EWU Geology rocks, but not nearly as much as the students do! Chels Howard, a geology major, presented research at the virtual 2020 National Geological Society of America Conference.

Howard, in collaboration with faculty members Chad Pritchard and Lindsay MacKenzie, showcased their topic on clastic dike formation in slack water deposits triggered by surging Pleistocene megafloods. The research involved synthesizing the formation of clastic dikes in a lab setting, analyzing field samples and creating three dimensional outcrops models with a drone.

Chels Howard, EWU geology student

As students are learning to adapt to an ever changing world, they are finding ways to be creative in their learning. Students also have to think strategically to present their research virtually.

“It was definitely different,” says Howard in regard to presenting at a virtual conference. “I had pre-recorded my talk, and then they played it live on the stream. I enjoyed the format overall! It was a little hard because I couldn’t engage with the attendees as well as I have at other presentations, but I think they enjoyed it!” 

Howard also has advice to share with other students who might be interested in presenting right now.

“I think this experience, while different, was well worth it! The conference had a lot of helpful resources and it’s always fun to represent EWU Geology,” she says. “My best advice is if students are interested in working on undergraduate research, they should find a faculty that is equally as excited and ask if they have any current work or can brainstorm potential research topics. It takes some work, but it’s given me tons of opportunities that have set me up for success in the field.” 

If you are interested in starting your applied undergraduate research project and kick starting your geoscience career, click on the link below for more information.