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Gabriela at the Gala.

At the Awards Gala in March 2009: Gabriela Farfan, center, with Elizabeth Marincola, of The Society for Science, left, and Craig Barrett, chairman of the board of Intel Corporation, right.

High School Mineralogist Wins Intel Talent Search Award

Gabriela Farfan, a senior student at Madison West High School (Madison, WI) won the 10th place in the Intel Talent Search based on her Oregon sunstone research carried out in the Nano-geoscience Laboratory in the Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Under the guidance of Professor Huifang Xu, Gabriela used optical microscopes, XRD and SEM to identify micro- and nano-precipitates of native copper and closely associated Fe-bearing enstatite in the gem quality labradorite (a Ca-rich plagioclase feldspar) phenocrysts from Lake Country, Oregon. She proposed a relationship between observed color changes of the sunstones and crystallographic orientations of the precipitates inside the host crystals.

Gabriela also presented her research results at the Goldschmidt Conference in Vancouver, Canada. 

The Intel Science Talent Search, a program of Society for Science & the Public (SSP), is an annual competition that identifies the nation’s most promising scientists of the future and celebrates the best and brightest young minds as they compete for one of the most esteemed honors bestowed on high school seniors in the United States.

Obama and awards group.

The award winners with President Obama at the White House. Gabriela is in the front row, second from the right.


Gabriela Farfan presenting her research results at the Goldschmidt Conference in Vancouver, Canada, 2008. 

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