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EXCEL Scholar Andrew Mott ’07 (Corpus Christi, Texas) will present his research “Satellite Image and GIS-Based Identification and Characterization of Wet Meadows in the Central Great Basin” at the 117th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, Oct. 16-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mott will present his work with Dru Germanoski, Dr. Ervin R. VanArtsdalen ’35 Professor and head of geology and environmental geosciences.

“The entire geology department at LafayetteCollege is a great group of professors and students,” he says. “Through my research with Dr. Germanoski I’ve really learned how to apply the skills I learn in class to the field and the different ways that geology has a major impact on the functioning of the world we live in. Dr. Germanoski has been a great mentor through my college experience and has really given me a true idea of what the field of geology is and how I enjoy learning about it.”

From June into the fall semester of last year, Mott gathered data on wet meadow systems in Nevada’s Central Great Basin using satellite images, geographic information systems, aerial photos, field reconnaissance, and digital geologic and topographic maps. He developed a database and created maps to further study the interactions of earth, water, and vegetation in the environmentally sensitive area. The database will serve as a foundation for managing this environment.

Germanoski says he selected Mott for the research based on his stellar performance in a first-year course in oceanography.

“Andrew is exceptionally bright,” he says. “I gave him a to-do list that summer that I viewed as a wish list he would never get through. Four weeks later, he came into my office and told me he had completed all of the tasks. He learns very fast; one demonstration is all it takes for him to grasp a procedure. Better yet, he is a self-starter capable of solving problems on his own. I gave him a computer tutorial to learn the surveying graphics software, and within one day he was producing maps. He mastered user-unfriendly software in less than one week.”

Germanoski says that while he has “been blessed to have fantastic EXCEL students” over the years, Mott is probably the best yet.

“He has a tremendous work ethic and he is relentless in solving problems,” Germanoski says. “Whereas the natural tendency for most people is to become frustrated when they encounter a problem or difficulty, he seems to take it as a personal challenge to solve the problem. He almost seems to light up at the prospect of having to overcome an obstacle.”

Germanoski will present additional research he has conducted in the Central Great Basin, entitled “Reach Specific Channel Stabilization Based on Comprehensive Evaluation of Valley Fill History, Alluvial Architecture and Groundwater Hydrology in a Mountain Stream in the Central Great Basin, Nevada.”

Germanoski has received 20 research grants from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, and other agencies, many of which have funded collaborations with Lafayette students. He often mentors students in yearlong honors research projects and regularly shares his research in academic publications.

Mott and Germanoski collaborated through Lafayette’s distinctive EXCEL Scholars program, in which students conduct research with faculty while earning a stipend. The program has helped to make Lafayette a national leader in undergraduate research. Many of the more than 160 students who participate each year share their work through articles in academic journals and/or conference presentations.

Mott is a recipient of the Ted Morgan scholarship, which benefits the education of a geology or economics and business major.

“The scholarship was a large help in reducing the cost to my family now that my parents have two kids in college,” he says. “It is also nice to show that the hard work a student puts in during high school and continuing through college can lead to rewards to help further their education, just as the Ted Morgan scholarship has helped me.”

Chosen from among Lafayette’s most promising applicants, Marquis Scholars like Mott receive a special academic scholarship and distinctive educational experiences and benefits, including a three-week, Lafayette-funded course abroad or in the United States during January’s interim session between semesters or the summer break. Marquis Scholars also participate in mentoring programs with Lafayette faculty and cultural activities in major cities and on campus.

Categorized in: Academic News