University of Nevada, Reno Geology students exhibited their passion and skill on the international stage. The three participants secured a clean sweep in the Student Geologic Map Competition at the 126th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Vancouver, BC with first, second and third place finishes.
"The annual GSA student geologic map competition is an open call for geoscientist students across the country to submit their independent geologic mapping efforts of bedrock and surficial features into the competition to be judged and compared with peer efforts," Joel Edwards, the third place finalist in the October 2014 competition, said. "Mapping efforts must be the significant component of the thesis and students must be the principal author to qualify."
The talented group consisted of current and recent graduate students. Gold medalist, Chad Carlson is currently a doctoral student under advisor James Faulds, the state geologist, director of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and professor at the University. Carlson received top honors for his Geologic Map of the Terrill Mountains in western Nevada. Silver medalist, Russell DiFiori graduated in May 2014 with a master's degree in Geology. DiFiori earned second place with his Geologic Map of the Eureka Mining District in eastern Nevada. Sean Long, assistant professor with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, served as DiFiori's advisor. Edwards sealed the sweep with third place, for his Geologic Map of Neal Hot Springs in eastern Oregon. He graduated with a master's degree from the program in 2013. Faulds also served as Edwards' advisor.
"It was an honor to be recognized along with my fellow Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and University of Nevada, Reno geology graduate students," DiFiori said. "Both Chad and Joel are fantastic field geologists, and I am glad to be counted among them. It was definitely a pleasant surprise for the 'clean sweep'. It also feels good to have our hard work be appreciated by our peers as well as seasoned professionals."
Watch the video of the GSA
Student Geologic Map Competition Winners.
The extensive process required months of dedication and consistency. All three students spent significant amounts of time generating detailed maps of complex geological regions. The group was supported throughout development by the Cartographic/GIS staff at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. Individuals assisted with the layouts and provided technical assistance on the maps. Nicholas Hinz, geologic mapping specialist at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, also contributed toward many facets of the maps.
"I learned a ton from the whole mapping process," Edwards said. "It's not easy. It's physically and mentally demanding, even exhausting at times. But it's a really neat experience to be able to walk over a terrain enough times to finally figure out the story beneath your feet, the Earth's story."
The Geological Society of America Annual Meeting is designed to share scientific results with the broader geoscience community. GSA strives to foster innovative research that transforms the understanding of geologic processes that have formed the world. They aim to advance understanding of global resources, geohazards, and the environment. GSA's geoscience research profoundly impacts education, publications and public policy.