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Ohio DNR Awards 3 Collegiate Geologic Research Grants
Ohio Ag Connection - 01/25/2023

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Geological Survey has awarded research grants to three earth science students at Ohio colleges and universities.

The grant recipients are Ian Forsythe (University of Cincinnati), Cody Kessler (University of Cincinnati), and Elizabeth Coffey (Miami University). Each student will receive $2,500 to support their research projects.

“The grant selection committee was fortunate to receive several excellent proposals for this year,” ODNR Division of Geological Survey Chief and State Geologist D. Mark Jones said. “The chosen applications have important implications for Ohio and are relevant to the work of the Ohio Geological Survey, and we are pleased to support them.”

Forsythe, a graduate student, will conduct research to improve our knowledge of bedrock in the Cincinnati region, an area world renowned for its fossils. Forsythe’s study may help develop a better understanding of the environmental changes during the Late Ordovician time (about 458–444 million years ago) and how these changes impacted living organisms and inform our understanding of current climatic impacts.

Kessler, a graduate student, is studying the properties of soils that are contaminated with polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and microplastics and their impacts on groundwater, a current concern in Ohio and the nation. Kessler's project should add to the body of knowledge to define areas and degrees of this type of groundwater degradation in Ohio.

Coffey, an undergraduate student, will identify features of seasonal wetlands (vernal pools) in the Four Mile Creek area, southwestern Ohio, to distinguish them from traditional wetlands. These valuable natural resources play an important ecological role, and better understanding of them will help guide regulation and restoration efforts.

In its eighth academic year, the Ohio Geology Student Research Grant program supports graduate and undergraduate students conducting important geologic research in the state.

Each grantee is selected based on the quality of their application, the strength of their professor’s letter of reference, and the relevancy of the proposed research.

To learn more about the grant program, including a list of past winners, visit the Division website at https://bit.ly/3XvwXG4


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