BOONE—Cameron Batchelor of Raleigh, a junior geology major at Appalachian State University, has been awarded a $2,000 Youth Activity Grant from the Explorer’s Club in New York City to conduct fieldwork in Mongolia this summer.
Batchelor’s project is titled “Absolute Age Dating of Zircons of Devonian Samples Collected from Central Asia Samnuuruul Formation.”
She will work with Assistant Professor Sarah Carmichael and Professor Johnny Waters from Appalachian’s Department of Geology.
“The Explorers Club grants are highly competitive and only a small percentage of the proposals are funded,” wrote Youth Activity Fund Chair Marla D. Daily.
Waters is co-leader of a United Nations-sponsored research team that has found evidence in Central Asia for catastrophic oceanographic events associated with climate change and a mass extinction that devastated tropical marine ecosystems 375 million years ago.
Under Carmichael’s supervision, Batchelor has assisted with the U.N. team’s research by analyzing the geochemistry of the rock samples taken from field sites in western Mongolia that were once part of the ocean floor. Age dating of zircons will be conducted at UNC-Chapel Hill in Dr. Drew Coleman’s laboratory in the Department of Geosciences.
“As a National Fellow of the Explorer’s Club, I can testify firsthand that the competition for student grants is intense,” Waters said.