Montana State University

Earth science students to explain findings April 25, 26 at MSU

April 16, 2008 -- From MSU News Service

Pearl Geyser erupts in Norris Basin in Yellowstone National Park. Geysers are one of the many topics investigated by earth scientists.(Photo by Travis Jester).   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- Research involving a bizarre dwarf whale, dinosaur teeth and hunting in southwestern Montana are among the many topics that students in earth sciences will explain April 25 and 26 during the third annual Earth Sciences Student Colloquium at Montana State University.

Jack Horner, Ameya Preserve curator of paleontology at MSU's Museum of the Rockies, will give the keynote address at 8 p.m. Friday, April 25, in Ballroom A of the Strand Union Building. He will speak on "A Unified Theory of Dinosaurs," said Melody Bergeron, one of the event's organizers and a graduate student in geology.

The colloquium will run from 3 p.m. to approximately 9 p.m. April 25 in ballrooms A and D of MSU's Strand Union Building and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26 in MSU"s Engineering and Physical Sciences Building. Students will present posters the first day and give oral presentations the second. During the past school year, they have investigated a variety of topics, including avalanches, burrowing dinosaurs, glaciers and talon sizes for birds of prey.

The colloquium is free and open to the public. Major sponsors are MSU's earth sciences department, Marathon Oil Co and ConocoPhillips.

The colloquium schedule and topics for oral presentations are:

Friday, April 25

3 p.m. -- Poster Session one, SUB Ballroom D.
4:30 p.m. -- Poster Session two - icebreaker. SUB Ballroom D.
7 p.m. -- Welcome and department awards ceremony. SUB Ballroom A.
8 p.m. -- Keynote address by Jack Horner. SUB Ballroom A.

Saturday, April 26
9 a.m. -- Oral presentation, Session one. Room 108, EPS Building. Topics include marine vertebrates in south-central Montana, economic restructuring in Poplar, Mont., the fold and thrust belt system, dental analysis of North American troodontid dinosaurs and the hardening process of minerals at room temperature.
10:15 a.m. -- Intermission.
10:30 a.m. -- Oral presentations continue. Topics include the influence of growing structures on cretaceous alluvial systems in southern Nevada, distribution of the bizarre dwarf whale, hunting in southwestern Montana, talon size variations in birds of prey and a vertebrate fossil site in southwest Montana.
11:45 a.m. -- Lunch break.
1 p.m. -- Oral presentation, session two. Room 108, EPS Building. Topics include the hidden world of Gondwanan dinosaurs in Ethiopia, landscape change in the Crazy Mountains of Montana, the origin of erosional confinement in deepwater channels, comparative studies from the Two Medicine Formation, determining the subsurface structure around the epicenter of a 2006 earthquake.
2:15 p.m. -- Intermission.
2:30 p.m. -- Oral presentations continue. Topics include glacial erosion in the Rocky Mountains, modeling a dinosaur burrow, place identity in the changing American West, experimental studies involving carbon dioxide capture, and the reconstruction of vertebrate fossil sites in north-central Montana.
4 p.m. -- Closing remarks.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or