The geology and geological engineering department held the first GE Department Student Research Fair where undergraduates and graduates from the department would present posters and abstracts for research they have been engaged in. They also competed based on their degree and research category for monetary prizes sponsored by ConocoPhillips as well as an invitation to present for a Van Tuyl lecture. The categories were as follow: two posters in Undergraduate for $200, thirteen posters in Economic Geology / Hard Rock Masters for $200, two posters in Geological Engineering Masters for $200, Eleven posters in Hydrology Masters for $200, one poster in Petroleum / Soft Rock Masters for $200, ten posters in Pre-Candidacy PhD for $500, and seven posters in PhD Candidates for $500 and a Van Tuyl lecture invitation.
The event’s main organizer, Dr. Elizabeth Holley, said of the fair’s purpose “There are two reasons for the fair. The first is to encourage interdisciplinary intellectual discourse, and the second is to motivate students to participate in the Conference on Earth & Energy Research.” Because of the large number of posters and presenters, each poster was assigned a number and odd-numbered posters presented their abstracts to judges and fair-goers for an hour which was called to an end by a power blast from a vuvuzela, and then the even-numbered posters would do the same for the next hour. The air was relaxed and jovial even with students presenting the sum of several months and even semesters of work alongside their peers, professors, and judges. There were a total of 46 different presentations in a diverse set of topics in geology and geological engineering,all of which had a presenter to discuss their abstract. Robert Duran, one of the two undergraduate presenters, said “It doesn’t feel like I’m being treated differently than if I were a graduate students”. Geological Engineering masters student Chris Peterson says on the event “I’m enjoying myself, I love presenting my work and I feel like this is good practice for the CEER which I will also be presenting at”.
The winning presentations were Robert Duran for the undergraduate, Jena Long for Economic Geology / Hard Rock Masters, Amanda Rock for Geological Engineering Masters, James Bethune for Hydrology Masters, John Harper and Denton O’Neal for Petroleum / Soft Rock Masters, and Jane Stamme for PhD Candidatesr, and second place for PhD Candidates was Lindsey Bearup.