Welcome to UGA Geology! As the new Department Head it is my hope to follow in the footsteps of previous Heads and create meaningful and lasting legacies for the department. This is my 27th year at UGA and so I really feel at home amongst some of the best faculty, staff, students, and alumni in the Geosciences. For alumni and visitors, here’s a quick update about who we are and where we are going.
Summer and fall semesters bring a few changes. Doug Crowe has stepped away from being Head and returns his attention full time to teaching and research in economic geology. John Dowd is building and deploying hydrologic data loggers that will update us about stream dynamics in places like our National Parks. Ray Freeman-Lynde has retired, moved to the Boston area, but will continue to deliver dinosaur courses electronically. Erv Garrison shepherds the Anthropology department as Head and continues to endeavor in archeometry. Sue Goldstein has returned from life in the Antarctic and is expanding her repertoire of foraminifera research. Rob Hawman’s geophysics teaching and research on the Southern Appalachian’s seem to have no limit for excellence and his collaborations continue to expand. Steve Holland has numerous graduate students exploring the marine Jurassic of the western U.S. and promotes stratigraphic models to interpret the fossil record. At the end of this year Geoff Howarth, our new petrologist will be looking into deep time, deep Earth, as well as Mars for clues to unraveling magmatic processes. Christian Klimczak is diversifying in structural geology and geomechanics with new projects looking at planetary tectonics and fault/fracturing in N. America and Europe. Adam Milewski continues his exploits in arid hydrogeology with fieldwork throughout the Middle East. Adam will join me as Associate Head. Valentine Nzengung is parlaying his UGA Academic Entrepreneur of the Year award with new NSF funds to mentor in the Innovation Corps Sites Program. Albert Patino-Douce’s textbook on Thermodynamics of the Earth and Planets is being relished by the geosciences community and has set the standard for planetary science geochemistry. Marta Patino-Douce continues her excellence in teaching and her Maymester to Costa Rica is as popular as ever. Bruce Railsback continues to develop his online tome of Geologic Resources that is filled with many original figures and discussions (including his world-renowned Earth’s Scientist’s Periodic Table). Mike Roden has published with his Turkish colleagues about the eastern Ponitide Orogenic Belt, while at the same time teaching and researching in the southwestern U.S. Sally Walker continues to explore paleoecological record with her students looking at a range of biomarkers including Cambrian trilobites, avian fossils, and Antarctic scallops… just to name a few. Jim Wright continues with his interest in zircon geochronology, while at the same garnering recognition of excellence for teaching UGA Honors classes in geology. Jeff Speakman, Director of the Center for Applied Isotopic Studies (CAIS) is now adjunct to our department.
The Geology Staff remains the cornerstone for our department. Ashley Arnold is the cheerful face and voice of the department as she continues to work the front desk, in addition to managing student and faculty issues. Rachel Ashton continues to manage the complexities of UGA financial bureaucracy with amazing ease, particularly as new software and systems are constantly introduced. Julie Cox is running the Stable Isotope lab, which is now administratively connected to the CAIS. At the same time she has IFP running as robustly as ever. Chris Fleisher is magically making the Microprobe Lab run and continues its reputation as the most productive and respected petrology facility in the southeastern U.S. Cindy Fouche, although part time, remains a key office staffer that seems to always get work done with great efficiency. Michael Lewis is essential to our IT operations and keeps us up and running particularly as the cyber world challenges us on a daily basis. At the same time Michael is serving as Chair of the UGA Staff Council.
Our emeriti, Gilles Allard, Dave Dallmeyer, Sam Swanson, Dave Wenner, and Jim Whitney make periodic contributions to the department. Their presence is always welcomed and they each continue to give back to the department in their own unique ways, ranging from the occasion Geology email joke to leading educational programs, like OLLI.
Best to all,
Professor and Head