Cutting Edge > Career Development > Pursuing an Academic Career 2010 > Participants

Workshop Participants

Laura Brothers - I am a sedimentologist with general interests in quantifying shoreline and seafloor change over a variety of temporal and spatial scales. My research is interdisciplinary and draws from geology, land use policy, GIS, Remote Sensing (acoustics, radar), physical oceanography, geotechnical engineering and numerical modeling to characterize coastal morphodynamics and continental shelf evolution. In addition to scientific merit, I enjoy research that carries societal implications. Major areas of interests include sediment transport, seafloor fluid escape and human-physical system interactions.

Tom Hanley -I have conducted research for the USGS for 11 years, done software engineering for 5 years, and groundwater consulting for 18 years. I am currently working on my doctorate at George Mason University. My general dissertation topic is coastal processes.

Ryan Kerrigan - Ryan is in the final year of his Ph.D. in the Department of Geology at the University of Maryland. Ryan grew up and completed his undergraduate degrees in geology and chemistry in the Southeastern Massachusetts. Prior to coming to Maryland, Ryan's master's degree was conducted at the University of Minnesota. Ryan's Ph.D. dissertation is an experimental petrology project using the hydrothermal diamond anvil cell to investigate the kinetics and resulting textures of hydrothermal reactions in the system MgO-SiO2-H2O-CO2. His main research interests involve the integration of thermodynamic and kinetic experimental studies with the fluid-rock interactions seen in the field. He is looking for an academic job at a mid-level or liberal arts college.

Chris Koteas - Chris is finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts studying partial melt generation, modification, transport and emplacement at deep versus shallow crustal levels. His work focuses on petrologic and rheological studies in each northern Saskatchewan and coastal Maine to understand the links between high pressure-temperature metamorphism and the construction of new continental crust. Chris plans to continues this avenue of petrologic and structural research while focusing on beginning a teaching career at the university level.

Peter Matt - A late-blooming passion for geology led me to scientific literature, for which I was so unprepared that I decided to enroll in school, 30 years after earning a bachelor of music. Since 2005, I've taken one course per semester and kept otherwise busy at my day job. I have focused on geochemistry and metamorphic petrology with a strong interest in field work. I am working on my thesis which explores the genesis of magnetite deposits in the NJ Highlands.

Michael Mengason - I am currently conducting research, and working as a teaching assistant, as part of a PhD program at the University of Maryland. I am interested in the mechanisms that generate the diverse chemical compositions found among arc magmas, and the role played by the separation of both crystalline and liquid sulfides on their budget of ore and related metals. I perform experiments to examine the stability of sulfides in arc magmas, and the equilibrium distribution of ore and related metals of interest among silicate, sulfide, and fluid phases as a function of oxygen and sulfur fugacity.

Odette Nehza - I am a Post-doctoral fellow with Carleton University and my research covers carbonate successions of 1) Middle Ordovician (eastern Ontario), 2) Silurian and Late Ordovician (eastern Ontario), 3) Miocene-Pliocene (Australia). Currently on the diagenetic framework and stratigraphy of Middle Ordovician carbonate platform succession (Hog's Back Formation, eastern Ontario), a transition from mainly siliciclastics (Rockcliffe Formation) into pure carbonates (Pamelia Formation). The latter includes an anomalous stromatolitic interval near its base. It's important to unravel the sequence of events and conditions under which this transitional sequence was formed, during the Taconic foreland basin development.

Melissa Smith - Melissa is a PhD candidate expecting to graduate from the University of New Hampshire in August 2010. Her overarching research interests are in environmental geochemistry and water quality. Her dissertation research includes quantifying the wet deposition of mercury and lead and determining meteorological and chemical conditions affecting deposition. Additionally, she is involved in a project using strontium isotopes to determine groundwater flowpaths to a river in southern New Hampshire. She has previous employment experience with a drinking water treatment research group and in environmental consulting. Her teaching experience includes developing and implementing science curriculum with middle and high school science teachers as well as teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses at the University of New Hampshire.

Lisa Walsh - My research focuses on understanding the tectonic evolution, kinematic history, and active deformation of mountain belts. I assimilate field work and geospatial information, within a geographic information systems framework (GIS), to extract signatures of active tectonics from the landscape. Through my research, I hope to advance our knowledge of interactions between tectonics and erosion and its influence on the Earth-Human interface.

Kristin Wilson - My research reflects the diversity of my interests in Ecology, Geology, Marine Biology, Spatial Information Sciences, and Policy and my dissertation integrates these interests in a project that examines drivers of estuarine landscape change in response to sea-level rise in Maine. As a current NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve Graduate Research Fellow, I use tools from each of these disciplines to quantify processes governing surficial change over the past 50-100 years in six Maine salt marshes. My research is exciting and has far-reaching implications for (1) ecologists interested in the application of landscape concepts, spatial statistics, and multivariate approaches to estuarine systems, (2) geoscientists who infer sea-level fluctuations from temperate, salt-marsh stratigraphic records, and, (3) coastal managers who seek to improve policies governing these dynamic environments, including restoration efforts. I am committed to teaching and mentoring undergraduate students with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and experiential learning.

Workshop Conveners

Rachel Beane - Rachel is an Associate Professor of Geology at Bowdoin College where she has been on the faculty since 1998 and served as department chair. She has been a co-leader for On the Cutting Edge Early Career, Career Prep, and Pursuing an Academic Career workshops. Her introductory and upper-level undergraduate courses emphasize field- and instrument-based laboratories and writing; every class includes an authentic research project. Her research interests include convergent margin processes, ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism, and microstructural studies using electron backscatter diffraction.

Jon Lewis – Jon is an Associate Professor of Geoscience at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he has been on the faculty since 2004. He has participated in several cutting-edge workshops and served as a facilitator in the Summer 2009 Career Prep workshop. He teaches 100+ seat introductory geology classes for non-majors and smaller foundations classes for majors. He also teaches classes in structural geology, plate tectonics, field geology and environmental geology. His ongoing research focuses on contemporary deformation in Costa Rica and Taiwan, and on great subduction zone earthquakes at the Nankai Trough.


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