AGU Education Section News

Paleo study connects Earth's oceans and climate and wins a 2018 Education Section AGU OSPA

By Stacie Bender posted 02-24-2020 20:43


Christopher Bauco, a 2018 senior at Westlake High School in Thornwood, New York, is one of two 2018 Outstanding Student Paper Award winners in the Education Section, for the presentation titled “Investigating Paleoclimate Through the Deposition of Ice Rafted Debris from the Western Mid-Atlantic Ridge.”  Christopher’s scientific research uses several methods and techniques to study paleoceanography and paleoclimate, focusing on historical connections between Earth’s oceans and climate.  Christopher studies connections among sediment sources, sediment transport patterns, ocean temperatures, and ocean currents. With a specific focus on the transport of sizable sand grains to and within the Atlantic Ocean by glaciers and icebergs, Christopher's work contributes to our understanding of Earth’s past, so that scientists are better able to understand and predict future changes.   

Christopher became interested in earth science and its impacts on people at a young age through visits to National Parks and an 8th grade Earth Science class.  Through a Science Research class in high school, Christopher was able to further explore complex earth science topics and confirmed an interest in the field. Christopher is mentored by Dr. Jerry McManus at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and is considering engineering in college.  A positive experience at the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting contributed to a desire to continue earth science research in college. Christopher described the AGU Fall Meeting as a valuable, beneficial and exciting opportunity to not only learn about new discoveries in oceanography but also to network and connect with scientists from multiple disciplines, in multiple stages of their careers.

Science communication is important to Christopher, in addition to technical earth science, and he enjoys being able to discuss his work and earth science with others. He recognizes that scientists are responsible for considering their audience when presenting their work and suggests the use of analogies to help bridge communication gaps.  An enthusiastic learner, Christopher also cited having knowledge of other subjects that are different from but related to his research as another way to connect with an audience when presenting and discussing technical earth science.  

C. Bauco and OSPA-winning poster at the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting