Geology student participates in field study, featured in AAPG Explorer article
By JESSICA LUTON
Congratulations are in order for geology department student Hunter Carr for his research venture to Antarctica alongside nearly 100 other geology academics.
Carr’s research field expedition was recently featured in the American Association of Petroleum Geolost’s magazine, the AAPG Explorer. This academic publication is dedicated to the field of petroleum geology, the study of subsurface locations of the Earth which can contain extractable hydrocarbons, especially petroleum and natural gas.
Carr, who hails from Tyler, Texas, grew up close to the field of petroleum geology. His father is a member of AAPG and has been working in the industry for years.
However, the trip, which garnered participation from 100 geologists and climatologists, all with different specialties and expertise, was invaluable due to the exposure to the other disciplines. Carr was one of just five students invited to participate in this intensive field student.
Titled, “Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands Scotia Arc Tectonics, Climate and Life,” the trip gave all participants to learn about the geological terrain of Antarctica, and the changes that are occurring as a result of climate change.
Carr, who is quoted in the article about his experience on the trip, keenly articulates just how important a field expedition is for the study of geology and for discovering one’s own interests within the field.
“The GSA field trip taught me how to observe the geology of an area because I was mostly learning from Ph.D. geologists, all specialists in their various disciplines,” Carr said. “Listening to how they approached a problem observed in outcrop was like absorbing 10 geological papers, all at once.
“I was able to see how they dissected an outcrop, discussed it amongst themselves and reached a consensus,” he said. “Within five to ten minutes, they had an outcrop completely figured out.”
In September, Carr enters the final year of his bachelor’s degree in geology. His senior thesis will investigate sulfur isotopes of a volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit, an ancient sea floor smoker in Turkey, that’s subsequently been uplifted.
“Picture yourself on the sea floor, and you have all of these sulfide metals precipitating out,” he said. The GSA geology field trip, with its emphasis on sea floor spreading and plate tectonics, inspired him to undertake this senior thesis in economic geology.