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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

SU Senior Awarded Research Grant to Study Alaskan Glacier

SALISBURY, MD---Sarah Beth Burton, a senior geography major, was awarded a research grant to study the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska. The grant was awarded based on an essay written for the Research Experience for Undergraduate Students (REU) program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). She was one of six students selected nationally to participate in the project.

The grant covered Burton’s airfare, food, equipment, weekly stipend for the six weeks, June 1- July 12, and will provide airfare to St. Louis, Spring 2004, to present her research to the Geological Society Association (GSA) North Central conference.

“As soon as I stepped out of the airport I was hooked. There were huge snow capped mountains surrounding us. It was so awesome,” said Burton. The first week the team explored and studied the glacier. By the second week, the students designed and started their own research projects. “Perhaps the best part of this experience was how much I learned about glaciology, glacier geology and conducting your own research, due to the fact that it was all very hands on and interactive,” said Burton.

Aside from her research, she camped on the glacier all six weeks and was able to whitewater raft at midnight as well as fly in a Cessna over the glacier and the Alaskan landscape. She was also able to witness the diverse wildlife, including a cow moose, which chased her party on a hike.

“The experience was truly amazing and unforgettable,” said Burton. She returned three weeks later to vacation in Alaska. She is now looking for employment after graduation in Alaska and other places out West. This experience has made me realize things that I want to have and do in my own life,” said Burton.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.


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