Steven R. Dunn
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.
Vivian Leung is a geomorphologist interested in the interactions between water, sediment, morphology, and ecology. Her research focuses on the role of wood debris in fluvial morphodynamics, and river restoration. Ongoing projects combine flume experiments, remote sensing, and fieldwork to study delta morphodynamics and the effects of the Elwha River Restoration dam removals.
Michelle J. Markley
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.
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.
J. Michael Rhodes
Samuel Tuttle is a hydrologist who examines interrelationships between hydrological, atmospheric, and land surface processes, especially at large scales using satellite remote sensing. His research mainly consists of statistical analyses of observational data, modeling, and simulation studies, including recent projects on soil moisture-precipitation feedbacks, and snowmelt flood prediction in the north central U.S. using satellite observations of snow and soil moisture. Tuttle teaches courses on hydrology, data science, and climate science.
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.
Serin D. Houston
Serin D. Houston has four current research projects: an ethnography of Seattle, WA city government and their social justice, sustainability, and creativity policies and practices; a study of pro-immigrant sanctuary movements and sanctuary legislation; an analysis of climate migration; and an examination of “global/local” community engagement. Houston teaches courses on world regions, cities, migration, research methods, race, and sense of place/planet.
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).
Gerard Marchand curates the department mineral collection, operates the Scanning Electron Microscope and manages the Mossbauer Lab, and the Rock Room.
As the Geology Lab Director, Penny Taylor's primary responsibility is teaching introductory level labs that introduce and explain basic geologic concepts and analytical skills. Among her main objectives are to cement a strong foundation of understanding through hands-on, experiential discovery and to prepare students for increasingly complex learning in higher-level classes. Her favorite part of any day is spent with other people, learning something new, discussing geologic concepts, and as often as possible, being outside in nature. Some call this work. Penny calls it fun. Be like Penny. Have fun.