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June 29, 2017

Welcome New Graduate Students, 2017!

Adrian Broz received his M.S. in agriculture with a specialization in soil science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) where he focused on nitrogen cycling in vermicompost-amended agricultural systems.  He also received a B.S. in earth science at Cal Poly where he became interested in botany, mineral surface chemistry, stream geomorphology and the mechanisms controlling bedrock terrace formation.  At UO, Adrian will be working with Greg Retallack to develop a further understanding of Martian paleosols and paleoenvironments. Further into the future, he would enjoy the opportunity to explore the chemistry of Martian soils to understand feasibility and dynamics of crop cultivation.  In his spare time Adrian enjoys reading academic papers, playing the banjo, and building surfboards.  
Leonard Finkelman is an assistant professor of Philosophy at Linfield College. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2013. Since then he has come to specialize in the emerging field of Philosophy of Paleontology, working on conceptual issues in extinction and the metaphysical background of dinosaur research.  He is working with Edward Davis on his M.S. in Paleontology.  In addition to this research, Leonard has written a number of outreach essays on a variety of topics including ethics, possible-world semantics, and human nature. He will also occasionally indulge interests in astronomy, prehistoric art, science fiction, and graphic novels. Leonard’s favorite dinosaur is Tyrannosaurus rex. He acknowledges that this is an uninteresting choice. Please pretend that he said Yutyrannus huali instead.
Holley Flora received her B.S. in Earth Sciences from Montana State University. Her undergraduate research focused on paleohistology, phylogenetics, and science outreach for dinosaur paleontology. She’s excited to be working with Edward Davis towards a Master’s and getting to research fossil mammals, specifically antilocaprids and their headgear. Holley likes dogs, cookies, dancing, and the outdoors.  
Kevin Gardner graduated with a degree in geology from Whitman College. His undergraduate thesis focused on stratigraphy of Cretaceous deltas on the North Slope of Alaska. Since finishing his undergrad thesis, his interest has shifted to understanding the formation and behavior of ancient rivers. He is excited to join Becky Dorsey in studying the formation of the Colorado River in Southern California. Apart from geology, Kevin enjoys camping, lifting weights, cooking, and discovering new music.  
Alex Hager is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in Geology from Colorado College. Since graduating he has worked as a ski instructor in Colorado and as a lab technician for the geochronology and carbonate stable isotope laboratories at Princeton University. He is now changing his focus from rocks to water, and will be studying ice-ocean interaction and fjord circulation with Dave Sutherland. Alex enjoys climbing, skiing, hiking, and playing piano.  
Rachel Hampton is a Colorado native from Telluride, a small ski town in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. Growing up here gave her a deep appreciation for the natural world which lead her to pursue a degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences while at Harvard University. While in college, she studied the volcanic history of the Boston area through geochronology and geochemistry. She also worked to help map the first caldera created by the eruption of the Yellowstone hotspot with the Stanford Volcanology Group. At the University of Oregon she will work with Ilya Bindeman and Leif Karlstrom to combine isotope geochemistry and modeling techniques in order to better understand magmatic systems. She is an avid marathon runner and cross country skier and cannot wait to move back to the Western United States.
Gabrielle LaFayette (Gabbie) graduated with a B.S. in Geology from Grand Valley State University.  At the University of Oregon she will be working on her master’s degree where she would like to study the origin of contaminants in soils and groundwater with Matthew Polizzotto.  In her free time she enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, and playing basketball.  
Syu-Heng Lai (Larry) graduated from the National Taiwan University with a B.S. in geosciences in 2011, and a M.S. in geoscience in 2015. His Master’s Thesis investigated the stratigraphy of fore-arc depositional sequence in the Coastal Range of Taiwan, an arc-continent collisional orogen. Larry has also done some research about the sedimentary processes of gravel beach along the east coast of Taiwan. After spending years doing military service at the Taroko National Park and research assistant at the National Taipei University of Education, he is excited to join University of Oregon and will be working with Rebecca Dorsey on sedimentary basin researches. Outside of geology, Larry enjoys hiking, backpacking, playing basketball, playing guitar and saxophone.
Jiun-Ting “Tim” Lin graduated from National Central University, Taiwan with a M.S. in Geophysics in 2014. His thesis focused on earthquakes source inversion and GPS data analysis. After graduation, he went to Global Seismology Lab, Academia Sinica as a research assistant working in global seismic data processing and probing upper-crust velocity changes caused by earthquakes and aseismic slip by repeating earthquake sequences. He is excited to be working with Amanda Thomas at UO, with the application of array seismology. Jiun-Ting’s interests include traveling, music, movies, and swimming.  
Brennah McVey, a small town Florida girl, recently completed her undergraduate journey at the Colorado School of Mines, graduating with a B. S. in Geophysical Engineering. During her time there, she worked at the USGS Geologic Hazards Center assisting in the development of a Seismogenic Landslide Database. She is joining Emilie Hooft‘s seismology group to tackle the marine seismic data acquired around Santorini Volcano. Her interests include water sports, traveling, thunderstorms, and dogs. Brennah also enjoys filing taxes, traffic, and sarcasm.  
Kellum Tate graduated with a B.S. in nursing in 2008 from Harding University and worked until July of 2017 as a critical care nurse in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2017, she graduated with a B.S. in earth sciences from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a degree she pursued after falling irrevocably in love with geosciences. She conducted research into the variety of Cretaceous fossil shark teeth found in Malvern, Arkansas, during her undergraduate geology work and taught geology classes at several summer camps for high school students. Her academic interests include mammalian paleontology and phylogeny, and she is currently planning to study marine mammal paleontology with Edward Davis for her doctorate work. Following graduation, Kellum plans to work as a geoscience educator (because everyone needs to know how cool rocks and fossils are). Her other interests include hiking, live music, eating delicious food, reading fantasy novels, spending all her money on traveling and mineral specimens, and finding the perfect craft brew.
 Josh Wiejaczka graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a B.S. in Geology in 2016. His undergraduate research compared the melt distribution/geometry in olivine-rich troctolites from the Krivaja-Konjuh massif (Bosnia and Herzegovina) to experimentally produced microstructures of partially molten upper mantle rocks. He is excited to join the UO volcanology group and work with Thomas Giachetti studying explosive eruption dynamics. Outside of research Josh enjoys traveling, mountain biking, rock climbing, and drone videography.  
Qiong Wu graduated from Beijing Normal University of China in 2015. During her time there, she studied on the impact of climate change on water quality and aquatic ecosystem. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant in a research institute of environmental protection in Beijing. She is super excited to learn new knowledge about earth science, and will be working under the guidance of Qusheng Jin on enzyme kinetic modeling. Outside school, she likes traveling, writing, painting, and delicious food!  


March 27, 2017

Commencement 2019

Monday, June 17, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. in the Willamette Hall Atrium

The Earth Sciences faculty and staff invite graduates and their guests to attend the department’s graduation ceremony and reception in the Paul Olum Atrium in Willamette Hall. No tickets are required.

Applying for your Degree

Undergraduate students apply on Duckweb. The deadline to apply for a Spring undergraduate degree is April 28th.

Graduate students apply on the Graduate School Website. The deadline to apply for a Spring graduate degree is April 12th.

Be sure to apply for the term in which you will actually finish your degree.

Department Commencement Participation Information

The ceremony is for both graduate and undergraduate Geological and Earth Science majors and minors, and is a combined ceremony with the Physics Department. Graduating students will be individually recognized as they receive their diploma. The ceremony will be approximately an hour long, and a reception with refreshments will follow.

Graduates should plan to arrive between 11:15 and 11:30 a.m. on graduation day. Please check in at the table at the main entrance to Willamette Hall on 13th Street.

If you are a graduate for the 2018-19 academic year, please complete this short survey.

Announcements, Regalia & Graduation Photos

Announcements and regalia (cap, gown, and tassel) can be ordered from the UO Duck Store starting March 28th. Graduates are not required to wear a cap and gown but most do.

The UO Duck Store will hold a Grad Fair April 8-11th. Representatives will be present from regalia, announcement, and photography companies to answer your questions and take care of all your graduation needs in one place.

Grad Images will be providing commencement photography for the university, and will photograph our graduates at the department ceremony. Students can pre-register at You will be contacted by Grad Images after the ceremony with information on how to order photographs.

Guests & Parking

Please encourage guests to make their reservations for hotels early as local hotels fill quickly this time of year.

Parking on the UO main campus during commencement is strongly discouraged. Visit the main university commencement website for parking recommendations, shuttle information, and maps: Note: parking is provided for the day at Autzen Stadium with the campus accessible by shuttle every 15-20 minutes. Guests with limited mobility or who require accessible transport click herePlease encourage guests to arrive at the Autzen Stadium parking at least an hour prior to ceremony start time.

If other accommodations are needed at the departmental ceremony for graduates or guests, please notify Marla Trox at, by phone at (541) 346-4669, or add the information in the survey. Wheelchair seating will be available in the atrium, but please let us know your needs so we can accommodate everyone.


We invite graduates and their guests to also attend the main University of Oregon commencement ceremony beginning with the “Grad Parade” to the Matthew Knight Arena on Monday, June 17th at 8:45 a.m. Details regarding this celebration can be found at:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who may walk in the Department of Earth Sciences ceremony? Undergraduate Earth and Geological Science majors, minors, and graduate students who graduated Fall 2018, Winter 2019, or who applied to graduate Spring 2019, or who WILL graduate Summer 2019.
  • Whose name is listed in the department commencement program? Students who apply to graduate Spring 2019, Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 graduates, and students who are graduating Summer 2019 and notify us that they plan to walk in the ceremony on June 17th. Summer graduates who do not notify the department will not be listed in the program.
  • How do I notify the department that I plan to participate in the ceremony on June 17th or not? For planning purposes, the department needs to know how many students will be walking in the ceremony. If you completed your degree in Fall or Winter, or plan to in Spring or Summer this year please complete this survey.



January 26, 2016

Spring 2016 Weekly Seminar Schedule

Talks on Wednesdays are 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.

March 30 – Paul Richardson (UO)
Title: Chasing the sun: exploring the role of aspect in landscape evolution

April 6 – David Furbish, (Vanderbilt – UO Meierjurgen Fellow)
Title: When Worldviews of Sediment Transport Collide: Navigating the Continuum and Deterministic versus the Rarefied and Probabilistic

April 13 – Rick Carlson (Carnegie, DTM)
Cenozoic magmatism in the Cordilleran: Driving geologic activity far removed from a plate boundary

April 19 (Tuesday seminar) – Stefano Lugli (Modena)
Title: Salts of the Earth: The challenge of understanding the Messinian evaporite deposits in the Mediterranean

April 20 – Heather Wright (USGS, CVO)
Title: Volcanic unrest at Cotopaxi volcano, Ecuador

April 27 – Mike Lamb (Caltech)
Title: Wildfires, debris flows and the mechanics of steep bedrock landscapes

May 4 – Becky Bendick (Montana)
Title: Postseismic deformation in Kashmir and Nepal: geodetic insights into crustal complexity

May 6 (Friday Seminar, 12:00 noon, Cas 200) – Marty Grove (Stanford)
Title: Linkage between forearc sedimentation & schist emplacement during Laramide shallow subduction

May 11 – Rob Zierenberg (UC Davis)
Title: Updated Log from the Sea of Cortez: Discovery of new hydrothermal vent fields by Doc Ricketts

May 18 – Rina Schumer  (Nevada-Reno)
Title: Real and Apparent Changes in Erosion and Deposition Rates Through Time

May 25 – Gwenn Flowers (Simon Fraser Univ.)
Title: Environmental and geologic controls on glacier dynamics in the St. Elias Mountains, Yukon, Canada

May 26 (Thursday Seminar) – Jean Braun (GTZ Potsdam)
Title: Density, topography and erosion: linking mantle flow, surface processes, climate and density variations in the Earth’s crust

June 1 – Leigh Stearns (Kansas U)
Title: Greenland glacier behavior: from chaos to classification

January 19, 2016

PhD candidate Win McLaughlin wins scholarship for research in Kyrgyzstan


Win McLaughlin was recently awarded the Fullbright scholarship for 10 months of research in Kyrgyzstan. Among other things, she searched for fossils that can help date the stratigraphy in the region’s impressive mountains. For more information, check out her blog at

June 10, 2014

Doug Toomey Testifies Before House Subcommittee

Professor Doug Toomey testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, describing seismic hazards in the PNW and the need for an early warning system. Around the O story here.

March 28, 2014

Spring 2014 Weekly Seminar Series

Talks on Wednesdays are 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.

April 2 – Mark Schmitz (Boise State University)
Title: Bringing Deep Time into Focus: New developments in high-precision geochronology and their impact across Earth Science

April 9 – Terry Plank (Columbia University)
Title: Extending a Continent: Magmatism and Lithosphere Dynamics across the Basin and Range

April 16 – Taras Gerya (ETH-Zurich, Switzerland)
Title: Plume-induced tectono-magmatic crustal convection produced nova and corona structures on Venus

April 23 – Brad Hacker (UC Santa Barbara)
Title: Differentiation of Continental Crust by Relamination

April 30 – George Bergantz (University of Washington)
Title: Petrogenetic Processes in a Deep Arc Section: A MASH Zone Revealed

May 7 – Allen Glazner (University of North Carolina)
Title: A Twenty-First Century View of Plutons

May 14 – Mark Richards (UC Berkeley)
Title: Hotspot plumbing, intrusive LIPs, the Deccan/Chicxulub concidence, and the joys of thinking the unthinkable.

May 21 – Jung-Eun Lee (Brown University)
Title: Plans and rainfall

May 28 – Joshua West (USC)
Title: What do we know after 25+ years of disparate ideas on Cenozoic weathering, erosion, and the carbon cycle?

June 4 – Matt Loewen (UO)
Title: Evaluating Trace Metal Mobility in Volcanic Systems

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