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 geoscientist Arya Udry sits in front of her microscope in her office
Research | December 21, 2020

Udry is one of just 13 scientists added to NASA’s Participating Scientist Program and will help the Perseverance Rover to recognize magmatic rocks; becomes second UNLV professor on Mars 2020 science team.

Campus News | December 10, 2020

A collection of news stories highlighting the election, COVID-19, and scientific discovery at UNLV.

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.

Geoscience In The News

Clean Technica
January 4, 2021

A person can survive 30 days (or more) without food, 3 days without water, and 3 minutes without air. The latest climate research indicates all three will be in short supply as average temperatures on Earth increase. Hotter, drier conditions will reduce harvests, constrain water supplies, and make it more difficult to breathe. Great thinkers like Rex Tillerson say we will adapt, but he and his climate change denier friends fail to appreciate what that adaptation will involve.

Teller Report
December 30, 2020

As the transition to clean energy gains momentum, the United States faces the dilemma that it is almost completely subordinate to China in terms of the rare minerals it uses to build clean energy systems.

Las Vegas Sun
December 29, 2020

When Arya Udry was a little girl, she would stare at the sky and ponder the possibility of life beyond Earth.

Cronkite News: Arizona PBS
December 28, 2020

The ancient people of western Utah’s Danger Cave lived well. They ate freshwater fish, ducks and other small game, according to detritus they left behind. They had a lush lakeside view with cattails, bulrushes and water-loving willows adorning the marshlands.

KVVU-TV: Fox 5
December 24, 2020

NASA has selected another UNLV professor to join the team of scientists working on the Mars 2020 mission.

KLAS-TV: 8 News Now
December 24, 2020

A local professor has been chosen to join a mission to Mars. UNLV Geoscientist Arya Udry was selected out of 119 applicants by NASA.

Geoscience Experts

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

Recent Geoscience Accomplishments

January 14, 2021
Arya Udry (Geoscience) published the review article "What Martian Meteorites Reveal About the Interior and Surface of Mars" in Journal of Geophysical Research : Planets.  Scientists learn about the formation and evolution of planets, such as Mars, by studying rock samples. Obtaining rock samples from Mars makes it possible to study them in state-...
December 7, 2020
Arya Udry (Geoscience) has been selected for the Mars 2020 Participating Scientist Program. Udry's proposal "Using Jezero Crater Igneous Compositions to Constrain Martian Interior and Surface Processes from the Noachian to Amazonian" was selected for funding. She was one of 13 proposals out of 119 chosen for the award. UNLV now has two Mars 2020...
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...