University of Michigan EARTH eNews: January 2020

Dear Alumni and Friends,
A new year has begun, along with a new term with all its challenges and rewards. In this eNews we highlight the activities of our students. We are, and have always been, fortunate to have a dedicated and active student body. Their contribution to the department culture is unsurpassed and continues beyond graduation, as you can see in the alumni news we share in these newsletters. If you have news to share in these eNewsletters or the Department's printed newsletter, please let us know by emailing us at

Sincerely, Adam Simon and Kacey Lohmann

Students at AIPG

Three grad students and five undergrads attended the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) Michigan Section annual meeting and dinner in Ann Arbor the evening of December 11, 2019, where UM Alum Jonathan Garrett (BS '14) was the keynote speaker. The Michigan section is an extremely active group of professional geologists from around the state who work in state agencies, consulting, universities, public policy, and retirees who are committed to supporting and interacting with practicing geologists from around Michigan. The annual meeting is a fantastic opportunity for students to network with professional geologists and learn about the broad fields that employ geologists in Michigan. Besides the talk, there was an awards ceremony where the section recognized individuals for their outstanding contributions in the regulatory, teaching, and geological realms. For the student poster competition UM graduate students Jackie Wrage and Maria Alejandra Rodriguez Mustafa took home the 1st place and runner up prizes in the graduate student category.


Photo: U-M group at the AIPG Michigan Section annual meeting. Standing, L to R: Nick Naimo, Julia Belke, Ryan Prchlik, Bianca Gallina, Kathrine Riles, Maria Alejandra Rodriguez Mustafa; kneeling: Justin Casaus and Jackie Wrage.

Undergraduate Trip to the Bruce Peninsula.

Over MLK weekend, eight of our undergraduate students travelled to the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario. The students spent three days hiking and examining the dolomites, limestones, and shales of the Niagara Escarpment. The ice and snow made the forests and cliff-sides of the Peninsula beautiful. The students especially enjoyed the Grotto in Bruce Peninsula National Park. Here, the landscape was covered in several inches of ice making it a highlight of their trip. The trip was undergraduate led and supported by Geoclub. -Ryan Prchlik and Kaitlin Koshurba

Recent PhD Mark Robbins Receives 2020 NAGT Outstanding TA Award.

Please join us in congratulating recent PhD Mark Robbins on receiving a 2020 National Association of Geoscience Teachers Outstanding TA Award.

Read about the award.

Photo: Peter Knoop

Alumni News

Alumnus Kyle Meyer's (PhD 2018) Nature Communications article generated a flurry of media interest in the role Mercury contamination and warming may have played in the demise of dinosaurs and other species 66 million year ago.

Links to the original article and media coverage may be found here.

More news, events, and general interest articles can be found on the department web site. You can follow the field trips, research, and Camp Davis on Twitter and Instagram

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