One of UR’s own professors was recently awarded the Geological Society of America’s Young Scientist Award for 2007. Associate professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Carmala Garzione will receive the award in October at the Geological Society of America (GSA) annual meeting in Denver, Colo.

This award honors a scientist under the age of 35 who has succeeded in making an outstanding contribution to geological knowledge through original research of the earth sciences.

Associate professor of Geological Sciences at the University of South Carolina Matthew Kohn, who nominated Garzione for the award, praised her scientific insight and willingness to take risks.

“Many young scientists are bright; few display such perception and daring,” he said.

Garzione made her contribution by studying large-scale tectonic problems using her experience and understanding in sedimentology and geochemistry. Through her innovative research, she showed that the central Andes mountain range has risen at a much faster rate than experts had previously postulated – it rose two kilometers or more in as little as two million years.

Garzione discovered this by taking a new approach to paleoaltimetry, the study of the uplifting of mountain belts. Geologists usually study the effects of erosion on the rise of mountains; Garzione focused instead on studying sediments, the products of erosion that are found on the mountainside and at the bottom of mountains in sedimentary basins.

These eroded materials contain information about the climate at the time when the sediments were part of the mountain, which led Garzione to learn about the rate of the mountain growth.

Friedlander is a member of the class of 2010.

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