Iverson named Fulbright Scholar to continue research on glacial landforms

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Neal Iverson. Bob Elbert photo

Iowa State University geologist Neal Iverson has been named a Fulbright Scholar for 2014-15 and will travel to Norway to continue his research on drumlins – long, narrow hills that form hidden from view at the bases of glaciers.

Iverson will work with European colleagues next spring at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim to build mathematical models to explain the formation of the glacial landforms. They will assemble and analyze data collected during fieldwork undertaken in 2013 and 2014 in Iceland.

Although scientists have researched drumlins for about 150 years, little is known about how they form, Iverson, professor and chair of the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, said.

He said drumlins also are of interest because they might act as “relatively rigid obstacles” that could reduce the speeds of which portions of the ice sheets move. “Testing this hypothesis is important because a major uncertainty in the efforts to predict sea level rise over the next century is estimating the speeds of glaciers that feed ice to the oceans.”

Landforms that developed beneath ice sheets of the last ice age cover huge areas of the Northern Hemisphere, including an estimated 70 percent of Canada and 40 percent of Scandinavia, Iverson said.

The highly competitive Fulbright Awards fund international educational exchanges for scholars, teachers, U.S. and international students, and others. The United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, sponsors the Fulbright program.

Two other College of LAS faculty members have earned Fulbright Awards for 2014-15. Amy Erica Smith, an assistant professor of political science, will conduct research in Brazil, and James McCormick, professor and chair of political science, will do research and will lecture in Australia.

Also, Diane Fru, who graduated this month from Iowa State with a degree in psychology, will travel to Taiwan on a Fulbright student award to teach English to grade school students for 11 months. The opportunity comes from the Fulbright Foundation for Scholarly Exchange.

The Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences is an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ISU. -30-

NEWS RELEASE College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University Contacts: Neal Iverson, Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, (515) 294-1837, niverson@iastate.edu Steve Jones, Liberal Arts and Sciences Communications, (515) 294-0461, jones@iastate.edu