake Wales Ridge Sand Pits
- Geology of Western Cuba
- Cuba Travel Log, by Julie Zydek
- Manuel A. Iturralde-Vinent awarded life-membership to SEGS
Download the Newsletter:
SandFest 2018 – Save the Date
SEGS is a proud co-sponsor of SandFest 2018. Join us September 20-24, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida for the International Sand Collectors Society Conference. Activities include presentations, workshops, field trips, sand trading and more.
Registration is open through July 31st: Register for SandFest
For more information, including Call for Presentations instructions, visit the SandFest website.
SEGS Logo Shirt Opportunity!
Hey all, SEGS member Scott Nyoff has graciously offered to have our calcite crystal logo embroidered on the front or breast pocket of any shirt(s) that you mail to him with a $12 check per shirt, which includes his cost to mail back to you (SEGS paid the $50 set-up charge). Please take advantage of this offer right away so we can be wearing our colors on field trips.
Mail your shirts with $12 each to:
Scott H. Nyhof, PG, CPG
Senior Project Geologist
Madrid Engineering Group, Inc.
2030 State Road 60 East, Bartow, FL 33830
863. 533.9007 (office)
863. 450.8544 (cell)