Message from the Chair
The past year has been successful and rewarding. In addition to the Imperial Barrel Award win and the numerous awards and scholarships achieved by our students and faculty, the Department of Geological Sciences has graduated 23 B.S., 11 Masters and 3 Ph.D. students. Dr. Phil Goodell was awarded the Undergraduate Student Choice Award for Outstanding Teaching. Ana Quevedo and Joseph Sandobal were selected as the Outstanding Undergraduates, and our Outstanding Graduates were Loren Ochoa, Syprose Nyachoti and Nicholas Talavera.
The students ran a very exciting Colloquium this year including 13 talks and 28 posters featuring both graduate and undergraduate research. A new pick-axe statue created by Gabriel Gaytan and donated by Joe Gomez was dedicated at a reception during the Colloquium and it now resides in our lobby.
We have had great contributions in various forms from our alumni especially James Cearley, Larry Franceware, and Joe Smith. UTEP Geological Sciences will have a presence at the Fall 2016 GSA, SEG and AGU meetings, so if you are attending, stop by our booth to say “Hi”.
We will also welcome two new faculty this Fall – Geochemist/microbiologist Jie Xu and Physical Geologist Hugo Gutierrez-Jurado. These new faculty bring with them expertise we do not currently have so they will increase our educational offerings and research portfolio.
Our goals for the future are to work on several remodeling projects such as graduate student office space and classroom upgrades, evaluate undergraduate and graduate curricula and expand collaborations both within and outside of UTEP. I am excited for UTEP Geological Sciences future, and I hope you will continue to feel at home if you would like to visit and interact with us.
The Department of Geological Sciences offers degree programs in both Geological Sciences and Environmental Sciences in conjunction with faculty from the Biological Science and Chemistry departments.
Geological Sciences Program
Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Geological Sciences with concentration in
Master's of Science (M.S.) in Geological Sciences
Master's of Science (M.S.) in Geophysics
Ph.D. in Geological Sciences
Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Environmental Sciences with concentration in
Master's of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Science
Anna Ortiz has been selected as an Awardee for the DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program.
She will be working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for three months in the spring to learn reactive transport models and their applications to understand kinetics and mechanisms of accumulation of pedogenic carbonates in flood-irrigated fields.
One of our own, Professor Jose Hurtado, Ph.D., has made it to the semifinal round of the selection process for NASA’s astronaut corps.
“This is exciting for me since it has been my aspiration, for as long as I can remember, to be an astronaut and fly in space and to serve my country as an explorer,” Hurtado said.
The Department of Geological Sciences is proud to report a first in UTEP’s history - the UTEP Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) team took 1st place in the worldwide IBA competition at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention and Exhibition in Calgary, Canada last week. The team is made up of M.S. students, Andy Anderson, Eric Bergersen, Andre Llanos, Patrick Rea, and Alan Vennemann. The team is mentored by Dr. Rip Langford.
UTEP has been participating in this competition since it first began in 2007. The 2016 competition is the 6th time the UTEP team has taken first place in the regional competition and go on to compete in the worldwide competition. This is the first time UTEP, or any other team from the southwest section, has won the worldwide competition. This prize comes with a $20,000 award.
Way to go Miners!
Alan Vennemann, a M.S. Geophysics student under the supervision of Dr. Marianne Karplus, has been awarded one of the Anadarko/SEG scholarships.
Scholarships from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists encourage the study of geophysics and related geosciences (more) and in the case of the Anadarko sponsored scholarship, a commitment to work in the oil & gas industry. Alan is also one of the team members from this year’s winning Imperial Barrel Award.