Carola Oliveras-Rodriguez ’22
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Carola Oliveras-Rodriguez ’22
As a structural geologist interested in the nature and timing of fabric development in both metamorphic and igneous rocks, Michelle Markley has packed her trusty rock hammer for field work in the Canadian Grenville, the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, and overseas in the Southern Alps of New Zealand and the Western Alps of Switzerland. Markley’s teaching interests are diverse; she has taught courses on Appalachian geology, diamonds, earthquakes, structural geology, historical geology, and Uranium.
Melissa Bollman-Shih’s research examines the relationship between energy system change and societal transformation, with a focus on the social construction of renewable energy resources and technologies. Her current project uses discourse analysis to uncover the political rationalities and energy imaginaries that have shaped renewable transition policy trajectories in the Northeastern United States. She takes an interdisciplinary approach to scholarship that interweaves insights from human geography, energy social science and humanities, and science and technology studies.
Steve Dunn is passionate about rocks and minerals. His favorite course is Rocks and Minerals, GEOL-201. His background and interests are in the areas of metamorphic petrology and geochemistry. He enjoys researching the geology of the 1.3-1.0 billion-year-old Grenville Province of southern Ontario. Dunn loves to spend time in his geochemistry laboratory, collecting CO2 from calcite and combusted graphite (his favorite mineral!) for stable isotope analysis. These data allow him to reconstruct the geological history of rocks that were once buried deep in the earth’s crust. Dunn’s courses include Environmental Geology, Rocks and Minerals, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, Geological Resources and the Environment, and the Death Valley Field Course.
Serin D. Houston’s research draws on qualitative methods and a geographic perspective to examine questions of equity and justice from the individual to the global scale. Her book, Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance (2019), uses Seattle, Washington as a lens to analyze the translation of sustainability, creativity, and social justice from theory into praxis within Seattle’s urban governance. Additional research projects focus on U.S. sanctuary policies and social movements; climate change and human migration; and global/local community engagement. Houston teaches courses on world regions, cities, migration, research methods, and sense of place/planet.
Mark McMenamin's research focuses on the origin of animals, other forms of complex life, the origin of land plants, and the Snowball Earth glaciation. His book Dynamic Paleontology (Springer, 2016) provides a new framework for the analysis and interpretation of ancient life. His undergraduate students publish in peer-review journals and in 2008 McMenamin directed the Keck Geology project to study the rocks of the Boston Basin. He also named the supercontinent Rodinia in The Emergence of Animals (Columbia University Press). McMenamin's research is featured in the History Channel’s program How the Earth Was Made.
Thomas L. Millette is a geographer and geoprocessing specialist with broad research interests in the applications of remote sensing and GIS to environmental monitoring and management. Thomas has applied image processing of satellite data to a wide variety of environmental assessments. Most recently, Millette has developed the Airborne Multispectral Imaging System (AIMS) to develop high-resolution imagery (4.0 cm) to identify forest pests (Asian Longhorned Beetle and Wooly Adelgid), and to conduct thermal ungulate surveys (moose and deer) and habitat analysis. Thomas also collaborates with the Umass Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory’s airborne radar interferometry research program.
Adam Morse is a geographer whose research is situated between the subfields of political and cultural geography. Broadly speaking, Adam's work focuses on the relationships between power, culture, and space. Much of the research Adam has conducted has focused on the geographies of resistance, particularly in carceral spaces and spaces of confinement writ large. Adam has previously taught at Middlesex Community College, the University of Oregon and Western Connecticut State University.
Brittany Wheeler works at the moral-legal interfaces of migration in the field of geography. Her previous research and project-based work has focused most extensively on matters of human and object-based repatriation processes and dialogues, and the historical and social-environmental interpretation of materiality and cultural space. She is interested in further exploring work that engages the conceptualization and practice of reparation, historical justice, death-and-dying work and the future of climate-induced migration.
A specialist in glacial geology, environmental geology, and climate change, as well as a groundwater geologist, Alan Werner's research focuses on past environmental change. "Although we tend to think that planet Earth is stable and unchanging, in fact, the geologic record indicates that profound changes have taken place on a variety of timescales," says Werner. He studies records of climate change to document the nature and timing of climate events in various locations in the Arctic.