Sarah Brown, ’22, Geosciences

Certificate(s): Environmental Studies

I worked to narrow the stratigraphic position of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary within ancient lake (paleolake) sediments preserved in Bolivia. The goal is to pinpoint the K-Pg boundary at various locations across this paleolake to better understand the environment before and after the K-Pg extinction event known for killing the dinosaurs. A detailed understanding of past environmental changes linked to mass extinction could provide insight into present-day climate change. I measured sections of outcrop, noting rock type and thickness. I collected samples that will be tested chemically and dated to help locate the boundary. Additionally, my research group discovered a bone bed which, with the help of paleontologists, could inform us about rock deposition age. I learned how to identify rocks, how to sample in an organized and effective manner, and how to select valuable outcrops. Through this immersive fieldwork experience, strong relationships with Ph.D. candidates in my department and training from a professor, I feel more confident in approaching my own research and engaging in climate change science.