Kathryn Ploss

2019 to 2021
Petrographic analysis of glacial debris at Rice Creek Field Station

Major: Geology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nicholas DiFrancesco

What is the focus of your research and why is it important?

The focus of this project is to look at the glacial debris in the Rice Creek drumlin to better understand the breakdown of sedimentary vs crystalline rocks. The sedimentary rocks come from the Oswego sandstone while the crystalline rocks were transported by the ice sheet (glaciers) from Canada. This research is important as it gives us a better understanding of how glaciers move rocks across long distances.

What results have you discovered?

So far we have learned that a majority of the rocks in the drumlin are sedimentary, with a smaller amount of crystalline rocks coming from the Canadian Craton.

Describe a memorable research experience at Rice Creek Field Station.

We were out collecting rocks last fall and Charlie [Chapman] and I had collected about 75lbs of rocks and had them all in a backpack. We hadn't realized how late it was, and it was starting to get dark enough to where we couldn't see well. Then the owls started to come out and make noise, which startled us, so we basically ran for 20 minutes out of the woods back to the car.

Where did you grow up and how did you become interested in science?

I grew up in Stuyvesant, NY and I got interested in science because when I was little I would collect rocks wherever we went.

What are your plans for the future?

Right now I don't really know what I am going to do in the future.