Student Research

Student Research

The Geoscience faculty provides student centered research experiences and pride themselves on being active scholars. The funding to support student research opportunities has come from the National Science Foundation, American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund, Environmental Protection Agency, New York State, and a host of local and nationally recognized foundations including numerous awards from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. Students routinely work with Geoscience faculty on independent study courses and honors research for course credit toward their Geoscience major. In addition, numerous students (10-16) are hired to work for 8 to 10 weeks on Geoscience faculty led research projects during the Hobart & William Smith Colleges summer research program.

Student Research Samples

Student Research

The following examples prove a small sample of research projects that Geoscience students have worked on and presented at regional or national scientific conferences.

Kerry O'Neill
Water Quality of Eight Finger Lakes, New York: Changes from 2005 Through 2008
American Geophysical Union Annual Fall Meeting

Karen Thorp
Haze Events and Visibility Variations for Several Sites across New Hampshire
6th Annual Student Conference of the American Meteorological Society

Meghan Crocker
Going With the Flow: Evidence for Changes in Circulation in Seneca Lake, NY During the Holocene
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting

Jared Desrochers
The variability of regional climate conditions associated with Lake Champlain lake-effect snow systems
6th Annual Student Conference of the American Meteorological Society

Student – Faculty Scientific Journal Publications

  • Laird, Sobash* and Hodas*, 2010: Climatological conditions of lake-effect precipitation events associated with the New York State Finger Lakes. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 49, 1052-1062.
  • Laird, Sobash*, and Hodas*, 2009: The frequency and characteristics of lake-effect precipitation events associated with the New York State Finger Lakes. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 48, 873-886.
  • Laird, Desrochers*, and Payer*, 2009: Climatology of lake-effect precipitation events over Lake Champlain. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 48, 232-250.
  • Arens and West*, 2008. Press-Pulse: A general theory of mass extinction? Paleobiology: 34:456-471.
  • Cordeira* and Laird, 2008: The influence of ice cover on two lake-effect snow events over Lake Erie. Mon. Wea. Rev., 136, 2747-2763.
  • Curtin, Morgan*, Petrick*, Lyons*, Crocker*, Rogers*, and Baker*, 2008. Reconstructing periods of enhanced precipitation during the Holocene in the Finger Lakes region, NY, Northeastern Geology and Environmental Sciences. 30, 277-288.
  • Payer*, Desrochers* and Laird, 2007: A lake-effect snowband over Lake Champlain. Mon. Wea. Rev., 135, 3895-3900.
  • Halfman, Caiazza*, Stewart*, Opalka* and Morgan*. 2006., Major ion hydrogeochemical budgets and elevated chloride concentrations in Seneca Lake, New York. Northeastern Geology and Environmental Sciences, v. 28, p. 324-333.
  • Halfman, Dittman, Owens and Etherington*, 2006. Storm induced redistribution of deepwater sediments in Lake Ontario. J of Great Lakes Research. 32: 348-360.
  • Riley*, Endreny and Halfman, 2006, Monitoring soil moisture and water table height with a low-cost data logger. Computers and Geoscience. 32: 135-140.

* Undergraduate student



Get Involved


The Hot Spot is a student-run organization that may be of interest to students studying geoscience.

For more information about these organizations or to learn about starting your own geoscience-themed club, contact Kristen Tobey ( in the Office of Student Activities.




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