Michael McCurry, Ph.D.
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 235B
- Tectonic Magmatic Evolution
Interests are in the areas of low and high temperature geochemistry, igneous petrology, and volcanology. Principal experience is in geochemistry and petrology of magmatic systems in south eastern Idaho, Snake River Plain as well as Nevada and California.
Paul K. Link, Ph.D
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 230
- Sedimentary Geology
- Precambrian Geology
- Regional Tectonics
- Field Geology
- Ore Deposits
Tectonics and ore deposits, Belt Supergroup, central Idaho; Neogene stratigraphy on the Snake River Plain; cretaceous conglomerates of Southern British Columbia and Baja B.C.; Geologic mapping in Southeast Idaho; stratigraphy and basin analysis of Paleozoic rocks, south-central Idaho. Former field camp director for "Lost River Field Station" in Mackay, Idaho.
Glenn Thackray, Ph.D.
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 228
- Quaternary Geology
- Environment Geology
- Tectonic Geomorphology
My research interests span a broad range of surficial geologic realms. My principal background and research focus lies in the application of Quaternary geology and geomorphology to paleoclimatic and active tectonic investigations.
David W. Rodgers, Ph.D.
Professor, Associate Dean of the College of Science & Engineering
Office: Colonial Hall
Specialties are Structural Geology, Regional Tectonics, and more recently Administration. Beyond work I backpack, ski, coach soccer, and take a few weeks off each year to vacation with my family. We travel extensively through the West and have a strong interest in visiting remote places. Since 2010, I've been Associate Dean in the ISU College of Science & Engineering. Comprising ten different disciplines, CoSE is a vibrant college characterized by quality education and significant research success.
Since 2013, I've served as the ISU Site Leader for a large research program called MILES (Managing Idaho's Landscapes for Ecosystem Services). Funded by a five-year, $20M grant from NSF through their EPSCoR program, MILES involves 100+ participants at the three Idaho research universities. Faculty, post-docs, staff members, graduate students, and undergraduate students work collaboratively to study the past, present and future growth of mid-sized cities, especially in relation to ecosystem services such as water supply, water quality, flood control, and recreation. Our interdisciplinary research teams involve ecologists, hydrologists, sociologists, historians, geographers, political scientists, and others in order to better analyze the coupled human and natural systems in this environment. The ISU MILES project is described in more detail here, and the statewide MILES project is described here.
Leif Tapanila, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Director, Idaho Museum of Natural History
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 209
- Sedimentary Geology
Our ancient past provides a rich data set to understand how ecosystems respond to change over time, and I have dedicated my research career to discovering, analyzing and educating the public about the unbelievable history recorded by fossils. I have little use for traditional boundaries in paleontology: all clades, ages and environments are fair game for study. Owing to the regional geology of the west, I have spent a good deal of time studying Paleozoic marine and Mesozoic continental rocks. Past projects have studied the trace fossil record in rock, wood, and coralline skeletons; continental mollusks and their geochemistry; eugeneodontid sharks; and post-impact recovery of a marine coastline.
Through the Idaho Virtualization Lab, I am working to expand the capacity and capability of making the fossil record accessible to anyone, anywhere. Our 3-D scanning lab is the best in the country at making high-fidelity digital reproductions for the purposes of archiving, research, and education. Many of these same tools and techniques are breathing new life into ancient fossils, especially specimens collected decades ago and collecting dust in the basement of museums around the world. The Helicoprion project, which has garnered the most attention for our lab, is a good example of how a century's old mystery can finally be solved using virtual paleontology. It is exciting to imagine what discoveries lie ahead!
Benjamin Crosby, Ph.D.
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 229
- Landscape Adjustment Morphology
I am fascinated by the physical and biological processes through which the Earth's surface responds to climatic, tectonic and anthropogenic disturbance. I enjoy exploring the response time and morphology of landscape adjustment (rivers, hillslopes, coastlines and the species that inhabit them) and the implications of this adjustment over both human and geologic timescales.
Shannon Kobs-Nawotniak, Ph.D.
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 223
- Physical volcanology
- Computational fluid dynamics
- High performance computing
I investigate the connection between process and produce in volcanic eruptions, ranging in scale from the origins and underpinnings of monogenetic volcanic fields through eddy-scale mixing in eruption columns. I'm currently Geology Co-Lead on the NASA FINESSE project and Deputy PI on the NASA BASALT project, both of which use terrestrial lavas to investigate planetary volcanoes.
Sarah Godsey, Ph.D.
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 231
Our group at Idaho State University focuses on hydrology in mountain and polar regions. We're interested in how climate and land use changes may affect water resources in these areas.
I am currently studying hillslope contributions to fluvial carbon fluxes and patterns of water quality in drinking water and risk perceptions associated with water pollution in mountainous watersheds throughout Idaho. We're also currently wrapping up a collaborative project to understand coupled hydrology and biogeochemistry of water tracks in Arctic Alaska with a great team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
David M. Pearson, Ph.D.
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 215B
- Geochronological and structural evaluation of granulite-facies paragneisses in the Canadian Cordillera
- Crustal deformation and tectonics of the northern Rocky Mountain region
- Assessment of the influence of the pre-orogenic framework of the American Cordillera on later deformation
- The Cenozoic history of shortening in the central Andes and potential linkages among orogenic processes
- Evaluation of regional metamorphism in the middle and lower crust of the Canadian Cordillera
Dave's research is focused on deformation of the continental crust. His approach is primarily field-based and at the regional scale, integrating structural geology, geo- and thermochronology, and metamorphic petrology in the context of tectonic processes.
Donna M. Delparte, Ph.D.
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 201
I have an extensive background in the applications of GIS and remote sensing to the fields of geosciences, resource management and conservation/environmental planning. My current research focus relates to visualization, 3D modeling and analysis. I'm using 3D platforms to visualize research work with photogrammetry, Structure from Motion (SfM), LiDAR and point-cloud generation from gaming devices. Specific research applications relate to avalanche flow modeling and hazard mapping, terrain models, land cover change, precision agriculture and image analysis. My professional experience also extends to government and industry sectors.
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 215A
I teach a range of courses at ISU, which includes GEOL 1100, 1101, 1110, 2210, 4400, 4460, 44/5550, and 44/5591. In addition to my teaching duties I supervise and mentor the department Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching Assistants; and I manage, and develop curriculum for, the laboratory sections GEOL 1100L and 1101L.
I am a Geologist and a teacher. I started teaching in the Geosciences department in 2006 after pursuing a Master’s degree in metamorphic petrology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. While at the University of Utah I was awarded as an Outstanding Teaching Assistant and was hired as an adjunct instructor. Previous to that, I taught high school math at Judge Memorial in Salt Lake City after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Geology, also at the University of Utah. I appreciate that my career allows me the opportunity to combine my love of geology and teaching. I love getting outside to observe the world around me and going into the field is one of my favorite activities.
I am currently a part-time Associate Lecturer, and recently became the Associate Director of the department Geology Field Camp and the Lost River Field Station (LRFS). LRFS is one of my favorite places to be, especially when I’m there for Field Camp.
I enjoy working with students and facilitating learning opportunities to expand their experiences in geology. I regularly advise undergraduates, provide outreach opportunities, and I am the faculty advisor to the student run department club (GEOClub). I also work with students who have Career Path Internships (CPI); I currently have a CPI working on a project to locate and determine the accessibility of new local field trip locations.
H. Carrie Bottenberg, Ph.D.
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 225
Classes I Teach
- Principles of GIS
- Advanced GIS
- Remote Sensing
- GPS Applications in Research
- Physical Geology
My research interests involve the disciplines of geology, remote sensing and GIS. I use InSAR techniques to study the movement of the Earth's crust and to detect volcanic inflation and deflation. I model tectonic plate motion in 3D visualization software to understand rifting environments. Specifically, I have worked in the Afar, Ethiopia (see the photo above) to study the kinematics of the African, Arabian and Somali plates. I also have a research interest in environmental geochemistry and the effects of heavy metals in streams. Currently, I have an interest in exploring past volcanic activity on the Snake River Plain in Idaho using remote sensing and field based studies.
James Mahar, Ph.D., LPG, PG, PHG
Office: Colonial Hall
Dr. Mahar has 30 years of experience as a geotechnical consultant on projects such as tunnels; bridge foundations; building foundations and damage; highways; air fields; levees; open cut excavations; soil and rock slopes; shafts; dredging; rock and soil excavations; lock and dam structures; and dams. He has taught various courses in his career including; Geology and Rock Mechanics, Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Rock Engineering and Mining and Civil Engineering.
Bruce Finney, Ph.D.
Professor, Director Stable Isotope Laboratory
Office: Gale Life Sciences Bldg, Room 236
- Climate Change
- Analyzing Lake & Ocean Sediments
Bruce Finney is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, with a joint appointment in the Department of Geosciences. Much of his research focuses on using lake and ocean sediment-based data to study past and future climate changes and its effects on wildlife, humans and fish. He is particularly well known for his research on the effects of climate change on Pacific salmon populations. More than 100 of Finney's publications have been featured in peer-reviewed journals, 40 of which have been published since his arrival at ISU in 2007. His publications have been cited more than 5,000 times in the peer-reviewed literature.
Kathleen Lohse, Ph.D.
Office: Gale Life Sciences Bldg, Rm 409
Dr. Lohse has been an Assistant Professor at Idaho State University since 2010. She obtained her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2002 working with Pamela Matson at Stanford University and Ronald Amundson at UC Berkeley. Her training was in soil science with an emphasis in ecosystem ecology/soil biogeochemistry. Prior to her employment at ISU, Dr. Lohse worked at University of Arizona for three and half years as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Lohse's group works at the interface of ecology, earth system/soil science and hydrology studying the processes shaping ecosystems and their responses to anthropogenic changes.
The Lohse Biogeochemistry Laboratory (LBL) is led by Dr. Kathleen Lohse in the Department of Biological Science with joint appointment in the Department of Geosciences at Idaho State University and includes researchers who conduct interdisciplinary research to understand the hydrologic and biogeochemical processes shaping watersheds and their responses to anthropogenic changes. Increasingly, we are incorporating social processes into our conceptual and quantitative models to understand and predict these responses.
John Welhan, Ph.D.
Affiliate Faculty, Research Hydrologist with Idaho Geological Survey
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 227A
Recently retired from the Idaho Geological Survey as the Pocatello Branch Office supervisor. A full Research Geologist, University of Idaho and Affiliate Faculty, Idaho State University.I'm interested in geostatistical modeling of groundwater monitoring data from large networks in both spatial and temporal coordinates, strochastic modeling of heterogeneity and characterization of basalt morphology and its control on preferential ground water flow and contaminant transport in the Snake River Plain aquifer, geologic mapping of subsurface lithology and stratigraphy in the eastern Snake River Plain with well drillers' logs, characterizing the impact of agricultural activities on shallow ground water chemistry and monitoring and modeling the impact of septic leachate on shallow ground water flow systems.
Keith T. Weber
GIS TReC Director
Office: Gravely Hall #B20
GIS Training & Research Center 921 S. 8th Avenue , MS 8104 Pocatello, ID 83209-8104
As the Founding Director of the GIS Training and Research Center at ISU. It is my responsibility to guide the overall goals and direction of geospatial science at ISU. I am expected to increase education and awareness of GIS not only at ISU but across the entire region. I seek and secure external funding to support the Center staff as well as students. I also seek out research opportunities to better understand semiarid savanna ecosystems and interactions between livestock, wildfire, and invasive plants. I strive to be an effective teacher of geographic information science and mentor to undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students.
I am an NSF Cyberinfrastructure Campus Champion for ISU and help to enable the use of XSEDE supercomputers by ISU faculty, staff, and students. One of my main research interests is to help enable the Geoweb to improve decision making around the world! This can be acheived by leveraging cyberinfrastructure (CI), computational science, and super computers to improve the speed of sound decision making.
Million Hailemichael, Ph.D.
Research Scientist "CAMAS" Lab
Office: Phys. Sci. Bldg. #3, Room 242
My area of expertise is the isotope geochemistry of soils, soil carbonates and mollusk shells. More specifically, I am interested in vegetation and climate change by studying the stable isotopic signals of soils, paleosol carbonates and mollusk shells. Most of my work is oriented towards understanding the paleoenvironment of Hadar (Ethiopia). Since the discovery and identification of Australopithecus afarensis in the early 1970's, the Afar Depression, and particularly the Hadar and the Middle Awash sites, have been the focus of some of the world's most intensive and most significant paleo-anthropological and archeological studies. By measuring the natural abundance of carbon and oxygen isotopes in soil carbonates and mollusk shells, I have shown that Hadar which is a barn desert today was once a habitable region with C3 trees dominating the area. I am currently working on Holocene and Pleistocene climate change in East Africa and its implication on hominid evolution.
Scott S. Hughes, Ph.D.
- Petrology - Igneous & Metamorphic
Dr. Hughes is Professor Emeritus at Idaho State University, specializing in volcanology, petrology, geochemistry, and planetary geology. His primary research at ISU since 1991 has been the evaluation of basalt lava flows, geochemical processes during magma genesis and evolution, and the growth of small shield volcanoes and their surrounding lava fields on the eastern Snake River Plain. During the mid-1980’s, Hughes held an extended (1983-89) NASA post-doctoral position at Oregon State University analyzing lunar and meteorite samples to evaluate and model the magmatic evolution of lunar mare basalts and volcanic glasses. He also worked on the geochemistry of terrestrial volcanic systems, especially the volcanic rocks of the central Cascades of Oregon. In 1985-86, Dr. Hughes spent a year at Chengdu University of Technology (CDUT), Sichuan, China as a visiting scholar collaborating with Chinese researchers and teaching a seminar series on trace element geochemistry.
After joining the faculty at Idaho State University, Hughes’ was instrumental in building a new geochemical analytical facility, as well as the addition of ISU as an affiliate in the Idaho Space Grant Consortium, where he served as Affiliate Director until 2008. He also served as Assistant Director of the NASA Idaho EPSCoR program, and in 1999 initiated EPSCoR collaboration in planetary analogs with other ISU geoscientists. Dr. Hughes is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, a member of the American Geophysical Union and the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of Earth’s Interior. He won the Best Guidebook award in 2000 from the Geoscience Information Society, and the Outstanding Researcher Award in 2004 from ISU. Hughes’ research on basalt lavas, mafic low shields, and other plains-style features on Earth continues in semi-retirement in order to evaluate models that help bridge the connections between magma genesis and emplacement processes.
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