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Medicine Bow peak,Snowy Range mountains Wyoming.  Covered with snow.

Geology and Geophysics

Students in front of building with snowbuilding with lights at night flowers in foreground

With 27 faculty members, our undergraduate and graduate course offerings and research interests span a broad array of earth and planetary sciences.

Situated within the Rocky Mountains, our Department provides students with diverse opportunities for geological studies. For example, the widespread and structurally complex Precambrian rocks provide an ideal setting for petrologic and structural students. Extensive Rocky Mountain basins are the focus of many sedimentological studies. In addition, we can offer many exciting research opportunities in landscape development, water management, volcanic history (Yellowstone), and climate. G&G Faculty members have conducted research in Costa Rica, Antarctica, Norway, South America, Alaska, Canada and on many of the worlds mid ocean ridges.

Our Department is also active in applied science. In tandem with the School of Energy Resources, we provide training and research in hydrocarbon exploration, carbon sequestration, water resources, and watershed management. We also have a strong program in computational geophysics, with faculty that perform large-scale parallel computations to constrain seismic-wave propagation and hydrologic flow.

Whether you come from a background in geology, physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics or computation, we think you will be able to find a group in our Department that will satisfy your professional goals, or at least sate your curiosity about how our planet functions and changes over time. 

 

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Department News

dept_geology_and_geophysics

UW Department of Geology and Geophysics ranked best value for money

The Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in a new “best value” list by College Factual, an online service that helps “every student get their best fit education for less”.  The rankings also take into account the average time students take to graduate, as well as the quality the school provides and the average yearly cost of attendance.

College Factual also ranked the Geology major as the best major offered by the University of Wyoming for 2019. 

Read More

 


Jackalope in the Solomon islands

The Jackalope Undergoing Repairs for a New Voyage

Nearly two years ago, Michael Cheadle, together with fellow Professor Barbara John and UW Lab school teacher Theresa Williams, launched a small sailboat, dubbed “The Jackalope” in the Pacific Ocean with the hope it would wash up on some distant shore and be discovered. The Jackalope traveled about 7,600 miles, during its 190-day voyage. The sailboat eventually found its way to the shores just north of the Solomon Islands. Unbeknown to Cheadle and John, the Jackalope was being followed by George Kaola, a teacher at the Kukum Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School in Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands. Apparently, he had been tracking the Jackalope’s journey online............ Read more in this UW news story.


Ken SimsDiscovery of an isotopically distinct Zealandia-Antarctic mantle domain in the Southern Ocean

UW Department of Geology and Geophysics Professor Ken Sims and recent Ph.D. graduate Sean Scott are co-authors of an article, “An isotopically distinct Zealandia-Antarctic mantle domain in the Southern Ocean,” published by the scientific journal Nature Geoscience in January.

“The Australian-Antarctic Ridge is the remotest mid-ocean ridge in the world’s oceans and one of the last explored ridge segments, and, lo and behold, our isotope measurements of the samples we collected provided us with quite a surprise -- an entirely new domain in the Earth’s mantle,” Sims says.

Read more about Ken's work

Kevin Chamberlain at TomskKevin Chamberlain's Russian Collaboration

Science brought University of Wyoming geochronologist Kevin Chamberlain to Siberia, but it was the Russian people and culture that impressed him the most.

Chamberlain, a member of UW’s Department of Geology and Geophysics faculty, is part of a five-scientist international team recruited to help Tomsk State University (TSU) design and install a Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry facility.

Chamberlain, along with the Canadian and TSU scientists, has been awarded a grant from the Russian government to study Siberian rocks potentially associated with a mass extinction event.

Read more in this UW article

 

Video Highlights

Department Highlights

Carol Frost

Faculty Highlight

Congratulations to Professor Carol Frost who has just been elected as Vice President of the Mineralogical Society of America for 2019. Congratulations Carol.

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Student Highlight

MS student Nathan Swaim received a Graduate Student Fellowship from the Society of Economic Geologists and a GSA Graduate Student Research Grant.

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