Greetings from the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Delaware!
Greetings from Geological Sciences!
NSturchioGreetings alumni and friends,

Penny Hall
This calendar year is off to a great start and I wanted to send you a brief message to share some exciting news.

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jessica Warren to the Geological Sciences faculty. Jessica arrived in Newark about two months ago along with her husband, Dr. Carlos Moffat, a new faculty member in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment's (CEOE) Physical Ocean Science and Engineering program, and their daughter Amaya. Jessica arrived at UD following several years on the faculty in Geological Sciences at Stanford and a fall 2015 research leave at Oxford University where she worked on research related to her NSF CAREER award. Check out the faculty section below to learn about Jessica's research interests.

It is a pleasure to announce that Brian Atwater, who earned his doctoral degree in geology at UD in 1980, will receive the Franklin Institute's 2016 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science. We will celebrate Brian's accomplishments with a symposium to be held on UD's Newark campus on April 20. Learn more about the symposium and Brian's research accomplishments below.    

If you have an update to share for a future newsletter, please feel free to drop me a note by email at

With best regards,  
Neil C. Sturchio, Chair, Department of Geological Sciences
Join us April 20 for the Rising Seas and Extreme Events Symposium

A symposium honoring UD alumnus Brian F. Atwater, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and the recipient of the Franklin Institute's 2016 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science, will be held on UD's Newark campus on Wednesday, April 20.

The symposium, set for 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Trabant University Center Multipurpose Rooms, is free and open to the public. Invited lectures will focus on sea level rise, coastal processes and associated hazards.

Faculty, scientists, graduate and undergraduate students at UD and outside institutions are encouraged to submit for the call for posters; deadline for poster abstract submissions is Tuesday, March 29.

Atwater was selected as a Franklin Laureate "for his pioneering studies of coastal sedimentary records, which revealed a history of great earthquakes and tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest over millennia and led to a vastly improved understanding of these hazards globally."

Learn more >> 
Alumni Spotlight: Brian F. Atwater, '80

Brian F. Atwater (Ph.D. Geology '80) has been named the recipient of the Franklin Institute's 2016 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science.

In addition to his role as a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Atwater is an affiliate professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. His current research focuses on geophysical sciences and natural hazards.

Atwater is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Indonesia from 2009 to 2011, and was named one of the 100 most influential people in 2005 by Time magazine. He serves UD as a member of the CEOE Dean's Advisory Council.
We want to hear from YOU! A new job, a promotion, a professional award, personal milestones and life events...they are all accomplishments that we would like to share. Email and be sure to include your full name, graduation year and major. These announcements will be shared in a future newsletter and will be submitted for consideration in an upcoming issue of UD's alumni magazine, The Messenger.
Student Success: James Heiss

Doctoral candidate James Heiss is studying coastal hydrogeology with Associate Professor Holly Michael, Unidel Fraser Russell Chair for the Environment. His research investigates how tides and waves affect the way groundwater flows and distributes solutes in coastal aquifers. Heiss is particularly interested in the mixing zone that is created below the beach surface when freshwater and saltwater come together to drive biogeochemical reactions. Heiss and Michael published a paper on this topic in Water Resources Research . The paper earned the journal's Editor's Choice award, a designation awarded to only one percent of articles published annually.

New Faculty: Jessica Warren

Jessica Warren joined Geological Sciences as an assistant professor in October 2015. Her research explores the geochemistry and rheology of the Earth's mantle using samples of peridotite, an igneous rock containing olivine, collected at sea and on land. Her work has demonstrated how plate boundaries associated with tectonic faults form in the ocean. It has also shown that the mantle is compositionally complicated and includes material rarely sampled in mid-ocean ridge basalts.

Alumni Weekend 2016 
Mark your calendar now for Alumni Weekend June 3-5. Registration is now open. The College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment will host a reception for all CEOE alumni from
6-8 p.m. on Friday, June 3, on the lawn outside Robinson Hall. For more information,
University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment | Department of Geological Sciences | 302-831-4158 |