Why study the earth?
We all live on and depend on the earth's environment for food, shelter, water, and other essentials of life. Every person should understand the fundamental basis for the resources which permit modern civilization to exist.
Geoscientists study the workings of the atmosphere, oceans, and solid earth and their dynamic interactions. A basic knowledge of the earth's systems, resource development, environmental health, climate change, water supply, and energy sources are essential in making wise policies to guide society. Our research interests are in solving some of the interdisciplinary problems in these areas.
The Geosciences Department offers courses with traditional geological perspectives on earth materials and earth history, as well as courses focused on modern settings like wetlands or polluted industrial sites where humans and nature collide. We offer training in the use of modern analytical instrumentation to solve a complex range of problems in the geosciences. Course work is complemented by research opportunities grounded in both approaches.
Elizabeth Pierce, new Visiting Lecturer in Geosciences
The Geosciences Department welcomes Elizabeth Pierce, who comes to us after completing her Ph.D. from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. She studies the geological record of climate from sediments in places like Antarctica and Norway. Using the isotope geochronology of sediments allows her to constrain ice sources and flow directions during the last 25 million years.
Katrin Monecke, new Assistant Professor of Geosciences
Katrin comes to us as a new Assistant Professor after teaching at Kent State University and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and one year at Wellesley College. She is a graduate of the Department of Earth Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland. Her research interests include beach ridge formation and coastal progradation in northern Sumatra, and sedimentary characteristics of pre-historic tsunamis ("tidal waves") in northern Sumatra and Thailand, and hurricane deposits from Hurricane Katrina (no relation!). She has also worked on seismic hazard assessment and paleoseismology from lake deposits, and landslides in high mountain areas, and alluvial (stream) deposition in Nepal.