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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

  Kevin Chamberlain 
UW Researcher Contributes to Study That Shows Planet's Oxygen Rose Through Glaciers

Kevin Chamberlain, a UW professor of geology, points to a glacial diamictite exposed in the Snowy Range. Chamberlain is the second author of a PNAS paper that determined a “Snowball Earth” event actually took place 100 million years earlier than previously projected, and a rise in the planet’s oxidation resulted from a number of different continents -- including what is now Wyoming -- that were once connected. The inset photo was taken by Arthur Snoke. (UW Photo)

Read more here.

Ms. Martinsen               
UW lecturer Randi Martinsen to be honored
Randi Martinsen will be included in the AAPG’s 2nd edition of “The Heritage of the Petroleum Geologist” and will be honored at AAPG’s 100th Anniversary celebration in Houston in April. This puts Randi in the company of 101 of the towering figures of the field including Bob Weimer, Bill Fisher, Mike Halbouty, Phil Anschutz, Marlan Downy Dan Busch and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt (the only scientist to walk on the moon, and who spoke to our department during the new-building celebrations some time ago). Randi will also be featured in an upcoming documentary on pioneering women in the oil industry, also to debut at AAPG in April.  Congratulations Randi!

Medea hydrothermal vent Pito Seamount. 

UW Scientists discover new hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean 

Two University of Wyoming researchers led a voyage to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and discovered five previously unknown active hydrothermal vents and a completely new vent site.

Read more here.

& read more about the cruise here.

Photo courtesy of Mike Cheadle, Univ. of Wyoming/NSF/ROV Jason 2017 © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

See recent story by Dena Headlee  on NSF Science Now here

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

Predicting the Future of the Ice Sheet Under a Warming Climate (Neil Humphrey and students)

A summer field season on the Greenland Ice Sheet, viewed as a video montage by alumnus Joel Harrington. The science project aims to improve our understanding of glacial dynamics to allow us to better predict the future of the Ice Sheet under a warming climate. Video originally filmed and edited by Joel Harrington. 

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

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.

Highlighted Links

College Students: You should take Geology

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