Haley May

Haley Snyder

Years participated in RESESS:
2019, 2018

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An Overview

Major: Geology and Mathematics
Academic Affiliation: Lamar University
Research Mentors: Dr. Ozge Gunaydin-Sen and Dr. Edgardo Pujols
Communications Mentor: Anne Fetrow


Haley is a 2nd year RESESS intern who is currently earning a Bachelor of Science in Geology and also in Mathematics. She divides her time between being a full-time college student and raising three beautiful children. Even as a child, Haley wanted to grow up to become a scientist working in space; she became interested in geology through the introductory courses she took during her earlier college years.


Estimation of Silica, Carbonate and Other Clay Mineral Content by FTIR Spectroscopy in Mud-Rich Sediments and its Implications for Sediment Provenance Analysis

Fine-grained particles may yield crucial insights in reconstructing the depositional processes, provenance, and paleogeography of mud-rich settings. This study utilizes Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and sandstone petrography to identify minerals in mud-sized clast and determine the relative abundance of quartz, carbonates, feldspar, and clay minerals in mud-rich conglomerates and sandstones from the Cordilleran foreland basin in western USA. With this project, we aim to establish a methodology on fine-grained sediment identification and quantification using FTIR as well as establish its limitations on provenance and paleogeographic reconstructions. The preliminary FTIR and sandstone petrographic results from upper Campanian offshore and shallow marine samples, in the Rock Springs and north of the Uinta Mountains, Wyoming, reveal the presence of felsic minerals and arkosic sands, indicating sediment sourcing from the Uinta basement uplift and recycled orogenic sediments from the Sevier Fold and Thrust belt. The combination of both techniques improved mineral identification and quantification, which, to an extent, was proven useful in refining sediment composition, and provenance of upper Campanian strata in the Cordilleran foreland basin.