MBS Senior to Present at AGU Virtual Fall Meeting

Congratulations to MBS senior Kim Magnotta ’21, who was selected to present her independent research on “Sand Grain Photography” as part of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Virtual Fall Meeting in December.  

The AGU Fall Meeting is one of the world’s largest virtual scientific conferences with more than 25,000 attendees last year. Kim’s presentation is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, December 8.  

Over the course of the past few years, Kim has been photographing and analyzing sand samples from around the world. “This passion grew out of my interest in snowflake photography, which was limited to a short period of exploration,” she explained. “ I quickly realized that not all sand samples are the same, and that there are many geologic environments in which they form.”

While this research has allowed Kim to understand sand from a general perspective, it has also provided an opportunity for her to learn about the geological origins of sand. As a result of this study, she learned that the processes of erosion have greatly contributed to the formation of sand grains. She also discovered that quartz sand tends to be a “mainstay” item within varying sand samples. “I appreciate that this project has allowed an exploration of the reasoning behind the locations of particular grains of sand,” she said.

In addition to learning about the specific geological processes that sand has undergone, this project has also taught her to appreciate the beauty of nature. “Looking at sand under a micro lens allows one to understand what is happening ‘beneath their feet,’” she said. “ I truly developed a passion for this unique type of photography, and this project continues to evolve with my interests.”

Last winter, Kim presented a poster about her snowflake and sand grain photography as part of the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Boston.  This year, she serves as co-president of the MBS Photography Club as well as president of the Weather Services Club and the Future Lawyers Club. 

To learn more about the American Geophysical Union, visit www.agu.org



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