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California Native Comes to UC
To Explore Ohio's Icy Past

Date: Oct. 23, 2001
By: Chris Curran
Phone: (513) 556-1806
Photos by: Colleen Kelley
Archive: Research News

Katie Glover was one of UC's newest graduate students when she officially started classes this fall, but she got an important jumpstart on her research career over the summer.

Glover spent the first part of the summer doing archaelogical field work in Greece, followed by a three-week UC course on glacial field methods in Alaska. Her hectic schedule began shortly after earning her undergraduate degree at Depauw University, and it hasn't let up since.

Katie Glover in Alaska

"It was a little intimidating, but I wanted to do it right away… to start getting credit," she said.

Glover is from a suburb of San Jose, Calif. and went to high school in Monterey County, but fell in love with the Midwest during her undergraduate days and decided to do her graduate work at a Midwest university.

She applied to UC after checking out the geology department's home page. "I liked the variety of people. Then, when I went to visit, the people were friendly. It was a good group. Everyone got along."

In Greece, Glover was working with a group from Ohio State and other universities performing an archaeological survey of eastern Corinthia. She said her position was fairly low-level. She served as a "field walker," literally walking up and down fields in parallel lines searching for artifacts.

The Alaska trip was a great deal more challenging as she was required to compare the retreat pattern of two different glaciers in south central Alaska. "Glaciers are a lot messier than the textbook or what an intro geology professor will tell you," she noted, adding she was surprised by the magnitude of the change in the glaciers she studied. "That was unexpected…how significantly climate affects the glaciers."

The daughter of a part-time park ranger, she said the best part of the trip was seeing so much wildlife and discovering Alaska's "not a cold, desolate place at all."

Katie Glover in UC geology lab

In Cincinnati, Glover will work with Professor Thomas Lowell, who taught the glacial field methods course in Alaska, to better understand the last major glaciation in Ohio. Working in cooperation with the eight-university Keck Geology Consortium, Glover will help collect and analyze soil cores from bogs and lake depressions.

Together, the project participants will track glacial changes from Cincinnati to northern Ohio, looking at how the ice sheet retreated and how the environment changed during and after the retreat. By tracking and studying past environmental changes across Ohio, the project directors hope to understand how future environmental changes might impact the landscape. Glover is excited to be a part of the project. "I like being outdoors. I want to protect the resources we have now."

The other participants on the Keck Glacial Ohio Project are undergraduates working on an honors thesis. At UC, they include undergraduate Lisa King, a recent participant in UC's Research Experience for Women Undergradutes summer program. Glover also worked side-by-side with undergraduates during the Alaska trip and said she was impressed by the experience level of UC's geology students.

"It's a new experience coming from an institution with only undergraduates. The undergraduates here are very interested in the research graduate students are doing."

The Ohio institutions in the consortium include UC, the University of Dayton, and the College of Wooster. More information on the project can be found at the project's web site.

To meet other UC people, go to the profiles archive.

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