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
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
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
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.