BFA Fairfax Students Present Climate Change Findings to National Geoscientists

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BFA juniors Bailey Halliday and Hallie Hoffman as part of the St. Michael’s College Center for Workforce Development and Diversity (CWDD) EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) Program researched phosphorus loading in Lake Champlain.  Mentored by HS science teacher Tom Lane, Bailey and Hallie collected phosphorus and total suspended solids data from Mill Brook (Fairfax) and Black Creek (E. Fairfield).

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(Bailey Halliday and Hallie Hoffman collect water samples and stream flow data at Black Creek in E. Fairfield fall 2016.)

They, with additional data collected by BFA seniors Sophie Lee and Rebekah Larose during previous years, showed evidence that phosphorus loading occurs year-round.

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(Graph showing Total Suspended Solids and Phosphate relationship as well as higher phosphate levels during the months of Dec.-April.)

Their results have important implications to phosphate research in the Lake Champlain basin.  Generally, most research involving phosphate movement into Lake Champlain uses data that is only collected from May – November.  BFA student research indicates a high percentage of phosphate loading actually occurs during the months of December-April.

With financial assistance from the CWDD Program at St. Michael’s College and their own fund-raising efforts they were able to attend the largest gathering of geoscientists in the world (the AGU Fall Meeting) in San Francisco, CA (https://fallmeeting.agu.org/2016/) and present their research.

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(Bailey Halliday and Hallie Hoffman explain their research to Dr. John Schade (Woods Hole Research Center) and Dr. Santosh Panda (UAF Permafrost Lab) during the Bright STaRS poster session at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA.)

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(Bailey Halliday and Hallie Hoffman explain their research to Dr. John Schade (Woods Hole Research Center) and Dr. Santosh Panda (UAF Permafrost Lab) during the Bright STaRS poster session at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, CA.)

In addition to attending presentations on current research in the Geosciences during the weeklong conference Bailey and Hallie were also able to visit the John Muir National Monument, the Golden Gate Bridge and tour some of downtown San Francisco.

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(At the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA)

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(Among the giant redwoods at the John Muir Woods, North of San Francisco, CA)

A huge thank you to the CWDD/RACC (Research on Adaptation to Climate Change) Program at St. Michael’s College for providing BFA students with this experience.

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