IUN professor, scientist makes world-renowned discovery at Indiana Dunes

Our 2016 Members and Fellows have made incomparable contributions that have not only changed the face of Northwest Indiana, but that have had an impact around the world.


Several years ago at Indiana Dunes, a young boy was rescued from a hole on the 126-foot tall Mount Baldy. This near tragic incident prompted an innovative scientist from Indiana University Northwest to provide the hypothesis that the hole this child was buried in was caused by a decaying tree underneath the sand.


Erin P. Argyilan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Geoscience at Indiana University Northwest, who was featured in Smithsonian Magazine, engaged her students in studying the discovery that revealed that holes can be formed in sand by buried trees—a theory that many scientists have long believed. Erin’s discovery, which was co-authored by Peter G. Abis, Mark P.S. Krekeler, and Charles C. Morris, was published in the international journal of Aeolian Research, which is supported by the International Society for Aeolian Research and has since been studied by scientists throughout the world. This accomplishment garnered Erin’s induction into the Society of Innovators as a Fellow.


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