Past Events

Earth Science Fair

On Saturday, October 14th, the Center for Integrative Geosciences held the second annual Earth Science Fair in celebration of Earth Science Week.  The event showcased the research of UConn faculty and graduate students, as well as engaging the public in activities that allowed them to learn about many aspects of Geoscience.

Activities included geode smashing, digging for dinosaurs, drone flight demonstrations, information on the geology of Connecticut, ice cores, flume demonstrations and much more!  The event drew a large crowd, despite rainy weather, including UConn students and local families.

UConn Alumni, Kevin Bohacs, presents at Geoscience Seminar Series

On March 8th, at a standing-room only attended event held in the Student Union, UConn Alumni (’76) Dr. Kevin Bohacs was the guest speaker for Center for Integrative Geosciences Spring Seminar Series.

Dr. Bohacs talk was entitled “The path to Gale Crater—the role of terrestrial field work in selecting a landing site on Mars.”

Dr. Bohacs is a senior research scientist with ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company. His work integrates many scales of field and laboratory investigation, from plate tectonics to molecular geochemistry, to quantitative reconstructions of climate, oceanography, tectonics, and ecosystems of ancient depositional systems ranging from deep ocean to swamps and lakes.

Dr. Bohacs is also responsible for the establishment of “the Nugget Fund”, the first endowment in Geoscience, set up to help offset the travel costs associated with geological field work by providing financial assistance for students on field trips, and supporting undergraduate research and enhancing departmental programs, such as symposia, lectures, and conferences.

The event was well attended by undergraduate and graduate students across various disciplines, as well as faculty and staff from departments throughout the university.


David Jones, Amherst College – February 9, 2016 at 11 am – Beach Hall 233


1107766David Jones, Amherst College

“Death on the playa: geochemistry and geobiology of dolomite formation at Deep Springs Lake, CA”

David Jones is an Assistant Professor of Geology at Amherst College with broad interests in Earth History.  He uses stratigraphy and geochemistry to address questions about the co-evolution of life and Earth’s surface environments in deep time.  His most recent research focuses on sedimentary rocks in the Great Basin (Nevada and Utah) and modern playa lake deposits in California (Deep Springs Lake).

Read more about Dr Jones’ research here:



Student Trips and Events

Geoscience Alumni Career Panel

The UConn Foundation is holding an alumni career panel focused on Geosciences and Geography.

Date: Tuesday, October 20th

Time: 7:00-8:30PM

Location: Laurel Hall 301


Day Trip: Brooklyn Botanic Garden & Brooklyn Museum, NYC

Saturday October 10, Departing from Storrs and Cromwell

Advance registration required: Bus Fee UConn Student Special: $35

Email Dave Colbert to register


Beautiful in the fall, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden represents the very best in urban gardening and horticultural display, with over 10,000 taxa of plants within its 52 acres. Adjacent to the Botanic Garden you will find the Brooklyn Museum, one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. Its world-renowned permanent collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures from across the globe.

The bus will leave Storrs at 8 am and make a second pick-up in Cromwell at 8:45 am. The bus will depart Brooklyn at 5 pm. Please arrive and be prepared to board the bus prior to departure times. Admission to the Museum and Botanic Garden are not included and should be paid at the door. Both offer a discounted “Art and Garden Ticket” to visit both venues. For admission packages, visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website at and the Brooklyn Museum website at

2015-16 Seminar Series

The 2015-16 Seminar Series dates have been announced…  We are pleased to have the following experts present this semester.

Date Speaker Institution Specialty Location
9/8/15 Don Goldstein UConn Geosciences Geology of Paris
10/6/15 Andrew Cohen U.Arizona Paleoclimate
10/20/15 Jack Loveless Smith Structure
10/27/15 Tony Martin Emory Vertichnology
11/10/15 Christine Regalla Boston University Structure
11/17/15 Gary Robbins UConn Geosciences Hydrogeology
12/1/15 Phoebe Cohen William Paleoecology


“The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: Understanding the environmental and climatic context of human origins through scientific drilling”



News Archives

new site grads

Geoscience in the News 2015-16:

Don’t miss Thor’s latest column in the Hartford Courant here:

Lisa_Meets_Jonathan  Lisa meets Jonathan!

Congratulations to James Farrell, a winner of the 2015 GSA Northeastern Section Graduate Student Outstanding Poster Award! 

Faculty/Student Publications:

Dr. Michael Hren’s publication in PNAS: Terrestrial cooling in Northern Europe during the Eocene-Oligocene transition

Geoscience in UConn Today:

Dr. Gary Robbins: Lego Model Aqueducts Bridge Ancient and Modern

Dr. William Ouimet: Hidden New England Landscape Comes to Life

Dr. Robert Thorson’s New Book: Walden’s Shore

Dr. Gary Robbins’ Groundwater Monitoring

Graduate Student Mark Smith Wins First Place in Innovation Quest Competition

Dr. Michael Hren’s Research on Terrestrial Climate and Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Geoscience Faculty Participate in First CLAS Alumni College Experience

Geoscience in the News:

Ouimet recognized for NSF Award to run New England KECK Program at UConn.

Geoscientist Lisa Park Boush Joins UConn Faculty

Earth Magazine: The history, science and poety of New England’s stone walls (focuses on Dr. Robert Thorson’s research and publications)

Michael Hren’s GSCI 3040 Class Takes a Field Trip to Study Outcrops in Lisbon, CT

James Farrell recognized for AGU GeoPRISMS Student Prize

Professor Vernon Cormier has been awarded $300,000 from the National Science Foundation for his project, “Characterization of Small-scale Heterogeneity in the Deep Earth.”

Geoscience Theses are Available in the Geoscience Library

You can download an excel spreadsheet of all available theses by clicking HERE.  These are also available in the Homer Babbidge Library on the Storrs campus.

Geoscience Newsletters

The Geoscience Newsletter is a yearly publication.  If you are not on the list and would like to be, please send a note to and we will add you to the list.

You can view our newsletter archives by clicking HERE.

Geoscience Photo Collection

Check out our Flickr page for photos from classes, events, trips and other happenings in the Center for Integrative Geosciences!

UConn’s Geowall

In 2010, the Geoscience program at UConn was fortunate to be awarded the Schwenk award for Innovation in Teaching through the UConn Foundation, that enabled us to purchase a GeoWall system for use in classes and research.

The original GeoWall and GeoWall2 systems were developed with the help of the National Science Foundation. More information about the project as well as schools that have GeoWall systems can be found here.

The system here at UConn is 2-fold and consists of both a 3D projector system (original GeoWall) where students can view various processes in 3 dimensions and a 2D high resolution screen array (GeoWall2) for viewing very high res imagery (satellite, microscope photos, etc.).


 Did you know the UConn has a seismogram?

It’s part of Lamont-Doherty’s Cooperative Network.  Find out more about the network and view recordings by clicking here!

Dr. Thorson’s Column in the Hartford Courant

Thor has put together a variety of his articles that deal with Connecticut’s landscape, people, and geology into a comprehensive collection.  You can download it here!

New England Keck Project concludes at UConn

  • Keck Connecticut project leaders

UConn Professors Will Ouimet and Michael Hren, several UConn graduate students, and six students from other institutions around New England, spent the last month on UConn’s campus and out in the field investigating Holocene and Anthropocene sediments and landforms to understand the regional history of floods, climate change and human impact, as part of the New England Keck Project, funded from an NSF Grant received by Ouimet and Hren.

The primary goal of the New England Keck project was to provide a unique and innovative research experience that integrated the diverse expertise of the project leaders to develop sedimentary and geochemical records of climate, landscape change, and human impact using field measurements and collected cores/samples. Use of UConn’s facilities allowed students to participate and actively engage with thriving research communities and be involved in a mix of field and laboratory research.   Students were housed at UConn, and made day and overnight trips throughout Connecticut and other parts of the New England region.

Some of the broad research questions that were investigated include:

  • What is the record of Holocene floods in southern New England, providing a Holocene context for events such as Hurricane Irene in 2011?
  • How do records of Holocene climate change vary across the region?
  • Is there a record of frequent fire in northeastern forests over the Holocene?
  • What is the erosional and depositional legacy of historic land use and sediment mobilization?
  • How does landscape response to widespread deforestation in de-glaciated regions such as southern New England compare to well-studied examples in un-glaciated landscapes in the mid-Atlantic US?
  • What is the role of slope and surface geology in affecting land use and degree of landscape response?
  • What is the legacy of historic land use on soil morphology, carbon storage and geochemistry in now reforested terrain?

They answered these questions by employing the following GIS, field and laboratory methods:

  • LiDAR based mapping, spatial analysis, field calibration and site selection
  • Field mapping of landforms, and surveying
  • Collection of sediment cores in wetlands, kettle ponds adjacent to river courses, and mill dams
  • Trenching, soils description and collection of soil samples
  • Sedimentological analysis of all sediment samples (grain size analysis, LOI)
  • Organic geochemistry of select sediment cores (C and H isotopes of plant waxes in soils and sediments; C/N isotopes in organic matter; H isotopes; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – PAHs)
  • Tree surveying (for biomass calculations) and tree coring (dendrochronology and tree ring isotope analysis)
  • ICP analysis of major and trace cations and metals (e.g., Hg) in sediments
  • Sample collection and prep associated with 137Cs, 210Pb and 14C dating

More information about this project can be found here.

A few words and photos from Banu on a recent trip to Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania…

One of our Geoscience Majors, Banu Mayraktar, just returned from a recent trip to Tanzania, and shared a few pictures from the journey.  Their group took a safari through the Ngorongoro Crater, which is supposed to be the world’s largest caldera.  Other people from the group stayed on to hike mount Kilimanjaro, which Banu plans on attempting next visit!  Thanks for sharing your summer trip with us, Banu!!!


Professor Tim Byrne receives award at FACET Conference in Taiwan.


UConn Professor Tim Byrne shakes hands with Minister of Science and Technology’s Dr. Jyuo-min Shyu, as Professor Byrne accepts an award of honor for organizing the FACET 2015 Conference that was held on May 28th through June 2nd in Taipei, Taiwan.  The FACET (Feedbacks and Coupling Among Climate, Erosion, and Tectonics) Conference was attended by over 200 Taiwan and American scientists and included 3 days of meetings in Taipei and 2 days of field trips.  Over 40 North American scientists received support through an NSF Grant awarded to Byrne and Dr. Crespi that supported travel to the meeting, housing, meals, and field trip expenses.  The Conference was a great success!

Read more about the FACET Conference.