Studying beach dunes — in Wisconsin! Posted on August 4th, 2011 by

Rachel Oien (’13), pictured kneeling above, spent this summer studying sand dunes in Wisconsin as part of a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program.  In the photo, she and her field partner were collecting samples for optically-stimulated luminescence dating.  She writes:

“My REU was Dune Undergraduate Geomorphology and Geochronology (DUGG).  I was working with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville on a project of a beach ridge/dune complex on Kangaroo Lake, in Door County, WI. We needed Nipissing elevation dunes that were 800m from the shoreline because this system is unique is comparison to the 4 harbors beside it. We were looking at the differences between last years project on Clark Lake (Whitefish Dunes State Park), Bailey’s Harbor and the other half of our project on Europe Lake (Newport State Park). We looked at the geomorphic impacts during these lake level changes in the late Holocene. To analyze the dunes we used ground penetrating radar (GPR), particle size analysis (PSA), LiDAR-based DEM, and optical stimulated luminescence (OSL). It was very exciting being able to conduct our own research and complete all of the analytic procedures ourselves. We are very excited to present all of our findings at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Minneapolis this fall.”


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