Science Seminar: "Research That Rocks!”

Science Seminar: “Research That Rocks!”

All students, staff and faculty are cordially invited to a Science Seminar on Friday, September 18 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the CE Forum on the Annandale Campus. Current student Robin Rohrback-Schiavone and former student Victoria Martin will present “Research That Rocks! Undergraduate Research at NOVA from Cliffs to Coasts to Climate Change!” Light refreshments and an opportunity to meet the speakers will be from 11:30 a.m. to 11:55 a.m. in the CE Forum.

NOVA students are rocking the geosciences, taking advantage of unique opportunities for research and career exploration. Rohrback-Schiavone and Martin will discuss some of the projects NOVA geoscience students are involved in. These projects include petrographic analysis of basement rock beneath the 35-million-year-old impact crater in the Chesapeake Bay, using NOVA’s SEM (scanning electron microscope) to identify new morphotypes of calcareous nanofossils which shed light on climate shifts 52 million years ago, and the creation of a database of gigapixel-resolution geologic imagery (GIGAPan) for use by educators, professionals and students.

As a student at NOVA, Martin decided to take a geology class as her science requirement. She soon realized she found her passion and the support of a dedicated team of geology professors. She was also given the opportunity to work as a learning assistant for oceanography, physical geology and historical geology. She is a recent transfer to Cleveland State University, where she is a lab instructor for physical geology, and she is majoring in environmental science with a geology concentration and geographic information system (GIS).

Martin has worked on research with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that was presented earlier this year at the annual International Nannofossil Association Conference in the Philippines and will present at the National Geological Society of America meeting this year. She is interested in marine geology, limnology, micropaleontology, and paleoclimatology, a.k.a. “soft rock and old dead things.”

Rohrback-Schiavone spent 20 years working as a stagehand and roadie before coming to NOVA. In her first semester, she took Geology 105 with Callan Bentley. Three weeks in, she realized she found what she wanted to do. Since then, she has taken every geology class that the Annandale Campus has to offer.

Having run out of geology classes to take, Rohrback-Schiavone now works for Bentley on the Mid-Atlantic Geo-Image Collection (M.A.G.I.C.), using sophisticated imaging equipment to create extremely high-resolution images of geologic samples for professional and classroom use. She also works as a learning assistant for Shelley Jaye, aiding mineralogy labs and overseeing Honors mineralogy students performing petrographic analyses of a core sample from the basement rock beneath the Chesapeake Bay Impact Structure (CBIS). She has presented her work on M.A.G.I.C. and the CBIS core at the USGS and at regional and national meetings of the Geological Society of America.

This event is presented by the Science Seminar Committee; Math, Science and Engineering Division; and the Lyceum, Annandale Campus.

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