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Current News and Events

  • August 26, 2014
    Geology program welcomes two new Assistant Professors - Aurélie Germa & Sylvain Charbonnier


    Dr. Aurélie Germa has a PhD in Earth Sciences from University Paris-Sud 11. She is specialized in Geochronology and studies the long-term evolution of volcanic systems. Aurélie is currently working on volcanic fields from the southwest US to improve long-term hazard assessments, and will be teaching Mineralogy-Petrology and Topics in Geochemistry.

    Dr. Sylvain Charbonnier got his PhD degree from Keele University (England) and is specialized in volcanic hazards and risks. His studies involve the combination of field-based and numerical modelling datasets to better characterize the impact and dynamics of various volcanic flows including pyroclastic density currents, lahars and lava flows in Indonesia and Latin America.

  • August 24, 2014
    Sustainability and Sustainable Development workshop


    Fenda A. Akiwumi, Associate Professor in the Geography, Environmental Science and Policy program co-developed and facilitated a workshop on ‘Sustainability’ with Mel Morris for science teachers in the United States Virgin Islands. Dr. Morris is the Educational Programs Administrator of Brookhaven National Laboratory's Educational Programs. The workshop, held from June 23 to July 2, 2014 was hosted by the Caribbean Green Technology Center (CGTC), University of the Virgin Islands and was funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant on Coastal Areas Climate Change Education (CACCE) a collaborative effort between UVI and the University of South Florida. Jeff Ryan, Chair of the School of Geosciences is PI on the grant.

    The workshop covered the historical evolution of sustainability and sustainable development ideas and linkages to issues such as phenology, consumerism, environmental degradation, environmental ethics, cultural diversity, political structures, and equity around development. Topics relevant to small island environments such as climate change, biodiversity and island biogeography, water availability, ecotourism, cultural heritage, sustainable agriculture and alternative energy were addressed. A major objective of the workshop was to increase awareness of the importance of education as an empowerment tool for individuals and communities working for a sustainable future.

    Participants went on a number of field trips including a sustainable agricultural community in Bordeaux, Environmental Rangers Umoja Eco-camp site, the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA) landfill at Bovoni, the desalination and power plants managed by the Water and Power Authority (WAPA). Dr. Akiwumi was also invited to the UVI St Croix campus to meet with the Director of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural Center (VICCC), ChenziRa Davis Kahina and lecture to a class of incoming freshmen students in the Upward Bound Program.

  • August 14, 2014
    Live zoomcast from the Research Vessel JOIDES Resolution.


    USF Professor and geochemist Jeffrey G. Ryan will host a live zoomcast which will include a tour of the Ocean Drilling Research Vessel JOIDES Resolution including the ship's science labs. The ship is drilling into the ocean floor where two oceanic plates meet near the Izu, Bonin and Mariana islands in the Pacific Ocean.

    The zoomcast will be in the
    Advanced Visualization Center Auditorium
    CMC 147 (formerly PHY 147) on
    Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    at 9:00 am.

    Check out the International Ocean Discovery Project for more information on the voyage and contact Dr. Zac Atlas for more information about the zoomcast.

    August 8, 2014
    Congratulations to Ophelia George.


    Geology doctoral student
    Ophelia George was one of 25 PhD students awarded with the 2nd annual McKnight Dissertation Fellowship this July. The fellowship provides critical support to doctoral students in the final year of their program. Ophelia is part of the Volcanology Group in the School of Geosciences where she focuses on using geophysical data, statistical and numerical models to better understand magma-tectonic interactions in Arc-Volcanic systems (Japan and Dominica). In addition to support provided by the McKnight Fellowship, Ms George has received a renewal of her 2013 COCONet Graduate Student Fellowship which funds her work developing new dynamic hazard models for the island of Dominica, West Indies.

  • July 18, 2014
    Congratulations to Maheen Gull





    USF post-doctoral fellow
    Maheen Gull published an article on Prebiotic Phosphorylation Reactions on the Early Earth in the Astrobiology issue of the journal Challenges. Dr. Gull is working with Prof. Matt Pasek on the origin of biological phorphate compounds on the early Earth and relevance of some meteorite minerals and the origin of life.





  • July 2, 2014
    USF volcanologists collaborate with NASA


    Here is the 'Executive Summary' of the project involving volcanoes on Mars.

    Widespread volcanic activity on Mars is manifest by a variety of spectacular eruptive landforms, which reflect a range of magmatic and volcanic processes. Constraining the sequential development of these landforms and their related volcanic products is critical to understanding the thermal evolution of the planet. This proposed work effort is driven by one major question; How did melt production vary over time and space within Tharsis? The large (>100 km diameter) central vent volcanoes of Tharsis are well characterized and their association with regional tectonics is known [Carr et al., 1977; Greeley and Spudis, 1981; Mouginis-Mark et al., 1992; Hodges and Moore, 1994; Anderson et al., 2001; Plescia, 2004; Neukum et al., 2004a]. In contrast, the spatial, temporal, and volumetric relationships between fields of small (10s km diameter) vents associated with distributed volcanism are not currently known. This distributed volcanism is a critical part of the evolution of the Tharsis magmatic system as a whole. Understanding the sequential development of distributed volcanism on Tharsis will help us differentiate among three scenarios: (i) a focusing of volcanism through time (from distributed to central-vent eruptions); (ii) a defocusing of volcanism through time (central-vent to distributed volcanism); or (iii) these unique styles of volcanism may have been coevally active throughout the development of Tharsis. Differentiating among these scenarios will provide major insights into crustal and atmosphere development, mantle processes, and planetary heat loss.

    To address the role of distributed volcanism in the history of melt production and magma ascent in Tharsis, we propose a research project with tasks (discussed in section 1.3) that are motivated by three major objectives:

    1) To determine the areal extent of individual small vents and their coalesced vent fields, as has been accomplished for the larger shield volcanoes via geologic mapping,

    2) To constrain the volumetric output and duration of activity for individual small vents and their coalesced fields by producing volume estimations and by conducting crater counts,

    3) To characterize the spatial relationships between vents and their link to crustal influences within vent fields by statistical modeling of volcano clusters.

  • June 4, 2014
    Florida Department of Environmental Protection Grant


    Dr. Ping Wang has been awarded a $198,796 grant from the Florida DEP. Interaction of barrier-island beaches and tidal inlets play a crucial role in sustainable coastal living, particularly for central and south Florida. Tidal inlets serve as important waterways connecting ocean and estuaries. Maintaining safe navigation through the tidal inlets often interferes with beach processes, causing beach erosion. Read more here.

  • June 3, 2014
    International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition


    Jeff Ryan, a USF geology professor and current Chair of the School of Geosciences, will serve as an inorganic geochemist on the JOIDES Resolution laboratory ship as part of the International Ocean Discovery Program's Leg 352 ocean drilling cruise - they will be targeting several sites along the Izu-Bonin volcanic arc south of Japan. He will be doing "zoomcasts" (live presentations from the ship) and blogging about the voyage while he is away this Fall semester. See the IODP website for more information about the cruise and read more about the science here.

  • May 3, 2014
    School of Geosciences Commencement Reception and Spring Picnic


    On Saturday, May 3, 2014 the School of Geosciences will hold a Commencement Reception for Spring 2014 graduates at 11:00 am in the NES 207 lobby. Please RSVP to Dawn McGowan. The Spring Picnic is at 3:00 pm in Riverfront Park, hosted by the Geology Graduate Student Organization. See the flyer for more information.

  • April 28, 2014
    USF School of Geosciences seeks Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Physical Volcanology


    The School of Geosciences, part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida, seeks a physical volcanologist with an emphasis on hazard assessment. The successful candidate will be expected to develop an externally funded research program, mentor graduate students, teach undergraduate and graduate courses in volcanology, natural hazards, and geomorphology; and interact constructively with the USF and international research communities. The position is to be filled at the Assistant Professor level, a 9-month tenure-track appointment beginning August, 2014. Salary is negotiable. See the posting for more information.

  • April 25, 2014
    Geology Alumni Society hosts Panel Discussion on Earth Science Professions


    On April 25, 2014 the Geology Alumni Society will present a panel discussion on the candid realities of a professional working career in the Geosciences. The event will be held from 3:30 to 5:00 pm at the Advanced Visualization Auditorium (CMC 147). See the flyer for more information.

  • April 23, 2014
    Gamma Theta Upsilon and Sigma Gamma Epsilon welcome USF students as new members


    On April 23, 2014 an Honors Reception and Initiation Ceremony will be held at 6:30 pm in the Interdisciplinary Sciences Building (ISA 5020). Congratulations to all the new members.

    Our newest Gamma Theta Upsilon, Kappa Kappa Charter Members are:

    Benjamin Buttelman
    Ana Gonzales
    Michelle Sonnenberg
    Henry Thorpe

    Our newest Sigma Gamma Epison, Zeta Psi chapter members are:

    Geoff Ferlita
    Nicole Hutton
    Heather Iacoma
    Darlene Lott
    Michael Miller
    Johamary Peña

  • April 16, 2014
    Dr. Graham Tobin, recipient of USF's Distinguished Service Award

    Dr. Graham Tobin had been a Faculty Member and Chair of the Department of Geography, at the University of South Florida when he was first recruited in 1996. He helped to grow the Department and to expand the graduate program providing a significant boost to the overall recognition of the Department. He made outstanding contributions to the management and governance of USF at many different levels including his work as Vice Provost of USF. Dr. Tobin served on a number of important university and system wide committees as well as College committees such as, the College of Education Dean Search Committee (Chair), the Campus Leadership Council, the SACSCOS Leadership Team, the Academic Affairs Planning Group, and many others. Dr. Tobin had a major influence on USF through his service work. Because of his experience, knowledge of USF and the quality of his service, he is often selected by administration to serve on key committees in order to complete specific projects.

    Dr. Graham Tobin is one of the most recognized names in his profession, the field of Geography. This is in part due to his outstanding publication record as well as his service working on the numerous editorial boards, wide variety of national committees including USDA and NSF review panels as well as Association of American Geographers committees. Dr. Tobin also organized or is in process of organizing several important conferences in his field, such as the Association of American Geographers, the Applied Geography Conferences, the Southern Geographers Conference, and the Florida Geographers Conference.

    In summary, Dr. Graham Tobin’s service brings great distinction to his discipline, Department and the University of South Florida. He received outstanding support for this nomination from many of his distinguished peers at the University of South Florida as well as at several other universities throughout the country. In addition, many of his peers highlighted Dr. Tobin’s qualities as a colleague who supported and guided numerous faculty members seeking to earn tenure and promotion and as stated by his peers ‘...Many have benefited from his wise counsel and integrity through distinguished service”.

  • April 8-12, 2014
    Learn about the latest in research and applications in geography, sustainability, and GIScience. Meet and network with geographers, environmental scientists, and GIS specialists. Graham Tobin and Jennifer Collins are Co-Chairs of the Local Arrangements Committee for the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Conference which will be held here in Tampa on April 8-12, 2014. All are welcomed to submit an abstract. Online registration is taking place now!

    Key Climate-Related Events:
    Tuesday, April 8
    • Field Trip: A Visit with the Hurricane Hunters and a Tour of the NOAA WP-3D Plane
      Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm
      Cost/person: $27 (includes bus transportation) (Register through thewww.aag.org) REGISTRATION FOR THIS TRIP CLOSES ON MARCH 1, 2014
    • Session 1266: Climate Specialty Group Student Paper Competition
      Time: 10:00-11:40 am
      Location: Florida Salon V, Marriott, Second Floor
    • Session 1756: AAG Presidential Plenary: Geographies of Climate Change
      Time: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
      Location: Grand Salon E, Marriott, Second Floor

    Wednesday, April 9
    • Session 2218: 2014 John Russell Mather Paper of the Year Award Presentation
      Time: 10:00-11:40 am
      Location: Room 18, TCC, First Floor
      Recipient and Presenter: Laiyin Zhu (Johns Hopkins University)
      Award Paper: Seasonal Tropical Cyclone Precipitation in Texas: A Statistical Modeling Approach Based on a 60-year Climatology.
    • Session 2913: Climate Specialty Group Business Meeting
      Time: 8:30-9:30 PM
      Location: Room 13, TCC, First Floor
      The meeting is open to all members (or potential members).

    Thursday, April 10
    • Session 3226: Climate Specialty Group Plenary Speaker: Dr. Michael Mann
      “Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming”
      Time: 10:00-11:40 am
      Location: Ballroom A, TCC, First Floor

    Please check the CSG website for updates.

    The conference will feature more than 5,000 presentations, posters, workshops, and field trips by leading scholars, researchers, and educators. Sessions will be organized around featured themes and relevant topics, such as Florida and the Global South, Cultural Geographies, Climate Change, Geography Education, Human Geography and GIScience, Physical Geography, Geographies of Health, Social Justice, and much more.

    If you are a student, please consult with your advisor before submitting an abstract. AAG hosts many opportunities for students including a “Jobs in Geography” session. Look into the student paper and/or poster competitions sponsored by various specialty groups (e.g. Jennifer Collins is Vice-Chair of the Climate Specialty Group ).

  • April 7, 2014
    The 27th Annual Preconference of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Political Geography Specialty Group, co-sponsored by the USF School of Geosciences, will be held at the Marshall Student Center (MSC 3708 and 3709) on Monday, April 7, 2014. Use this web link to access the conference program and abstracts.

  • March 26, 2014
    Research Computing Users Forum
    Dr. Brian Andres
    March 26th at 3:00 PM
    Advanced Visualization Center (CMC 147)

    (located in the former Physics building )
    *Pterosaurs: Old bones, new technology*

    There are ancient organisms that defy the imagination and challenge science to understand them. These extinct behemoths and leviathans have inspired many students into the sciences and pushed the boundaries of what life is capable of. Unfortunately, the most extraordinary of these creatures are the least understood. The pterosaurs were the first vertebrates in flight and the longest aloft with a fossil record of over 150 million years. They became the largest flying animals of all time; they were organisms that could have stared a giraffe in the eye and then catapult themselves into the air. However, as large fragile organisms with hollow skeletons, they did not leave us a very good fossil record. New technology such as Microfocus CT-scanners and visualization software allow us to digitally dissect fossils in ways that would have destroyed the fossils not long ago, and new techniques such as phylogenetic comparative methods and ancestral state reconstruction allow us to restore how pterosaurs lived and what they looked like.

  • March 25, 2014
    Paleotempestology
    Search for Buried Treasure!
    Learn about Florida’s past hurricane record
    11:00 am Tuesday, March 25th
    CWY Bill Young Building Room 206
    USF, Tampa
    Dr. Joanne Muller
    (Florida Gulf Coast University)
    Sponsored by the
    West Central Florida Chapter of the
    American Meteorological Society
  • March 22, 2014
    Come lend a helping hand! Saturday, March 22nd, 12 - 4 pm, join the KRG (Karst Research Group), the GGSO (Geology Grad Student Organization), and the Geology Club in sprucing up the Geo Park. Included is a picnic and vertical workshop!
    Service Day
  • February 8, 2014
    The 14th Annual USF Geology Alumni Society Banquet will be February 8, 2014 at Traditions Hall, Alumni Center, USF Tampa Campus. Reception is at 6 pm, with dinner starting around 7. It is a fund-raising event to benefit the Richard A Davis, Jr, Endowed Fellowship in Geology.

    The invitation that has gone out to alumni and supporters of USF Geology includes the following information:
    • Cost: $100 for individuals, $150 for couples, and $50 for students: $1250 (or more) for sponsored tables
    • Attire: Business
    Registration information is provided online.

    Students:
    As student veterans of the annual banquet know, some companies and individuals buy sponsored tables. Tables come with eight seats (meals), and in some cases, some of the seats are intended for unidentified students. These seats are filled on a first-come, first-served basis according to a list that is generated based on an email request to Dr. Len Vacher. This year, in accordance to a request from the board of the Geology Alumni Society, the list will be categorized according to program (Geology, ESP, Geography) because some sponsors will have a preference.

    If you wish to attend the banquet at a sponsored seat, please send an email to vacher@usf.edu (and please cc Judy McIlrath: jmcilrath@usf.edu) with the following information:
    • Your name (for the name tag)
    • Your subdiscipline within the School of Geosciences (Geology, ESP, Geography)
    • Your program (graduate, undergraduate)
    • Your food preference (beef, fish, vegan) (Typically, the beef is steak, the fish is salmon or mahi mahi, and the vegan is noteworthy; the actual identities won’t be settled for a while, so let me know if you need more information to decide, but don’t let that stop you from requesting a seat if you want to go to the banquet.)

    Email replies will be ordered by time of arrival of the email and by category (subdiscipline). Sponsored seating is limited, so it is important that you get on the list soon if you do want a sponsored seat. If we run out of sponsored seats before we run out of students who would like to attend, unsponsored students are very welcome to buy a seat at $50 each until we sell out. Non-geosciences spouses of sponsored guests are also available at $50 until we sell out.

  • February 7-9, 2014
    Dear Geographers, FSG members, Students and Friends, the Florida Society of Geographers Annual Meeting is happening February 7-9, in Orlando, Florida. The abstract submission deadline has been extended. The NEW deadline for abstract submission is Jan 17th! Please submit your abstract and registration. Students, don't miss out the opportunity to practice your presentation before AAG. Conference Themes:
    • Innovative Applications of GIS: Moving into the 21st Century
    • Virtual Geography: Pedagogical Adaptations to Virtual Learning in Geography
    • Florida's Environments: the Escalating Battle over Habitat, Species and Resources
    • Florida's Water Systems: Facing the Future
    • Global Climate Change and Florida: Adaptations to Changing Weather and Sea Levels
    • Approaches to Urban Renewal and Revitalization in Florida
    • Physical Geography
    • Cultural Geography
    • Environmental Geography
    • GIS
    • Others

    Follow this link for conference information and registration --> Conference Registration and Payments

  • December 6, 2013
    Celebrate a great year with the School of Geosciences and enjoy delicious food and drinks. Cocktail hour starts at 6pm followed by dinner at 7pm. Tickets: $10 for students, $20 for faculty and alumni, $10 for friends and family. Tickets include dinner and one drink. TICKETS ARE LIMITED. Cash bar. Semi-formal attire is requested. Join us!

    The Towers of Channelside Clubhouse
    445 South 12th Street, 5th Floor
    Channelside



  • November, 2013
    The NOAA Preserve Initiative project seeks to preserve the history of past storms in the Tampa Bay region and protect historical documents and data collected by NOAA Hurricane Hunters and NWS. Documents, data, historical flight records and photos are being digitally preserved and made available to the public at the University of South Florida in the library’s Learning Commons in a display case and will shortly be available on the web. The records include NOAA flight crew and scientific personnel, times logged by NOAA aircraft in hurricanes, meteorological findings on each flight, news clippings, historical charts and other Weather Service memorabilia. USF graduate students,Heather Keys and Randall Hergert, are interning at AOC.

    Although NOAA Hurricane Hunters serve a community larger than the Tampa Bay region, being located at MacDill Air Force base for the past twenty years has forged NOAA’s aircraft and mission into the culture of the region. A primary goal is to highlight contributions to both the tropical weather community and to faculty hurricane research and collaboration with NOAA. Associate Professor, Jennifer Collins from the School of Geosciences is the project lead from USF, Hurricane Hunter Ian Sears is the project lead from NOAA AOC and Science and Operations Officer Charles Paxton is the project lead at NWS. Jennifer Collins flew with the hurricane hunters last year during the infamous Sandy storm, and has flown other missions with them in the past including Tropical Storm Kyle in 2008.

  • October, 2013
    Pterosaur
    Life restoration Radiodactylus langstoni Andres and
    Myers 2013 ©Ontograph Studios by John Conway.
    USF geoscientist Brian Andres Ph.D. names two new species of pterosaurs from his home state of Texas in a volume of the Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. This volume was in honor of Wann Langston, Jr., who passed away last April, and who first interested Dr. Andres in pterosaurs as freshman at The University of Texas of Austin. One of these new species, Radiodactylus langstoni, was named after Dr. Langston and is a smaller and more primitive relative of his Quetzalcoatlus, the largest known flying organism with a wingspan of over 32 feet. In this article, titled Lone Star Pterosaurs, Dr. Andres described these new species and presented the largest evolutionary analysis of pterosaurs to determine where Texas pterosaurs fit in the Tree of Life.