Support the Nugget Funds – UConn Gives

UConn Gives is a 36-hour giving initiative, where you can celebrate your favorite aspects of the University through giving.  Please consider support the Nugget Fund – and the NEW Department of Geosciences!  The Nugget Fund helps to fund field courses (Taiwan, Bahamas, Rome, Western US), student field work and conference travel.  By increasing this fund, we will be able to support these critical activities for our students.  Visit for more information.

Geosciences to be New CLAS Department

The UConn Board of Trustees has approved the creation of a new department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Department of Geosciences gives a modern edge to an age-old discipline, bringing research and education about the Earth and its atmosphere to UConn undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty”

Read the full article here: 

Earth Science Fair

On October 6th, 2018, the Center for Integrative Geosciences hosted our 3rd annual Earth Science Fair. The fair included many educational opportunities for the families of our community. The event consisted of tables that showcased our work in the Center for Integrative Geosciences. These tables/ demonstrations included:

  • Mineral and fossil identification,
  • Geode smashing,
  • Drone demonstrations,
  • Water resources and aqueduct displays,
  • Coring,
  • Tectonics,
  • Anthropology,
  • Robert Thorson’s book collection
  • Connecticut geological maps,
  • Major exploration and study abroad opportunities, and
  • A virtual sandbox.

Each of these tables had an array of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students helping to provide information to the public. It was a great opportunity for all members of the Center to come together and participate in this event.

Jake Frishberg, a third-year undergraduate geoscience major, had this to say about the event; “It went spectacularly, there were many kids who seemed quite intrigued by our scientific displays and dazzled by the geology prizes such as the dinosaurs [figurines] and geodes. It is so incredibly important to teach young people about geology as it is still a field with much work to be done! Plate tectonics was only discovered like 50 years ago, and these kids could be the future scientists that will find the next big game-changing discovery.”

Elena Robakiewicz, a graduate student with the Center for Integrative Geosciences, led the planning for the Earth Science Fair this year, and says, “This year’s Earth Science Day was a huge success! With an estimate of about 200-250 people visiting us, this year seems to be one of the largest we’ve ever had! The Center worked together –undergrads, grads, postdocs, staff, and faculty— alongside other departments to provide fun and exciting activities for all ages, while also educating about the many geological topics we all care so much about. We’re looking forward to another fantastic event next year to continue on our mission to help educate the public on our planet.”

In total, over 200 community members were present outside of Beach Hall for the event, making it our best turn out in our three years hosting the fair. This event demonstrated a successful collaborative effort between everyone involved, and as Elena has said, we are looking forward to continuing this event for many years to come and learning and growing alongside our community!

A special thanks to everyone in attendance! We had a blast!

Field Geology and Landscapes of the Western US

In May, a group of Geosciences graduate students traveled to the Western US for two weeks including stops in Colorado, Utah and Arizona.  The group was instructed by Dr. Julie Fosdick and Dr. Will Ouimet.  Topics included regional tectonics of the Cordillera and Colorado Plateau, geomorphology and landscape dynamics, and Paleozoic-Mesozoic biostratigraphy.

Enjoy the photos below from their trip!

Study Abroad in Taiwan – Winter 2019

Dr. Tim Byrne, Dr. Gordon Binkhorst and graduate student, Mike Chojnacki, will run the very popular Education Abroad trip to Taiwan during the Winter 2019 Intersession.  Click the links below for more information.

Taiwan Education Abroad Winter 2019 – PDF of Slides for 2019

PDF of Powerpoint Slides from 2017

Video of the 2015 trip by Greg Ostrinkski (UConn, 2015)

Informational Video from 2013:


Geoscience Day 2018


On May 4th, 2018, the Center for Integrative Geosciences held our annual Geoscience Day Research Symposium and Awards Banquet. Throughout the day, we as a community come together to celebrate the hardworking students and faculty that make our Center thrive.

From 9:00 am- 12:15 pm, we host two different poster sections, along with a well-deserved coffee break, and an oral presentation section. A total of eighteen posters were presented between these two sections by undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty alike. Oral presentations were then delivered by Mark Robbins, Caitlin McManimon, and Andrew Beard, which rounded out the morning section of our day and brought us to our catered lunch.

Throughout our lunch break, it was clear that members of the Center took the time to reflect on the successes of the 2017-2018 academic year. The room was filled with joy and laughter as faculty and students shared stories, memories, and advice for one another moving forward in their academic journey.

The second part of our day was focused on the key note speech presented by Paul Olsen (Storke Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Columbia University/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory) and our awards banquet. We would like to extend our gratitude towards Paul Olsen for joining us on this day and delivering a compelling presentation on fossil preservation and excavation efforts. As the day came to a close, we recognized a few of our amazing student and faculty for their efforts throughout the year. Listed below are the recipients of the following awards:

  • Graduate Student Research Award: Queenie Chang,
  • Graduate Student Teaching Award: Mark Higgins,
  • The Lucke Award: Judith Taylor and Cheyenne Haverfield,
  • Service Awards: Sarah Brisson, Rebecca Vanderleest, and
  • Distinguished Alumni Award: Gordon Binkhorst

These awards are a simple way to extend our gratitude towards these members of our community.

Lastly, we’d like to congratulate the undergraduate students that have completed our program with either a B.A. or a B.S. this year

 Fall 2017

Santos Oppenheimer

Chris Kuveke

Heather Scofield

Joseph Wilcox

Spring 2018

Yulio Araya

Banu Bayraktar

Cheyenne Haverfield

Eric Hong

Benjamin Lee

Alison Luk

Christopher Mangini

Joanna Scuteri

Judith Taylor

Xuetong Wang


As students, you have all continuously shown your work ethic, your passion, and your capability to achieve anything that you set your mind to. We wish you all the best of luck moving forward in your careers!


In total, approximately 75 attendees including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, alumni and members of the UConn administration were in attendance to join us for our 2018 Geoscience Day. This is an exciting day every year, when UConn Geosciences comes together to celebrate a year of hard work. We’d like to thank everyone that attended, and we hope to continue our tradition of excellence as a community!


2018 Geosciences BS and BA Graduating Class


Attendees enjoy the poster session at Geoscience Day

Director Lisa Park Boush gives the welcome address

Keynote speaker Paul Olsen (Storke Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Columbia University/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory) gives his talk

Undergraduate senior Judy Taylor presents her poster

Gordon Binkhorst accepts the Distinguished Alumni Award