Professors from the geology department plan to present their research projects to the national symposium in Salt Lake City
With the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Salt Lake City, Utah approaching, the geosciences department at Virginia Tech is preparing for about 30 presentations by various faculty and students. “It’s an international conference with anywhere between five and eight or nine thousand participants annually,” said Robert Bodnar, distinguished professor of geosciences. “Virginia Tech will have close to 30 presentations by various faculty and graduate students of geosciences department, each individually different with a explanation of their research efforts.” Bodnar said the conference, which will be held Oct. 16-19, covers many aspects of earth sciences, hydrology, biology and geophysics. “In addition to the scientific presentations, it’s a chance for all followers of the geosciences field to get an update on equipment and publications that may benefit in their research goals,” Bodnar said. “I work on features called fluid inclusions which are very small droplets of fluid, which form after precipitation occurs during mineral formation,” Bodnar said when asked to describe the research that he would be presenting. Bodnar said he has studied these and found that virtually all minerals contain them, sedimentary and igneous rocks, even volcanic minerals. “My students and I study inclusions in all rocks and minerals, in meteorites, gold, copper and volcanic rock,” Bodnar said. “Virtually all minerals found on earth are studied using statistic and analytical techniques in the lab to find out temperature and then the composition of the fluid is determined which helps us understand something about the environment in which the rock is formed.” Bodnar will present his research Oct. 15 at 4 p.m., as part of the Centennial Symposia for the Society of Economic Geologists during the Geological Sciences of America national meeting in Salt Lake City. “Virginia Tech has one of the most prestigious geosciences departments in the country, and the fact that we have such a large showing at the convention is a reflection of the work being done in the department which shows the great work being done here at the university,” Bodnar said.