Thanks to the generosity of alumni who value the learning experience of field work, Yale Geology & Geophysics offered a field program this year. This field program focused on investigating modern and ancient climate and the relationship to mountain building in the Patagonia region of South America. Students learned field skills, conducted field work, analyzed samples in a lab, and presented their results and interpretation to other students and faculty.
The program began in the fall of 2014 with periodic meetings to get organized and talk about the different components of the project. During this time students learned about the geology and climate of the field areas and developed their individual research projects. We departed for the field just after Christmas and returned in time for the beginning of classes in January. During the spring term, the team of students met regularly to analyze samples, discussing the data that different group members produced, and ultimately presenting their observations and interpretations to the members of the field program as well as invited faculty.
Students projects this year included detrital zircon geochronology, developing paleoclimate records from proxy materials including organic molecules, volcanic glasses, and paleosol carbonates, characterizing the modern climate based on stable isotope measurements of precipitation, thermochronometric measurements of the rate of exhumation of granitic rocks in the Andes, and modeling of the development of the Andes at the latitude of ~45-47°S.
FIELD TRIP PARTICIPANTS
Undergraduate Students: Paige Breen, Luke Cartwright, Martha Cosgrove, Sam Lichtin, Maya Midzik, Astrid Pacini, Maddie Shankle, Emma Spence, Xinin Xu
Graduate Students: Dave Auerbach, Liz Christeleit, Devon Cole, James Super
Faculty: Mark Brandon
Photos courtesty of David Auerbach, James Super, Martha Cosgrove, Paige Breen, Astrid Pacini, Maya Midzik, Maddie Shankle,