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Recent Graduate Presents Research at Posters on the Hill

May 31, 2017

Perri Silverheart ’17, right, with Senator Patrick Leahy and Lisa Gates, associate dean for fellowships and research, at Posters on the Hill in Washington, D.C.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury graduate Perri Silverheart ’16.5 joined a distinguished group of fellow undergraduate researchers this spring for the annual Posters on the Hill event in Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research, the competitive event gives students the opportunity to showcase their research to congressional members, meet with their representatives, and learn about advocacy for undergraduate research.

Silverhart, a geology major from West Hartford, Connecticut, presented her poster titled “Utilizing Landslides in Lake Champlain as Paleoseismic and Paleohazard Indicators” during a two-hour session April 26 in the Rayburn Congressional Office Building on Capitol Hill.

Her research, with guidance from advisor Professor Pat Manley, focused on landslides that took place over thousands of years on the western side of the main section of Lake Champlain, and their relation to major earthquake events. In her abstract, Silverhart notes that, "lake tsunami models show that these simultaneous landslide failures can generate a surface water wave of 30 feet that can impact the shoreline within 3-10 minutes after the earthquake."

During her time on Capitol Hill, Silverhart and Lisa Gates, associate dean for fellowships and research, met with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy during a coffee break. The three discussed the importance of continued support for undergraduate research.

Silverhart is about to depart on a cross-country bike ride to raise money for medical research on type one diabetes. In the fall, she will begin a master's degree in geology at Penn State University.