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Did a large asteroid collide with Earth 66 million years ago? College of Alameda chemistry students Jon Howell, Jessica Ng and Jenna Luckhardt are helping COA chemistry professor Peter Olds elucidate the nature of this possible ancient impact by working on KT Boundary Impact Rocks at UC Berkeley lab.
Scientists are currently trying to determine if a large asteroid or comet collided with the Earth 66 million years ago, probably causing the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs and 75% of animal and plant species. This catastrophic disruption is known as the Cretaceous-Tertiary or KT impact event. Scientists study this KT event by separating and identifying small grains of the mineral chromite, which were deposited with the impact layer 66 million years ago in southern Colorado and eastern Wyoming. It is not known yet whether these grains are from the terrestrial target rocks or from the extraterrestrial impacting object. Chemistry and mineralogy tests, like the ones these CoA students are conducting, will provide the answer.
“If the grains are terrestrial then the consensus view that the Chicxulub crater on the Yucatan Peninsula is the only KT boundary impact site will be thrown into doubt”, says COA chemistry professor Peter Olds. “If the grains are extraterrestrial, science may be able to identify the type of object (class of meteorite) that hit. Whatever the answer, it will be new and exciting,” added Olds.
This research is currently being carried out at the Earth and Planetary Science Department at UC Berkeley where at least one of these College of Alameda students plans to transfer.
“With sufficient funds and allocation of space, this project could be expanded into a rock chemistry program at The Peralta Colleges’ 860 Atlantic science facility,” said College of Alameda President, Jannett Jackson, “allowing a much greater number of COA science students to benefit from the experience.”
Faculty and administrators within the Peralta Community College District – which also includes Berkeley City College and Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland – believe that lab experience, as well as lab safety skills, gained in such an environment are transferable to other scientific disciplines. A job well done in this research study may result in student transfer to quality four-year academic institutions like UC Berkeley or opportunities for employment as a laboratory technician in the private or government sectors. “This is a wonderful educational opportunity for current and future students at The Peralta Colleges,” said president Jackson.
Every year, Professor Patti Tsai invites former students to speak to her Physics 4C class about schoolwork at 4 year Universities. Many wonder if they will be adequately prepared to begin advanced coursework when they transfer out of the Peralta Colleges. The good news is that the Math and Science departments at our Colleges engineer students to excel in their University careers. Congratulations to all of our students who transfer to 4 year Universities!
On May 9, the four Student Learning Communities at College of Alameda, Adelante, Amandla, APASS and Create the Class, celebrated their students’ success in the District Atrium. The Learning Communities use cultural curricula to engage students and teach the basic skills and confidence to succeed. We are all proud of these student success stories!
The Diesel Mechanics program at College of Alameda has received another grant to continue to provide free Green Diesel training. They offer short and long term courses of study to become a Certified Diesel Mechanic and begin a lucrative career. College of Alameda provides a State-of-the-Art facility and a price that can’t be beat.
In order to continue to receive uninterrupted financial aid, you MUST review and update your mailing address and phone number. The Peralta Colleges are implementing a new financial aid system beginning the week of February 27 and you must confirm your correct contact information to receive your funds. You will also need to activate your Peralta email account to receive key information regarding financial aid. Please watch for a bright green envelope in your mailbox containing important information about your financial aid payments. Get more information on the new financial aid system.
College of Alameda has been selected as one of 15 colleges in the nation to participate in a National Endowment of Humanities grant, Thinking through Cultural Diversity: Bridging Cultural Differences in Asian Traditions. The three-year project will involve “fifteen community colleges organized in five geographic clusters, and will place different understandings of culture and plurality in dialogue with the aim of deepening engagement with issues of cultural interaction, civility, and diversity in a global context.
With a focus on China and Southeast Asia, the project will explore how the arts, literature, knowledge systems, religious traditions and trade serve as cultural bridges; how different conceptions of personhood and community afford distinctive resources for engaging issues of cultural plurality; and how Asian perspectives on cultural difference might complement those that are prevalent in American undergraduate classrooms. Participants in the project will work collaboratively to develop curricula and research related to Asian cultures and societies and the project theme of cultural diversity.”
College of Alameda will work in a geographic cluster with City College of San Francisco and Mission College. The project will focus on Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The project is organized around a progressive series of activities beginning in Summer 2012 with an 8-day summer symposium hosted at the East-West Center in Honolulu.
For more information, please contact Dr Kerry Compton, Vice President of Student Services, at email@example.com or 510-748-2204 or President Jannett Jackson at 510-748-2273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.