Category Archives: Research





Stan Dyl Geology Fellowship Awarded to Elisa Piispa

The Stan Dyl Geology Fellowship has been awarded to Elisa Piispa, a PhD student in geology, for her work on improving the proterozoic continental reconstructions based on combining characterizations of the paleomagnetism, geology, mineralogy and geochronology of mafic dike swarms in India. This fellowship will be used to support her travel to India to present her work. She is advised by Assistant Professor Aleksey Smirnov.


P. M. Thorton Endowed Fellowship Awarded to Joshua Richardson

Joshua Richardson, MS student in geophysics, has been awarded the P. M. Thorton Endowed Fellowship for his work on emerging seismic structural imaging techniques involving active and passive source imaging of the upper crust. Josh has conducted seismic surveys at the Bering Glacier in Alaska and on Fuego Volcano in Guatemala. He is advised by Assistant Professor Gregory Waite.


Seaman Museum Fellowship Awarded to Elisabet Head

Elisabet Head, PhD candidate in geology, has received the Seaman Museum Fellowship for her work on fluid inclusions in olivines erupted by Nyamuragira volcano. She is advised by Assistant Professor Simon Carn and the fluid-inclusion aspects were conducted in collaboration with Professor Paul Wallace at the University of Oregon.



Geology Grad Student Wins National Recognition

by Tom Schneider, student writer

For Alex Guth, being a graduate student is hardly a passive ordeal.

Recently, the Association for Women Geoscientists awarded the Brunton Award to Guth. This award, named for a top manufacturer of high-end compasses, is a prestigious commendation for work in field mapping and data acquisition. The award will include a personally engraved compass from Brunton.

“We are very proud of Alex’s work and are glad to see it recognized by a well respected organization like the Association for Women Geoscientists,” said Professor Wayne Pennington, chair of the geological and mining engineering and sciences department. Guth is pursuing a PhD in Geology.

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“Gigantic Magnetofossils” Ruled in Ancient Global-Warming Climate

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor, Michigan Tech

Ancient “giant” spearheads and spindles have been discovered deep within New Jersey rock formations by a team of scientists.

These biominerals are actually about four microns long–hundreds would fit on the period at the end of this sentence. But they are much larger than those previously discovered and have huge potential regarding global warming yesterday, today and tomorrow.

These magnetofossils are new to the biomineral world, according to Michigan Tech paleomagnetist Aleksey Smirnov, a member of the research team. They discovered that 55 million years ago, the earth warmed by 6 to 8 degree Celsius after huge amounts of organic carbon entered the atmosphere. Although this ancient global-warming episode–the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)–remains a mystery, it might offer analogies for future environmental impacts of possible global warming.

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