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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 professor Matthew Lachniet works in his lab on campus.
People | December 27, 2019

A collection of stories highlighting UNLV faculty and students who made the news in 2019.

unlv professor arya udry looks at a meteorite that she's holding up to the light
Research | December 26, 2019

A collection of stories featuring interesting discoveries driven by UNLV that have made news in 2019.

People preparing to cut ribbon on new Fertitta Complex
Campus News | November 1, 2019

A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.

UNLV Professor Libby Hausrath
Research | October 21, 2019

Libby Hausrath is one of just 10 scientists selected for NASA’s returned sample science team; will help decide which samples return to Earth from Mars 2020 mission.

Arya Udry using a microscope.
People | October 21, 2019

Studying rocks from space replaced this geoscience professor's original career choice of being an astronaut.

a close-up of a group of circles
Arts and Culture | September 30, 2019

Researchers from the College of Sciences showcase the artistic side of science by featuring their most captivating research images.

Geoscience 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.

EOS
November 7, 2019

How far away is “safe”?

Las Vegas Review Journal
October 28, 2019

Geoscience professor Libby Hausrath is one of 10 scientists chosen by NASA to select and analyze soil samples from the Mars 2020 mission set to launch in July.

Las Vegas Review Journal
October 25, 2019

If there was ever life on Mars, UNLV researcher Elisabeth “Libby” Hausrath will be one of the first to know.

El Tiempo
October 25, 2019

If there were life on Mars, the UNLV researcher, Elisabeth “Libby” Hausrath, would be one of the first to know. The geoscience professor is one of the 10 scientists chosen by NASA to select and analyze soil samples from the “Mars 2020” mission that will be launched in July.

Reno Gazette-Journal
October 24, 2019

In the year 2031, a rocket packed with Martian rocks and soil samples will launch from the surface of the Red Planet.

Geoscience Experts

Brian Hedlund in an expert in microbial ecology at high temperatures, biofuels and genomics. 
An expert in geology, paleoecology, paleontology, and the history of 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.
An expert in earthquakes, structural geology, tectonics, and neotectonics.

Recent Geoscience Accomplishments

August 12, 2019
Jason Steffen (Physics and Astronomy), Shichun Huang (Geoscience), and Zhaohuan Zhu (Physics and Astronomy) were awarded a $550,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation for "Modeling Dust Condensation in Protoplanetary Disks".  This program will combine UNLV's expertise in geochemistry and in planet formation to calculate the...
March 26, 2019
Simon Jowitt (Geoscience) and colleagues from Hefei University of Technology and Uppsala University recently published a paper on the use of magnetite compositions to determine the processes that formed major mineral deposits in eastern China. The paper, "In situ LA–ICP–MS Trace Element Analyses of Magnetite: Genetic Implications for the Zhonggu...
February 22, 2019
Arya Udry and Chris DeFelice (both Geoscience), along with Zoe Wilbur, '18 BS Geology; Rachel Rahib, '15 BS Geology and '18 MS Geoscience; and Logan Combs, '18 MS Geoscience, co-authored the manuscript "Reclassification of Four Aubrites as Enstatite Chondrite Impact Melts: Potential Geochemical Analogs for Mercury" in the Meteoritics and Planetary...
January 31, 2019
Five College of Sciences faculty exhibited posters at the UNLV Best Teaching Practices Expo Jan. 29.  Gabriel Judkins (Geosciences) and Rex Suba: "Embedding Accessibility in Course Development" Elana Paladino (Sciences): "Mentoring meetings increase student performance on 'high stakes' projects in STEM" Viktoria Savatorova (Mathematical Sciences...
December 3, 2018
Arya Udry (Geoscience) co-authored the manuscript "Martian Magmatism from Plume Metasomatized Mantle," which was recently published in Nature Communications. This study shows that the two main types of Martian meteorites (shergottites and nakhlites) could have formed from the same volcanic processes that create volcanoes in Hawaii as demonstrated...
September 20, 2018
Arya Udry (Geoscience), was awarded two NASA program grants. One is a three-year, $330,540 NASA Solar System Working Program grant titled, "Petrogenesis of Poikilitic Shergottites and Implications for Martian Geochemical Reservoirs." This grant is to study a comprehensive suite of Martian meteorites called the poikilitic shergottites. These...