Current News

NSF Geosciences Director Dr. William Easterling Speaks at NHB

Posted on 01.24.2020 | Read More
Dr. William Easterling
Dr. Easterling talks about the benefits of curiosity-driven and convergent research at a talk at NHB.


Posted on 01.22.2020 | Read More
Mekong Sand Mining

In a paper in Nature Sustainability, Jim Best and colleagues lift the veil on sand mining in the Mekong River, and examine its environmental effects and sustainability



Posted on 10.30.2019 | Read More
Dr. Baroffio receives the award
On October 10th, the department welcomed Dr. James R. Baroffio (Ph.D. ‘64) to campus, and presented to him the Department of Geology Alumni Achievement Award for 2019.  

Geology Dept. Flannel Friday!!

Posted on 10.11.2019 | Read More
The Geology Dept. celebrates Flannel Friday!

Congratulations to recent geology graduates!

Posted on 10.10.2019 | Read More

Geology PhD Student Jack Albright and Prof. Patricia Gregg Develop New Technique to Forecast Volcanic Eruptions!

Posted on 09.25.2019 | Read More
PhD student Jack Albright and Professor Patricia Gregg
Geology PhD Student Jack Albright and Prof. Patricia Gregg bring us closer to forecasting imminent volcanic eruptions.

Faculty Search in Remote Sensing!!

Posted on 09.24.2019 | Read More
The Department of Geology is excited to announce that it is conducting a search for an Assistant Professor in the area of Remote Sensing!  For full consideration, applicants to should complete their application packages on or before November 15th, 2019.

SESE Annual Field Trip - 2019

Posted on 08.27.2019 | Read More
Dr. Stephen Altaner led the annual SESE field trip on August 24th, 2019.

In Memoriam: Prof. Ralph L. Langenheim (1922-2019)

Posted on 08.25.2019 | Read More
Ralph Langenheim
Ralph L. Langenheim Jr., Professor Emeritus of stratigraphy and paleontology, passed away on August 3rd, 2019, at the age of 97.

Exploring The Earth's Interior

Posted on 08.23.2019 | Read More
Geology Professor Lijun Liu uses sophisticated computer modeling to study the interior of the Earth. 

SESE hosts the first Geoscience Camp for Girls!

Posted on 08.22.2019 | Read More

Geology graduate student Julia Cisneros and GGIS graduate student Aida Guhlincozzi developed the first annual Geoscience Camp for Girls this summer.

The Eryops returns to NHB!

Posted on 08.16.2019 | Read More
NHB Eryops Fossil
The department’s Eryops skeleton has returned to the Natural History Building!  

Supporting Student Athletes in their Academic Careers

Posted on 08.13.2019 | Read More
UIUC Geology Professor Bruce Fouke and research associate Joseph Cross discuss their new study about how to support student athletes as they progress in their academic careers.

AGU Young Researcher Spotlight: Julia Cisneros

Posted on 07.20.2019 | Read More
Julia Cisneros at work
Graduate student Julia Cisneros was chosen to be featured in the July, 2019 AGU Young Researcher Spotlight.  Julia works in Prof. Best's group and her interests include sedimentology, surface processes, and bedform morphodynamics.

Excellent Job Prospects for Geoscientists!

Posted on 06.30.2019 | Read More
Recent assessments of employment prospects for college graduates have ranked Geoscience very highly.  Separate analyses of U.S. data indicate that geoscience has one of the lowest unemployment rates, in a comparison of college majors, and is expected to grow faster than average in the next several years.  

Naomi Wasserman awarded Fulbright grant

Posted on 06.20.2019 | Read More
Ph.D. student Naomi Wasserman
Ph.D. student Naomi Wasserman has been awarded a Fulbright grant to support her research work in New Zealand!  Naomi's New Zealand project aims to develop measurements of the antimony (Sb) stable isotopes (123 and 121) to improve understanding of chemical reactions that control the mobility and environmental impact of Sb.  

2019 AAPG Reception in San Antonio

Posted on 05.19.2019 | Read More
Yard House at the Riverwalk

If you will be at the AAPG Annual Meeting in San Antonio, please join us for a U of I Geology reception:

Monday, May 20th, 2019
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Yard House
849 E. Commerce St. Suite #409
(one block north of convention center, on the riverwalk)


Posted on 04.21.2019 | Read More

New Ph.D. student Jon Golla has been awarded a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship


Posted on 04.10.2019 | Read More
Julia Cisneros Wins Award!

Julia Cisneros presented aspects of her PhD research at the 2019 International Conference on Marine and River Dune Dynamics, and came away with the award for best graduate talk.

Record Numbers Visit Geology During Engineering Open House

Posted on 04.10.2019 | Read More

The Department of Geology again participated in Engineering Open House (EoH) this year on March 8-9th, with record numbers visiting NHB! This time lapse video by Max Christie shows the interactive augmented reality sandbox and many enthusiastic hands over one hour during EoH!


Posted on 04.07.2019 | Read More

Jess Conroy has won a highly competitive NSF CAREER award that will allow her to pursue a 5-year research program to advance our understanding of the water cycle in the tropical Pacific.


Posted on 04.07.2019 | Read More

Prestigious NSF award supports research on the formation of Great Unconformity.

Trish Gregg Awarded New NASA Grant To Study Aleutian Arc Volcanic Unrest

Posted on 03.28.2019 | Read More

Professor Trish Gregg has been awarded a 3-year, $540k grant, from NASA’s Earth Surface and Interior program to investigate the unrest of several volcanoes along the Aleutian Arc of Alaska.

Lunar Regolith Derived From The Earth's Archean Crust?

Posted on 03.27.2019 | Read More

Illini Geology alumnus Jeremy Bellucci (B.S. 2006) publishes research that sheds light on Apollo 14 lunar sample

Fang Huang Profiled by The Geochemical Society

Posted on 03.26.2019 | Read More
USTC Professor Fang Huang (Ph.D. 2007)
Dr. Fang Huang, who earned his Ph.D. in 2007, working on igneous petrology and isotope geochemistry with Prof. Lundstrom, has been highlighted in the Geochemical Society's monthly newsletter.  

Petroleum Experts donates software to Illinois for research and education

Posted on 03.19.2019 | Read More
Cross sections in Move
The Department, along with the Illinois State Geological Survey, is fortunate to have been granted access to software donated by Petroleum Experts to use in research and education of students. The software, known as Move, is a premier structural geology modeling and analysis toolkit..  


Posted on 02.14.2019 | Read More

Professor Jim Best has published a major review paper in the January 2019 issue of Nature Geoscience that examines the major anthropogenic stresses faced by the world’s great rivers.


Posted on 01.16.2019 | Read More

Assistant Professor Jenny Druhan has been named a Theme Leader for a new Department of Energy funded Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) that is focused on the structure and function of shales


Posted on 01.15.2019 | Read More

Listen to Professor Bruce Fouke discuss his groups work on the geology of kidney stones on NPR’s ‘The People’s Pharmacy’.


Posted on 01.14.2019 | Read More

Prof. Willy Guenthner’s (U-Th)/He lab is featured in a new AGU EOS article.

Prof. Don Deere: 1922-2018

Posted on 01.02.2019 | Read More

Prof. Don U. Deere, who taught Engineering Geology at Illinois from 1955 to 1972, passed away on January 14, 2018.  Don was a world-renowned engineering geologist and expert on tunneling, dam building and design, and the construction of large underground spaces.


Posted on 12.02.2018 | Read More

Professor Trish Gregg has been recognized as a Liberal Arts and Sciences LEAP Scholar for her contributions and potential in both teaching and research.


Posted on 11.28.2018 | Read More

Professor Tom Johnson receives his Geological Society of America Fellowship

Norb Cygan (B.S. ’54; Ph.D. ’62) Receives Geology Alumni Achievement Award

Posted on 10.17.2018 | Read More
Norb Cygan Receives Award
On October 4th, 2018, the department’s Alumni Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Norbert E. Cygan (B.S. ’54; Ph.D. ’62). Norb returned to campus and presenting a talk "The multi-million-pound uranium deposit at Panna Maria, TX and my 65-year journey in Geology.”  Norb was recognized by the department for his contributions, over a 65-year career, to industry, academia, and a variety of education and outreach organizations.  

The Fluid Dynamics Of Colliding Dunes

Posted on 10.16.2018 | Read More

Professor Jim Best and colleagues at the University of Notre Dame have used a unique refractive-index matching flume to gain new insights into how barchan dunes interact.

PhD Student Robby Goldman Chosen for AGU "Voices for Science" Program

Posted on 10.08.2018 | Read More
Geology Ph.D. student Robby Goldman was chosen by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) to take part in the AGU Voices for Science program. 

Prof. Bruce Fouke Collaborates With Mayo Clinic For Kidney Stones Research

Posted on 09.14.2018 | Read More

Prof. Bruce Fouke and collaborators at the Mayo Clinic have teamed up to use geological reasoning and high-end microscopy to learn fundamentally new and medically important things about human kidney stones!

Students, Faculty, And Staff Of SESE Enjoy Annual "First Day Of Class" Barbecue

Posted on 08.31.2018 | Read More
SESE Barbecue 2018

Students, staff and faculty of all three departments of the School of Earth Society and Environment (Geology, Atmospheric Science, and Geography and GIS) enjoyed warm, breezy weather for the annual "First Day of Class” Barbecue, August 27th, 2018.


Adjunct Prof. Sam Heads: New Oligocene Insect Collection

Posted on 08.07.2018 | Read More
Insect Fossil Image

Adjunct Professor Sam Heads, an internationally known insect paleontologist, recently brought a rare and valuable collection of Oligocene insect fossils to campus.  The story of the collection can be found at:


Dispatch from Wasatch-Uinta Field Camp 2018!

Posted on 07.12.2018 | Read More
Prof. Michael Stewart (left), Prof. Kurt Burmeister (Ph.D., 2005, right), and the 2018 field camp students from UIUC Geology gather around the "Block I" as they tour Bonneville Salt flats.

Prof. Michael Stewart and the Illinois students attending the Wasatch-Uinta Summer Field Course based out of Park City, Utah have been working hard and observing some of the best Geology the west has to offer.

Trish Gregg Wins Prestigious NSF CAREER Award

Posted on 06.20.2018 | Read More
Prof. Trish Gregg at James Hutton’s classic Siccar Point unconformity, Scotland, during the 2018 GEOL 415/515 field class, which she co-led with Prof. Michael Stewart and Prof. Alison Anders.

Assistant Professor Trish Gregg has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award for her proposal Investigating the unrest and eruption potential of caldera forming volcanoes in the Aleutians.

Yan Zhan Awarded NASA Earth and Space Sciences Graduate Fellowship

Posted on 06.20.2018 | Read More
Yan Zhan

Yan Zhan, a 4th year Geology Ph.D. candidate in Prof. Trish Gregg's Volcano Geodynamics group, has been awarded a prestigious NASA Earth and Space Sciences Graduate Fellowship.

Jia Wang Receives Best Student Poster Award at CMWR Conference

Posted on 06.08.2018 | Read More

Jia Wang received the Best Student Poster Award from among 135 student participants in the Computational Methods in Water Resources Conference

Tom Johnson Elected GSA Fellow

Posted on 05.30.2018 | Read More

Professor Tom Johnson has been elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.

Julia Cisneros Awarded NSF Grow Grant

Posted on 05.30.2018 | Read More

PhD graduate student Julia Cisneros has been awarded a Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) grant from the Division of Graduate Education at the National Science Foundation.

In Memorium: Prof. Emeritus George Devries Klein

Posted on 05.11.2018 | Read More
George Klein 2013 Photo
Prof. George Klein, a sedimentary geologist who served on the UIUC Geology faculty from 1970 to 1993, passed away on April 30th.

Predicting Supervolcano Eruptions

Posted on 05.02.2018 | Read More
Prof Gregg and PhD candidate Haley Cabaniss

PhD candidate Haley Cabaniss, Prof. Trish Gregg and collaborator Prof. Eric Grosfils publish a paper in Geophysical Research Letters that lifts the lid on the precursors to supervolcano eruptions.

Snow On The Great Sand Dunes Greets GEOL 593 Class In Colorado

Posted on 04.25.2018 | Read More
Late Spring snow brought a dusting of white last weekend to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, for the start of a four-day field course that was a part of a graduate GEOL593 class "Sedimentary Structures".

Prof. Gregg's Very Successful Year as NCSA Faculty Fellow

Posted on 04.23.2018 | Read More
Greg Photo

Professor Trish Gregg was one of eight National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Faculty Fellowship awardees for 2017-18.  The Fellowship program provided $25,000 to support the development of a High Performance Computing method for combining large volcano monitoring data sets with sophisticated geodynamic models.  Gregg presented results from her NCSA Faculty Fellowship Project: "A Data Assimilation Framework for Forecasting Volcanic Unrest", Monday April 23rd, 2018. 

Professor Best Awarded The Lamarck Medal from EGU!

Posted on 04.10.2018 | Read More
LaMarck Medal image

Prof. Jim Best was awarded the 2018 Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal  by the European Geosciences Union at the EGU annual meeting in Vienna, April 9th, 2018. 

The Lamarck Medal was established by the EGU Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Paleontology Division, in recognition of the scientific achievement of Jean Baptiste Lamarck.  It is awarded to scientists for their exceptional contributions to stratigraphy, sedimentology or palaeontology.  The Medal is awarded to Prof. Best this year for "major contributions to our understanding of physical sedimentary processes and their products in the geological record."  

Jack Albright Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Posted on 04.03.2018 | Read More
Jack Photo
Second year geophysics Ph.D. student, John “Jack" Albright, has been awarded a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. This is the fourth NSF Fellowship awarded to UIUC Geology grad students in the past three years, an unprecedented level of success!!

Spring 2018 Oil and Gas Short Course

Posted on 03.26.2018 | Read More
Short Course Presentation
shell logoThe Department's Spring Oil and Gas Industry Short Course,sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell, "Controls on and Prediction of Sandstone Porosity and Permeability," was taught by Drs. Linda Bonnell and Rob Lander on March 10th and 11th. 

Eryops Skeleton Being Repaired for Display

Posted on 02.21.2018 | Read More
Photo of repair planning
The department's Eryops Skeleton replica is being repaired in preparation for its return to NHB, with the help of  Christa Deacy-Quinn from the Spurlock museum.  Click here for blog posts as the project proceeds.

Stable Cratons May Not Be As Tectonically Stable As We Think

Posted on 02.20.2018 | Read More
Graduate students Jiashun Hu and Quan Zhou, with Faculty Lijun Liu, Craig Lundstrom and Stephen Marshak, reveal a new story of the geological history of cratons in South America and Africa.

Leah Matchett '16 Named Knight-Hennessy Scholar

Posted on 02.16.2018 | Read More
Leah Matchett Photo (Photo by Javier Flores)

Leah Matchett, a Geology alumna from the class of 2016, is one of 49 students selected in the first year of the Knight-Hennessy Scholar program for postgraduate study at Stanford University.

See the Illinois News Bureau story about Leah here.

The Great Unconformity: Erosion linked to supercontinent cycles and snowball Earth?

Posted on 02.06.2018 | Read More
The Great Unconformity in the St. Francois Mtns.
Graduate student Mike DeLucia, and advisors Willy Guenthner and Steve Marshak, have constrained the timing and magnitude of erosion that produced the Great Unconformity surface (the global erosion surface separating Precambrian and Paleozoic rocks) in the St. Francois Mountains of Missouri (an area well know to many Illinois Geology students)!

Colorado Plateau Model Returns!

Posted on 01.25.2018 | Read More
Photo of the new home for our Colorado Plateau model
The department's 3-D model of parts of the Colorado Plateau, including the Grand Canyon and southern Utah, found its new home in the Natural History Building, after about 4 years in storage.

Fossil displays return to NHB

Posted on 01.24.2018 | Read More
U of I carpenters mount fish fossil replica in NHB
The Department of Geology continues to bring its historical treasures back into the Natural History Building.  Several detailed replicas of fossils that were part of the early natural history displays in NHB have been brought out of storage and are being mounted in the hallways for all to see.

Clay Conference at Univ. of Illinois

Posted on 01.15.2018 | Read More

The Univ. of Illinois is hosting the 55th Annual Meeting of the Clay Minerals Society (CMS) on June 10 - 14, 2018. Prof. Stephen Altaner, who is on the Organizing Committee, will lead a field trip to the Starved Rock State Park area, a field trip to the type locality of illite, and a thematic session on Teaching and History of Clay Sciences. The U of I also hosted the CMS meeting in 2013 when it was one of the most attended meetings in CMS history.

New Insights on Yellowstone Volcanism: Liu and Team

Posted on 01.15.2018 | Read More

In a paper “Western US volcanism due to intruding oceanic mantle driven by ancient Farallon slabs” published in Nature Geoscience, Lijun Liu and graduate students Quan Zhou and Jiashun Hu have employed seismic tomography to reveal new insights into the origin of Yellowstone volcanism and challenge existing views on deep mantle plumes.

Cisneros Presents to Chancellor, President, and Board of Trustees

Posted on 12.11.2017 | Read More

Julia Cisneros was invited as the sole student representative of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign to speak about her research and fieldwork in the Amazon and Yellow Rivers and showcase the importance of applied fieldwork and student research opportunities to the Chancellor, President, and Board of Trustees.

EOS Research Spotlight: Wendy Yang

Posted on 12.07.2017 | Read More

Assistant Professor Wendy Yang’s recent paper “Evaluating the Classical Versus and Emerging Conceptual Model of Peatland Methane Dynamics” published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles has been recognized as a significant contribution and highlighted in the EOS Research Spotlight.

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship: Julia Cisneros

Posted on 12.07.2017 | Read More

Graduate student Julia Cisneros won a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship this fall for a project titled “Dune morphology and dynamics in fluvial channels." 

Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal of the American Geoscience Institute: Susan Kieffer

Posted on 12.07.2017 | Read More

Professor Emeritus Susan Kieffer is a leader in the emerging field of Geoethics. This year she received the Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal of the American Geoscience Institute and contributed to a book chapter on Geoethics. Dr. Kieffer is also presenting an invited paper at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union: The International Association for Promoting Geoethics (IAPG) by Susan Kieffer, Silvia Peppoloni and Giuseppe di Capua. Union Session U12A: How do we ensure research integrity? 

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship: Robert Goldman

Posted on 12.07.2017 | Read More

Graduate student Robert Goldman won an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in fall 2017 based on his proposal "Developing a Comprehensive 3D Finite Element Model of Magma Plumbing Systems to Improve Forecasts of Eruption Timing, Location, and Destructive Potential."

Paper Accepted in Frontiers in Earth Science: Zhan, Gregg

Posted on 12.07.2017 | Read More

Graduate student Yan Zhan, advised by Trish Gregg, had a paper accepted in Frontiers in Earth Science. This work demonstrates how modeling the eruption potential of a restless volcano can be improved by incorporating volcano monitoring data by “hindcasting” a 2009 explosive eruption of Kerinci volcano, Indonesia.

R&D 100 Award for Crunchflow, Druhan

Posted on 11.21.2017 | Read More
Crunchflow model of groundwater flow and reactions

Crunchflow, a computer modeling package developed partially by Prof Jenny Druhan, has received a prestigious R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine.


2017 Alumni Achievement Award: Jim Kirkpatrick (Ph.D. '72)

Posted on 11.14.2017 | Read More
Photo: Presentation of the plaque
On November 3rd, 2017, Prof. R. James Kirkpatrick (PhD ’72), Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at Michigan State University, was presented with the department’s Alumni Achievement Award.  Jim is well known to many current and former members of the department, having served UIUC for nearly 30 years as a faculty member, department head, and executive associate dean (10 years).

Jessica Conroy: Thriving in Research

Posted on 10.31.2017 | Read More
Jess Conroy
Assistant Professor Jessica Conroy has been included in a list of 7 women climate scientists in an article published in The Guardian.  The piece highlights the successes and contributions of several prominent women climate scientists.

Saturday, Nov. 4th Natural History Building Re-dedication

Posted on 10.31.2017 | Read More
Natural History Building

 November 4th, 2017:  Please join us for a grand event to mark the re-dedication of the Natural History Building!  Geology alumni from all over will be converging on NHB for a re-dedication ceremony, tours, and plenty of socializing to celebrate the completion of this once-in-a-lifetime renewal of the traditional home of Geology, on the quad.

Jim Best to be awarded the Lamarck Medal from EGU

Posted on 10.10.2017 | Read More
The Lamarck Medal

Prof. Jim Best will be awarded the 2018 Lamarck Medal from the Division on Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Paleontology of the European Geosciences Union!

2018 Spring Field Course: Classic Localities of Scotland

Posted on 10.08.2017 | Read More
The 2014 Group in Scotland
In Spring, 2018, the Geology 415/515 Field Course will return to Scotland!  Professors Anders, Gregg, Stewart and Burmeister will lead a group of 22 students to visit classic localities to investigate glacial geomorphology, super volcanoes, the rifting of Pangaea and thrust tectonics. 

Department of Geology Offices Return to NHB!

Posted on 07.12.2017 | Read More
"Geology Row" on the third floor of NHB
Department of Geology faculty and grad student offices have moved back into the Natural History Building.  We are now located on the east side of the third floor.  The building looks and feels wonderful!