DEERS Undergraduate Student Wins Best Poster Presentation
Paola Salas Rivera, an undergraduate student doing research under the supervision of Dr. Benjamin Brunner, won "Best Poster Presentation in the Physical Sciences" at the Spring 2023 COURI Symposium on April 23, 2023.
Paola's research focuses on the comparison of the lithologies from the Moab salt wall to algal mound samples from the Paradox Basin margin, assessing differences and similaritiesby using petrographic (microscope), X-ray and geochemical methods. Finding similar lithologies at the Moab salt wall may help discovering new oil and gas reservoirs. Moreover, when evaporites are deposited, lithium and rare earth elements (REE) become enriched in the residual brines. This lithium could accumulate in adjacent porous carbonates, such as the mounds found at Moab Valley – potentially offering an opportunity to find these resources, which are critical for the energy transition in locations that have not been considered so far.
UTEP Geological Sciences Doctoral Student Receives Department of Defense SMART Scholarship
Iliana Galvan Garcia, a doctoral student in the Department of Geological Sciences at The University of Texas at El Paso, was recently awarded the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship by the Department of Defense.
With the SMART Scholarship, Garcia’s pursuit of her doctoral degree in geophysics will be covered financially. In addition, she will receive a guaranteed civilian position with the Department of Defense. Specifically, Garcia will have her first professional opportunity with the Naval Oceanographic Office at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
“I am honored to be named a recipient of the SMART Scholarship provided by the National Defense Education Program,” Garcia said. “I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Julien Chaput, and my co-advisor, Dr. Aaron Velasco, for their support, guidance and patience throughout the application process. I also acknowledge and extend my thanks to Dr. Jason Ricketts and Dr. Richard Langford for being so kind to provide reference letters and serve as a point of contact. This was possible with their help.”
For every year of funding awarded, Garcia will work one year at the Navy facility. She expects to complete her doctoral degree in May 2024.
Other benefits of the SMART Scholarship include full tuition, an annual stipend, book and health insurance allowance and summer internships. During their summer internships, SMART scholars work directly with an experienced mentor while gaining valuable field experience and skills at their facility. After graduation, scholars begin their service commitment at the same facility, where they will work full time as civilian employees and contribute to protecting national security.
Congratulations Dr. Amanda L. Labrado!
We are happy to announce that Dr. Amanda L. Labrado’s dissertation entitled ‘Geological Problems with Microbiological Solutions: Deciphering the Authigenesis of Calcite, Dolomite, and Native Sulfur in Salty Environments’ has been selected Graduate School Outstanding Dissertation, 2020-2021, College of Science.
After completing her dissertation in Spring 2021, Amanda served as a Geological Society of America and U.S. Geological Survey Congressional Science Fellow on Capitol Hill. Amanda’s aspirations are to serve in a function that allows her to foster research while promoting science for everybody. As alumna, she remains active at UTEP, collaborating with her Ph.D. advisor Dr. Benjamin Brunner on research projects and engaging in outreach organized by the Department of Earth, Environmental and Resource Sciences.
Stephanie Marquez is the recipient of the NOAA federal fellowship to develop drone-based monitoring of soil moisture at the Chihuahuan desert and helping validate the NASA-SMAP mission in the US. Southwest. She will also have summer residence at the NOAA headquarters at the National Weather Service.
SIPES FOUNDATION AWARD RECIPIENT
Congratulations PhD Candidate, Amanda Labrado!
Dallas, Texas – The SIPES Foundation, overseeing the scientific, educational and charitable programs of the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists, is pleased to announce that six outstanding earth science and engineering students have been selected to receive scholarship awards this year. Applications were accepted from currently-enrolled, upper-division or graduate students who are U.S. Citizens, studying any field of earth science or engineering, and who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Receiving a $4,000 award from the Stephen E. Collins Memorial Scholarship Fund is Molly McCreary, a master’s degree student in geology at Texas A&M University. Receiving a $4,000 award from the Edward A. McCullough Endowed Fund is Lily A. Newton, an undergraduate student in geology at Sul Ross State University. Receiving a $3,400 award from the Marvolene Speed Bennett and Carleton D. Speed, Jr. Endowed Fund is Monica Estrada, a master’s degree student in petrophysics at Texas A&M University - Kingsville.
Receiving $3,400 awards are Adam Lyle, a master’s degree student in engineering at the University of Tulsa, and Amanda L. Labrado, a doctoral candidate in geological sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Receiving a $3,000 award funded by a gift from the SIPES Fort Worth, Texas Chapter is Nicholas Dusak, a master’s degree student in geology at Texas A&M University.
Since its founding in 1981, the SIPES Foundation has awarded scholarships to 259 promising earth science and engineering students. Funding for the 2020 awards was made possible through generous donations from SIPES Members, bequests from the Foundation’s endowed funds above, and from designated gifts from the SIPES Fort Worth and Midland chapters. The SIPES Foundation also conducts educational seminars, contributes funding to earth science publications and continuing education programs, and maintains a library of earth science films.
The Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists is a national organization of more than 900 self-employed geologists, geophysicists and engineers engaged primarily in domestic energy exploration and development. SIPES has eleven chapters located in oil and gas centers of the United States. Applications for the SIPES Foundation Earth Science Scholarships are available on the SIPES website annually after March 1.
These students are studying roof albedos (reflectivity) in southwestern US cities. High reflectivity lowers the heat load on an individual house and probably contributes to a lessening of the urban heat island effect. This could be important in environmental health, particularly in the context of global warming. Prof. Maria Amaya from the School of Nursing was a co-investigator and the following student abstracts were submitted to the article:
GeoHealth Section Newsletter - July 2020
An Article from the BYU Magazine discusses the lack of Women's Voices in organizations and especially relevant in the STEM fields. You can read the full article through the link:
Department Chair, Dr. James Kubicki with Geology Major, Ilyhanee Robles (APO Awardee), and Assistant Dean for Engineering, Gabby Gandara celebrating the 2020 APO Awards at TCM Day!
Award Recipients for Fall 2019 Commencement: Ms. Georgina Rodriguez Gonzalez, Mr. Joshua Lewis, Dr. Labdan Alqahtani, missing: Ms. Nikki Donegan. Also pictured, faculty members: front row, Dr. Jason Ricketts, Dr. Thomas Gill, Dr. Philip Goodell and back row, Department Chair, Dr. James Kubicki and faculty member, Dr. Benjamin Brunner.
Field Course on Ore Deposits Mapping Report
Jose A. Garcia (Tony)
I am thankful for the support of Lew Teal that allowed me to attend one of the best field-based ore deposits mapping courses in the world at the University of Arizona. Sponsorships like this are a huge help to students in the department.
The mapping course provided a unique opportunity to learn about magmatic and hydrothermal systems at multiple levels (from top to bottom). The hands-on learning experience gives you a different perspective of looking at rocks in the field. Lectures and field discussions allow you to instantly relate what you are observing on outcrop to ore deposit models, phase diagrams, as well as fluid source(s), flow paths, etc. Personally, I had never been introduced to the Anaconda style mapping until now, which I found to offer an immense advantage over the more classical mapping style (learned in undergrad.). It displays large amounts of information in a simple, readable way.
Aside from the technical knowledge, the course allowed me to network with industry professionals from a variety of companies (i.e. Rio Tinto, Freeport-McMoRan, McEwen Mining, Grupo Mexico, Penoles, Vale Exploration), some of which I had the chance to see again at the Society for Economic Geology meeting in Chile.
Master's thesis Featured in AGU Article
Congratulations to Julio Ceniceros who was a part of the research team featured in this story by the AGU. Julio was a co-author of the study and included his part of the work in his UTEP Master's thesis in Environmental Science, defended in Spring 2019. His participation was enabled as his NERTO summer fieldwork experience included in his support from NCAS-M, the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology. Much appreciation to Jessie Creamean (NOAA Earth Systems Research Laboratory, and now at Colorado State University).
Julio is now a Ph.D. student in UTEP's Environmental Science and Engineering program, continuing Arctic earth systems research for his doctorate under Dr. Craig Tweedie.
Summer 2019 PhD Researchers
Jenna Faith is studying the seismicity and structure around Pecos, Texas in the Delaware Basin. Over the past few years, the seismicity in this area has greatly increased, and we want to understand why. We want to figure out if the earthquakes are caused by natural forces, hydraulic fracturing, migration of fluids into basement faults from oil recovery processes, or by other reasons. In collaboration with the Texas BEG, we have deployed a network of 21-25 (depending on the month) 5-Hz, 3-Component geophones (white instrument shown in photo) to record the seismic data from November 2018 to November 2019. We aim to better locate the earthquake hypocenters so we can then try to map the subsurface features to really tie down where exactly these earthquakes are occurring within the subsurface. Jenna's summer research is supported by the McBride Fellowship.
Congratulations Spring 2019 graduates!
Dr. Anthony (left), Dr. Pennington, Dr. Giles, Guadalupe Alverex, Dr. Evey Gannaway, Dr. Kubicki, Dr. Ricketts, Nathan Reade, Ezequiel Moreno, Haley Miller, Alondra Soltero (right)
2020 Diana Natalicio Doctoral Fellowship Awardee
Congratulations Victor Garcia!
The Natalicio Dissertation Fellowship is awarded on a competitive basis to an outstanding PhD student for the final stage of completing a dissertation. The Fellowship provides $10,000 to support a student for the last semester of dissertation work. The award process occurs in the spring for students completing in the subsequent academic year. One student is nominated per doctoral program. The awardee this year is Mr. Victor Garcia!
2019 Diana Natalicio Doctoral Fellowship Awardee
Congratulations Cora (Evey) Gannaway Dalton !
The Natalicio Dissertation Fellowship is awarded on a competitive basis to an outstanding PhD student for the final stage of completing a dissertation. The Fellowship provides $10,000 to support a student for the last semester of dissertation work. The award process occurs in the spring for students completing in the subsequent academic year. One student is nominated per doctoral program. The awardee this year is Mrs. Gannaway Dalton!