Accomplishments: Department of Geoscience

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 park's Bright Angel Trail. The tracks are among the oldest tracks on Earth of shelled-egg-laying animals, such as reptiles, and the earliest evidence...
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 area may be able to better enable us to meet demand for these vital commodities.
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 management program. Barnes is currently a doctoral student in public affairs. 
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): Rachel Rahib, M.S. Geoscience, "Petrogenesis of Enriched and Intermediate Poikilitic Shergottites: From Magmatic Source to Emplacement"...
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 planet-forming disk with software that calculates the chemical compounds that form from an initial array of chemical elements. With this, Li , 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 Biochemistry   Distinguished Teaching Award Wanda Taylor, Geoscience   Distinguished Service Award Helen Wing, Life Sciences
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 composition planet-forming material both in the solar system and in planetary systems that orbit distant stars.
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 Orefield, Ningwu Volcanic Basin, Anhui Province, China," was published by Mineralium Deposita.
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 Science Journal. This study, in collaboration with NASA Johnson Space Center, Rutgers, and the University of New Mexico, focuses on the geochemistry...
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): "Active Learning and Transparency in Teaching Gateway Mathematics Courses" Alison Sloat (Sciences): "Pre-tests Improve Students’ Critical Thinking"...
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 by the meteorite chemical data.   
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 meteorites are exceptional because they record the evolution of the magma from the mantle to the surface of Mars. They also provide significant information...