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Environmental Studies [clear filter]
Tuesday, April 24
 

12:00pm PDT

Hemlock Trees: Beauty And Loss Through The Lens Of A Camera
Western North Carolina (WNC) is home to two species of hemlock trees: the eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, and the Carolina hemlock, Tsuga caroliniana. Both species have been detrimentally affected by the invasive hemlock wooly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, which is native to Asia. Many hemlocks in WNC have died or will be dead within the next few years, which will have adverse effects on local forests. My personal relationship with hemlocks extends back to my childhood. During a rainstorm the best place to stay dry was under one of these magnificent trees, where the thick canopy of green needles allowed a little rain or even light to reach the ground. Today, it would be hard if not impossible to find a hemlock healthy enough to serve as any shelter. As a scientist and artist I wanted to document the grandeur of these trees before they disappear from the forests and our everyday consciousness. Science and art are analogous in that both are human constructs we use to define ourselves and the world around us. I photographed hemlocks in the South Toe Valley of Yancey County, NC where I grew up, as this area and these trees have the greatest meaning to me. My photographs depict hemlock trees with the goal of capturing their grandeur and biological intricacy. I want my photographs to serve as both a memory of these species and a lesson reflecting on their loss.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 12:00pm - 1:30pm PDT
Sherrill Center Concourse

12:00pm PDT

Mineralogical Study Of Biotite In Metapelites From Mount Mitchell State Park, North Carolina, United States Of America
The purpose of this research project is to analyze rock samples from Mount Mitchell, North Carolina and determine the chemistry of biotite minerals within, specifically for titanium content. A previous study at Mount Mitchell by Coburn (2016) has shown that a few samples collected from this study contained biotite with and without titanium in the same rock. This gives us two different compositions of biotite coexisting within a rock, suggesting two different crystallization events. The samples will be analyzed at UNCA utilizing the methods of Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) on the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) as well as observing optical properties through the Polarized Light Microscope (PLM). After being analyzed at UNCA, the most optimal samples will be shipped to Spectrum Petrographics to be prepared as thin sections. Much of the current information about the geology in this region is outdated and by completing this research project a better understanding of the geology at Mount Mitchell will be achieved. Acquiring the precise chemical composition data of the biotite found in these rocks aids in constraining the temperature and pressure range for the metamorphism of the rocks and the formation of the biotite. This information will allow the geologic history of Mount Mitchell to be placed in context with surrounding geology and related studies.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 12:00pm - 1:30pm PDT
Sherrill Center Concourse

12:00pm PDT

The Beaucatcher Road Cut, Asheville, NC: New Constraints On Shearing Within The Ashe Metamorphic Suite
The Ashe Metamorphic Suite (AMS), composed of schist, gneiss, and amphibolite is found in the Blue Ridge Mountains and was thrust onto ~1 Ga Grenville basement gneiss during the Ordovician Taconic orogeny. The Taconic was followed by strike-slip faulting during the Silurian-Devonian Acadian orogeny and then thrusting during the Paleozoic Alleghanian orogeny. The Beaucatcher Cut is located along Interstate 240 in Asheville, North Carolina and exposes the AMS which exhibits abundant deformation. The cut provides a detailed view of the rock layers and folds in the AMS, within an undocumented shear zone within the interior of a large scale fold that contains many shear sense indicators. Detailed field mapping and interpretation of shear sense recorded in the rocks were combined to evaluate which orogeny the shearing relates to. The strike is consistently northeast and the dip varies throughout the cut. On the east, the dip is 24° east and progresses to vertical toward the west. The plunge of the mineral stretching lineation also varies throughout the cut, most are greater than 12° towards the northwest indicating mostly thrust motion. Three of the samples were right lateral, or dextral, which indicates a strike-slip fault, while five samples indicated a thrust fault along with dextral movement. The Beaucatcher Cut most likely supports the Taconic Orogeny due to the majority of the lineations plunging more than 20°, which is not documented with Acadian deformation. Alleghanian thrusting has been recorded at temperatures of

Speakers
Sponsors

Tuesday April 24, 2018 12:00pm - 1:30pm PDT
Sherrill Center Concourse