Senior earns two geoscience awards

Student becomes first of ASU to win an AGU OSPA

By Robyn Simkins
On February 16, 2017

Photo contributed by Sean Czarnecki

One of ASU’s own has been awarded the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA).

Sean Czarnecki is the first ASU student to receive this award, which is categorically given to the top two to five percent of student papers at the annual meeting held in San Francisco.

Sean researched and provided geologic mapping of gold mining areas in the Great Basin desert of western Nevada.

After creating a published summary of his research, Sean partnered with alumni Jacob Jarvis, now in graduate school at Baylor University, to create a presentation of all of the research information at the conference.

This conference included a worldwide audience of other geologists, judges and civilians interested in the topics being presented.

"It feels good to have scientists score my presentation skills highly," Czarnecki said. "Presentation of results is very important to research. Effective communication with the community is what drives scientific innovation. I hope to continue improving this skill in graduate school."

Czarnecki is a triple major in geoscience, physics and math.

He said he chose this field after taking two introductory classes with Dr. Joseph Satterfield and fell in love with geology due to the courses’ field trips, especially the one to Big Bend National Park.

In addition to the OSPA, he also received the Hyer Undergraduate Award from the Texas Section of the American Physical Society (APS).

Czarnecki received offers from three planetary geology doctorate programs and is currently touring the schools before deciding where he will attend next on his journey to become a planetary geologist.

Structural and Field Geology Professor Joseph Satterfield assisted Czarnecki as his research project advisor and also accompanied him on his excursion in the Silver State.

He has been a professor at ASU for 13 years.

"I am very happy and proud of Sean," Satterfield said. "His research is over an area that is one of my favorites, which also happened to be right by a bombing range that was filmed in the movie "Top Gun."

Czarnecki encourages other undergraduate students to participate in research in order to progress towards graduate school, keep in contact with their professors and to constantly take advantage of ASU’s many opportunities.

Satterfield would like students to know that there are many adventures to be had on research trips, some even provided in the introductory geology classes at ASU.

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