2019 Community Engagement Celebration Day

Project Title

Hands on Chemistry in Wind Cave

Type of Presentation

Tri-fold display

Presentation Type

Event

Project Summary

Press Release about project WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Fifteen students and two faculty from the University of Northern Iowa, along with a NASA scientist, spent their spring break in the depths of Wind Cave as part of a simulated astrobiological field expedition. The undergraduate students were learning what an astrobiologist may go through in terms of field sampling. Students used a variety of instruments including Geiger Counters, an XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence), and smart phone microscopes to study the cave. Besides learning how to use the instruments under field conditions, their results will provide the park with new information about the cave. “We are hoping to gain new insights into the carbon and mineral flow through the cave as the water percolates from the surface,” said Dr. Sebree, an astrochemistry professor at the University of Northern Iowa. “All the students gained valuable hands on experience looking for the flow of energy in the forms of heat, air, and water.” Providing additional support was Dr. Morgan Cable, an astrobiologist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr. Cable’s field of study is comparing extreme environments on earth, such as lava tubes in Iceland, to other areas in the solar system where life may be found. Extreme environments such as WindCave help scientists better understand the limits of life. “We are happy to host such a high-powered group of students and faculty,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “We’re looking forward to learning more about the cave and its properties from their research here.” The student’s trip was partially funded by a grant by the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium.

Start Date

19-4-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

19-4-2019 10:30 AM

Event Host

UNI Office of Undergraduate Studies

Department

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Award Category

Research-Based Project Award

Award Category

Service Learning/Live Client Project Award (Curricular)

Electronic copy is not available through UNI ScholarWorks.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 19th, 9:00 AM Apr 19th, 10:30 AM

Hands on Chemistry in Wind Cave

Press Release about project WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Fifteen students and two faculty from the University of Northern Iowa, along with a NASA scientist, spent their spring break in the depths of Wind Cave as part of a simulated astrobiological field expedition. The undergraduate students were learning what an astrobiologist may go through in terms of field sampling. Students used a variety of instruments including Geiger Counters, an XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence), and smart phone microscopes to study the cave. Besides learning how to use the instruments under field conditions, their results will provide the park with new information about the cave. “We are hoping to gain new insights into the carbon and mineral flow through the cave as the water percolates from the surface,” said Dr. Sebree, an astrochemistry professor at the University of Northern Iowa. “All the students gained valuable hands on experience looking for the flow of energy in the forms of heat, air, and water.” Providing additional support was Dr. Morgan Cable, an astrobiologist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr. Cable’s field of study is comparing extreme environments on earth, such as lava tubes in Iceland, to other areas in the solar system where life may be found. Extreme environments such as WindCave help scientists better understand the limits of life. “We are happy to host such a high-powered group of students and faculty,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “We’re looking forward to learning more about the cave and its properties from their research here.” The student’s trip was partially funded by a grant by the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium.