Rohrback and Martin: Research That Rocks!

Science Seminar

Friday, September 18, 2015, CE Forum, Annandale Campus, NOVA

“Research That Rocks! Undergraduate Research at NOVA from Cliffs to Coasts to Climate Change!”


Robin Rohrback-Schiavone and Victoria Martin

11:30 – 11:55 am Light Refreshments and “Meet & Greet the Speakers” in the CE Forum


NOVA students are rocking the GeoSciences, taking advantage of unique opportunities for research and career exploration. Current student Robin Rohrback-Schiavone and former student Victoria Martin will discuss some of the projects NOVA geoscience students are involved in. These projects include petrographic analysis of basement rock beneath the 35-million-year-old impact crater in the Chesapeake Bay; using NOVA’s SEM (scanning electron microscope) to identify new morphotypes of calcareous nanofossils which shed light on climate shifts 52 million years ago; and the creation of a database of gigapixel-resolution geologic imagery (GIGAPan) for use by educators, professionals, and students.

Victoria Martin spent years finding out exactly what she didn’t want to do or be. Then, as a student at NOVA she decided to take a geology class as her science requirement. There she soon realized all those years of searching had come to an end. She had found her passion and the support of a dedicated team of Geology professors. She was also given the opportunity to work as a Learning Assistant for Oceanography, Physical Geology, and Historical Geology. She is a recent transfer to Cleveland State University, where she is a Lab Instructor for Physical Geology, and she is majoring in Environmental Science with a Geology concentration and G.I.S. Systems. Victoria has worked on research with the USGS that was presented earlier this year at the annual International Nannofossil Association conference in the Philippines, and will present at the National Geological Society of America meeting this year. She is interested in marine geology, limnology, micropaleontology, and paleoclimatology, a.k.a. “soft rock and old dead things.”

Robin Rohrback-Schiavone spent twenty years working as a stagehand and roadie before coming to NOVA. In her first semester, she took Geology 105 with Callan Bentley. Three weeks in, she realized, “Oh. This is what I want to do now.” Since then, she has taken every geology class NOVA Annandale has to offer. Having run out of geology classes to take, she now works for Callan Bentley on the Mid-Atlantic Geo-Image Collection (M.A.G.I.C.), using sophisticated imaging equipment to create extremely high-resolution images of geologic samples for professional and classroom use. She also works as a Learning Assistant for Shelley Jaye, aiding Mineralogy labs and overseeing Honors Mineralogy students performing petrographic analyses of a core sample from the basement rock beneath the Chesapeake Bay Impact Structure (CBIS). She has presented her work on M.A.G.I.C. and the CBIS core at the U.S. Geological Survey and at regional and national meetings of the Geological Society of America.

Presented by the Science Seminar Committee, Math, Science & Engineering Division, and the Lyceum, Annandale Campus, NOVA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s