March 22, 2013

VSU Hosts Georgia Academy of Science Annual Meeting

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University will host the 90th annual meeting of the Georgia Academy of Science Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30.

The meeting includes presentations from students at colleges and universities across the state in all areas of science. The weekend includes 102 oral presentations and 72 poster presentations.

Senior Ryne Nimmo is among several VSU students who will present at the annual meeting. Nimmo will deliver an oral presentation on a 15-week water quality study he conducted on three blackwater streams in the region.

“I collected samples from the Withlacoochee River, Piscola Creek and Okapilco Creek and did testing on things like pH, temperature and oxygen levels,” said Nimmo. “This study is relevant became groundwater is the source for most drinking water and is used to grow crops and transport materials downstream. The findings give us an understanding of how runoff pollution affects our water.”

Nimmo was assisted in his study by Angela Bray of the Southern Georgia Regional Commission and Georgia Adopt-A-Stream volunteer water monitoring program.

Nimmo is a geoscience major, focusing on hydrology and water quality. For him, the annual meeting provides a platform to showcase his work and learn about other areas of science.

“This is the most formal presentation that I have done so I am excited and nervous,” said Nimmo. “However, it is quite an honor to present because everyone is not selected to do so. I see this as a good opportunity to show everyone in the geoscience field and the community of environmental study what I am made of.”

Nimmo added that his immediate plans after graduating include joining the Peace Corps and studying water quality in underdeveloped countries before pursuing a career in hydrology.

In addition to physical and life sciences, the annual meeting will include presentations in anthropology, philosophy, science education and the history of science. Guest speakers include Dr. Paul Richard Carney, professor of pediatrics, neurology, neuroscience and biomedical engineering at the University of Florida, and Dr. Felicia Coleman, director of the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory and expert on the ecology of reef fishes and the impacts of fishing on the structure of fish populations.

“This is a great place for students to present their work, see the work of other students and explore different sciences,” said Dr. Donald Thieme, assistant professor of geoscience at VSU. “I encourage students to attend the meeting and become exposed to different areas of science that they are not familiar with. Students are specifically encouraged to attend the Friday speaker’s presentation free of charge.”

Organized in 1922 and incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1953, the Georgia Academy of Science promotes science education and fosters scientific research in the state of Georgia. Membership in is open to anyone engaged in scientific work or an interest in the purposes of the academy.  Information concerning registration for the meeting or membership in the academy can be found at .