World's oceans is the topic for 2011 Chauncey D. Holmes Lecture and Awards Ceremony

April 4, 2012

Jeremy B.C. Jackson to present keynote address

Twelve Syracuse University undergraduate students will be recognized for excellence in introductory earth science during the annual Chauncey D. Holmes Lecture and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in Heroy Auditorium, located in the Heroy Geology Laboratory. Read more...

Ancient rocks provide clues for oxygen appearance in Earth's atmosphere

Christopher Junium, geochemist in the Department of Earth Sciences

December 1, 2011

Research to be published in Science Magazine

The appearance of oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere probably did not occur as a single event, but as a long series of starts and stops, according to an international team of researchers who investigated rock cores from the northwest region of Russia. Their findings were published in the Dec. 1 issue of Science Express. Christopher Junium, a geochemist in the Department of Earth Sciences in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences, was a member of the team. Read more...

Scientists discover new way to determine when water was present on Mars and Earth

Joseph Kula and Suzanne Baldwin review results from mass spectrometer analysis of minerals in SU's Noble Gas Isotope Research Laboratory (SUNGIRL)

October 19, 2011

A record of the past may be locked inside a mineral common to both planets 

The discovery of the mineral jarosite in rocks analyzed by the Mars Rover, Opportunity, on the Martian surface had special meaning for a team of Syracuse University scientists who study the mineral here on Earth. Jarosite can only form in the presence of water. Its presence on Mars means that water had to exist at some point in the past. The trick is in figuring out if jarosite can be used as a proxy for determining when, and under what conditions, water was present on the planet. Read more...

SU scientist explores deep sea on the legendary research vessel E/V Nautilus

A pod of pilot whales appears to be interested in the action as the E/V Nautilus recovers Hercules

October 10, 2011

Expedition leaders include Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic and JFK's PT-109

A Syracuse University scientist, an alumna, and an undergraduate student are exploring the deep-sea floor off the coast of Portugal this week aboard the E/V Nautilus, a 64-meter research vessel operated by Ocean Exploration Trust in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Geographic Society. Read more...

Ancient clams yield new information about greenhouse effect on climate

Cross-section of an ancient clam that shows the annual growth rings. - See more at:

August 16, 2011

Data calls into question contemporary theories

Ancient fossilized clams that lived off the coast of Antarctica some 50 million years ago have a story to tell about El Niño, according to Syracuse University researcher Linda Ivany. Their story calls into question contemporary theories that predict global warming could result in a permanent El Niño state of affairs.
“The clams lived during the early Eocene, a period of time when the planet was as warm as it’s been over the last 65 million years,” says Ivany, a researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. “We used growth rings in their shells to analyze changes in year-to-year growth rate, and linked that to changes in climate that are characteristic of El Niño today.”

How hot did the Earth get in the past? A team of scientists uncovers new information

July 5, 2011

Research sheds new light on what to expect

The question seems simple enough: What happens to the Earth’s temperature when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase? The answer is elusive. However, clues are hidden in the fossil record.  A new study by researchers from Syracuse (SU) and Yale universities provides a much clearer picture of the Earth’s temperature approximately 50 million years ago when CO2 concentrations were higher than today. The results may shed light on what to expect in the future if CO2 levels keep rising.Read more...

Using heat to trace groundwater pollution

Laura Lautz, assistant professor of Earth Sciences in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences, samples pore water from the streambed around a restoration structure with graduate students Ken Hubbard (left) and Lisa Kurian (center)

April 14, 2011

Cutting-edge technology used in research

Laura Lautz, a hydrologist and assistant professor of Earth Sciences in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, uses cutting-edge technology to gather data on how waste bed effluent and other contaminants move back and forth between subsurface groundwater and streams.

By laying fiber optic cable—as much as a kilometer in length—along a stream channel, Lautz and her team can instantaneously measure small but significant temperature changes to pinpoint sources of groundwater inflow and potential pollution. That’s the applied aspect of the research. But the National Science Foundation (NSF) put up more than $500,000 to fund her work using heat as a tracer for ground and surface water interaction because it is solid, basic science with many potential applications. The technique is so new only a few research groups in the country are currently using it. Read more...

Geology Club hosts 2011 CNY Earth Sciences Student Symposium

April 4, 2011

Snowball Earth among featured topics

Snowball Earth and how and why mountains move are among the topics to be presented during the 2011 CNY Earth Sciences Student Symposium, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 15 on the Syracuse University campus. Guest speakers include well-known scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the University of Victoria School of Earth and Oceanic Science. The event will also include a presentation by the SU Lava Project at 5:30 p.m. at the ComArt Building on Comstock Avenue, and poster sessions highlighting student research.  Read more...

SU professor to chair national Water Sciences & Technology Board

May 3, 2010

A significant honor for Donald Siegel and Syracuse University

Donald I. Siegel, a Meredith Professor in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed chair of the Water Sciences & Technology Board. The nationally renowned scientist, whose research encompasses contaminant hydrology, paleohydrogeology and wetland hyrdology, will serve a three-year term beginning in July. Read more...