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

Campus News | September 15, 2020

UNLV takes on another school semester with precaution and discovery.

Research | August 25, 2020

UNLV geologist investigating 310 million-year-old fossil trackway from ancient reptilian creature.

A portrait of UNLV's new president Keith Whitfield on campus.
Campus News | August 10, 2020

As summer heats up, so do the accomplishments on UNLV’s campus.

An image of Lake Mead and mountains in the background
Research | July 22, 2020

New study from UNLV climate scientist Matthew Lachniet links Arctic and tropical Pacific warming to ancient climate records, providing parallels to today.

This artist's rendition depicts NASA's Mars 2020 rover studying rocks with its robotic arm.
Research | July 6, 2020

Geoscientist Libby Hausrath gives an insider glimpse at her role as one of 15 scientists selected by NASA to work on Mars sample return on the 2020 Rover Mission.

A UNLV banner on campus.
Campus News | July 2, 2020

A collection of news stories featuring the people and programs of UNLV.

Geoscience In The News

AOL
October 22, 2020

Hikers stumbled upon the oldest vertebrate footprints ever discovered in the Grand Canyon.

New Atlas
October 2, 2020

In order to keep water from evaporating from the soil, farmers will often cover the ground around their crop plants with sheets of polyethylene plastic. There could soon be a more eco-friendly alternative, though, in the form of soybean oil-coated sand.

The Nevada Independent
October 1, 2020

Earlier this year, researchers published a 13,000-year climate history for the Great Basin.

Mirage
September 30, 2020

Farmers often need to regulate soil temperature, reduce weeds, and minimize water loss. Agricultural mulch can help farmers do so.

Las Vegas Sun
September 28, 2020

The monsoon season — that period from mid-June through September that each year brings rains to the Mojave Desert and other areas of the Southwest from the tropical coast of Mexico — has been a dud this year.

Reno News & Review
September 28, 2020

Within 20 years, northern Washoe County may be the epicenter of persistent wildfires driven by increased temperatures and prevalent drought brought about by climate change.

Geoscience Experts

An expert in geology, paleoecology, paleontology, and the history of geology.
An expert in planetary science, igneous petrology, and Martian geology.
An expert in global metal resources, the use of geochemistry to unravel geological processes, igneous petrology, mineral exploration, and global tectonics.    
An expert in Mars geochemistry, astrobiology, water-rock interactions, and snow dynamics.
Lachniet is an expert in paleoclimatology, quaternary geology, climate change and stable isotope geochemistry.
Brian Hedlund in an expert in microbial ecology at high temperatures, biofuels and genomics. 

Recent Geoscience Accomplishments

August 25, 2020
Steve Rowland (Geoscience) recently published "Early Adaptation to Eolian Sand Dunes by Basal Amniotes is Documented in Two Pennsylvanian Grand Canyon Trackways" in PLOS One. The study confirmed the oldest vertebrate tracks in the Grand Canyon. The two sets of fossilized tracks are approximately 313 million years old and are lying in view on the...
July 22, 2020
Simon Jowitt (Geoscience) was featured in an Ars Technica article on the rare earth elements, covering demand for these elements that are critical for modern technology, green energy, and defense. The article highlights recent UNLV geoscience research on the geology and potential recycling of the rare earth elements, and how developments in this...
June 18, 2020
Jesse Barnes (Public Policy & Leadership) and Michael Nicholl (Geoscience) recently had their article "Mildly hydrophobic biobased mulch: A sustainable approach to controlling bare soil evaporation" published in Vadose Zone Journal. This article was adapted from Barnes's thesis project from his master's degree in UNLV's water resources...
May 5, 2020
The Graduate College is pleased to announce its 2019-20 award winners.  UNLV Graduate College Outstanding Thesis & Dissertation Awards Each year the Graduate College presents four awards for outstanding theses and dissertations (within each category, one for STEM and one for non-STEM). This year’s winners are: Outstanding Thesis (STEM...
April 27, 2020
Min Li (Physics and Astronomy) will have a new study appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society — a major international astronomy journal. She and her collaborators, UNLV's Jason Steffen, Zhaohuan Zhu (both Physics and Astronomy), and Shichun Huang (Geoscience), as well as Misha Petaev at Harvard, combined simulations of a...
March 27, 2020
Several faculty and staff members recently were recognized by the College of Sciences with the following awards: Distinguished Classified Staff Award Rychelle Tomlin, College of Sciences   Distinguished Professional Staff Award Martha Schumacher, College of Sciences   Distinguished Researcher Award Balakrishnan Naduvalath, Chemistry and...