Research

February 26, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Geology Student Gets ODNR Grant for Work on Utica, Point Pleasant Formations

Dreadnaught Stubbs, an Ohio University first-year master’s student in Geological Sciences, received one of two Ohio Department of Natural Resources grants from the Division of Geological Survey’s Ohio Geology License Plate Fund to support geologic research, ODNR announced on Feb. 23.

Dreadnaught Stubbs, a first-year master’s student at Ohio University, and Allison Young, a second-year Ph.D. student at the University of Cincinnati, will each receive grants of $1,200 to aid in their current research projects.

Dreadnaught Stubbs

Dreadnaught Stubbs

Taking advantage of fresh road cuts near Nelsonville, Stubbs will analyze a formation called the Allegheny Group, which is made up of relatively young rocks that typify southeastern Ohio and includes all of the state’s major economic coal seams. Young’s research will involve much older rocks found primarily in the subsurface of Ohio, including the Utica and Point Pleasant formations, which are known source rocks for petroleum and natural gas.

Both student projects will use a method known as sequence stratigraphy to further understand the rocks, including how they were formed and the potential role they may play in future development of the state’s natural resources. Sequence stratigraphy involves mapping of strata, or rock layers, based on identification of surfaces that are assumed to represent timelines, rather than emphasizing the physical, chemical and mineralogical makeup of the rocks.

“We think these are excellent projects that are in keeping with the original intent of the license plate program,” said ODNR Division of Geological Survey Chief and State Geologist Tom Serenko. “We’re glad that Ohio’s colleges and universities are continuing geological research in the state as there are many challenges yet to be addressed.”

The grants were awarded on the quality of the student applications, the strength of their professors’ letters of reference and the relevancy of the research to furthering knowledge of Ohio geology.

The Ohio Geology License Plate Fund grant program was established in 2012 and is funded through sales and yearly renewals of the Ohio Rocks! license plates offered by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The revenue generated is used to promote earth science education and outreach throughout the state.

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