The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is proud of its dedication and accomplishments in the area of undergraduate student research. All of our faculty involve undergraduate students in their research projects. These students often present their results at scientific meetings. Over 50 of our students have made research presentations at local, national, and international science meetings. Additionally, our majors have received many research scholarships including NSF funded REUs (Research Experience for Undergraduates). These types of research opportunities for undergraduate students are rare at other institutions. Our department encourages our students to get involved in research activities at any time in their college career, including as early as their freshmen year. Completion of research projects help prepare students for their working careers and are helpful for students looking to further their education by completing graduate studies.
Student Research Projects
Determining age and source of sedimentary rocks in an ancient faulted basin
Description of Project:
Students analyzed radiometric ages of zircon grains within ancient sandstone layers from northeastern Nevada. The age analysis allowed students to determine the depositional age of the sandstone layers and if the grains were derived from ancient bedrock or from ancient volcanic eruptions. The age the sandstone layers were previously unknown and the results of the study were important in determining the ancient faulting and depositional history of the area.
Students and Faculty Mentors:
- Anderson Drescher
- Patrick Hackett
- Robert Hensley
- David Hoffman
- Gavin Middleton
- Priya Patel
- Dr. Camilleri and Dr. Deibert
Resulting Presentations and Publications:
Students involved the project presented their research in the form of an oral poster session at the national meetings of the Geological Society of America held in Phoenix, Arizona and Indianapolis, Indiana. Funding was available through the department and the university to help pay for these students to travel to these meetings to present their findings.
Listing of Publications and Presentations:
- Middleton, G., Patel, P., Drescher, A., Deibert, J. E., Camilleri, P. A., and Schwartz, J. J., 2019, Provenance of Pre-Cenozoic detrital zircons from the Humboldt Formation along the northern margin of the Wood Hills and its implications for pre-16 ma paleogeography and extension in the East Humboldt-Wood Hills-Pequop metamorphic core complex, NE NV; Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 51, No. 5, doi: 10.1130/abs/2019AM-330464. [link to abstract]
- Drescher, A., Patel, P., Middleton, G., Camilleri, P. A., Deibert, J. E., and Schwartz, J., 2019, Late Oligocene extension in the East Humboldt-Wood Hills-Pequop metamorphic core complex: new constraints from ages of detrital zircons in the Humboldt Formation along the northern margin of the Pequop Mountains, NE NV; Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 51, No. 5 doi: 10.1130/abs/2019AM-330465. [link to abstract]
- Camilleri, P., Deibert, J., Schwartz, J., Hoffman, D., Hensley, R., and Hackett, P., 2018, Cenozoic exhumation of the Ruby Mountain-East Humboldt-Wood Hills-Pequop Mountains metamorphic core complex: new constraints from remnants of Paleogene to Neogene extensional basins: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Paper No. 197-8. [link to abstract]
- Hackett, P., Hensley, R., Hoffman, D., Deibert, J., Camilleri, P., and Schwartz, J., 2018, Provenance of Cenozoic detrital zircons in the Miocene Humboldt Formation in the northern Wood Hills, northeastern Nevada: implications for local sedimentation in the Nevadaplano: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Paper No. 96-16. [link to abstract]