GeoDaze 2015

GeoDaze is a student-centered geosciences conference at the University of Arizona that celebrated its 43rd year this April. Each year, students present their research to an audience of peers, faculty, alumni and guests in an environment similar to that of a national conference. In past years, I’ve volunteered my time in various capacities including co-chair (2013) to help GeoDaze continue its success. This year, I presented thermobarometry, geochronology and thermochronology results from the Lopu Kangri range in the Tectonics and Geochemistry session. The title of my presentation was “Indian Continental Margin Subduction, High-Pressure, Low-Temperature Metamorphism and Synconvergent Exhumation during India-Asia Suturing, Lopu Kangri Range, South-Central Tibet”.

Thanks to generous donations to the GeoDaze conference from industry and alumni, graduate students compete for cash prizes at GeoDaze. My talk was selected as the Runner Up Best Overall Presentation. A big thanks to Chevron for sponsoring this award.

You can check out the GeoDaze 2015 web site here, which contains abstracts and more information on GeoDaze.

Tibet Field Season 2014

The end of summer has come, and the Fall, 2014 semester is well underway. Someone please inform the Tucson climate. Before I get too wrapped up in sample processing, data generation, and writing, I’ll take a moment to recap this summer’s adventures. I spent the month of June near Saga, Tibet doing field work for my PhD research, which focuses on the Lopu Kangri range. I was accompanied by a field assistant–Clay Campbell–from the University of Arizona, a colleague, guide and translator–Liu Shao Hui–from the Tibetan Plateau Research Institute in Beijing, and two drivers–Ahwan and Tashi–from Lhasa. The group was ideal. Our drivers were cooperative and enthusiastic, Liu Shao Hui kept us well-fed and joined us on every traverse, and Clay was a strong contributor in the field who I hope significantly furthered his own geology education.

field work in the Lopu Kangri range

Andrew Laskowski striking a pose at 5,700 m in the Lopu Kangri range.

During field work, we camped at three base camps on the northeast, west, and south sides of the Lopu Kangri range, respectively. We spent most of our time mapping at the 1:100,000 scale and collecting samples for detrital zircon U-Pb provenance analysis, igneous U-Pb geochronology, Ar-Ar and zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronology, and electron microprobe geochemical analysis. Due to the early onset of the South Asian monsoon, we didn’t have the chance to summit any 6,000 m peaks. However, we did manage to reach ~5,750 m on a traverse into northeast side of the range.  Our longest traverse, on the southwest flank of the range, was 21 km long at an average elevation of 5,500 m. Sometimes when you are gasping for breath and pushing hard to reach the next outcrop its difficult to appreciate the beauty of the southern Tibetan plateau. I’m glad I took plenty of photographs to remind me of all the amazing places this field work took me.

Tibet field work team 2014

The Lopu Kangri field work team, 2014. From left to right: Tashi, Andrew, Liu Shao Hui, Clay, and Ahwan.

GSA 2013 Recap

GSA in Denver was great. Not only did I see a ton of great talks and posters, I also reconnected with old friends and colleagues from William and Mary Geology and University of Arizona Geosciences. I even found my way to a new mountain bike themed brewery, Mountain Toad Brewing, in Golden, CO. See below for a photo of some fellow geologists enjoying some after-conference refreshments. Note the specially-labeled Field Assistant beer to commemorate GSA’s 125th anniversary.

I presented my western North America detrital zircon data in a session focused on the sedimentary record of the Sevier to Laramide transition on Tuesday 10/29/13. Check out a .pdf of the slides I presented here.