KGS Home General Info Index Page News Releases

News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, June 4, 2011

The Kansas Geological Survey Recognizes Outstanding Students

LAWRENCE--Four University of Kansas students received outstanding achievement awards from the Kansas Geological Survey, based on KU's West Campus.

Chong Zeng, a doctoral student in geophysics, was the recipient the William W. Hambleton Student Research Award. As a graduate research assistant in the Survey's Exploration Services section, Zeng studied seismic waves, or sound waves of energy that travel through the earth resulting from events such as earthquakes or explosions, with an emphasis on two and three-dimensional near-surface seismic modeling. William W. Hambleton was the Survey's director from 1970 to 1986.

Robert Zane Price, a doctoral student in geography, received the Norman Plummer Outstanding Student Award. A member of the Survey's Cartographic Services unit, Price helped streamline the process of creating the Survey's digitized maps, including the county geologic map series. He developed ways to improve the identification and classification of roads data, created documentation for mapping procedures and proofing, and digitized several county geologic maps and other Survey map products. Price is from Bates City, Missouri. Norman Plummer was a Survey employee from 1936 to 1969.

Scott Klopfenstein, a master's student in geography, received the Jack Dangermond/ESRI Geospatial Technologies Student Award. Also a member of Cartographic Services unit, Klopfenstein has refined and documented procedures to improve map quality and efficiency. He also helped prepare several surficial geology maps, including the recently released Geary County map. Klopfenstein is from Lawrence, Kansas and received a Bachelor's degree in environmental studies from KU. The award was established by Jack Dangermond, president of the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) to recognize student accomplishments in the application of geospatial technologies.

Diana Ortega-Ariza, a doctorate student in geology, received the Lee C. and Darcy Gerhard Field Research Student Award. Doing fieldwork in Puerto Rico, Ortega-Ariza is studying Miocene limestone systems in the Caribbean to help better understand how carbonate systems have formed throughout geologic history. Her findings may be applicable to other outcrop and subsurface studies, such as those in Kansas, and the development of models used to predict the location of oil reservoirs in carbonate systems. Ortega-Ariza received a Master's in geology from the University of Puerto Rico. The award is named after the Survey's director from 1987 to 1999 and his wife.

The Kansas Geological Survey studies and provides information on the state's geologic resources and hazards, particularly ground water, oil, natural gas, and other minerals. It employs approximately 35 students.

The recipients were presented cash awards and certificates in a mid-May ceremony.

Story by Cathy Evans, (785) 864-2195.
For more information, contact Annette Delaney, (785) 864-2152

Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach