Yachay Tech students participate in international project

Yachay Tech students participate in international project

The project analyzes samples collected in Lake Sibundoy, Colombia

During January 2018, two students and one faculty member from Yachay Tech paid a visit to the University of Rimouski, specifically to the paleomagnetism and rock magnetism laboratory of the ISMER research center (Université du Québec à Rimouski, Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski), in Canada. The purpose of the visit was to work together with Professor Guillaume St-Onge, the laboratory director, on a collaboration project called “Sibundoy Lake sediment drilling project”. This lake is located in Colombia and presents a unique opportunity for science due to the shape of its basin.

The project at Yachay Tech University is led by Elisa Piispa, faculty from the School of Geological Sciences and Engineering, and it has the collaboration of University students and faculty and other researchers. The participating students are Eva Andrade, Cristhian Salas, Joaquin Zamora and Domenicca Guillen, all from the 6th semester of Geology. The objective of the project is to find information related to the climate, magnetic field and biodiversity of this sector, through the analysis of the core extracted from the drilling of the sediments of the Sibundoy Lake basin. This basin is special since it has about two kilometers of sediments, which may mean that it contains linear data of about 10 million years on the climatic and paleomagnetic variation of the area.

So far, the team managed to drill 12 meters of the sediment, since the drilling process is complex. Once the samples were collected, they were taken to the laboratory of the University of Rimouski for analysis. This sample could represent about 15,000 years of paleomagnetic and climatic changes. However, the research team is still not sure, since the dating procedures will start later.

For Eva Andrade the experience is fundamental to learn the ways in which she can exercise her career as a geologist, even outside the academy. It is interesting for her to see how collaboration pays off since both students were able to delve into areas of the project in which their professor could only give them general indications as a geophysicist. In addition, she found the experience of working in that kind of laboratory very exciting. The equipment was complex and they had to learn all the safety measures that are necessary for its use.

The next steps for the project will be finishing the analysis of the samples that could not be completed during their stay in Canada, and then carry out the dating process. They seek to know the paleomagnetic and climatic changes through a specific time. Once they obtain this information, they hope to be able to hold an exhibit with posters at the meeting of the American Union of Geophysicists, the biggest meeting of experts in the geosciences field. Finally, after the exhibit, they hope to publish a paper that will allow them to request international funding to continue with the drilling in Sibundoy Lake.

The project also has the participation of Emilio Carrillo, Camilo Montes, and Alysia Cox.

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