University of Texas at El Paso alumnus James Cearley and his wife, Susan, will pledge a gift of $1 million today toward the Geological Science Department's new initiative, the Center for Entrepreneurial Geosciences, school officials said.
The pledge will be presented at 9:30 a.m. at UTEP's Geology Reading Room.
"I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a geologist. My father was in the Army stationed at Fort Bliss, so I was actually born here, moved away and then we moved back for high school and went to UTEP for college. I chose to go to UTEP because it was very affordable and located in the mountainous desert Southwest, which is an exceptional natural laboratory for studying geology," James Cearley said.
Robert Kirken, dean of the College of Science, said the Cearleys' investment in geological science students will foster high-impact science and propel the department forward.
"It is with tremendous gratitude that we reaffirm the relationship between the Cearleys and our geological science department," Kirken said in a release.
Geologists at UTEP are preparing to take seven seismometers to the Mexican State of Chihuahua after a swarm of 112 earthquakes was recorded in the past 50 days.
The earthquakes’ epicenters are concentrated between the cities of Delicias and Parral.
UTEP students Francisco Torres, Victor Avila and Azucena Zamora, as well as professors of geological sciences Hector Gonzalez-Huizar, Ph.D., and Aaron A. Velasco, Ph.D. will collaborate with researchers from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez (UACJ), the Autonomous University of Chihuahua (UACH), and the State of Chihuahua Civil Protection Service (Coordinación Estatal de Protección Civil).
Currently the State of Chihuahua – the largest state in Mexico by area – has few seismic stations that allow for an appropriate analysis of the frequency of local and regional earthquakes.
The UTEP researchers are expected to leave Monday, Oct. 21. The installation of the seismic stations is estimated to last about two weeks.