Professor Katherine Pound has earned the $10,000 Hellervik Prize Faculty Research Award, for her research project on movement and the wearing down of boulders in streambeds.
“I am excited because it allows me to tie my long-term geological research into a new, student-centered research project,” Pound said.
The project, “Stream Transport of Cobbles and Boulder – How Fast and How Far?” will focus on how quickly boulders get reduced in size as they are transported in a stream. The project will track boulder movement in streambeds to show how sediments are transported and behave. It will also include a lab-based experiment in which boulders are placed in a cement mixer in order to determine how quickly they reduce in size.
Pound, a professor of atmospheric and hydrologic sciences, will conduct her research with professors Alan Srock, meteorology, and Mark Petzold, electrical engineering. Without the engineering expertise the crew would be unable to track boulders in a stream, she said.
The research will provide data to other professional fields with projects that involve stream restoration, environmental and civil engineering construction near streams, studies of erosion, floodplain management and meteorological connections between snowpack thickness and spring floods.
The budget from the award will cover expenses for students conducting field work such as a transportation and camping, along with funds to cover students presenting their research at local and regional conferences and materials required for designing the boulder-tracking system.
The annual Hellervik Prize is one of St. Cloud State’s premier awards. It encourages research or scholarly activity that advances knowledge on issues of importance to students, the university and society.
The award is administered through the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects. It is funded through a gift to the St. Cloud State University Foundation from Lowell Hellervik ’56, founder of Personnel Decisions International, a global consulting firm.