Six students from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) earned top awards in the annual Grundy Haven paper competition. The aim of the paper competition is to foster excellence in communicating science to the public.
Andrew Dzambo, (meteorology) won first place for his paper, “Building a Better Tropical Cyclone Model: It’s Resolution That Matters.” His paper explains the importance of resolution in complex forecasting models the National Hurricane Center uses. He entered the competition to practice writing about science. “My goal is to become a professor, and in addition to teaching, I’ll have to write a lot,” he said.
Karen Bunavage (meteorology) won second place for her paper “Cool Bears + Warm Waters = Extinction. She got interested in climate change years ago when she saw the movie, An Inconvenient Truth. She’s now studying meteorology, and chose her topic because she wanted the public to understand how melting ice caps caused by increases in global temperatures are affecting polar bears.
Devin Tierney (geobiology) also won second place for his paper, Enceladus: A Lonely Snowball or a Haven of Life. He plans on working in environmental restoration consulting and sees communication as a key skill he’ll use. The cosmic show of one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, and the possibility of discovering life forms fascinated him, and he decided to write about it.
When Martin Antensteiner (materials science and engineering) learned how cyanoacrylates lock in place during a polymer science lecture, he knew he had a topic for the Grundy Haven Paper Competition. He won third place for his paper, “The Superman of the Adhesive World,” which describes the bonding mechanism of super glue.
Irena Gorski (geosciences) was one of two honorable mention winners for her paper, “What’s on Tap.” In her hydrogeology classes, she learned a lot about agricultural contaminants of water. “I wanted to learn even more about the contaminants and inform others about them, so I explored them by writing about it,” she said. She’s already planning to enter the competition next year.
A recent trip to Panama inspired Annie Tamalavage to write about Bokashi: The Start of Change. “I was astounded that something so simple–organic composting (Bokashi)–could have such an immediate and profound effect. I entered the competition in part because people will care if we as scientists can explain a beneficial way to protect our environment. Using our communication skills can get society to listen and to make changes.”
The William Grundy Haven Awards were established in 1950 in memory of a Penn State geology student who was killed in action during World War II. The Earth and Mineral Science College is grateful for these funds, and proud to recognize the achievements of these fine communicators.
To read the papers, go to the EMS website.
For more information on the Grundy Haven Student Paper Competition, contact Kimberly Del Bright, Giles writer-in-residence, Ryan Family Student Center, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, 14F Deike Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16801, Telephone: (814) 863-6077, Fax: (814) 863-3349, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Blog: http://www.personal.psu.edu/kdb9/blogs/giles_writer-in-residence/