Name: Chris Schmidt
Major: Environmental Geoscience
Expected Graduation Date: Spring of 2010
Current research: May 08 –May 09; Next year’s research: May 09 – May 10
Summary: My current research project involves the study of the pressures and temperatures at which certain minerals were formed. The minerals that I am studying are from metamorphic schist from the Proterzoic Era, and were sampled by me from the Black Hills near the Bear Mountain region in South Dakota. In order to study the pressures and temperatures at which the minerals were formed, I made thin sections, which are very thinly cut rocks placed on slides in order to be view with a microscope. By seeing what minerals are present in the rock you can determine what the approximate pressure and temperature was when they formed, since different minerals form at different pressures and temperatures. My research is important not only to me but to others in the field because it gives us a better understanding of the tectonics that created the Black Hills. Plus it can help to identify what minerals you would be likely to find in that area based on the pressures and temperatures, this is useful for rare minerals and resources. In April 2009 I will create a poster and present it at the annual science celebration in the Science Learning Center at WSU. I will be returning to the Black Hills in May 2009 To do research in the Little Elk Terrane, and will be presenting my findings at the annual Geological Society of America meeting in May of 2010.
Future plans: My future plans are to attend graduate school some where in the Midwest or in the Northwest. I would love to work for USGS, DNR, or any government run company after graduate school. Most of all I plan on working in the field of geology and enjoying every minute of it!
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