Montana State University

Earth science students to present research April 24, 25

April 23, 2009 -- From MSU News Service

Ashley Poust searches for marine mammal fossils in a 3.5-million-year-old bonebed in central California. Robert Boessenecker, a fellow Montana State University graduate student, will explain the research project during MSU's Earth Sciences Colloquium. (Photo by Robert Boessenecker).   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- Montana State University students who investigated a wide range of earth science questions this year will present their findings April 24 and 25 during the fourth annual Earth Sciences Colloquium.

MSU's Department of Earth Sciences focuses on geology, geography, paleontology and snow science, so presentations will cover everything from dinosaur teeth to revitalizing the Arapo language through children's photography. Some students researched the urbanization of China. Others explored prairie pothole wetlands in northeast Montana, Bighorn Canyon geology, avalanches, the Lone Mountain rock glacier, tool marks on animal bones, Antarctica and a new face for triceratops. The colloquium will involve undergraduate and graduate students.

Friday's events will run from 4 to 10:30 p.m. in MSU's Strand Union Building. Students will display and explain posters starting at 4 p.m. in SUB Ballroom D. A departmental banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. in SUB Ballroom A. An awards ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. Twila Moon, assistant director of the Big Sky Institute, will give the keynote address at 8:30 p.m., talking about her experiences in community outreach and the earth sciences while working for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

Saturday's events will begin with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in room 339 of Leon Johnson Hall. Students will give oral presentations there from 9 to 11:45 a.m. They will resume at 1 p.m.

The posters and oral presentations are free and open to the public. Admission for the public to attend the banquet and keynote address is $25.

Organizers said the Earth Sciences Colloquium gives students an opportunity to present posters and give oral presentations in a friendly atmosphere, practice presentations for professional meetings and build camaraderie within the department. Many of the participants also presented posters at MSU's Student Research Celebration on April 14.

"We don't consider our event separate from MSU's Student Research Celebration, just a smaller continuation of celebrating student research in the earth sciences," said Melody Bechberger, doctoral student and one of the colloquium organizers.

For more information about the Earth Sciences Colloquium, see the Web at

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or