Earth Sciences Newsletter Spring 2022


Students and faculty in New Orleans

Brockport Geology at AGU 2021

Five Geology undergraduate students and two geology faculty (Dr. Kobayashi and Dr. Kar) attended the Americal Geophysical Union Fall Conference at New Orleans from December 13th to 17th. All five students presented posters of their research and the opportunity to receive feedback on their research from the wider geology community. The conference also allowed them to interact with professionals from different fields and explore job prospects. Student presntors at AGU (clockwise from left): Jennifer Setaro (Gel’22), Alysha Zazubec (Gel’23) and Maggie Williams (Gel’22), Nicole Zhe (Gel’22) and Christiana DeLuca (Gel’23)

Northeastern Storm Conference, 2022

Two Meteorology faculty, Dr. Scott Rochette and Dr. Casey Griffin are attending the Northeastern Storm Conference with four students, Angel Lopez, Ashley Stanley, Louis Sullivan, and Patricia Hutton. The conference is taking place in Burlington, Vermont on 11-13 March.

AAPG Eastern Section, Fall 2021

  • Student presenting research at a conference
  • Student presenting research

Geology faculty Dr. Kar presented a poster tittled “Organic source characterization of the Utica, Marcellus and Burkett shales.”

Student Research

Student conducting research in the lab

Alysha Zazubec (GEL’23)

Alysha started analyzing samples in summer 2021 to understand the depositional condition of the Eastern Himalayan Siwalik basins. She is using organic proxies from these samples to reconstruct the past vegetation assemblage. The goal is to address a debate on how this area looked like ~10 million years ago - a marginal marine setting or a terrestrial setting.

Student looking at material projected onto a wall

Christiana DeLuca (GEL’23)

Christiana DeLuca spent the summer of 2021 evaluating the influence of precipitation gradients on weathering of granodiorites in eastern Puerto Rico with Dr. Noll. Although covid prevented planned field work to collect more samples, she was able to use existing data to complete her research. The investigation looked at a natural precipitation gradient from the eastern tip and the rainforest region of El Yunque to drier climates near Patillas with the goal of assessing how silicate bedrock weathers under different climate regimes. She is preparing a journal article summrizing her results.

Visiting Researcher

Professor kayaking

Pankaj Kaushik, a PhD student at Griffiths University in Brisbane, Australia, spent the fall semester working with Dr. Noll, a member of his research committee. The research is focused on using remote sensing to analyze variations in groundwater resources, and artesian spring fed wetlands.

In addition to his research, Pankaj led a short course for students in the department on Google Earth Engine, a remote sensing data analysis platform, and took some time for recreational activities with the earth science club on the Erie Canal. He also accompanied the Brockport contingent to New Orleans to present his research at the American Geophysical Union meeting. Brockport is not new to Pankaj, having spent 6 months here a few years ago while working on his masters thesis at Kurekshetra University in Haryana, India.

Field Experiences

Geology Field Camp 2021

Two geology seniors, Nate Henry and Jennifer Setaro, participated in Geology Field Camp in Western Montana in Summer 2021. Geology Field Camp is the capstone course in geology programs. Our field camp visits Western U.S. including Yellowstone and Craters of the Moon National Monument to observe, study, and enjoy exciting geology.

Students in the Sedimentology course participated in two field trips in Fall 2021. They looked at locations around Brockport and Letchworth State Park to reconstruct how this area looked like 400 million years ago.

Virtual seminars

The department hosted two virtual seminars during the 2021-2022 academic year. Dr. Camila Martinez from the Universidad EAFIT gave a talk on November 5th, 2021, titled “Paleoclimatic and Paleoaltitudinal Inferences Based On the Neotropical Plant Fossil Record.” She described three Cenozoic paleofloras from Tropical America, and these could be used for quantitative paleoclimatic and paleoelevation analyses. These analyses indicate dramatic ecosystem, climate, and landscape changes in the last 5 million years in the Central Andes.

Professor in Antarctica sitting in the background holding a detonator while a plot of snow blows ...
On March 9, 2022, Dr. Atsuhiro Muto from the Temple University described how the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is losing its ice and raising global sea level at an acceleratingpace. He talked about how “blowing it up” may provide clues to how much and how fast Thwaites is losing and will lose ice in the future.
Photo of a desert-like landscape with rocks, dry grass, and sand

Dr. Kobayashi Gave an Invited Talk at the Temple University

Dr. Daisuke Kobayashi gave an invited virtual talk at the Temple University on October 8th titled “The relation of Hotspots, Seismic Parabolas, and Precambrian Transform Faults in the Northern Rocky Mountain: The Bozeman Anomaly”.

Group of students and professors on a Zoom meeting with a presentation of charts representing pal...

Paleoclimate Meeting

To discuss potential collaboration and resource sharing, Dr. Nandini Kar organized a virtual meeting of the local paleoclimatologists on March 12th and March 19th, 2021. . Participants included Dr. Catherine Beck (Hamilton College), Dr. Tripti Bhattacharya (Syracuse University), Dr. Jason Briner and Dr. Elizabeth Thomas (SUNY Buffalo), Dr. Molly Patterson and Dr. Adriane Lam (SUNY Binghamton), Dr. Gregory Henkes (SUNY Stonybrook), Dr. Page C Quinton (SUNY Potsdam), Dr. Nandini Kar, Dr. Rick Smith and Dr. Stella Woodard (SUNY Brockport)..

Recent Alumni Stories

Sam, wearing sunglasses and a hat, with his face up close to the camera with a forest in the back...

Sam Cherubin (MET’21)

I started working at NYS Mesonet as a Field Technician in August 2021. I maintain roughly 40 weather stations across western New York. I moved to Rochester from Saratoga Springs in October to begin working “remote” with the Mesonet, since they are based out of UAlbany. My work consists of driving to sites in my work truck and repairing faulty sensors, performing general maintenance like cleaning sensors, cutting grass, and destroying beehives and hornets’ nests. Since many sites are located in the middle of grassy fields (to meet WMO standards), one must drive on 4WD roads or farmers’ access roads. Sometimes, there are no roads, and one has to walk/snowshoe into the site. The job does get dirty and muddy, and you work all year round but get to see beautiful parts of New York. But for me, I love every minute of it, and it’s an incredible experience to be a part of a world-class weather network.

Camille, wearing a face mask, facing towards the camera in a classroom setting

Camille Ward (Earth Sc’21)

My path to becoming a teacher was not always an easy one. I started at SUNY Brockport as a transfer student in 2018. I entered as a sophomore with Adolescent Education in Earth Science as my end goal. I worked two part-time jobs to support me while attending community college before joining SUNY Brockport. My then-fiance was the one who encouraged me to continue and get my bachelor’s degree. Between planning a wedding and starting at a new college, my first semester was busy.

While attending SUNY Brockport, I had many opportunities and experiences that encouraged me to push forward. I participated in a trip to Puerto Rico for field research with Dr.Noll. I participated in multiple local field trips that let me explore regional geology. I also had multiple school placements that allowed me to witness teaching first-hand. While in my second-to-last semester, my husband and I found out we were expecting a child in 2020. This minor speed-bump in my journey meant taking a semester off; however, I returned and finished my degree while working and caring for our son.

The hard work and dedication that I had to put forth to meet my goals were worth it in the end. I had some great people that helped me along the way: my husband Tyler, Dr. Noll, Dr. Kar, and my family.

After completing my student teaching at Pavilion Central School, I secured a position there. I now teach 7th-grade science at my hometown school, which I graduated from, and I am happy to say that it has been a great experience!

Reilly Blocho with his two internship mentors in front of the ConocoPhillips Alaska building

Reilly M. Blocho (GEL’19)

Recently I was hired by ConocoPhillips as a graduate geophysicist. My employment stemmed from my internship with ConocoPhillips Exploration in Alaska. I started at Brockport with a vague idea that I “wanted to work in oil and gas.” I discussed my goal of pursuing a career in petroleum with my professors. While petroleum geology is not taught at Brockport, the Earth Sciences department does a great job of providing students a solid foundation in geology, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and collaboration with other students. These values can be applied to any job in geosciences.

I was accepted into multiple highly ranked geoscience Master’s schools. I chose New Mexico Tech because their department felt very similar to Brockport, and this past February, I earned my master’s degree in geophysics. The resources at New Mexico Tech allowed me to hone my knowledge of geophysics and introduced me to petroleum geology. The AAPG club at NMT also sends club members to interview and interact with representatives of multiple oil companies. I took advantage of this and joined the AAPG club to interview and network with oil company recruiters. A big talking point in every interview I had was my senior research at Brockport on the Marcellus Shale. Companies appreciated my initiative and the fact that even though there is no oil and gas industry in New York, I was able to gain research experience on a topic important to the industry. After interviewing and networking with multiple companies, I was offered (and accepted) an internship with ConocoPhillips in 2020, which I did last summer after it was delayed a year because of the pandemic. For my internship, I developed an automated methodology for extracting geometrical relationships of clinoforms and their relationships using python and petrel to use those relationships as a predictive tool for exploration. Now I am preparing to begin my new position as a graduate geophysicist at ConocoPhillips in Midland, Texas. I credit a lot of my success at ConocoPhillips to my time at SUNY Brockport and the faculty in the Earth Science department. For future students, I would recommend that they get involved with faculty research, network/build relationships with people, and ask lots of questions.