If you look at a map of the Man Chain Lakes in Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, a clear pattern in the orientation of the lakes emerges in what is known as the Shagawa Lake shear zone. Many conflicting interpretations of the geology attempt to explain this, but microstructures in the rocks could yield important information about the larger tectonic fabric of the region and clear up the mystery. In the summer prior to my senior year at Carleton, I accompanied a University of Minnesota Duluth geology PhD candidate on a field mapping expedition in that same area. After a month of camping, canoeing and portaging through untouched wilderness, our map spanned multiple chains of lakes and we had enough rock samples to fill a few backpacks. Back in the lab, I prepped the samples for further microscopic analysis. Find the analysis that followed our collection here.
That same summer, I navigated the western United States with a recent graduate of Princeton University to conduct field work. Lake Bonneville, the massive precursor to the Great Salt Lake, experienced many different stages as it receded, changes due primarily to flooding and deglaciation. Each distinct level is marked by terraces which were recorded by us using high-precision GPS. This data led to the mapping of the paleoshoreline and hold information regarding the local hydro-isostasy and regional lithospheric deflection due to the Laurentide ice sheet. A link to Christine's paper is here.