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September 25, 2020

Fall 2020 Weekly Seminar Schedule

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our seminar is only online.  We will be using Zoom, and invitations will be sent via email.  If you do not yet receive email reminders about our Seminars, please email Marla (contact info here) to be added to our invitation list.  Titles will be updated as they are announced.

Talks are on Wednesdays from 4:00 to 5:20 pm

September 30: ERTH Department reception – no seminar

October 7: Xie Hu, University of Houston
Title: Quantifying landslide dynamics from ground, air and space

October 14: Marjorie Chan, University of Utah
Title: Red Rocks from Earth to Mars

October 21: Woody Fischer, Caltech
Title: The evolution of photosynthesis and the rise of oxygen

October 28: ,

November 4: Erick Burns, USGS

November 11: John Eichelberger, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

November 18: Jessica Creveling, Oregon State University
Title: Revisiting earliest Cambrian skeletal animal first appearance ages with a d13Ccarb alignment algorithm


December 4:

June 29, 2020

Welcome New Grad Students 2020!


Gordon Bowman hails from the sleepy town of Boulder, CO, where he also attended the University of Colorado. While obtaining degrees in Geology and Environmental Studies, Gordon’s studies culminated into a senior project using GIS to predict slope failure in Colorado’s Front Range. After graduating, he began work as a GIS specialist for the Bureau of Land Management’s Royal Gorge Field Office, improving field data collection capabilities. Gordon is exuberant to model biogeochemical interactions with Dr. Qusheng Jin. Should you go looking for Gordon during his downtime, you can catch him out of doors mountain biking, rafting, playing all of the sports, or plucking the guitar on a rainy day.
Originally from Hilo, Hawaii, Christina Cauley graduated with degrees in Geology and Anthropology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2015. During her master’s at Wesleyan University, she has been working with Dr. Joop Varekamp to tease out the history of hydrothermal activity in Paulina Lake from the lake sediments. At the University of Oregon, she will be working with Dr. Paul Wallace to better understand volcanoes’ eruptive patterns through the gas composition in glass inclusions (more details to come!). After a few years traveling around the US, she is excited to be head back West to enjoy some of the best hiking out there with her pup, Lena.
Avery Conner grew up in the small town of Big Timber, Montana, where her interest in geoscience was inspired by nearby Yellowstone National Park. She graduated with a B.S. in Geoscience with an emphasis in Geophysics from the University of Utah. At the University of Utah, she studied an earthquake swarm in a remote part of east-central Utah. She is excited to continue pursuing seismology with Amanda Thomas by investigating the lahar hazard in the Cascades. In her free time, Avery enjoys playing piano, exploring mountains, reading sci-fi, and petting fluffy animals.
Kevin Gardner received his M.S. from the University of Oregon in 2019, where he worked on using analytical process sedimentology for reconstructing the depositional environments and paleogeography the late Miocene Bouse Formation. During his Ph.D. he will be studying tidal deposits in Baja California, Mexico as a part of the Baja GeoGenomics Consortium. Outside of academics, Kevin spends his time cycling, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and exploring the outdoors.
Larry Hartman is a USAF retiree, having spent 22 years working as a data analyst and senior operational manager.  At the end of his Air Force career he earned a B.S. in Electronics Engineering Tech from DeVry University followed by a B.S. in Physics from Augusta University.  After graduation from Augusta University he worked with Janus Research Group to apply machine learning technologies to agricultural water conservation efforts in the State of Georgia.  While at the UO, Larry is very excited to conduct research in applied geophysics by joining Doug Toomey’s team in the Oregon Hazards Lab, specializing in geologic early warning systems that will benefit at-risk human populations.  He enjoys hiking, biking, traveling, scenic photography, and tinkering with technology.  While in the PNW, together with his wife, he plans to explore as much of the surrounding region as time allows.   Larry’s youngest daughter will also be attending UO as an incoming freshman.
Genesee Lucia is from Lone Pine, California where she fostered a love for being outdoors. Studying the natural world was never the goal and a little bit of a deviation from the original intention of pursuing carpentry. Regardless, a series of unexpected events led her to graduate from Boise State University with a degree in geoscience and minor in applied mathematics. During her time at BSU, she conducted research aboard the RV Atlantis with Dorsey Wanless and Adam Soule – – an experience that exposed her to the possibility of graduate school. She is excited and extremely thankful for the opportunity to begin working with Leif Karlstrom and Brittany Erickson on applying numerical methods to volcanic conduits! In her free time, she enjoys tinkering with random projects, baking, and relaxing with her dog, Jilly Jessica Bean.
Addison Richter is a San Diego Native who has bounced around since the age of 16 living in NYC, Washington, New Zealand, Denver, Spain, Miami, and now Eugene, OR. She graduated from Whitman College with a B.A. in geology in 2017. During her time as an undergrad, she modeled the 3D kinematic structure and cross-section of the Yakima Fold and Thrust Belt and presented results at GSA 2017. After graduating, Addison worked as a junior geologist at an environmental consulting firm. During this time, she co-authored a research paper in the Journal of Structural Geology, characterizing the micro-scale damage in a flower structure located in the San Jacinto fault. She then peaced out and spent over a year traveling, living abroad, and goofing off before deciding to return to academia. She just completed a year of graduate school at the University of Miami, but decided to apply to UO, which offered more research opportunities and a larger, more diverse Earth Science Dept. She’s happy to be back in the PNW to complete a Master’s with Dr. Marli Miller where she’ll be focusing on small-scale structure to reconstruct the kinematic histories of high strain zones. Addison enjoys most outdoor activities, including skiing, kayaking, hiking, river rafting, and really long back-packing trips. She’s looking forward to supporting regional trips and helping to teach undergrads, as well as conducting research in structural geology.
Kate Scholz grew up in Madison, WI and received a B.S. in Geophysics from Brown University. While at Brown, she started working on numerical modeling of magma reservoirs.  More specifically, she focused on the role volatiles play in the stability of shallow silicic magma reservoirs. She is excited to continue and expand upon this work under the guidance of Meredith Townsend. Visiting her grandfather in Cooke City, MT near Yellowstone every summer helped her develop a love of nature and a fascination with geology from a young age. Outside of work, you can probably find Kate hiking, cooking, doing a puzzle, or playing boardgames.
Roey Shimony grew up outside of Tel Aviv, Israel. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Earth Sciences from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Be’er Sheva. His M.S. thesis’ main theme was to evaluate wave propagation and ground motion amplification in sedimentary basins created by the Dead Sea Transform in northern Israel using 3D numerical simulations. After graduating, he worked as a consultant geologist and supervisor for several projects at a large geotechnical company in Israel. He’s excited to move to Oregon and join Valerie Sahakian’s group at UO, where he will continue exploring his interest in seismic hazards. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, cooking, playing guitar and watching all kinds of sports.
Yu-Sheng Sun received his B.S. in Earth Sciences and M.S. in Geophysics from National Central University (NCU), Taiwan (R.O.C). His thesis focused on the analysis of the tsunami hazards in Taiwan using the stochastic model. During the graduate school and three years military service in the NCU, he was involved with a number of national projects, mainly for Taiwan nuclear power plants. Besides, he studied about earthquake forecast and seismic hazard assessments to apply to daily life. He is excited to work with Diego Melgar and Amanda Thomas at the UO. His interests include eating, movies, animation, and traveling. He also loves to try new things.

June 9, 2020

Zoom tutorial for Earth Sciences Commencement

How to use Zoom for the Earth Sciences Commencement 2020 event

You must download and install Zoom on your device (computer, phone, tablet).  It is very simple – you will be prompted to download when you click on a Zoom invitation link.  You do not have to create a Zoom account/login.  You can get your Zoom set up and ready to go well in advance of Commencement – as soon as you receive any Zoom invitation, including our Commencement invitation.  Download and setup should take less than 10 minutes.  There are some brief installation instructions below that you may want to read if you are less familiar with software installs.  If you’d prefer to see how set up works, this ~8-minute video tutorial will walk you through your first Zoom meeting:

On June 20th, just click the link in your Commencement invitation to join us!  We will have a department slideshow starting at 1:00 pm until about 1:15 pm so don’t panic if you are having any trouble.



Installing Zoom on a smartphone:

There are official free apps available for iOS and Android. Look in the App Store on your iOS device or Google Play Store for an Android device and search for “Zoom Cloud Meetings”.  Alternatively, you can find links at the bottom of the Zoom website: under the Download heading.

Installing Zoom on Your Computer:

Mac users note: If you are installing Zoom on MacOS 10.14 Mojave or MacOS 10.15 Catalina, your OS will ask for permissions to allow Zoom to operate correctly. Refer to Zoom’s article, “Using Zoom with MacOS,” to ensure the needed permissions are enabled.

  • Go to the Zoom website:, or simply click on the Commencement invitation link.
  • The installer appropriate for your operating system will begin downloading
  • Once the download is complete, run the installer and walk through the installation steps. During the installation, you will want to give Zoom access to your device microphone and camera – you are able to turn those off later, but it is harder to set them up if you deny permissions during installation.



If you are having a lot of trouble with Zoom, I recommend asking your graduate for help – they can set up a test Zoom meeting with you in advance of the ceremony!  You may contact Marla via email ( for technical support also.  Disclaimer – she wrote this, and is definitely no Zoom or computer expert, but has managed to help her own parents set up Zoom.

January 22, 2020

Spring 2020 Seminar Schedule

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our seminar is more informal, local, and only online.  We will be using Zoom, and invitations will be sent via email.  If you do not yet receive email reminders about our Seminars, please email Marla (contact info here) to be added to our invitation list.  Titles will be updated as they are announced.

Talks are on Wednesdays from 4:00 to 5:20 pm

April 1: Josh Roering and Annette Patton
Title: Landslide early warning systems in remote communities

April 8: Amy Williamson
Title: Local Tsunami Warning Using GNSS

April 15: Dave Sutherland
Title: Ice-ocean interactions around the world

April 22: Ilya Bindeman
Title: Emergence of the land from the sea: Triple oxygen isotopes in shales throughout the geologic history

April 29: Estelle Chaussard
Title: Peatland Geomorphology from space

May 6: Mike Darin
Title: When Continents Collide – Timing of Arabia Collision and its Influence on Tectonic Escape in Anatolia (Turkey)

May 13: Jonathan Delph
Title: Linking heterogeneous expressions of subduction along the Cascadia margin

May 20: Sam Hopkins
Title: Mammal evolution on an active landscape

May 27: Eli Orland
Title: Deep Learning as a tool to forecast hydrologic response for landslide-prone hillslopes

June 3: Thomas Giachetti
Title: Even when confined, pumices gather

November 22, 2019

Winter Weekly Seminar Schedule

Talks are on Wednesdays from 4:00 to 5:20 pm in 110 Willamette Hall.

Tea and cookies are served in Cascade 200 beginning at 3:30 p.m.

January 8: Dara Goldberg, University of Oregon
Title: How does earthquake rupture evolve? A multi-instrument approach to earthquake observation and modeling

January 15: Ellen Currano, University of Wyoming
Title: An interdisciplinary approach to investigating ecosystem processes in the 21 million year old Mush Valley lagerstätte, central Ethiopia

January 22: Rehearsals for Life: Oppression Interruption Workshop
**Please note, this seminar is taking place in 140 Tykeson Hall**

January 29: Rose Wallick, USGS
Title: The USGS Water Science Program in the Willamette Valley and future links with UO

February 5: Erin Wirth, UW/USGS
Title: 3-D Simulations of Magnitude 9 Earthquakes on the Cascadia Subduction Zone

February 12: Larry Mastin, CVO
Title: The scientific challenges of forecasting volcanic ash hazards

February 19: Kendra Murray, Idaho State
Title: Rocky Mountains ride high on an ancient rifted margin

February 26: Jasquelin Pena, University of Lausanne
Title: Nature’s most potent oxidants: Insights into manganese oxide structure-reactivity relationships

March 4: Kimberly Blisniuk, San Jose State University
Title: Finding hidden faults along restraining bends of the southern San Andreas and San Gregorio faults, California

March 11: Jess Adkins, Caltech  CANCELLED
Title: The Modern Ocean’s Alkalinity Cycle and A Way Forward on Global CO2 Mitigation

July 8, 2019

Welcome New Grad Students, 2019!

Nicole Abib graduated with a B.S. in Earth Science from Cornell University and a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University. At the University of Oregon, she will work with David Sutherland to better understand ice-ocean interactions in a changing climate. In the past, her research has used a combination of remote sensing, geospatial analysis, and numerical modeling methods to examine issues of glacier change and water resource management. Her interest in glacial systems stems from a backpacking and sea kayaking trip in Alaska she took during high school, where she was overwhelmed by the size and beauty of the glaciers she saw. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, landscape photography, and spending time with her dog, Parker.
Gui Guenther Aksit graduated from Ohio University with a B.A. in Anthropology and from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Earth and Space Sciences: Geology. At UW, she researched the geological evolution of western Anatolia during the Late Cretaceous and early Paleogene through detrital zircon geochronology and sandstone petrography. After graduating, she interned at the Cascades Volcano Observatory, researching the explosive eruptive histories of Glacier Peak and Mount Rainier. Gui is thrilled to start working with Meredith Townsend on dike propagation and magmatic plumbing systems in the San Juan volcanic field. When she isn’t at the library or a coffee shop studying, Gui loves climbing, running, painting and nerding out about the latest sci-fi releases in print or on screen.
Rebecca Bussard is from Oxford, PA and received her B.S. in Physics at Penn State University. At University of Oregon, she is excited to join Estelle Chaussard‘s lab to study Mt. St. Helens’ previous eruptions using various remote sensing techniques. During her time as an undergraduate, she used satellite imagery to study the eruptive activities of various Nicaraguan volcanoes. Her research primarily focused on the persistently restless volcano Telica and analyzing the deformation that occurred during the volcano’s explosive periods in 2015. Outside of the lab, she enjoys running, baking, and making the most of her Netflix subscription. Having lived on the east coast her whole life, she’s excited to be living on the west coast for the first time.
Avigyan Chatterjee grew up in the small town of Asansol in the historically famous province of Bengal in India. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Earth Sciences from one of India’s premier science research institutes, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata. His M.S. work revolved around exploring the mechanics behind the frequently occurring small earthquakes in the seismically complex region of Northeastern India. As part of his project work, he has been actively investigating the physics behind the large earthquakes, analysing near-field and far-field seismic data in the Japanese and Sumatran subduction zones. In continuance of his interests in earthquake source theory and numerical modeling, he will be working with Amanda Thomas starting this Fall. Outside his research work, he likes to play his acoustic guitar, read historical novels, and watch football.
Ana Colón grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and graduated in 2018 from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Earth Sciences and Astronomy. Her undergraduate research varied greatly, from photometric observations of exoplanets, to Martian hydrology and geomorphology. After graduating, she spent the year working as a park ranger in New Mexico, mastering the skills of patience and geology communication while taking full advantage of living off the grid in the middle of the desert. At UO, she’s incredibly excited to join Meredith Townsend studying dike propagation, and trying to figure out what is going on with volcanic features on Mars. Outside research, Ana can be found climbing rocks, swimming in lakes, or being incapable of taking a decent photo.
Lissie Connors is from Boston and graduated with a B.S. in Geology from Lafayette College. As an undergraduate, she studied igneous complexes in New Zealand, melt inclusion analytical methods, and accessory minerals in Icelandic rhyolites. Since then she’s worked as a park ranger in Oregon, and in science communication for a physics society (although she’s still very confused about what dark matter is). She’s excited to return to the Pacific Northwest and join Paul Wallace‘s lab, where she’ll be looking at volatiles and volcanic timescales. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, petting dogs, playing the guitar, and telling corny jokes.
Annika Dechert graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA with a B.A. in Geology. She conducted undergraduate research working to understand gelatin model dikes in three dimensions. Annika is excited to be working with Joe Dufek to better understand the fluid dynamics involved in volcanic eruptions through a mix of experimental, computational, and field work. Her interest in volcanology stems from a goal to better understand and communicate natural hazards to local communities. Outside of research, you can find Annika hiking, hanging with friends, or showing dogs.
Sydney Dybing grew up outside of Seattle, WA, where her outdoor experiences encouraged her interest in natural hazards, particularly those relevant to the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2019 with a B.A. in Geophysics. At WashU she primarily worked in a mineralogy lab, but she also spent a summer in Albuquerque, NM as an IRIS intern working at the USGS on research into wind-induced noise on seismometers. This experience solidified her desire to pursue graduate studies in geophysics, and she is very excited to start working with Diego Melgar on large earthquake research! In her free time, Sydney enjoys figure skating, playing soccer, and playing the clarinet, as well as talking about her favorite TV shows.
Renee Nassif graduated in Fall 2018 from the University of South Florida with a B.S. in Geology. During that time, she was fortunate enough to intern with her regional water management district and participate in faulting studies in California and Idaho. Prior to university she worked as a nuclear technician in the US Navy. She’s excited to be joining Estelle Chaussard and the TGER lab using remote sensing technology to explore the impacts of groundwater withdrawal in California’s Central Valley. In her spare time, she can be found road tripping, hiking, camping, or otherwise wandering.
Tara Nye grew up in Social Circle, Georgia and received her B.S. in Geology and minor in Physics from Brigham Young University in 2019.  As an undergraduate, she participated in different geophysical projects, such as correlating faults with geothermal springs in Pah Tempe and calculating stress accumulation along the Sumatra Fault.  In 2018, she was an IRIS intern at the USGS and worked under Kate Allstadt modeling duration-related ground motion parameters for use in ShakeMap.  Tara has known that she wanted to go into seismology since her freshman year of college when she watched the incredibly accurate earthquake disaster movie, San Andreas.  She will be working with Valerie Sahakian at UO modeling earthquake ground motion and its relation to seismic hazards.  In her free time, Tara enjoys hiking, rock climbing, all kinds of dancing, and binge-watching Netflix.
Angela Olsen grew up in San Diego and earned a B.S. in Physics and Earth Science minor from the University of California, Santa Barbara. At UCSB she participated in seismology research as well as science education research. After spending an exciting summer working on a geodynamic tectonics model, Angela quickly fostered an interest in developing models of the natural world around her. She is very excited to be working with Carol Paty at UO, building computational models and studying planetary science. In her spare time Angela enjoys musical theatre, trying to climb trees, trying new recipes, and reading Isaac Asimov books.
Sean Santellanes graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017 with a B.S. in physics: computation. After that, he went to get his master’s in the atmospheric sciences and meteorology at Penn State -UP where he studied boundary layer organization dynamics over central Oklahoma. At the UO, Sean will be working with Diego Melgar on large earthquakes and early-warning systems for tsunamis and earthquakes. Sean enjoys running, biking, and hiking.
David Small has been a California boy all his life, yet is eager to make the switch to the glorious PNW! He grew up in San Diego, but earned his Bachelors of Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Here he was an active member of the department, conducting research on microseismicity in the southern Cascadia Subduction Zone as well as research characterizing block rotation in Red Rock Canyon in Nevada using paleomagnetism. During his undergraduate studies, he was involved in the IRIS summer internship characterizing Lithospheric anisotropy throughout Australia using receiver function analysis. Here at UO, he plans to work with Douglas Toomey and Diego Melgar to continue research in seismology. Outside of academics, he likes to spend his time doing anything to keep him moving: long walks around the city, climbing, backpacking, rollerskating, you name it!
Patrick (PJ) Zrelak was raised in the Californian Eastern Sierra. He graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor’s in Geoscience and a Minor in Applied Mathematics. PJ enjoys exercising, banging on his guitar, and being in the midst of mountains. He looks forward to working with Josef Dufek on volcanic fluid dynamics.

May 3, 2019

UO Earth Sciences hosts 2nd Annual Volc-OR conference!

The 2nd annual Volc-OR (Volcanology Students of Oregon) conference was held at the University of Oregon, April 11-12, 2019. Over 60 students from 4 regional universities and colleges attended and nearly half presented their research in oral or poster sessions. Laboratory tours of the facilities at UO, science communication workshops, and panel discussions rounded out the 2019 edition of Volc-OR, which culminated in a keynote by Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

To learn more about the group and our annual conference, please visit:

From the Volc-OR website:
Volc-OR aims to bring together graduate and undergraduate students from Portland State University, Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, and other regional universities whose research relates broadly to volcanology (e.g. physical volcanology, igneous petrology, economic geology, volcano geomorphology, geophysics, etc.). As a more informal complement to major national scientific meetings, we hope that this small student-centric and student-led meeting will provide focused and relevant learning experiences and discussion, and foster new connections, collaborations, and friendships.

Importantly, we feel that we can all be taking better advantage of our shared interests and close proximity with one another to bolster research ideas and access to analytical facilities. Through meetings and general volcanophile camaraderie, the goal of Volc-OR is to build these bridges to meet your neighboring students and faculty!

February 18, 2019

Winter 2019 Weekly Seminar Schedule

Talks are on Wednesdays from 4:00 to 5:20 pm in 110 Willamette Hall.

Tea and cookies are served in Cascade 200 beginning at 3:30 p.m.

January 9: Nicole Gasparini, Tulane
Title: The influence of rainfall patterns on bedrock river incision in Hawaii

January 16: Erin Pettit, Oregon State University
Title: Stability or Instability? Mechanisms for Potential Collapse of Antarctic Ice Shelves

January 23: Dusty Schroeder, Stanford
Title: Ice Penetrating Radar: a Window into the Physical Processes of Ice Sheets

January 30: James Gardner, UT Austin
Title: Investigating the Dynamics of Pyroclastic Flows from the Damage They Leave Behind

February 6: James Muirhead,
Title: Continental rifting impacted by magmatism

February 13: Fan-chi Lin, University of Utah
Title: Imaging volcanic and hydrothermal structure in Yellowstone with dense seismic arrays

February 20: Josie Nevitt, SDSU
Title: Fault behavior in Earth’s shallowest crust

February 27: Alberto Perez-Huerta, University of Alabama
Title: Atom probe tomography (APT) and its potential geological applications

March 6: Carlos Oroza, University of Utah
Title: The future of water availability in the Western US: Developing in-situ sensing technologies for hypothesis testing

March 13: Kevan Moffett, WSU, Vancouver
Title: From the Bottom Up: Soil moisture as a prerequisite for ecosystem recovery after wildfire

December 19, 2018

Digging into the Eagle Crest fire’s aftermath

In the aftermath of the Eagle Crest fire, Josh Roering is investigating the relationship between fire and landslides in the Columbia River Gorge Scenic area.  For the full story, click here:


December 12, 2018

Alumni contact and survey form page

If we did not email you a link to this survey, please complete the following:

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Department Alumni Survey

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Department Alumni Survey
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