Department of Geology
Our faculty are present in the classroom as well as the field. Majors will have many opportunities to work with them on various research projects; here are some current departmental highlights. All faculty members are conducting research; details available in each faculty member's profile.
UVM's geological research areas are extensive. Learn more about them by visiting their appropriate websites (below).
Burlington Landuse and Urban Hydrology: Burlington's loss of green space can be attributed to a number of factors. Professor Paul Bierman enlists the help of students in studying this aspect of the local environment.
Cosmogenic Isotope: Cosmogenic nuclide measurement gives us a way to measure the age of some landforms and the rate at which others change over time. UVM has a highly-specialized cosmogenic isotope laboratory — one of only a handful of labs in the country.
Environmental Stable Isotope: Our stable isotope research lab focuses on these and other research topics: Oxygen isotopic composition of natural waters, nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios of organic materials, carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of carbonate materials.
Groundwater Monitoring: UVM's three monitoring well nests collect data for geohydrology, environmental geology, engineering geology, and civil engineering classes throughout the year. This well field has proven an invaluable teaching resource since its installation in 1996.
Modern and Ancient Reefs: Professor Char Mehrtens leads the research on the status of the reef which surrounds Roatan, the largest of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras, as well as studies on the "world's oldest reef," located in Vermont.
Mineralogy, Crystal Chemistry, X-ray Crystallography: Research involves unraveling the nature of matter on Earth. Atoms form all Earth materials, and through X-ray crystallography, we work to determine the arrangement of atoms in crystalline Earth materials called minerals.
Microbial Geochemistry: The interdependence between microbial activity and geological/environmental processes is key to understanding the behavior of many elements though time and in myriad environments. We utilize voltammetric microelectrodes and other techniques to describe these environments and model the links between them.
Molecular Clusters and Nanocrystals: The formation of minerals from water occurs through the aggregation of ions to form aqueous molecular clusters, or polynuclear complexes, on the way to forming nanocrystals. We are investigating the formation of these molecular clusters and the role they play in ore deposit formation, metal transport, and microbial activity.
Northern Appalachian Lower Paleozoic: The research of Char Mehrtens and Keith Klepeis include unraveling the geologic evolution of Vermont and other portions of the northern Appalachians.
Structural Geology and Tectonics:UVM's research in structure and tectonics reaches into New Zealand and British Columbia, as well as delving extensively into that of our home state, Vermont. Read about Keith Klepeis' tectonics research on his website.
Thermochronology and Tectonics: Research at UVM combines field, microstructural and thermochronologic investigations to constrain rates and mechanisms of tectonic processes. Examples of active research projects include the study of exhumation of ultrahigh-pressure rocks in Papua New Guinea and the history of intracontinental deformation in southeastern Mongolia.
Surface Processes: The study of surface processes, lake studies and geochemistry allow us to see how the landscape records environmental change.
Last modified January 30 2013 02:53 PM