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Halmos Faculty and Student Conduct Research at Buffalo Gap National Grasslands

Digital elevation models created from a drone flight

Digital elevation models created from a drone flight

This summer, Halmos faculty member Paul Baldauf, Ph.D. and undergraduate environmental sciences senior Lucca Libonatti traveled to the White River Badlands in South Dakota to study paleodroughts on the northern Great Plains. Working with faculty and students from Slippery Rock University, Baldauf and Libonatti collected samples from sand dunes to determine when they were last active.

Baldauf, Lucca and SRU students sampling OSL Bouquet Table

Baldauf, Lucca and SRU students sampling OSL Bouquet Table

In their study, they made use of multiple techniques, including optically stimulated luminescence and drone photography.

Bucket augers collected sand from one to two meters below the surface. The drone created digital elevation models of the research site. This research will correlate the dune activity with prehistoric drought episodes.