March 6, 2003
CONTACT: Becky Zelinski, 661/664-2138, bzelinski@csub.edu

CSUB geology student sets sail on research expedition to Antarctica

This Saturday (March 8), California State University, Bakersfield alumna, Sara Draucker will set out on an expedition to Antarctica to study the effects of global warming.

Draucker, 24, graduated from CSUB last summer with a bachelor's degree in geology. Because of her outstanding academic performance and meticulous college research, she received a prestigious fellowship from the University of Nevada, Reno where she has been working with Glenn Berger, an internationally recognized expert on quaternary geochronology.

Draucker and a research team will be taking a three-week research expedition along the west side of the Antarctic peninsula, where Draucker will be collecting marine sediments to assess global climate change. She'll be using a process called thermoluminescence dating to determine the last time the sediments were exposed to light.

Draucker is ecstatic about this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"I've never even flown on a plane larger than a two-seater so you can imagine how much of an adventure the whole trip is going to be," Draucker said. "I mean, Wow! I'm traveling to the other side of the world."

Dirk Baron, CSUB geology professor and Draucker's mentor said that Draucker was an outstanding student and has already made some incredible accomplishments.

"It's pretty unusual for an undergraduate student to receive such a prestigious fellowship, but then to be going on a research cruise and doing some pretty independent research in Antarctica; thatís pretty remarkable," Baron said.

Draucker is from New Cuyama and graduated from Cuyama Valley High School in 1997. At CSUB, she received the 2001 Dean's Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Paper and a CSUB research scholarship in 2000. She also won the 2001 CSUB student research competition and graduated outstanding senior for the geology department.