Pictured from left to right are Chelsea Moore and Amy Olgers.

A research presentation by two Hope College students won a first-place award during the recent annual national meeting of the Geological Society of America.

Juniors Chelsea Moore of Muskegon and Amy Olgers of Holland were honored for their poster presentation of their research project “Reconnaissance of Microplastic Distribution in a Small Michigan Watershed,” which they conducted collaboratively this past summer with faculty member Dr. Brian Bodenbender.  They were chosen for the recognition in the Environmental and Engineering Geology Division out of a field of 24 entries that included graduate students as well as undergraduates.

More than 5,000 geological scientists from across the United States as well as abroad attended the meeting, which was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Sunday-Wednesday, Nov. 4-7.  The event included hundreds of addresses by research scientists across more than 150 topical sessions, as well as nearly 1,500 poster presentations.

Hope’s delegation included 15 students and six faculty.  The Hope researchers made presentations on topics ranging from global water quality, to measuring the way that sand dunes shift, to the formation of a mountainous region in Sweden millions of years ago.

In addition to Moore and Olgers, the students who made poster presentations during the meeting were senior Alexandra Donaldson of Deer Park, Illinois; junior Ben Fry of Gaylord; senior Elizabeth Morehead of Bull Valley, Illinois; junior Jonas Peterson of Holland; freshman Josiah Peterson of Holland; senior Jacob Stid of Mason; senior Cleveland Tarp of Northville; sophomore Jacob VanderRoest of South Haven; and junior Daniel Wade of Royal Oak.  Also attending were senior Kaitlyn Caltrider of Mason; senior Max Huffman of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania; senior Andrew Klein of Augusta; and senior Liam Kleinheksel of Grand Haven.

The faculty who attended, all of whom either made research presentations or were on the teams conducting the research, included Dr. Aaron Best, the Harrison C. and Mary L. Visscher Professor of Genetics and chair of the Department of Biology; Dr. Brian Bodenbender, professor of geology and environmental science and chair of the Department of Geological and Environmental Science; Suzanne DeVries-Zimmerman, adjunct assistant professor of geological and environmental science; Dr. Edward Hansen, professor of geology and environmental science; Dr. Jonathan Peterson, who is the Lavern ’39 and Betty DePree ’41 Van Kley Professor of Geology and Environmental Science; and Dr. Brian Yurk, associate professor of mathematics.

The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with more than 24,000 members from academia, government, and industry in 115 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth-science education.