Science Cafés help to promote scientific literacy by encouraging relaxed, open conversations among scientists and nonscientists of all ages. For the last decade at the Gillespie, those conversations typically have taken place in the museum, with light refreshments and opportunities for browsing current exhibits. This spring's Armchair Geology series, co-sponsored by the Department of Environmental Science and Studies, keeps the focus on conversation, inviting visitors to virtual programs, which take us into the field with geologists from across the southern US—from the sedimentary wetlands of our own central Florida to a metamorphic uplift in central Texas.
Dates at a Glance
- February 24 - Armchair Geology Series - Wetlands Geology with Stetson University professor Ben Tanner, et al.; 5 p.m. (virtual livestreamed; for link, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org).
- March 31 - Armchair Geology Series - Hydrology with J.P. Gannon, Virginia Tech; 5 p.m. (virtual livestreamed; for link, RSVP to email@example.com).
- April 7 - Armchair Geology Series - Tectonics & Structural Geology with Cheryl Waters-Tormey, Western Carolina University; 5 p.m. (virtual livestreamed; for link, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org).
- April 15 - Armchair Geology Series - Metamorphic Uplift with Ethan Fagan, University of Texas - San Antonio and Natural Bridge Caverns, San Antonio, Texas; 5 p.m. (virtual livestreamed; for link, RSVP to email@example.com).
February 24, Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. - Wetlands Geology (virtual livestreamed presentation)
Dr. Ben Tanner; Stetson students Cole Orsini and Casey Ramey at the Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center, DeLand
Coring 101: Everything the Armchair Geologist Needs to Know; with wetlands geologist Ben Tanner, and Stetson undergraduates Matt Fairchild, Cole Orsini, Casey Ramey, and Megan Vincent
Stetson University’s environmental geologist, Ben Tanner, joined by a team of his undergraduate researchers, will present the first in the Gillespie Museum’s Science Café series, this spring focused on Armchair Geology. Their presentation, “Coring 101: Everything the Armchair Geologist Needs to Know,” will explore the different ways that earth scientists extract sediments from the ground and will also provide a picture of all of the fascinating information that these sediments can provide about past changes in Earth’s climate. Participants will travel virtually with the presenters into the field as they recover sediments from a number of challenging environments around the Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center and will also be the first to hear about fascinating new findings that the team has recovered locally from the > 15,000 year old deposits from Wekiwa Spring.
Ben Tanner is associate professor and chair of Environmental Science and Studies. His studies began with an anthropology degree at Florida State University, continued in Quaternary and climate studies at the University of Maine, and culminated in a Ph.D. in geology at the University of Tennessee. His research continues to focus on how humans interact with the environment. He currently uses the tools of geology to study wetlands and how they respond to climate and environmental change.
His undergraduate team is multi-disciplinary. Two of them, Matt Fairchild and Casey Ramey, are student staff members of the Gillespie Museum. Casey is a sophomore Environmental Studies major at Stetson with a concentration in Cultural Geography. Matt Fairchild is an Environmental Science major at Stetson with a concentration in Environmental Chemistry, currently conducting senior research on the stable isotope geochemistry of the sediment record preserved at Wekiwa Spring. Cole Orsini is an Environmental Science major at Stetson with a concentration in Geospatial Analysis and a minor in Biology. His senior research examines the clastic granulometry of the sediment record preserved at Wekiwa Spring. Megan Vincent, a Biochemistry and Environmental Science double major, is completing her senior research on the organic geochemistry of that sediment record.
Dr. Tanner explains the advantages of his research team’s approach: “I’ve always enjoyed working with a team of students in the field. Sediment core work lends itself well to student projects because many different types of analysis can be conducted on the same core. Therefore, everyone has their own individual project while working as part of a team towards a larger goal.” Casey Ramey describes her experience in the field: “I enjoy getting to know the earth beneath my feet through research, whether it’s pulling soil cores, timing a water percolation test, or analyzing data in ArcGIS.” And Matt Fairchild reflects on the moments he can spend with the team, virtually or in situ: “Spending all this time at home this past year has been a challenge, but it has made me cherish the memories that I do have at Stetson so much more."
(for Zoom link, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cultural Credit for Stetson Undergraduates
March 31, Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. - Hydrology (virtual livestreamed presentation)
Dr. J.P. Gannon
Hydrology with J.P. Gannon, Virginia Tech University
April 7, Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. - Tectonics & Structural Geology (virtual livestreamed presentation)
Dr. Cheryl Waters-Tormey
Tectonics & Structural Geology with Cheryl Waters-Tormey, Western Carolina University
April 15, Thursday, 5:00 p.m. - Metamorphic Uplift (virtual livestreamed presentation)
Llano Uplift, Texas
Metamorphic Uplift with Ethan Fagan, University of Texas - San Antonio and Natural Bridge Caverns, San Antonio