Research dates prehistoric split
A UNC assistant professor of geology has traveled across the globe in an effort to discover the history of the prehistoric world.
Graham Baird, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Northern Colorado, has been studying the Caledonides Mountain Range in Sweden since 2003. The range is believed to have been connected to the Appalachian Mountains 300 million years ago as part of the supercontinent Pangaea.
Through studying the Caledonides, Baird hopes to determine when Rodinia, the supercontinent that appeared prior to Pangaea, broke apart.
In order to determine when the supercontinent broke apart, Baird is working on carbon dating the rocks of the region.
Sean Figg, a graduate student and Baird's research assistant, said the process of dating rocks is actually a series of several processes.
"It goes through the process of SHRIMP first," Figg said. "SHRIMP stands for Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe. Basically, it is a laser that makes a small pit in the rock to be analyzed and that determines the age of the rock."
Before they could SHRIMP the rocks, Baird said they had to complete the initial steps of research.
"First, we had our field work that we needed to do, which is taking samples and figuring out what we were doing," Baird said. "Then, next is the lab analysis. We sent our samples to UNC as well as various labs. Then those labs will date rock and the minerals in the rocks."
Baird said he is continuing his research but the extent to which he will pursue it depends on the results.
"We have well-formed questions," Baird said. "It depends on the funding we get, but never say never."
Baird and Figg said they are hoping their research will not only point to what happened before there were humans but also improve their chances of receiving more funding in the future.
Baird is currently presenting his research at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting in Minnesota with Steve Anderson, a UNC professor of earth sciences and the director of the Mathematics and Science Teaching Institute. Anderson will speak about what he has learned from his 17-year career mentoring students.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More uncmirror News Articles
Recent uncmirror News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR UNCMIRROR
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST UNCMIRROR NEWS
RECENT UNCMIRROR CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Got Tech Neck? Here's Some Advice.
- Three Simple Swaps for a Healthier Lunch
- Epilepsy Awareness Day 2016 Largest Turnout Ever
- Give the Gift of Connectivity, Without the Stress
- New Cancer Treatment Continues to Progress By Filing for...
- How Many Years Does it Take to Become a Doctor of...
- Many Working Mothers Can't Afford Their Health Insurance...
- A Date with Destiny: Video Games Teach Kids Life Lessons
- The Magic Number for Millennials: $51,000
- A New Read on Literacy: The 3 Keys to Building Lifelong...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- PEPSICO AND 21ST CENTURY FOX ANNOUNCE "THE SEARCH FOR HIDDEN FIGURES"
- The Most Popular Entry-Level Jobs and Companies for College Graduates
- National Meningitis Association Urges Students to take Pledge2Prevent
- American Cancer Society and CVS Health Foundation Award Grants to Help 20 Colleges and Universities Go Tobacco-Free in Largest Initiative of Its Kind
- BPU Offers Sentiment Analysis Free to Universities