The past year has been successful and rewarding. In addition to the Imperial Barrel Award win and the numerous awards and scholarships achieved by our students and faculty, the Department of Geological Sciences has graduated 23 B.S., 11 Masters and 3 Ph.D. students. Dr. Phil Goodell was awarded the Undergraduate Student Choice Award for Outstanding Teaching. Ana Quevedo and Joseph Sandobal were selected as the Outstanding Undergraduates, and our Outstanding Graduates were Loren Ochoa, Syprose Nyachoti and Nicholas Talavera.

The students ran a very exciting Colloquium, including 13 talks and 28 posters featuring both graduate and undergraduate research. A new pick-axe statue created by Gabriel Gaytan and donated by Joe Gomez was dedicated at a reception during the Colloquium and it now resides in our lobby.

We have had great contributions in various forms from our alumni especially James Cearley, Larry Franceware, and Joe Smith. UTEP Geological Sciences will have a presence at the Fall 2016 GSA, SEG and AGU meetings, so if you are attending, stop by our booth to say “Hi”. 

We will also welcome two new faculty this Fall – Geochemist/microbiologist Jie Xu and Physical Geologist Hugo Gutierrez-Jurado. These new faculty bring with them expertise we do not currently have so they will increase our educational offerings and research portfolio.

Our goals for the future are to work on several remodeling projects such as graduate student office space and classroom upgrades, evaluate undergraduate and graduate curricula and expand collaborations both within and outside of UTEP. I am excited for UTEP Geological Sciences future, and I hope you will continue to feel at home if you would like to visit and interact with us.

James Kubicki