By David Westerman, PhD
The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) was founded in 1978 and is organized by disciplines. GeoCUR is one of the older and more active of the divisions. This year, for the first time, a Norwich student was nominated and awarded a GeoCUR Award for Excellence in Student Research. The recipient is Chris DeFelice ‘15 from Warwick, R.I., a recent Geology graduate from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. He was nominated by Prof. Chris Koteas, PhD, primarily for his senior project research on the Richardson Memorial Contact. In that nomination, Prof. Koteas wrote:
Christopher DeFelice has conducted an exemplary senior research project …[that] involved detailed bedrock mapping across a complex ancient fault zone in central Vermont. Geologists have debated the nature and origin of this structure since the early 20th century, and Chris’ research makes a notable contribution to the discussion by integrating field mapping with whole-rock geochemical studies and microstructural data.
DeFelice was in the first graduating class (2015) of the Norwich Honors Program and defended his Honors thesis on this research. He presented a portion of his work last fall at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Vancouver. More recently, he presented the remainer of the project at the Northeast Section Meeting of GSA in Bretton Woods, NH. Following graduation, Chris began working on his master’s degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
The Council on Undergraduate Research works to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship in all academic disciplines. Based in Washington, D.C., its members include nearly 10,000 individuals and more than 650 colleges and universities, including Norwich University as an Institutional Member.
About the Author: David S. Westerman, PhD, is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Geology at Norwich University and the Associate Vice President for Research in NU’s Office of Academic Research. This article is reprinted from the OAR blog.