Garrett Strittmatter, senior in the Department of Geoscience, won the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (Greater Pittsburgh Chapter) Best Poster Award at the Pittsburgh Geological Society annual student research night. Strittmatter presented his senior research project, a microfossil-based assessment of temperature and sea ice conditions in the Scotia Sea from the present to the last glacial.

Electron microscope picture of diatomsStrittmatter found that primary productivity was highest in the Scotia Sea shortly after the last glacial maximum, and has declined since. These results suggest that the Scotia Sea will potentially act as less of a carbon sink as it warms due to anthropogenic climate change.