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April 28, 2011
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University student Brian Hunter topped students from across the state with a first-place finish at the Collegiate Geoscience Section of the Missouri Academy of Science (MAS) on April 15 in Jefferson City.
Hunter, a sophomore geology major from Fairfax, presented his research of the rise and fall of the sea level recorded in the rock record 300 million years ago.
Hunter competed in the collegiate division, which is judged and open to students attending public and private colleges and universities across the state. About 350 students competed in this year's competition, which includes a variety of categories such as physics, mathematics and biology. The annual contest also has divisions for high school students and geology professionals.
Hunter said he wanted to do a meaningful research project on a subject that no one else had studied. He received guidance on the project from his advisor and Assistant Professor of Geosciences Dr. John Pope.
"I came to Northwest because it has one of the best geology departments in the state," Hunter said. "They prove that to me every day. The faculty members we have in geology are probably the best in the state and they are the best teachers I've ever had."
Pope said Hunter's presentation, as well as his new research, helped him stand out among other students.
"He did a very good job speaking as an oral presentation, and that's a lot of it," Pope said. "It's not just the research that you do, but can you present it to people so that they can understand what you've done, while doing it in a professional manner."
Hunter said he plans to complete another research project next year on the correlation of rock layers in Kansas and Missouri. He hopes to eventually attend graduate school and teach.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
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