Hitting the river, page five: Norwich University emagazine

Bridging the world of chalk with the one of actual rocks is hardly unusual for Norwich’s Department of Geology and Environmental Science, which has long drawn down-to-earth students who thrive on the programs’ travel and field orientation, Westerman says. He and Dunn often trot around the globe for research projects. Many of their Corps of Cadets students enter the military; others find careers in the geo-environmental
consulting industry.

The professors aim to arm their students with the tools not only to pass the course, but also to become lifelong inspectors of the natural world. The fact that most, if not all, of the students in ID 110 are majoring in other departments adds challenge for both professors and students. “This is my first science, and it’s a little overwhelming right now,” confesses Chance Gieni. “I can grasp the concepts, but trying to learn the names is the hard part.”

One can commiserate; Gieni and his group are attempting to identify micro-invertebrates with long Latin monikers. This is their fifth day of the river journey, which began up in Canaan, Vt., and will end four days from now in Lancaster, N.H. Almost every day includes travel along the river, packing the mobile lab so that it’s watertight and navigating the whims of nature. continue

Joseph Booth inspects a soil sample on the riverbank.

Joseph Booth inspects a soil sample on the riverbank.