Professor Michael E. Smith of the Geology department is currently working with $86,000 with funding until 2016 from the National Science Foundation to pursue a research project exploring "Paleogeographic record of contractional to extensional tectonics in the Cordilleran hinterland, Nevada."
The project seeks to investigate the sedimentary record of the processes that formed and destroyed an Andes-like mountainous plateau and system of high altitude lakes in the location of present day Nevada.
The projects results will improve the understanding of the formation and destruction of high elevation regions worldwide, and give geologists and paleoclimate scientists more accurate input data to constrain their models for mountain formation and climate change in the past.
The project will directly involve several undergraduate researchers, and is a collaborative effort involving leading scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Texas-Austin, and the University of Idaho.
For details, visit http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1322015.