Student Spotlights: Russell Krueger (’17) and Caitlin Clause (’18) Posted on September 9th, 2015 by

RUSS KRUEGER declared as a Geology major in 2015, and he continues to take upper-level courses in physics, chemistry and mathematics because he loves the challenge.  In 2015, Russ won the prestigious Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  He attended an orientation this summer, and will receive tuition stipends for two years and a paid 10-week internship at a NOAA facility in the summer of 2016.  Congratulations, Russ!!

During the summer of 2015, Russ also did an internship at the University of South Carolina.  Here’s what he had to say about those experiences:

“…The NOAA Hollings orientation ended yesterday. The students here were incredibly impressive, in both the work they’ve done and their knowledge. It was a lot of fun to listen to their stories and see what other universities are doing and see how Gustavus matches up. (We match up incredibly well in my opinion — everyone I talked to loved the idea of the laser diffractometer.)…

I spent 10 weeks this summer at the University of South Carolina as part of National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Much of my time was spent in the lab extracting leaf waxes from sediment trap samples. I then compared the hydrogen isotope ratio of the waxes with precipitation records from the sample collection period. The hydrogen isotope-precipitation relationship has been used as a proxy for paleoprecipitation determinations. My goal was to test the relationship and try to determine the time interval best represented by the isotope ratio. As a part of the program, we were able to spend a weekend at Baruch Research Institute on North Inlet to learn some field work techniques. At the end of the 10 weeks, I presented my project at a campus-wide symposium.”

russ with poster

Russ also told me that during the summer he held a shark, kayaked down the Congaree River and camped in Gorges National Park.

Russ holding shark


CAITLIN CLAUSE is an up-and-coming Geology major, just beginning her sophomore year.  Because of her enthusiasm and her strong work ethic, we hired her as our department assistant during the summer of 2015.  She was awesome!  Here’s what she has to say about some of the work she did this summer, and when you see the spotlessly-clean museum and well-organized classrooms, you can THANK her!

“Monitoring at Seven Mile Creek this past summer was a great experience. It was my first time taking and filtering samples of water. Watching the creek and ravine change from clear and slow-moving to turbid and swift moving water was really interesting and it was always exciting to see that change after a large rainstorm. Another thing I helped with this past summer was photographing and cleaning bison bones. Even though cleaning around 400 bones got a little tiring it was still quite fascinating to examine them and wonder how they came to be in the Des Moines River. Since I had just finished my first year at Gustavus Adolphus it was great to experience these things and get familiar with the GAC Geology Department.”


Caitlin peeking through a tuff ‘window’ at Bandelier National Monument, NM, during the 2015 Spring Break Geology Fieldtrip


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