Stephen Rowland

Professor of Geology
Expertise: Geology of Southern Nevada, History of Geology, Paleoecology, Paleontology, Stratigraphy


Steve Rowland studies the history of life on Earth as recorded in the fossil record, particularly the paleontology of Southern Nevada and adjacent regions. His research ranges from the earliest (late pre-Cambrian) animal fossils, to Jurassic dinosaur tracks (and those of co-existing animals) in Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park, to Ice-Age fossils of the Tule Springs area. His history of geology research focuses on 18th century Russia as well as the history of the relationship between geology and religion in American history—especially as recorded in the writings of Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain. 

Stephen Rowland In The News

Las Vegas Sun
November 29, 2019
Nevada, because of its rich landscape and diverse history, is often regarded as a playground for geologists and paleontologists around the world.
KSNV-TV: News 3
June 19, 2019
Las Vegas has the second-hardest water in the nation when it comes to major metropolitan areas, according to Homewater 101.
Hermann Herald
April 29, 2019
An undated photo at Grand Canyon National Park shows the fossilized tracks of an unidentified creature that researchers believe lived about 315 million years ago.
February 27, 2019
Grand Canyon has been a national park for a century—but we’re still learning its many secrets. Recently, a rock fall revealed the oldest fossilized tracks ever recorded in the Canyon. They’re the footprints of a reptilian creature that walked through wet sand 310 million years ago.

Articles Featuring Stephen Rowland

Interior of Grand Canyon with individual looking at rocks
ResearchMay 1, 2020
Las Vegas Valley rock layer matches that of a famous interval of rocks at the Grand Canyon; findings reported in the journal Geology.
petri dish and beakers containing liquids
ResearchDecember 26, 2018
In 2018, faculty and students collaborated with one another and international colleagues on scientific exploration that sought to help people make sense of themselves and the world around them.
ResearchNovember 8, 2018
UNLV geologist investigating 310 million-year-old fossil trackway from ancient reptilian creature.
students excavate a tusk
ResearchNovember 13, 2015
UNLV paleontologists recover mammoth fossils northwest of Las Vegas.