Middlebury

March 23, 2001

Geology department to sponsor free talks on radioactive elements in Champlain Valley groundwater and tectonic evolution of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.— The Middlebury College geology department will sponsor two free talks in April.

The first, given by Jon Kim of the Vermont Geological Survey, is titled the "Geologic Context of Naturally-Occurring Radionuclide Problems in Northwestern Vermont." It will take place Thursday, April 5.

According to Kim, recent documentation of radioactive elements in groundwater in the Champlain Valley of northwestern Vermont has spurred significant interest in the relationships between bedrock geology and groundwater supply. The majority of rural residences in western Vermont obtain drinking water from bedrock wells. Kim will discuss to what extent community members are at risk. He will also address current knowledge regarding the origin of radionuclides in Vermont groundwater, including occurrences in the Middlebury vicinity.

On Tuesday, April 17, John I. Garver, professor of geology at Union College, will deliver the second lecture, "Doing Science in Kamchatka, the Russian Far East." Garver, a member of the Middlebury class of 1983, will discuss a land known for its scenic beauty, bears, salmon, volcanoes and military hardware. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Western scientists eagerly have made their way into formerly closed territory in the Russian Far East. Such access provided a long-awaited opportunity to study northwest Pacific geology and the area’s little known terrain and terrain movements.

According to Garver, conducting research in Kamchatka has not been easy. Together with colleagues from the Institute of the Lithosphere in Moscow and Yale University, he has worked to understand the tectonic evolution of the Kamchatka Peninsula since 1993. His talk will offer highlights of this research, and also describe some of the logistical hurdles that are atypical for this kind of field science, but typical in modern Russia.

Both lectures will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Room 219 of Bicentennial Hall on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125). Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Trish Dougherty, geology department coordinator, at 443-5970.

To follow is events calendar listings information:

Events Calendar Listings

Thursday, April 5
4:30 p.m.

Lecture: "Geologic Context of Naturally-Occurring Radionuclide Problems in Northwestern Vermont," Jon Kim of the Vermont Geological Survey. Kim will discuss to what extent community members are at risk, and address the current state of knowledge regarding the origin of radionuclides in Vermont groundwater, including occurrences in the Middlebury vicinity.

 

Tuesday, April 17
4:30 p.m.

Lecture: "Doing Science in Kamchatka, the Russian Far East," John I. Garver, professor of geology at Union College and member of the Middlebury College class of 1983. After years of being closed off to the international scientific community, this region with a rich tectonic evolution still presents hurdles to scientists conducting research.

 

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