Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thank You Letter

Greetings to all,

On behalf of the 1st Platoon, I would like to send our truly heartfelt appreciation for the gracious gifts we received during Christmas ’08. The seemingly endless packages we received during the weeks prior to Christmas instilled a holiday spirit in us all which would have been lost without your generosity. Though it may be unbelievable, we had obtained a 6ft lighted Christmas tree, probably the only one on our camp, which we placed our gifts around just like at home. Day after day soldiers would come by and rummage through the boxes for items of use. In one particular instance, I recall a soldier commenting “there is something new to be found everyday, it’s unbelievable!”. The assortment of items sent could not have been more accepted and most importantly needed. Thank you all for the kind recognition during the holidays.

We departed Fairbanks, AK four months ago moving into the Diyala Province to support the Iraqis as they assume total control over their country. Daily we work hand in hand with Iraqi Army, Police, and civilians as they learn techniques and gain experience in democratic self-government. It is truly gratifying to see the tremendous gains being made as the Iraqis rebuild their cities and homes freely. In the town in which we live, streets have been swept clean, new curbs poured and painted, and flowers planted, transforming the main avenue of town into an admirable site. It is these small achievements by the Iraqis that put our work into perspective.

As far as our outlook on the New Year we continue to work hard overseas, but are very excited and motivated to return home in September. For many of us Alaska is not considered home, but nevertheless it is an amazing place filled with adventure and breathtaking scenery. I tell you all from experience, that it is a Geologist’s heaven! Thank you again. We wish you all the best of luck this semester and, as always, “GO TECH”.

1st Platoon
73rd Engineers
‘Artic Sappers’

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mineralology Lab Clean-up

Thanks to everybody who helped Dr. Hetherington begin to organize and clean the mineralogy lab!! It seemed that everybody had a good time and enjoyed eating yummy pizza! Here is a list of people that helped...

Kevin Wertz
Laura Moore
Heather Mcgarity
Brian Horton
Philip O'Brien
Jeremy Deans
Brittany Reneau
Virginia Beversdorff
Chloe Beddingfield
John Torgusen
Brendan Hargrove
Jennifer Riedel
Jeff Oalmann
Monika Leopold
Alyson Brink
Nolwenn Coint

If you are not on this list and should be then send us an email!! Also if you are interested in helping in February contact Dr. Hetherington or


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Remaining Spring 2009 Events


  • 1st- 5ish Super Bowl Party (email for location)
  • 5th- 5:30 Meeting, Rm 234
  • 5th- 10pm-1am Cosmic Bowling, 5150 69th Street near Slide
  • 20th- 3:30 Departmental Seminar- Rheology of the lithosphere by Dr. Greg Hirth, Brown University.
  • 21st- Pancake Festival, more information coming


  • 5th- 5:30 Meeting, Rm 234, NOMINATIONS FOR OFFICERS!
  • 5th- 10pm-1am Cosmic Bowling, 5150 69th Street near Slide
  • 12th – Officer Candidate profiles posted on bulletin board
  • 26th-29th (subject to change) – AAPG field trip to Arbuckle Mountains (Petroleum focus), Email Jason for more information or to join AAPG (email the geoscience society and your email will be forwarded)


  • 2nd- 5:30 Meeting, Rm 234, VOTE FOR OFFICERS!!!
  • 2nd- 10pm-1am Cosmic Bowling, 5150 69th Street near Slide
  • 19th or 26th – End of the year picnic/party, more information coming

Check for Departmental Seminar Schedule

Email geosciencesocietyATgmailDOTcom with questions

Information on Senior Research and other support

This was approved at the Jan. 8th General Meeting of the Geoscience Society. The funds estimated to be allocated for this year Jan 2009-Dec 2009 will be $1,000 to 1,200 dollars based on totals from the Spring Lab Manual Sales. The exact amount will be announced at the Feb. 1st meeting. Applications are currently being accepted and can be found on the Geoscience Society Bulletin Board outside room 234. They can be turned into Rissa in rm 319A or into the mailbox basket in the Geoscience Dept. Office. As always questions may be addressed to the officers at


Each member is eligible to apply for funding up to $200 during their degree program at TTU. This means you may apply as an undergraduate, M.S., and Ph.D. student. Only undergraduates are eligible for research funding, but all are eligible for reimbursements for application fees to continue school (M.S. and Ph.D geoscience programs), and registration for geosciences related conferences. Meeting the requirements does NOT guarantee funding. Students need to note that all reimbursements require itemized receipts. The budget for funding will be determined by January of each year, funds are then available on a first come first serve basis.

Undergraduate research
  • - Member must be in good standing with junior or senior status at Texas Tech.
  • - Funds will be available to the student for 3 consecutive semesters once they are approved. (example January 2009-May 2010)
  • - Must submit a research proposal and budget. Indicate in budget which items are NOT funded by your advisor’s lab/grant money or available through the department.
  • - Items eligible for reimbursement include supplies that will be used for research that are not already available, ex. gas for field work, food during field work (up to $7 per meal, no alcohol), camp fees, etc. Books, personal equipment, and other personal items are not eligible for reimbursement; the exclusion is a field book which can be provided by the society ($10 will be subtracted from your approved funds).
  • - Undergraduate research projects must be approved by your advisor prior to applying.
  • - May be approved up to $200 during undergraduate degree. Decisions will be made by a committee comprised of geosciences society officers and graduate students. Officers that are applying for research funding must excuse themselves from the committee. Undergraduates who do not agree with the committee’s decision may appeal to the executive officers at If they still do not agree with the executive committee’s decision they may request time at the next general meeting to call for a membership vote on their particular case. This subject to the Society having available funds.
Application Fee reimbursement
  • - Member must be in good standing.
  • - All members are eligible to apply up to $60 total for reimbursement for applications to geoscience graduate programs.
  • - Must attach receipt showing payment and it must include the school and program name.
Conference Registration
  • - Member must be in good standing
  • - All members are eligible for up to $50 per eligible conference registration. Eligible conferences include, but are not limited to, GSA, AAPG, and SVP.
  • - Conference registration that is being funded through the Department, Texas Tech University, or other means is not eligible.

January 8th, 2009 Meeting Minutes

Geoscience Society General Meeting
January 8, 2009 Sci Bldg Rm 234, 5:30 pm
Pizza was provided by the organization

5:30 pm: Meeting is called to order by President John Torgusen.

5:31 pm: Dr. Hetherington makes a request from the Geoscience Society to assist him in refurbishing and organizing a teaching lab. Any volunteers willing to do so should contact Dr. Hetherington. Each meeting to clean and organize the lab will take place on Friday afternoons in which pizza will be provided.

5:35 pm: Announcements by John:
• There are currently no field trips planned for the spring of 2009 semester. This is largely due to a tremendous number of class field trips taking place this semester. John asks that all class field trips be submitted to the Geoscience Society to determine if a small field trip would be possible.
• AAPG has allowed the Geoscience Society to join in on a field trip to the Arbuckle this semester as well, contact Jason Lodge for more information if interested.
• On February 1st around 4:00 pm, John will hold a Superbowl party at his house. Food and refreshments will be provided.
• Cosmic bowling will again take place on January 15th. The cost is $6 for shoes and unlimited bowling starting at 10:30 pm. Cosmic bowling will then take place after each Geoscience Society meeting thereafter during this semester.

5:40 pm: Brittany Reneau makes announcements about lab manual sales.
• Lab manual sales will take place outside room 239 between January 12th and January 26th.
• They will be sold 30 minutes before each lab.
• There is a sign-up sheet that will be passed around and will be posted outside room 239.
• A minimum of two people are needed for each slot and a maximum of three.
• Lab manuals will be sold for $15. Cash and check are both accepted.
• For each hour of selling you will receive one service hour towards the Geoscience Society.

5:45 pm: Heather Anderson makes a brief announcement that the Fall 2008 service project was a success. We raised $345 and around $800 worth of items. The platoon was very excited and grateful.

5:50 pm: Treasurer Rissa Westerfield makes announcements regarding bank accounts and funding for members
• General Fund $1,613.35
• Lab Manual Fund $1,738.00
• An application for funding was passed out for research and trips.
• People were allowed adequate time to read and review the rules and requirements setup by the Geoscience Society and then a vote was taken.
• The vote was unanimous in favor of adopting the application for support.

6:00 pm: Secretary Kevin Werts makes a brief announcement regarding T-shirt ideas. Since there were no ideas submitted last semester we will try again this semester. Any ideas should be submitted to room 319A or through email at

6:03 pm: Rissa makes a brief announcement that elections will take place in March. Voting will then take place in April.

6:05 pm: Rissa calls for any additional announcements or discussion topics from members, since there are none the meeting is adjourned by John.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Agenda for Jan. 8th Meeting



· SUPER BOWL PARTY, Feb 1st (John)

· BOWLING (John)

· LAB MANUAL FUNDRAISER- Please sign up to help!!! (Brittany)


· T-SHIRTS (Kevin)



· OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS (Sergio, Sarah, Members?)