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June 6, 2006
Contact: Annette Delaney, Kansas Geological Survey, (785) 864-2152.

Kansas Geological Survey announces awards to four outstanding students

LAWRENCE — Four University of Kansas students were recognized this spring for outstanding achievement at the Kansas Geological Survey, based on KU’s west campus, and the KU Department of Geology. William Harrison, director of the Survey, presented the recipients with cash awards and certificates at a mid-May ceremony.

The Kansas Geological Survey explores and provides information on the state’s geologic resources and hazards, particularly ground water, oil, natural gas and other minerals. It employs about 40 students.

The award recipients are listed below by hometown, level in school, major, award, parents’ names and previous schools attended.

BARTON COUNTY
From Great Bend
Jessica Rose Leiker, junior in human biology, was one of two recipients of the Norman Plummer Outstanding Student Award. Plummer was a Survey employee from 1936 to 1969. For the Survey’s Data Resource Library, Leiker helped implement a project in collaboration with the Kansas Corporation Commission to proofread oil and gas records, enter the data into a database and scan all paper records. She is the daughter of David and Theresa Leiker and a Great Bend High School graduate.

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY
From Bonner Springs
Tyler Francis Stransky, a master’s degree student in engineering and computer science, received the Norman Plummer Outstanding Student Award. Stransky is a support specialist in the Survey’s computing services section where he provides hardware and software assistance for staff members. Stransky is the son of Frank and Barbara Stransky. He has a bachelor’s degree from KU and is a graduate of Basehor-Linwood High School. The award is named for Plummer, a Survey employee from 1936 to 1969.

NEW JERSEY
From Wayne
Brian Frederic Platt, a doctoral student in geology, received the Lee C. and Darcy Gerhard award for student field research. Platt is exploring the impact of environmental and climate change on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the Jurassic Morrison Formation near Shell, Wy. His trace fossil samples will be included in the KU Invertebrate Paleontology Museum’s collection. He is the son of Fred and Joanne Platt. He has a master’s degree from KU and a bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. The award is named for the Survey’s director from 1987 to 1999 and his wife.

TENNESSEE
From Kingsport
Stephen G. Schurger, a master’s degree student in geology, received the William W. Hambleton Student Research Award. As a graduate research assistant in the Survey’s energy research section, Schurger investigates carbon sequestration and enhanced coalbed natural gas recovery in southeast Kansas. He also assists with laboratory processing of coal and gas samples. Schurger has a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. The award is named for the Survey’s director from 1970 to 1986.

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