Tag Archives: science

AJ Vasiliou receives ACS PRF New Investigator Award

AnGayle (AJ) Vasiliou (Chemistry and Biochemistry) has received an Undergraduate New Investigator grant from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for a project titled Sulfur Chemistry: Molecular Mechanisms. The proposed work seeks to answer questions regarding the reaction mechanisms for the thermal decomposition of sulfur compounds. Because raw energy sources such as coal, petroleum, and biomass all contain varying quantities of sulfur contaminants, this work should provide useful information for improving sulfur removal technologies. Six Middlebury undergraduates will be working with AJ on this project.

Will Amidon receives ACS PRF research grant

Will Amidon (Geology) has received an Undergraduate Research grant from American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for a project titled Post-Rift Tectonism on Circum-Atlantic Margins. The goal of this research is to study the history of geologically recent mountain uplift and erosion in the northeastern U.S., where offshore sediment records suggest subtle tectonism occurred in the Late Cretaceous and Miocene. This work should provide basic information on when modern topography in the northeastern U.S. developed and also provide information about the stratigraphic evolution of Atlantic-style passive margins where many petroleum bearing deposits are formed. Six Middlebury undergraduates will be working with Will on this project.

Will Amidon receives ACS PRF research grant

Will Amidon (Geology) has received an Undergraduate Research grant from American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for a project titled Post-Rift Tectonism on Circum-Atlantic Margins. The goal of this research is to study the history of geologically recent mountain uplift and erosion in the northeastern U.S., where offshore sediment records suggest subtle tectonism occurred in the Late Cretaceous and Miocene. This work should provide basic information on when modern topography in the northeastern U.S. developed and also provide information about the stratigraphic evolution of Atlantic-style passive margins where many petroleum bearing deposits are formed. Six Middlebury undergraduates will be working with Will on this project.

Open House Nights at the College Observatory – Spring 2016

The Physics Department at Middlebury College will again host Open House nights at the College Observatory this spring. The Observatory, located atop McCardell Bicentennial Hall, will be open to the public for viewing the heavens on Friday evenings, April 29 and May 6, from 9:00 PM until 10:30 PM, provided the skies are mostly clear.

Jupiter will be in the evening sky on both of these dates. Also visible through our telescopes will be a number of interesting stars, star clusters, and nebulae. There is no set program for the Open House nights; the public is invited at any time between 9:00 PM and 10:30 PM.

The Observatory dome houses a 24-inch computer-controlled telescope. Additional, smaller telescopes will also be available on the roof deck for observing the night sky.

All Observatory public nights are free and open to the public, but will take place only if the sky is at least mostly clear. If the weather appears uncertain, visitors may call the Observatory at 443-2266 or visit the Observatory web site after 7:00 PM on the evening of the Open House for a status report. More information can also be found at go/observatory .

Also, please consider visiting the Observatory web site to sign up for our e-mail list with event announcements and status updates as well as to enjoy a wide variety of resources about astronomy at Middlebury and the night sky. The web site includes stunning images taken at the Observatory, information about what is currently visible in the night sky, history of the Observatory, and a summary of last year’s extensive Observatory upgrades.

The Observatory would like to acknowledge support from the Michele and David Mittelman (’76) Family Foundation for enabling substantial renovations and modernizations that represent a fundamental commitment to the long-term future of the Observatory, both for curricular and research uses, as well as for outreach. These improvements to the Observatory are helping ensure that Middlebury students, College community members, schoolchildren, and the public will continue to be able to explore the universe on the Middlebury campus under dark Vermont skies.

Pat Manley receives award from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation

Pat Manley (Geology) has been awarded a fellowship from the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation for a project titled Reading the Rocks: A History of Modern Geology. The grant will fund travel in England and Scotland this summer to geologic locations that are key to understanding the history of modern geology and to museums and historic sites that will bring to life the geologists who founded this field. Pat’s goal is to enhance her teaching of introductory and advanced geology by adding sections on the history of geologic thought.

Tom Manley receives grant from the Lintilhac Foundation for work on Lake Champlain

Tom Manley (Geology) has received a grant from the Lintilhac Foundation for the second year of a project titled High-Resolution Bottom Mapping of Lake Champlain. This long term effort will update the 2005 bottom bathymetric map of Lake Champlain and provide a significant increase in the resolution of the map of the lake bottom that is important to the recreation, research, and management communities.

Eilat Glikman receives grant from NASA to study quasars

Eilat Glikman (Physics) has been awarded a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to lead a research project titled Probing Accretion and Obscuration in Luminous Red Quasars. This one year project, involving collaborators from Yale University, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, the Astronomical Observatory of Rome, and the Leibniz Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam, Germany, is based on observations of two luminous quasars with the XMM-Newton X-ray space observatory. These quasars are hypothesized to be growing at their maximally allowed rate, giving off tremendous luminosity. However, because of dust in their immediate environments, their visible light is extinguished. These X-ray observations will measure the amount of gas that is blocking visible light and probe the growth of the quasars independently for comparison with other existing estimates. The result of this work will complete the multi-wavelength study of this key population of quasars.