Skip to Main Navigation. Each navigation link will open a list of sub navigation links.

Skip to Main Content

Apply to the University of Wyoming apply now

Global Resource Navigation

Visit Campus
Download UW Viewbook
Give to UW
snowy range

Geology & Geophysics

College of Arts & Sciences



Situated within the Rocky Mountains, our department provides students with diverse opportunities for geological studies. We offer three undergraduate degree programs in geology and the Earth sciences: A BS degree in Geology, a BS degree in Environmental Geology and Geohydrology, and a BA degree in Geology and Earth Science. In addition, we offer a minor in geology for non-majors who wish to broaden their experience in the Earth sciences. The goal of our undergraduate program is to provide students with an excellent grounding in all aspects of the Earth sciences and to provide them with the skills and best possible preparation for a successful future career. Additionally graduate education, leading either to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Geology or Geophysics, is a major focus of the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming.

Department News

  James Steidtmann James R Steidtmann 1938-2017

James R. Steidtmann, former Professor and Chair of the Department of Geology & Geophysics, passsed away on April 15, 2017

It's with great sadness that we announce James R. Steidtmann passed away on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at his home in Arvada CO. Jim was born on October 14, 1938 in Bowling Green, Ohio. He arrived at the University of Wyoming in 1968  and quickly made his dedication to the University and geology well known. In the midst of his service as Geology Department Chair, Jim found time to serve as the Faculty Advisor to the UW alpine ski team club, a role he loved. Jim tried to retire in 2003 but the University enticed him back to direct the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute. He was named as an outstanding A&S former faculty in 2013. Read more about Jim here and click here to download Jim's life in pictures

A megssage from Jim's wife, Randi Martinsen: Jim Steidtmann’s Memorial was held Sunday May May 7. He would have really liked it. I want to thank you all for all you did for Jim’s memorial. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me and most importantly to our children. They have all commented on how good it made them feel to have so many people come and say such nice things and to have met so many people from Jim’s life that they didn’t know. Jim was a special guy and it is heart warming to have met again with so many people from his/our life.

Dr. JIm Steidtmann Memorial slide-deck

Natural cave trap in the Big Horn Mountains  

UW Repository for Mammel Fossils found in Natural Trap

Nestled just beyond the Big Horn Mountains lies an ancient treasure trove -- one of the largest groups of Ice Age mammal bones found in North America. And the ancient fossils, located in a natural trap cave, will soon be under the curation of the University of Wyoming, which will serve as a federal repository for the fossils. Julie Meachen, an assistant professor of anatomy at Des Moines University who is leading the new excavation of the mammal fossils, asked Mark Clementz, a UW associate professor of geology and geophysics and director of the UW Geological Museum; and Laura Vietti, collections manager for the Geological Museum, about UW serving as a repository for the material.

Read more here.

Photo: Thomas Minckley

Clementz Currano Dewey Swapp

Mark, Ellen, Janet & Susan 

Congratulations to Mark, Ellen, Janet and Susan

To Mark on his promotion to full Professor, to Ellen for promotion to Associate Professor on gaining tenure, to Janet on promotion to Associate Research Scientist and to Susan, already a senior research scientist, for another extended term!

Congratulations to all.

Bearded Lady Currano
Bearded Lady- our own Ellen Currano  

The Bearded Lady Project

Female Paleontologists protest gender sterotypes- with beards. Read Science News            

and UW news.

See more on The Bearded Lady Project website

Photo © 2017 Kelsey Vance   

Researchers install passive dust collectors

UW researchers discover dust plays an important role in the nutrients of mountain forest ecosystems

For decades, scientists have known that tropical places like Hawaii, with lush landscapes and vegetation, nutritionally benefit from the dust that blows from Asia. However, results of a new study -- headed by University of Wyoming researchers -- demonstrate that dust also can drive the evolution of nutrient budgets in mountainous forest ecosystems. Read more here.

Photo: Sarah Aciego

Paul Heller Scholarship Fund

Paul Heller was known to both undergraduate and graduate students as an effective and committed teacher. We created the Paul Heller Scholarship Fund to honor his legacy of quality teaching. Memorial contributions can be made to the Paul Heller Scholarship Fund and mailed to the University of Wyoming Foundation, 222 South 22nd St, Laramie, WY 82070. Distributions shall be used to provide scholarship support to students in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming.

Donations can also be made online by: 1) selecting amount; 2) at “step 1” select “Other Fund Not Listed (Please specify)” and click Continue; 3) at “If other, select other fund not listed on popup and specify here” text area,  type in "Paul Heller”. This rest follows simply.

❯ Read More Department News.

Recent Publications

❯ Read More Publications

Video Highlight

Compilation of recent videos highlighting faculty research

Highlights from Volcanology, Hydrology, Glaciology, & Marine Geology

Faculty Highlight

A recent research article by UW Geology and Geophysics masters student Kristin Schlanser and faculty members Dario Grana and Erin Campbell-Stone, that described unconventional methods for identifying productive zones in the Marcellus Shale gas play, was featured in an SEG podcast. The feature starts just after 5 mins into the podcast.

Student Highlight

Chris Doorn and Tanner waggoner 2017
Graduate students Chris Doorn & Tanner Waggoner were recently awarded Geological Society of America student grants to support their research into the origin of oceanic crust

Highlighted Links

DLS talk Christy Till Monday 1st May

College Students: You should take Geology

Share This Page:

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Instagram Icon Facebook Icon

Accreditation | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Gainful Employment | Privacy Policy | Accessibility Accessibility information icon