Meet UVM Geology Graduate Students

UVM Geology Graduate Student Research

Alice Newman: I am a first year graduate student working with Keith Klepeis on understanding the structure and deformational history of an expanse of lower crustal rocks exposed in Fiordland, New Zealand. This coming January, our team (which includes graduate students Michael Ingram, Kathryn Dianiska, myself, and Keith) will be exploring the remote fiords of Fiordland by boat in search of good outcrops from which to measure and sample. Although born and raised in Taiwan, I completed my undergraduate degree in geology in 2011 at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where I learned to enjoy cold and snowy winters. I am looking forward to our field season in New Zealand as well as enjoying Vermont through all its seasons. Email:

Ana Vang: I am a second year graduate student at UVM, and I am working with Paul Bierman on the Landscape Change Project ( and more specifically on the Vermont Interstate System. I spent the majority of this summer exploring and photographing all over Vermont to try and determine how both the cultural and physical landscape has changed since interstate construction. Email:

Ashliegh Belrose: I graduated in 2012 from State University of New York at New Paltz with a bachelor’s of science in Geology. I’m originally from Long Island, New York, and so far I like Vermont much, much more! I’m currently working on my master’s degree under my advisor Andrea Lini. Our research consists of limnology of Lake Champlain and the transition between the Champlain Sea and Lake Champlain. My hobbies are knitting, crocheting, and tea. I also love adventures, hiking, taking road trips to new places, playing with rocks, and growing a fruitful garden.

Braden Rosenberg: Hello, folks! I am excited to be working on my M.S. in Geology at UVM. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2011, my wife and I moved to Jackson, WY where we have been living for the past 2 years. We are both very excited to be back in Vermont, where my wife grew up and I spent a lot of time while growing up in the Adirondacks. At UVM I will be working with Andrew Schroth to investigate phosphorous loading into Mississquoi Bay in Lake Champlain and the subsequent algae blooms. The project will look at geochemical and sediment data in both Lake Champlain and the Gulf of Alaska in an attempt to gain better understanding of the mobilization of phosphorous. Even though the mountains are smaller here than in Wyoming, I’m excited to be back in my old stomping ground and hope to get in some quality time mountain biking and skiing. Email:

Gina Accorsi: I am a graduate student working with profesor of Mineralogy, John Hughes on a project involving “Conflict Minerals” and "Mineral Fingerprinting". By looking at a mineral’s elemental signature,amongmany other defining, unique characteristics, we hope to trace minerals back to their place of origin, and apply this to rare earth element bearing minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I grew up in Springfield Massachusetts, and received my Bachelors in geology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 2013. I could not be happier to have ended up at UVM for my Master's Degree, and am looking forward to every moment of it!

Jacob Menken: I am from Westchester, New York and moved to Vermont in 2008 to attend the University of Vermont where I earned a B.A. in Geology and a B.S. in Environmental Science. I have continued my studies and research here at the University of Vermont under the guidance of Dr. John Hughes with whom I study mineralogy and x-ray crystallography; I am particularly interested in the mineral Tourmaline and its variable chemistry and structure. When not teaching or in the laboratory, I can be found filling my time by volunteering as an Emergency Medical Technician and on the ski slops. I look forward to continuing my research with Dr. Hughes and spending another two years in the Burlington community. Email:

Kathryn Dianiski: Howdy, ya'll! I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.Sc. degree in general geology. This is where I found my research interests in structural geology, tectonics and petrography. Originally hailing from Sugar Land, Texas, I have come to brave the winters of Vermont and work with Dr. Keith Klepeis. Along with my fellow graduate students, Alice Newman and Mike Ingram, our team is working in Fiordland, New Zealand to understand the complex processes of lower crustal ductile deformation. I am greatly anticipating our field season in January and working on the project. Other than school, I keep busy by taking dance classes, reading, and enjoying Vermont's scenery! Email:

Michael (Mike) Ingram: Hi,
My name is Mike Ingram and I am a second year graduate student studying under Keith Klepeis. My project, which is based in New Zealand and focused on deformation in the lower crust, is in full swing. I have been using in-house software to calculate the 3D shape of deformed minerals. By conducting this type of analysis across 10's of kilometers I have been able to define new strain gradients and shear zones. I recently attended Northeast GSA at Mt. Washington and had a wonderful time. Regards, Mike Email:

Ryan Brink:

Samuel (Sam) Lagor: Hey now! I'm a first year graduate student working on a geochronologic and structural study with Laura Webb on the metamorphic effects of syn-tectonic granitic intrusions on Devonian metasediments during the Acadian Orogeny. I am from Matunuck, Rhode Island, and grew up as a ?fac brat? at the Hill School, a prep school outside of Philadelphia. I graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2013, with a B.Sc. in Geology and a minor in French, where I was able to participate in semester abroad experiences at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand and l'Université de Savoie in Chambéry, France in the fall and spring of my junior year, respectively. On that note, I enjoy traveling immensely, and have loved my geologic pursuits thus far for one, because there are rocks everywhere!? Outside of the lab and field sites, you can find me hiking in the Green Mountains and Adirondacks, riding boards through all seasons, telling pirate jokes, and making/listening to live music. Psyched that there is plenty of all that here around Burlington, and would you look at that? There are rocks here too! Email:

Thomas Neilson: I grew up in Maine, and attended Colorado College as an undergraduate majoring in geology. After graduating in 2010 I took a year to travel and pursue whitewater kayaking on rivers across the country and throughout the world, before moving to Portland, Oregon to teaching whitewater kayaking. During this time I also worked as an Assistant Scientist teaching oceanographic science, sampling techniques and seamanship aboard sailing research vessels for an undergraduate study abroad program called SEA. My research interests include marine geology and oceanographic sciences and landscape evolution and river systems. Email:

Ph.D Candidates in Rubenstein School of Natural Resources working with Major professor: Paul Bierman (Geology)

Ashley (Lee) Corbett: I am a PhD student in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources working with Paul Bierman in the cosmogenic nuclide laboratory. I completed my BA degree in Geology at Middlebury College in 2007 and my MS degree in Geology at University of Vermont in 2011. I grew up in Vermont and have had a hard time leaving this wonderful state! Broadly speaking, I am interested in how high-latitude landscapes evolve over space and time. I am particularly interested in glaciers and ice sheets, how they move sediments across Earth's surface, and how the efficiency of subglacial erosion controls landscape development. I have conducted five seasons of fieldwork in Greenland and hope to continue going back. Visit me at my personal and UVM webpages. Email:

Benjamin (Ben) DeJong: I'm a student employee with the USGS working on a doctorate here in beautiful Vermont. My research is focused around the very flat Eastern Shore of Maryland, where a complex stratigraphy awaits. This area presents many challenges to field mapping, the worst of which being the utter lack of exposure. So I spend my time in the field drilling sequences and grabbing samples for multiple analyses, one of which being cosmogenic nuclide dating, which I will begin this year in Paul Bierman's lab. We'll figure it out; it's just like the drillers say, "if it were easy, everyone would be doing this". . . Email:

Veronica Sosa-Gonzalez: I grew up in Puerto Rico, where I got my B.S. in Environmental Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico. I came to the University of Vermont in 2010 to work on my M.S. in Natural Resources at the Rubenstein School. My M.S. thesis was on the determination of long-term erosion rates in Panama using 10Be, under the advice of Dr. Paul Bierman. I started my PhD in the Fall of 2012, working in a project to understand the connections between land management, soil erosion and sediment yield in large river basins. Field work will take place in Western China. Email: