Important personnel changes - the first in more than a decade - also occur at the end of this academic year. William T. Fox, the Edward Brust Professor of Geology and Mineralogy, graduates to Emeritus status after 35 years of teaching in this department. Bill has been a remarkably versatile and energetic teacher and leader, whose influence goes far beyond the dozen or more different courses he has taught over these years. One of the first faculty members at Williams to understand and appreciate the value of computers in the sciences, since the late 1960's he has utilized computer technology in his research and teaching. His courses on statistical analysis and computer modeling in geology were a part of our curriculum a quarter century ago and were among the first such courses taught at undergraduate institutions in the U.S. Bill has kept up with this rapidly expanding field, and only two years ago introduced his course Remote Sensing and GIS, after acquiring the additional hardware and software to be able to mount such an intensive, hands-on course.
Bill's research in coastal sedimentology and oceanography has likewise remained active and productive over the years, providing ever-renewing energy to his courses in those areas. He has advised 39 year-long honors theses by students who have collaborated in his research. He has been author or co-author of more than 40 professional articles and book chapters, 17 technical reports for the Office of Naval Research, a dozen abstracts, and a book, At the Sea's Edge. In addition, he served administratively as Coordinator of the Bronfman Science Center for three years, as Department Chair from 1982-88, for four years as the first coordinator of the national Keck Geology Consortium, and as leader of trips for Williams alumni to Cape Cod and to Antarctica. A long-time member of the advisory committee for the Center of Environmental Studies, Bill will move his office "across the street" next year from Clark Hall to Kellogg House, where he will continue as a consultant to CES for the GIS study of the Hopkins Forest. On June 5, some 75 of his former students, geology colleagues, and family gathered at the Faculty House to celebrate his teaching career in the Geology Department.
Bill's retirement also means the first full-time tenure-track appointment in our department in 12 years, and we look forward to welcoming Ronadh Cox as our new colleague. A graduate of the University College in Dublin and a 1993 Ph.D. recipient at Stanford, Ronadh spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Rand Afrikaans University in South Africa before accepting a visiting professorship at the University of Illinois this past year. Her current research interests are in the tectonic significance of Proterozoic sedimentary rocks in Madagascar and in the geochemical evolution of sedimentary rocks through time. Ronadh will teach courses and labs in Oceanography and Sedimentology next year, as well as part of the Environmental Geology course (GEOS 103). Her husband, Mark Brandriss, will be a Visiting Professor for WSP and spring term next year, teaching Mineralogy & Geochemistry while Bud Wobus is on leave. Mark is an igneous petrologist and isotope geochemist, also with a Ph.D. from Stanford. His doctoral work was a study of a mafic igneous complex in east Greenland, and he is now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan.
The final change in the department is an administrative one. Bud Wobus will step down as Department Chair after 8 years as he begins his sabbatical next year, and Markes Johnson will become the new chair as he returns from his year-long leave.
In addition to the personnel changes and the lengthy hiring process they entailed, the department expended extra energy this past year by hosting the 9th annual undergraduate research symposium of the Keck Geology Consortium. Organized by Bud Wobus, the 3-day meeting in mid-April involved all department faculty members who were not on leave, as well as some 20 geology majors who served in countless ways as volunteers. About 120 geology students and faculty members from 25 colleges and universities across the country attended the meeting and presented the results of their collaborative research during the past year on seven different projects sponsored by the Keck grant. Speakers from Williams included Prof. Paul Karabinos ("Structural Controls on the Orientation of Major Ridges and Valleys in the Taconic Ranges"), Bryan Stanley `96 ("Ichnofabric Analysis and Benthic Oxygenation in the Monte dei Corvi Cliffs, Ancona, Italy"), and Rebecca Thomas `96 ("Metamorphic History of Ultramafic Rocks of the Tobacco Root Mountains, SW Montana"). Williams students who presented posters were Will Crane `97 ("Structural Controls on Regional Geomorphology at Potter Mountain, MA"), Jim Heyes `96 ("Tectonic Uplift and Deformation Near the Mendocino Triple Junction, California"), Myra Hill `96 ("The Geochemistry and Petrogenesis of Cascade Volcanic Rocks Near Keno, Oregon"), and Jonathan Payne `97 ("Quaternary Geology of the Lower Crandall Valley, Park County, Wyoming"). The keynote address at the symposium was presented by a department alumnus who is an internationally known authority on the origin of limestone caves, Prof. Art Palmer `62 from the State University of New York College at Oneonta. Two all-day field trips were led on the Friday of the meeting by Paul Karabinos (The Taconian Orogeny in Western New England) and by David Dethier and David DeSimone (Late Quaternary Evolution and Environmental Challenges of the Berkshire-Taconic Landscape). They published a field trip guidebook that is a significant contribution to the geologic literature for this part of New England. A volume of extended abstracts for the symposium was also published by the Keck Consortium.
Three geology seniors presented posters at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Section, Geological Society of America, in Buffalo during spring vacation. Each received a travel award from the Society as well as support for registration, meals, and lodging from the McAleenan Family Fund for Geology. Mary Ann Hirshfeld `96 and Will Morgan `96 each collaborated with Prof. David Dethier in reporting on the deglaciation of the Peugeot Lowland in northwest Washington, and Rebecca Thomas `96 reported on her study of metamorphosed Archean ultramafic rocks in southwest Montana. Paul Karabinos also gave two papers at the meeting related to his studies of deformation and metamorphism in western New England.
The McAleenan Fund also supported the participation of three students on field trips in Maine last October during the New England Intercollegiate Geology Conference, based at Bowdoin College. Will Morgan `96, Deb Brown `98, and Laura Smith `98 attended the meeting with Prof. Bud Wobus.
During the academic year, our colloquium program was enriched by speakers in our annual lecture series as well as by the four finalists for the teaching position in Sedimentology. Noteworthy among our visitors were Prof. Half Zantop of Dartmouth, our annual Sperry Lecturer in the Five College-University Geology Lecture Series who spoke in October; Prof. Rolfe Stanley `54 of the University of Vermont who spoke and led a computer workshop on the applications of STELLA in October; and our two Class of 1960 Fellows, Prof. Parker Calkin from SUNY/Buffalo in November and Dr. Jennifer Harden of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park in April.
The largest entering class of new geology majors since the 1950's - 16 members of the Class of `98 - has swelled the ranks of those participating in geology programs this summer. A record 8 students will attend one of the 5-week field geology course offerings of the Yellowstone-Bighorn Research Association at Red Lodge, Montana. They are incoming seniors Will Crane, Alison Kopelman, Connor O'Rourke, and Jon Payne and incoming juniors Matt Jeffers, Stephanie Kampf, Laura Smith, and Kate Wearn; all of whom received partial scholarship support from the David Major Fund and the Freeman Foote Fund. Stephanie Kampf `98 and Sam Teplitzky `98 will also work at Williams for the Environmental Analysis Lab this summer, and Lauren Interess `98 will participate as a research intern in a soils study at the Harvard Forest west of Boston. Patrick Russell `97 has received a NASA internship at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston for the summer. He got an early start on senior thesis work in Baja California by spending spring vacation there with Markes Johnson. Alison Kopelman `97 and Jonathan Payne `97 likewise got an early start in Baja, completing their field work during Winter Study period. All three are supported by Markes' Petroleum Research Fund grant.
Other incoming seniors beginning thesis field work this summer include Will Crane and Jo Holbert, who will work with David Dethier, under his PRF grant, on glacial deposits and landforms in the San Juan Islands of Peugeot Sound, WA. Molly Barrett and Robin Beebee will work on a Keck research project studying alpine geomorphology in northwest Wyoming for a month, advised by David DeSimone. Martha Folley will work with Bud Wobus on another Keck project in Proterozoic metamorphic rocks in the Colorado Rockies. Three incoming juniors will also participate in Keck research this summer: Mac Harman on a project involving water quality at Payette Lake, Idaho; Kate Wearn on the Maine tourmaline project; and Matt Jeffers on a continuation of last summer's successful study of the structural controls of the Berkshire landscape, directed by Paul Karabinos and Dave DeSimone (along with John Leftwich of Old Dominion University) and based at Williams.
As the academic year drew to a close, our students and recent alumni received a number of significant honors and awards. Jim Heyes `96 will be a Fulbright scholar next year in the Philippines. Kelly MacGregor `93 was a semi-finalist in this year's competition for NSF graduate fellowships. Mary Ann Hirshfeld `96 was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at the end of her junior year and also received the Mineralogical Society of America award for her outstanding work in mineralogy and petrology courses.
At commencement, Jim Heyes was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and Rebecca Thomas and Mary Ann Hirshfeld were inducted into Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. Rebecca also received the Freeman Foote Prize for giving the best oral presentation of her senior thesis results at our final colloquium in May. She will work for the U.S. Geological Survey this summer, a position she won through the USGS-NAGT program to recognize the best students from last summer's field geology courses at field camps around the country. The David Major Award, presented each year to an outstanding geology major in memory of David N. Major `81, was shared this year by Myra Hill and Will Morgan, whose leadership and spirit within the department have been appreciated by all. Will also was the recipient of the Environmental Studies Director's Prize and was one of six seniors to share the Thomas Hardie III Prize in Environmental Studies as a co-author of their recent book about the Hopkins Forest, Farms to Forest: A Naturalist's Guide .
As we go to press, we have just received the good news that one of the department's alumni, Paul Bierman `85, will receive the Donath Medal at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver this October. The award is a singular honor presented each year to the outstanding young scientist in the geological profession, as recognized by the Society. Since receiving his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 1993, Paul has been teaching at the University of Vermont and has remained in close touch with the Williams department. An individual of many talents and interests, his research of late has dealt with the use of cosmogenic isotopes to help determine rates of denudation (weathering and erosion), particularly in arid regions.
Research Associate Gudveig Baarli took part August 6-23, 1995, in a Williams alumni tour of Norway and Denmark, where she was a native source of information on Scandinavian geology, culture, and customs. Her 93-page monograph on Silurian brachipods from the Lower Silurian of the Oslo region was finally published in October 1995, in Fossils & Strata. Throughout the academic year, Gudveig helped with arrangements for the 2nd International Symposium on the Silurian System (scheduled for Rochester, NY, in August 1996.) In April she completed the text for three field stops, two in Alabama and one in New York State, to be published in the guidebook for the pre-conference field trip through the Appalachian Basin in July 1996.
Paul Karabinos (Director), Dave DeSimone, and John Leftwich (Old Dominion) conducted a sophomore Keck project during 1995 with Demian Saffer `95 on board as research assistant. Will Crane `97 was one of the 10 students who studied the role of structural geology on landscape development in the Taconic Mountains of eastern New York and western Massachusetts. An unexpected and delightful result of this research was a dramatic change in our view of the thrust faulting that occurred during the late Ordovician Taconian orogeny. The carbonate rocks in our local valleys are now believed to be transported along thrust slivers and not in place as traditionally viewed. This project will test this latest hypothesis during the summer of 1996.
During the recent Keck symposium hosted by Williams College during April 1996, David Dethier and Dave DeSimone co-led a field trip to discuss the late glacial and post-glacial history of the Hoosic Valley. A tale of retreating glacial ice, sediment deposited in association with a deep ice marginal Lake Bascom, and the subsequent incision of these sediments to produce the terraces and flood plain we see today was illuminated by a series of stops revealing the landform and internal nature of these deposits. This history provided the context within which environmental issues such as groundwater resources, land development, and landfill siting/closure were discussed. A field trip guidebook was published which also included a second field trip co-led by Karabinos and Leftwich discussing the details of the Taconian orogeny and landform development as a consequence of structural geology. Dave DeSimone received a grant to direct a Keck Geology Consortium workshop in 1997 on modern glacial environments in Alaska. One objective of this experiential field workshop for Keck faculty in geomorphology and sedimentology is to learn new field techniques and expand our understanding of this fascinating arena where global climate changes are impacting high latitude alpine glaciers, thus enabling us to better teach and conduct research on these topics. With the help of experts, several glaciers will be examined on a reconnaissance basis in order to choose one for more intensive study by Keck students and faculty in a project for juniors planned for 1998.
David Dethier continued mapping of late Pleistocene glacial deposits in the San Juan Islands of Washington as part of his research about the climatic, sea-level, and isostatic processes that resulted in rapid retreat of the most recent continental ice from the area about 13,500 years ago. Mary Ann Hirshfeld `96 and Willard Morgan `96 worked in the field with Professor Dethier, supported by a grant from the Petroleum Research Fund, studying thick deposits of glacial sediment on land and beneath marine waters, using seismic reflection techniques. Both students completed senior honors theses in Geology and presented papers with Dethier as a co-author at the Geological Society of America (GSA) Northeastern Section Meeting in Buffalo in March 1996.
Dethier also continued his research collaboration with Steve Reneau (Los Alamos National Laboratory) and David Sawyer (U.S. Geological Survey) studying large landslides, lake and flood deposits, and late Pleistocene climate change along the Rio Grande in White Rock Canyon, New Mexico. The slides have moved repeatedly during wet periods in late Pleistocene time, temporarily damming the Rio Grande and forming extensive lakes that record the timing of climate change with considerable precision. Dethier and Reneau have several manuscripts in press reporting the results of this collaboration. Dethier will continue work in New Mexico in the summer of 1996 as a visiting scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey.
Dethier continued to serve as Director of Research for Hopkins Memorial Forest, helping to coordinate ongoing collection of weather, streamflow, precipitation chemistry, and other environmental data from the Forest and their analysis in the Bronfman Science Center.
Professor Bill Fox co-authored a paper entitled "Long-Term, Storm-Dominated Sediment Dynamics of East Beach and Sandy Point, San Salvador Island, Bahamas" with Rebecca Beavers `93 now at the Duke University Marine Laboratory and Dr. H. Allen Curran of Smith College. The paper was presented orally by Rebecca Beavers and published in the Proceedings of the Seventh Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas. In June 1996, Fox took 15 students and 4 faculty from the Geology Department at Beloit College on a geology field trip extending from the Catskill Delta to New York and Plum Island on the Massachusetts coast.
Professor Markes Johnson began his sabbatical year with a month of research in Russia from July 1-31, 1995. His hosts were Dr. Yuri Tesakov (Novosibirsk's United Institute for Geology, Geophysics, & Mineralogy) and Dr. Nikolai Predtetchensky (St. Petersburg's All Russian Geological Research Institute). Most of the visit was spent in Arctic Siberia, where Silurian carbonate stratigraphy along the banks of the Maymecha and Gorbiachin rivers was studied in detail. Air fields at Khatanga, south of the Taymir Peninsula about 72o N latitude, and Norilsk were the jumping-off places for the helicopter-supported expedition. Subsequently, half the fall term was devoted to writing up the results of a two year project funded in part by the National Geographic Society. Tesakov and Predtetchensky were guided through the Silurian of the Great Lakes district of Michigan and Ontario by Johnson during the previous summer in 1994. A paper entitled "Comparison of Lower Silurian Shores and Shelves in North America and Siberia" was submitted to the Geological Society of America for publication in its memoir series.
On his return to the U.S. from Russia, Markes joined his spouse, Gudveig, in Norway to co-lead a Williams alumni tour of Scandinavia August 6-23. He gave a series of five lectures on the geology of Norway aboard the M.V. "Vesteralen" on its coastal cruise from Kirkenes to Bergen. The fall term was broken by the Geological Society of America's annual meeting (November 6-9, 1995) in New Orleans, where Markes with co-author Jorge Ledesma, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, made a presentation on "Cretaceous to Recent Rocky Shorelines in Baja California, Mexico: Biological Zonation, Coastal Currents, and Regional Tectonics." The second half of the fall term was devoted to completion of a paper on the "Upper Pliocene Peninsula Concepcion Basins in Baja California Sur" including Mark Mayall `93 as co-author. Together with nine other related papers on the Pliocene geology of Baja California's gulf coast edited by Johnson and Ledesma, this work was submitted to the Geological Society of America and accepted in May 1996, for publication in its Special Papers series.
Initiation of new research with Williams students in Baja California was the primary focus of the Winter Study period and spring term. January 3-27, 1996, Alison Kopelman `97 and Jon Payne `97 accompanied Markes to Mexico for field work regarding Cretaceous strata at Erendira and El Rosario on the Pacific coast. March 16-31, Patrick Russell `97 accompanied Markes to Punta Chivato for field work on the Pliocene and Pleistocene of Baja California's gulf coast. April 4-11, Markes participated in yet another Williams alumni tour featuring a cruise on the "M.V. Sea Lion" through the Sea of Cortez and a train trip through the Copper Canyon on the Mexican mainland. One of Freeman Foote's former geology students, George Spencer `40, was a member of this trip who showed a lively interest in all the geology behind the scenery.
The Petroleum Research Fund (administered by the American Chemical Society) continues to generously support Prof. Johnson's research through a new two-year grant awarded in February for the study of "Pliocene-Pleistocene Rocky Islands in the Gulf of California: Paleoecology and Coastal Oceanography." Research papers published in 1995-96 appeared in the journals Lethaia, Palaeontology, Geological Society of America Bulletin, and Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology . Co-authors on some of these papers include former students James H. Scott, Jr. `92, Hovey Clark `94, and Jen Zwiebel `94.
Professor Paul Karabinos continued his research on stress near active faults and on the Taconian orogeny in western New England. In December, 1995, he attended the American Geophysical Union Meeting in San Francisco, California, where he presented two talks with Demian Saffer `95 entitled: "Airy Stress Functions to Quantify Crustal Stress Field Perturbations Near Active Faults" and "Stress Perturbations Near Active Strike-Slip Faults: Applications to the San Andreas Fault System, California." In March 1996, he attended the Northeastern Sectional Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Buffalo, New York, where he gave two invited talks at a symposium on the Taconian orogeny. The titles of the talks were: "The Taconian Orogeny in New England: Collision Between Laurentia and the Shelburne Falls Arc" and "Fault Geometry and Kinematics in the Taconian Thrust Belt of New England and New York."
In January 1996, Karabinos taught a new Winter Study Project on computer applications in the sciences. In April 1996, he participated in the Ninth Annual Keck Research Symposium in Geology and gave a talk entitled: "Structural Controls on the Orientation and Location of Major Ridges and Valleys in the Taconic Ranges, Western New England and Eastern New York." He also led a field trip for the symposium participants on the Taconian orogeny in western New England.
Karabinos will be using a grant jointly sponsored by the Keck Foundation and the National Science Foundation for a project entitled "Structural Geomorphology of Northern Berkshire County." This is the second year this project has been run. The $52,100 grant will support three faculty and ten students examining possible structural controls over the topography of the Williamstown area. David DeSimone from Williams College and John Leftwich from Old Dominion University, Virginia, will be the other faculty members on the project.
Professor Bud Wobus concludes his 8 years as Department Chair as he begins a sabbatical leave for 1996-97. During the summer of 1995 he directed the Williams Alumni College in the Rockies for the 14th year and worked with one of his honors students, Myra Hill, on a Keck Geology consortium research project in the Oregon Cascades. He was co-author of a paper presented in July by Prof. Sheila Seaman of the University of Massachusetts at the 21st General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics in Boulder, Colorado. Entitled "The Cranberry Island Series of Coastal Maine: Bimodal Volcanism on Pre-Acadian Avalon," it reports on research conducted during a previous Keck project. Two related papers with joint authorship are currently in review for a Geological Society of America Memoir and for the Journal of Volcanology. In October he attended the New England Intercollegiate Geology Conference in southern Maine along with 3 students, and in November was the Williams representative at the semi-annual business meeting of the Keck Geology Consortium, held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in New Orleans. He interviewed candidates for the departmental opening in Sedimentology at the GSA meeting and at the American Geophysical Union's fall meeting in San Francisco in December. In March he attended the Northeastern Section meeting of the Geological Society of America where his other honors student, Rebecca Thomas, was presenting a poster. From April 11-13 he directed the 9th annual research symposium of the national Keck Geology Consortium, which was held at Williams for the first time. This summer he will be one of the faculty leaders of a Keck Consortium research project that will study the metamorphic temperature and pressure conditions represented by Proterozoic metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks of the Front Range and Wet Mountains of Colorado. Martha Folley `97 will work with him on this project. While in Colorado he will also lead all-day field trips for the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and for the Denver-area Williams alumni.