NSF Grant Funds Research on the Platte River

Posted on July 31st, 2012 by

From left: Zach Wagner (’13), Tara Selly (’13), Laura Triplett, Will Metcalf (’15), Lance Erickson (’14)

Gustavus Adolphus College Assistant Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies Laura Triplett received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the spring of 2012 to study silica cycling in large western rivers. The grant, totaling more than $150,000, was received in conjunction with collaborators Dr. Karin Kettenring, a wetland plant ecologist at Utah State University, and Dr. Michal Tal, a geomorphologist at the University of Aix-Marseilles in France.

For each of the three summers of the project, two Gustavus student researchers will join Professor Triplett in her lab and in the field as they explore how human activities, including the introduction of invasive plants, is changing how much silica flows down rivers to the ocean.

Last week, Triplett and her team of researchers conducted the first fieldwork on the Platte River in Nebraska. This year’s student collaborators (Zach Wagner, ’13 and Lance Erickson, ’14) were joined by two additional Gustavus students (Tara Selly, ’13 and Will Metcalf, ’15) and the three faculty team leads.

“The fieldwork was intense due to the hot dry weather gripping the middle of the country, but our group was efficient and ambitious, and we successfully collected a van-load of sediment and plant samples from along the Platte and its tributary, the Loup River,” Triplett said. “Now, we return to the lab to figure out what it all means.”

Read more about this project on the Geology Department’s blog.



Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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