Earth Science Colloquium celebrates student research

 Lori Babcock performs laboratory analysis for her doctoral research. Photo by Juan Martos-Diaz.
Lori Babcock performs laboratory analysis for her doctoral research. Photo by Juan Martos-Diaz.

The 8th annual Earth Science Colloquium, an event celebrating undergraduate and graduate research, will take place on April 12 and 13 in the SUB Ballrooms.

The Colloquium provides students with the opportunity to present research to professors and industry professionals through poster and oral displays. This allows students to gain a valuable real-world experience in presenting research to outside sources, in addition to creating networking opportunities.

“It’s a real opportunity to put out what our department is doing,” said Lori Babcock, Colloquium co-chair. “We are doing a lot of educational preparation to make sure our research is good, so we’ve had different sessions on how to effectively present your research.”

While the event was initially intended for those in the Earth Science department, it has grown to a much larger size after incorporating students from various other disciplines, including anthropology and engineering.

The Colloquium is different from other symposiums in that it is completely run by graduate students, with little faculty involvement. According to Babcock, the time commitment makes it similar to a full-time job.

One poster presents the “Beer Can Experiment,” a project by Dr. David Lageson’s graduate class on structural geology. It attempts to recreate an experiment by geologists M. King Hubbert and William Rubey, which determined that when a beer can is flipped upside down, it will slide down a low-incline slope of one-to-two degrees when beer is present on the surface. On a dry surface, a slope of 15 degrees or more is required to initiate movement.

“Why not make a big, sophisticated experiment and display it here?” said Babcock. Using various types of beer cans, the group has created an analogy to show how the presence of fluids allows faults to occur on low-incline surfaces.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit