NPC Geology Students Achieve Publication Milestone

Five people standing behind a table holding the paper they published.In a remarkable academic collaboration, National Park College (NPC) Geology instructor George Maxey and four of his students have made significant contributions to the field of Geology with their recently published paper titled, “Causes of Glaciation, Glacial Advances and Retreats in Two Glaciers Park, Fairfield County, Ohio.”

The project is the product of a joint effort between Maxey and NPC Geology students Elaine Cox, Evan Grissom, Madellen Harkay and Michael McClure. This publication is an example of the real-world experience and scientific understanding that students have gained through their research.

Maxey highlighted the dual significance of the publication explaining it serves as both an informative piece on geological history and a practical learning experience for the students involved. “It’s a rare and wonderful opportunity for freshman and sophomore students to get a publication, which looks awfully good on their transcripts when transferring to a university or four-year school.”

The study’s findings reveal that Two Glaciers Park in Fairfield County, Ohio, is a unique geological site with terminus deposits from two distinct glacial episodes separated by approximately 100,000 years. This park is the only one in Ohio showcasing such a phenomenon, allowing residents to witness geological history firsthand.

Reflecting on the collaborative process, Maxey shared his personal commitment to including students in research, a promise stemming from his own experiences as a student researcher. He emphasized the importance of problem-solving skills in academia and praised the students’ efforts in tackling complex geological problems with limited background knowledge.

“A sad story, when I was taking this very class that I’m teaching. I was a research assistant, and I did a lot of things for my professor. A lot of research projects and one of the things we did actually ended up in the Smithsonian, but my name’s not on it. I drew it. I wrote it. I did the research, but my name’s not on it. And I always said if I ever became a professor and I had the opportunity to include my students, that’s what I was going to do,” explained Maxey.

For the students, having their work published at such an early stage in their academic careers is incredibly significant. “It’s highly significant as far as documentation to get them accepted into other schools, graduate school, university, or whatever they choose to do,” Maxey stated.

When asked what working on this paper was like Cox stated, “Mostly it was just really fun and interesting finding out about all the rocks and where they came from. I mean, Canada, you know you don’t think about rocks coming down from Canada, well, I never did think of that before. So that was interesting to me, how it would flow down from Canada and be in Ohio.”

Grissom explained, “It’s really exciting having something I can put on my resume that not a lot of people have at all. I think that’s a lot, a big game changer. Going on in life, even after sports, for me, it will be big just to be able to say that I’ve done more than just sports. You know to say that I have my own publication. That’s a big step for me.”

McClure reflected on the project and said, “The experience of testing and finding out which rocks are in the national park and just the experience in general, very blessed to be a part of this.”

Harkay said, “It feels insane to me to have that because I’m a sophomore in college and I’m studying to be a teacher, so having a publication in an educational field feels really nice, probably will help in getting my degree and getting a position at a high school.”

This collaborative effort not only enriches the students’ educational journey but also contributes valuable insights into the geological history of Ohio, marking a notable achievement for both NPC and the students involved.

For more information on the paper and Two Glaciers Park, visit the Fairfield County Parks website.