Human impact on the world’s oceans is a rapidly growing concern for scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders. That’s why the College’s Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences recently sent nine students to the Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM) in Portland, Oregon – the world’s most influential conference on ocean sciences.
Geology professor Leslie “Doc” Sautter, who specializes in marine geology, and particularly in seafloor mapping, accompanied the students. Sautter says OSM is the world’s largest gathering of marine scientists, researchers, policy makers and educators. Some 4,000 people from around the world congregate on an annual basis at this event to present and discuss the latest findings regarding the condition of the world’s oceans and coastal areas.
The CofC students who attended OSM in February presented research on variety of important topics, including seabed formations off Ireland’s coast, submarine canyon characteristics off Puerto Rico and the Yucatan Peninsula, dynamic seabed features around the Charleston Harbor entrance, techniques for making navigational adjustments to sonar data, and deep sea coral habitat characterization off the west coast of Florida.
According to Sautter, the experience for student attending OSM is invaluable and goes well beyond just presenting their respective research projects.
“The students also networked with scientists from other institutions and made important connections for potential graduate school and career opportunities,” she says. “They also caught up with many geology alumni and graduates who were once part of the College’s BEAMS project.”
Among the CofC students who attended the conference were junior geology major Alexandra Dawson, senior geology majors Caroline Bradley, Trey Gillespie, Ryan Hawsey, Luke Hollahan, Robert Kozich, Skye Pelliccia and Woody Thomas, along with marine biology graduate student Zach Proux. Dawson, Gillespie and Proux each made oral presentations at the conference.
“Our BEAMS Program students who attended this conference presented some impressive work,” says Sautter. “They continue to put the College on the global map!”
Featured image: Geology major Woody Thomas shows a poster of his research results at the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, Oregon.