2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 186-4
Presentation Time: 8:55 AM


MANLEY, Patricia, Geology Department, Middlebury College, McCardell Bicentennial Hall, Middlebury, VT 05753 and MANLEY, T.O., Geology Department, Middlebury College, McCardell Bicentennial Hall, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753, manley@middlebury.edu

Students enrolled in introductory-level and upper-division marine science courses can be engaged in a range of research opportunities. At the introductory level (Introduction to Oceanography), students engage in data collection and analysis for 6 weeks on Lake Champlain VT with subsequent post-processing and final dissemination. Labs are organized around a research team composed of rotating principal investigators, navigation and instrument specialists, as well as deck crew. Each lab group choses one of four general topics to investigate; 1) circulation dynamics (drogues, drifters, ADCPs, and CTD), 2) bottom bathymetry (Chirp and side-scan sonars, multibeam, sediment grabs, coring and ROV), 3) thermal variability (CTD, temperature sensors, sub-surface moorings) or 4) chemistry (CTD, rain and basin-wide water sampling). In the upper-division Marine Geology course the research focus is on paleoclimate change or bottom sedimentary bedforms (landslides, drifts etc.) using Chirp sonar and cores. For both courses sites are selected to provide new cutting-edge research for their chosen topic. Post-processing of data provides students the opportunity to use state-of-the-art software packages such as Matlab, Sonar Wiz of Chesapeake Technology or EarthVision of Dynamic Graphics. A final presentation in front of their peers culminates the course. Students are excited and feel part of a significant research program. This research work can lead to new faculty research and can be combined with other student (or class) work into a refereed paper.

Over the last 25 years, these introductory oceanography and advance marine geology classes has discovered new bathymetric features, underwater landslides and slumps, submerged terraces, coastal jets and cross-lake circulation patterns, as well as many sedimentary bedforms such as furrows and lacustrine sediment drifts.