A woman wearing a veil over her head sitting among different rock formations.

Department of Geoscience News

Geoscience is an all-encompassing term used to refer to the earth sciences. Geoscientists strive to understand earth processes and study the origin and evolution of our planet; the chemical and physical properties of minerals, rocks, and fluids; the structure of our mobile crust; the history of life; and the human adaptation to earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and floods.

Current Geoscience News

UNLV Engineering team's robot shaking hands with student
Campus News | December 5, 2022

A roundup of students and faculty whose innovation and expertise made news headlines.

lithium mine pools with mountains in background
Research | November 29, 2022

With a rich store of lithium in our lands, the state has a chance to capitalize on the ever-growing demand for clean energy. Here’s how we can ensure this boom doesn’t go bust.

underwater coral and fish
Research | November 28, 2022

UNLV analysis challenges the idea that ocean ecosystems have barely changed over millions of years, pointing scientists down a new path on conservation efforts and policy.

UNLV cheerleaders during 2022 homecoming
Campus News | November 8, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV students and faculty who made headlines locally, regionally, and internationally.

A researcher working in UNLV professor Libby Hausrath's lab
Research | October 18, 2022

A team of UNLV scientists is researching how we can support extended space travel with oxygen and food needs for people.

Example of Tellurium-quartz-pyrite hydrothermal vein
Research | October 13, 2022

UNLV economic geologists estimate global supply of tellurium — a metal used for solar panels — and the potential for extracting critical metals from existing mining operations. 

Geoscience In The News

Deeper Blue
December 8, 2022

Researchers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas have published findings in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, highlighting how by looking at marine food web fossils, we can get a glimpse into the future of climate change effects.

December 7, 2022

NASA’s Perseverance rover snagged two new samples from the Martian surface on Dec. 2 and 6. But unlike the 15 rock cores collected to date, these newest samples came from a pile of wind-blown sand and dust similar to but smaller than a dune. Now contained in special metal collection tubes, one of these two samples will be considered for deposit on the Martian surface sometime this month as part of the Mars Sample Return campaign.

December 5, 2022

Mankind's crucial fossil fuels—coal, natural gas and crude oil—all unfortunately contain large amounts of carbon. But why is that and where does it come from?

Eco Watch
December 3, 2022

Certain metals are essential to producing renewable energy products, and tellurium (Te) is one that is becoming more widely used in the manufacturing of photovoltaic cells for solar panels.

The Scientist
December 1, 2022

Five major El Niño events per century could lead to fewer fishes that thrive in cold water and more terrestrial birds in eastern coastal ecosystems.

Science Daily
November 30, 2022

What a tangled web we weave. Well, when it comes to the climate crisis' impact on marine food webs, we apparently didn't know the half of it. That's according to a new UNLV study which compared ancient and modern ocean ecosystems in a bid to understand how to make them healthier and more resilient.

Geoscience Experts

Brian Hedlund in an expert in microbial ecology at high temperatures, biofuels and genomics. 
An expert in Mars geochemistry, astrobiology, water-rock interactions, and snow dynamics.
An expert in earthquakes, structural geology, tectonics, and neotectonics.
Lachniet is an expert in paleoclimatology, quaternary geology, climate change and stable isotope geochemistry.
Carrie Tyler is a marine conservation paleobiologist.
An expert on water resources, paleoclimatology, and environmental pollution. 

Recent Geoscience Accomplishments

November 7, 2022
Krishnakumar Nangeelil, Peter Dimpfl, Zaijing Sun (all Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences), Shichun Huang (currently faculty at UTK, a former member of the department of geosciences at UNLV), and Mayir Mamtimin (Halliburton) published an article titled, "Preliminary Study on Forgery Identification of Hetian Jade with Instrumental Neutron…
September 1, 2022
Simon Jowitt and Brian McNulty (Geoscience) recently published a paper in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews on critical metals – often discarded as a byproduct of mining operations – that are vital components in the global push for low-carbon energy generation, storage, and transport. Researchers explored the current global supply and…
April 29, 2022
Amanda Ostwald and Arya Udry (both Geoscience) and their collaborators, Valerie Payré (NAU), Esteban Gazel (Cornell), and Peiyu Wu (Cornell) published a paper, “The Role of Assimilation and Factional Crystallization in the Evolution of the Mars Crust”, in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Ostwald is geoscience graduate student, and…
November 3, 2021
Shichun Huang (Geoscience), Min Li (Physics and Astronomy) and their colleagues published an article, Sulfur Isotopic Signature of Earth Established by Planetesimal Volatile Evaporation, in Naure Geoscience. Using sophisticated ab initio and thermodynamics calculations, they showed that the Earth's sulfur, an important volatile element, budget is…
March 30, 2021
David Rice,  Zachary Grande, Ashkan Salamat, Jason Steffen (all Physics and Astronomy), and Oliver Tschauner (Geoscience), along with former UNLV postdoc Chenliang Huang (Physics and Astronomy) published a study on the properties of the interiors of distant, extrasolar planets in the "Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society." This study…
March 23, 2021
David Kreamer (Geoscience) was invited by the president of the United Nations General Assembly to speak to the member states in open session at a high-level UN meeting on the "Implementation of the Water-Related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda" earlier his month. Kreamer spoke on an interactive panel on water data, information, and governance…