Hovan, Lewis Broadcast to IUP From Ship During RESS Event

Posted on 7/19/2017 1:59:27 PM

RESS Presenter Series

Roughly 10,000 miles from home, somewhere in the Philippine Sea, two Indiana University of Pennsylvania faculty members are continuing to teach.

Steve Hovan and Jon Lewis, both professors in IUP’s Department of Geoscience, made a special appearance via video call from the vessel JOIDES Resolution on July 14 at the Research Experience for Summer Scholars Presenter Pizza Series event at the Hadley Union Building.

In the live video chat, Hovan and Lewis told roughly two dozen students what their voyage has been like as they study the earth’s past by drilling into the bottom of the ocean floor.

“We’re finding out what we can about the history of the earth,” Hovan told the students.

The event was the third and final Presenter Pizza Series event of the summer for the RESS program, which allows undergraduate students to spend their summer doing graduate-level research on a wide range of disciplines including anthropology, biology, chemistry, geography, geoscience, math, and physics.

There are 43 undergraduate students taking part in the program this summer. Each is under the advisement of a faculty member in that field of study.

Hovan and Lewis talked to the RESS students for roughly 45 minutes, giving them a tour of the vessel, plus showing them some of the core samples that have been taken this summer from parts of the Indian and Pacific oceans.

The Resolution is a research vessel that drills into the ocean floor to collect and study core samples.  Those samples, some taken as far as five miles below sea level, are then taken by a host of scientists and teachers on the ship who each do their own research for various studies on such topics as climate change, geology, and the earth’s history.

“It’s similar to drilling for gas or oil,” Hovan said. “But instead, we’re collecting sedimentation and soil from the bottom of the ocean.”

Hovan and Lewis are part of a group of roughly 125 people on the Resolution this summer. They said roughly half of them are support personnel for the ship while the other half are teachers from all backgrounds doing research projects to bring back to their students.

“It’s impressive how driven everyone on the entire operation is,” Lewis said. “Everyone here has their eyes on the mission. It’s fantastic.”

The second half of the event was a presentation by two theater and dance majors, Bethany Ascenzi and Maddie Jones, about their work IUP’s Performance of Caring nursing program that allows theater students to play roles of patients for the benefit of the nursing students who try to diagnose their ailments.

The RESS wraps up its season on August 10, with the Poster Session in the Ohio Room of the Hadley Union Building. The event runs from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., and is open to the public.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Dianne Rothstein, an IUP alumna and Vice President of Research at Prime Synthesis, Inc, outside Philadelphia. The title of her talk is “I Was a Kindergarten Dropout.”