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SIT-Summer Institute in Taiwan
Academic Exchange & Cultural Experience in Taiwan
Remarks by Dr. Chuan-Chou Shen (沈川洲) for Daniel Cleary

 Our lab enjoyed hosting Daniel Cleary as apart of NSF EAPSI and SIT exchange programs. Daniel was visiting our lab from the University of South Florida. I first became in touch with him through one of his advisors, Professor Jeff Dorale of the University of Iowa.  Jeff has worked on projects involving our lab in the past and I was pleased to host one of his graduate students on a mass spectrometry based paleoclimate project.  Daniel works on using cave materials to reconstruct paleoclimate of the Mediterranean. This is a region that our lab also has on going paleoclimate projects that we are working on.  Daniel and I initially exchanged emails after introductions were made by Jeff and soon after agreed upon his proposal to work on a paleoclimate study based on stalagmites and phreatic overgrowths on stalagmites that were previously collected in Mallorca Spain.  

        When Daniel arrived we learned that he would not be able to work on the phreatic overgrowth samples, but he would instead focus entirely on a stalagmite project.  He spent the first few weeks learning our lab’s techniques by dating some the youngest and oldest parts of each stalagmite.  The students of my lab assisted in Daniel’s training and enjoyed the time they spent working with him.  This was the first time we hosted a student visiting from the United States and it was a good experience for my students and myself.  Although the mass spectrometer stopped mid-run on the last of his samples, he was able to produce seven initial dates.  After looking over the results we decided that he would work on one of the three stalagmites that grew over an interesting period.  Daniel spent the remaining weeks producing sixteen dates.  He worked very hard over this time even spending a few weekends working on his samples in the lab.  He was very motivated and determined to complete as much of the project as possible while here in Taiwan.  

        Although Daniel wasn’t able to finish his project entirely prior to leaving, we will continue to work with him and his advisors in the United States to it’s completion. We will assist Daniel in producing more dates for his stalagmite and he will finish analyzing for oxygen at his university.  After our work is finished, Daniel will prepare a manuscript for publication.  Our lab enjoyed having Daniel and we feel we have developed a great relationship between us and Daniel’s lab back in the United States.  We appreciate the opportunity given by the National Science Council (NSC) in Taiwan and the National Science Foundation in the United States to collaborate with Daniel and wish him the best with the rest of graduate work.

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