SURF AND TURF - Fall 2013 Department Newsletter (in PDF format)
GEMS STUDENT HANDBOOK - Download a copy (in PDF format)
ISM STUDENT HANDBOOK - Download a copy (in PDF format)
A SEA OF LEARNING
Sixteen Rider students studied unique tropical marine ecosystems in the Caribbean during a two-week field course offered by the Department of Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences.
A sea fan sways rhythmically in the warm, shallow water, appearing to wave to the group of 16 Rider students snorkeling in a coral reef off the coast of Roatan, Honduras. But for all its inherent beauty, this is no vacation. The students are here to study unique tropical marine ecosystems in the Caribbean during a two-week field course offered by Rider’s Geological, Environmental, and Marine Sciences (GEMS) department.
With more than 30 miles of fringing and barrier reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, and rocky limestone shorelines, the Roatan Institute for Marine Science (RIMS), part of Anthony’s Key Resort, offers students the ideal venue for research and for gaining valuable field experience. The GEMS department has cultivated this relationship with RIMS over the past 14 years and is the only college or university in New Jersey to participate in RIMS’s educational programs.
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GEMS GRADUATE EXPLORES THE OCEAN ON THE NAUTILUS EXPLORATION PROGRAM
Bethany Eden Smith ’05 participated in the Nautilus Exploration Program headed by Dr. Robert Ballard, who is famous for discovering the underwater location of the R.M.S. Titanic in 1985.
Some people grow up dreaming that they’ll be the president of the United States, travel to the moon or, perhaps, explore the world’s oceans in hopes of discovering something amazing.
Well, one Rider alumna is living her dream. Bethany Eden Smith ’05 participated in the Nautilus Exploration Program headed by Dr. Robert Ballard, who is famous for discovering the underwater location of the R.M.S. Titanic in 1985. Smith was among 46 other educators and students chosen from a highly competitive and talented pool of Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) applicants from all over the world.
“The high-quality, hands-on education I received at Rider sparked a hunger in me to know more about our world’s oceans,” said Smith, who graduated from Rider’s Geological, Environmental and Marine Sciences (GEMS) program in 2005. “Our oceans are some of the most unexplored places on our planet, and being able to join Dr. Robert Ballard and this incredible group of scientists, engineers, students and educators aboard E/V Nautilus to explore them is a once in a lifetime experience.”
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DR. STEVE CARSON SELECTED FOR NEW JERSEY OUTSTANDING EARTH SCIENCE TEACHER AWARD
Dr. Steve Carson, adjunct professor in the Department of Geological, Environmental and Marine Sciences (GEMS) at Rider, was selected as this year’s recipient of the New Jersey Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award. The award, sponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT), was presented on June 1 sat the organization’s annual awards dinner in Lock Haven, Pa. Carson was also nominated for the Eastern Section Award.
The award recognizes “exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the pre-college level,” according to the NAGT website. Any teacher or other K-12 educator who covers a significant amount of earth science content with their students is eligible. Carson, who typically teaches a course in oceanography at Rider during Summer Session II, is a full-time teacher at John Witherspoon Middle School in Princeton. His classes there include astronomy, weather and climate, earth science and oceanography.
Carson was honored by the recognition, and said the credit could be evenly spread.
“What makes it all possible for me are my outstanding colleagues, students, parents and educationally focused community,” he said.
Carson is also an instructor in the QUEST program, an inquiry-based summer institute in science and mathematics for K-12 teachers held in a partnership between Rider and Princeton University. QUEST offers a unique opportunity for elementary and middle school teachers to enhance their knowledge of science, math and technology by engaging in laboratory experiments and field experiences led by the faculty and staff of Princeton University and scientists from neighboring institutions.
KATE KRSNAK '13 LANDS A COVETED PALEONTOLOGY INTERNSHIP WITH THE ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES IN PHILADELPHIA
An avid Jurassic Park fan growing up, Kate Krsnak ’13 received the opportunity of a lifetime when she participated in a paleontology field camp in Montana earlier this summer. There, Krsnak unearthed fossils, gained a greater understanding of methods — and landed a fall internship with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Through the program, based out of Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association (YBRA), Krsnak spent July working with paleontologists and students to extract fossils along the border of Montana and Wyoming. The camp was run by David Parris, curator and Jason Schein, assistant curator of the New Jersey State Museum and strongly assisted by Jason Poole, manager of the Fossil Prep Lab at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
Krsnak, a Secondary Education and Geosciences double major, explained that depending on the location of the fossils, the team used different extraction methods, including surface collecting, quarrying a pit, using a rock saw or applying a plaster jacket.
“We spent our days in the field and our nights in the classroom back at YBRA looking over the fossils we collected, cleaning them a bit, applying glue where we could, and properly labeling them, as well as working with mapping, learning about the geology, and learning about the bones and dinosaurs,” she said. (Click here to read more about Kate)
DOUG STURGIS ’83 INDUCTED INTO THE RIDER UNIVERSITY SCIENCE STAIRWAY OF FAME
Douglas S, Sturgis '83, a Rider Geosciences graduate, was inducted into the Rider University Science Stairway of Fame (SSOF) on June 9, 2012. The SSOF, located in the research wing of the Science and Technology Center, honors individuals who were exemplary students and who have achieved significant professional success in their chosen careers following graduation. The honorees also are loyal and generous supporters of Rider’s science programs. Doug becomes the fifth GEMS alumni to be inducted into the SSOF since its founding in 2006, joining Steve Bell ’79, Jim Ierubino ’82, Randy Kertes ’84, and Dick Alexander, Faculty.
At Rider, Doug studied under, Dr. Richard Alexander, Dr. Mary Jo Hall, Dr. Jonathan Husch, Dr. Joseph Nadeau, and Dr. Walter Spink, who instilled in Doug his long-term love and passion for geology, fieldwork, exploration, and the responsible utilization of petroleum resource reserves. He also completed a senior thesis on the geochemistry of four diabase bodies in west-central New Jersey under the direction of Dr. Husch and Dr. Nadeau, as well as co-authoring two journal articles and two abstracts with Dr. Husch and other GEMS students. After graduating from Rider, Doug earned a Master’s Degree in Geology from Bowling Green State University in 1985.
Doug has spent the majority of his professional career at ExxonMobil where he has served as a Geoscientist, Production Technical Advisor, and Exploration Supervisor in the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Ireland, North Africa, Norway, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom. He currently lives in Houston with his wife, Melissa, and his two children, Nathan and Jennifer. Doug’s current position at ExxonMobil center is Geoscience Advisor to exploration teams in Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Chad. He also spent four years as a Project Manager with Parsons Engineering Science in their Cleveland, Ohio office. With expertise in subsurface exploration using 4D seismic interpretation techniques, Doug has parlayed his Rider education into a very successful and fulfilling international career in geosciences management and energy exploration and development.
In addition to his significant career achievements, Doug has been a consistent supporter of Rider, in general, and GEMS, in particular. Thanks to his and Melissa’s generosity, as well as that of the Friends of GEMS alumni donor group, the department recently was able to complete the purchase of six new Leica petrographic microscopes.
All of GEMS congratulates Doug for this much-deserved honor and recognition. We could not be more proud!