Student Liaisons

Raquel Aguirre ’22
Sophia Brooks-Randall ’21
Margrit Rindlisbacher ’21


Steven R. Dunn

Professor of Geology; Chair of Geology and Geography

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.

Steve Dunn

Eugenio Marcano

Manager of the Geo-Processing Lab; Instructor in Geology and Geography
Eugenio Marcano

Michelle J. Markley

Professor of Geology

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.

Michelle J. Markley on MHC Campus

Mark McMenamin

Professor of Geology

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.

Mark McMenamin

Thomas Millette

Professor of Geography; Director of the Geo-Processing Lab

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.

Thomas Millette

Alan Werner

Professor of Geology

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.

Alan Werner

Affiliated Faculty

Serin D. Houston

Assistant Professor of Geography and International Relations

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.

Serin D. Houston Assistant Professor of Geography and International Relations

Girma Kebbede

Professor of Geography

Girma Kebbede's research and teaching interests are the interrelations between politics and development, human dimensions of environmental change, and socio-economic and political causes and consequences of political conflicts in Africa. His books in these interests include The State and Development in Ethiopia (1992) and Sudan’s Predicaments: Civil War, Displacement and Ecological Degradation (1999), Urban Environmental Health Risks: the Case of Ethiopia (2004), and Environment and Society in Ethiopia (2017). 

Girma Kebbede Professor of Geography


Debra LaBonte

Academic Department Coordinator
Debra LaBonte, Academic Department Coordinator

Claire Pless

Geoscience Technician

Claire Pless has a background in structural geology, metamorphic petrology and monazite geochronology. Her Ph.D. research focuses on the timing and characterization of partial melting in granulite-facies migmatites in the Adirondack Mountains. Her current work as geoscience technician includes sample preparation, making thin sections, upkeep of the department’s mineral displays, SEM analysis, and other tasks around the department.