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Research

Dr. Benjamin Hallett

Dr. Eric Hiatt

Dr. William Mode

Dr. Maureen Muldoon

Dr. Tim Paulsen

Dr. Joseph Peterson

Tom Suszek

Dr. Jennifer Wenner

Christie Demosthenous


Dr. Benjamin Hallett

Dr. Hallett teaches Physical Geology, Lithology, Geochemistry, and Mineral Deposits. He is a metamorphic petrologist whose research addresses the tectonic evolution of continental crust during mountain building events. He uses the geochemistry of metamorphic minerals to track the record of burial, heating, and exhumation of ancient mountain belt systems.

Ben’s research has involved fieldwork in Nevada, New Mexico, British Columbia, Greenland, and New England. Recently he has studied the burial and exhumation history of metamorphic core complexes in the North American Cordillera. His current research with students is focused on the Proterozoic development and growth of North America and the dynamics of trace element partitioning between garnet and metamorphic accessory minerals. He has also worked on pioneering projects that address the digital stewardship of geologic samples and geochemical datasets. Ben received a B.S. from Bucknell University, an M.S. from the University of Idaho, and a Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

 

Dr. Eric Hiatt

Eric teaches Sedimentology, Oceanography, Sedimentary Petrology and Physical Geology. He also teaches field courses in Bermuda and the Florida Keys that involve the study of modern coral reefs, sedimentology, oceanography, carbonate geochemistry, the Pleistocene record of sea-level change, and limestone formation.

Many students have completed research projects with Eric on a wide range of research topics including early marine life (bacteria), oceanography of the Earth's early oceans, analysis of ancient sedimentary basins in the western U.S., northern Canada, South America and Australia, and lead contamination in Wisconsin lakes. These projects have resulted in many research publications with student collaborators. Eric’s research currently involves projects with colleagues in Western Australia, Canada, the U.S. and South America.

Eric received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and was a visiting scientist at both the USGS in Denver (isotope geochemist), and Texaco in Houston (petroleum geologist). He completed a post-doctoral research fellowship (sedimentology, stratigraphy and sedimentary geochemistry) at Queen’s University in Ontario, and was appointed to the Geology faculty at Queen’s University before coming to UW Oshkosh. In addition to his UW Oshkosh position, he is currently an adjunct faculty member at Queen’s and Acadia Universities in Canada where he co-advises graduate students and post-doctoral researchers.

Email: hiatt@uwosh.edu
Webpage: http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/hiatt/

Dr. William Mode

Dr. Mode’s research on glacial geology, palynology, and climatic change has taken him to Baffin Island, Alaska, Russia and the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The glacial geology of Wisconsin is also of interest to Dr. Mode as he is a native of Wisconsin. Currently, he is collaborating with geologists at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey on mapping Waushara County.

Dr. Mode admits that research on surficial geology is actually easier to do in arctic areas than in Wisconsin, because the trees don’t get in the way in the Arctic. On top of being Department Chair, Dr. Mode’s teaching responsibilities include: Glacial Geology, Geomorphology, and Honors Geology. Dr. Mode’s Ph.D. is from the University of Colorado, and he spent one year at Ohio State University as a post-doctoral fellow before coming to Oshkosh.

Email: mode@uwosh.edu
Webpage: http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/mode/

Dr. Maureen Muldoon

Dr. Muldoon teaches three hydrogeology courses (Physical, Chemical and Field Methods), as well as Environmental Geology. She also teaches a geology field trip to the Colorado Plateau and an Environmental Studies field course in Belize.

Maureen's research focuses on applied groundwater questions throughout Wisconsin and all of her projects at UW-Oshkosh have involved undergraduate research assistants. Her research interests include investigation of groundwater quality and flow in carbonate rocks, relationship between carbonate stratigraphy and hydraulic properties, land-use impacts on groundwater quality, and delineation of wellhead protection zones in fractured rock.

Dr. Muldoon is a licensed professional geologist and hydrologist in Wisconsin and she occasionally consults on projects that address the hydrogeology of fractured carbonate aquifers. Before joining the staff at UW Oshkosh, she worked as a hydrogeologist with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey for almost 11 years where she conducted groundwater research throughout Wisconsin, worked with several counties on inventories of their groundwater resources, and taught several short courses.

Maureen received her A.B. degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Email: muldoon@uwosh.edu
Webpage: http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/muldoon/

Dr. Tim Paulsen

Tim teaches Structural Geology and Tectonics, Geophysics and Geotectonics, Introduction to Field Methods, Applied Field Methods, and Field Geology (i.e., field camp in Park City, Utah). Tim is a structural geologist and his research focuses on understanding mountain building in North America, India and Antarctica.

Prior to joining the Geology Department faculty in the fall of 1999, he did a three-year post-doctoral study at the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. Tim received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1997, where he studied fold-thrust belt deformation in the Wasatch Range of Utah.

He is currently working with students on projects focused on understanding the Tertiary structural evolution of Antarctica and the North America Cordillera.

Email: paulsen@uwosh.edu
Webpage: http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/paulsen/

Dr. Joseph Peterson

Dr. Peterson teaches Evolution of Earth, Paleontology, and Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis. He also teaches field courses to Utah that involve looking at Mesozoic stratigraphy and paleontology.

Joe’s research interests include vertebrate paleontology and vertebrate taphonomy, focusing specifically on Late Cretaceous dinosaurs such as tyrannosaurs and pachycephalosaurs. He is also investigating the role of microorganisms in the preservation of soft tissues in dinosaur fossils.

Joe received his B.S. in Geology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, IL, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL.

Email:petersoj@uwosh.edu
Website:jptaphonomy.com/

Tom Suszek

Tom joined the UW Oshkosh Department of Geology as their Associate Instrumentation Specialist in 2000. He has been involved in procuring and cataloguing rock and mineral specimens, maintenance of all field equipment, rock preparation equipment and laboratory instruments, creating new hall displays, and establishing EPA compliance throughout Harrington Hall. 

In addition, Tom trains and supervises students as tutors, proctors, and outreach presenters, and in the use of instruments and laboratories. He is also part of the permanent summer Field Camp faculty. 

Tom is a native of Wisconsin and a UW Oshkosh geology Alum. He received his M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with emphasis in sedimentary and economic geology. Tom has been involved in exploration for precious and base metals throughout the upper Great Lakes region for over 15 years. His area of expertise is recognition of environments of deposition conductive to formation of sediment-hosted stratiform copper deposits, and sedimentary and volcanic rocks associated with intracontinental rifting.

Email: suszek@uwosh.edu

Dr. Jennifer Wenner

Dr. Wenner teaches courses in physical geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, igneous and metamorphic petrology, and field trips to Hawaii, Death Valley and the Sierra Nevada. Her research interests include the generation of continental crust (using geochemistry and geochronology), the evolution of the mantle beneath arcs and best teaching practices for increasing college students’ quantitative skills.

Her current research projects include the geochemical and volcanological study of basaltic cinder cones in the Cascades at Lassen Peak, California and an educational study of the use of online tutorials to build introductory geoscience students’ mathematical skills. In the past, her crustal research has taken her to ancient and modern volcanoes in California, Oregon, Missouri, Wisconsin, Washington and New England. Since 2001, approximately a dozen students have traveled with Jen to complete a variety of field and geochemical projects dealing with the generation and evolution of continental crust. Each of these students received grants to complete the research (through GSA, Sigma Xi, UW Oshkosh, etc.) and many of them have presented the results of their research at national and regional meetings.

Since 2006, the National Science Foundation has funded Jen’s education and the project is active in Alabama, Connecticut, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Illinois, Colorado, Wyoming, New York, California and Washington State. She holds a B.A. from Carleton College (1992) and a Ph.D. from Boston University (2001).

Email: wenner@uwosh.edu
Webpage: http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/wenner/

Christie Demosthenous

This is Christie’s 18th year with the UW Oshkosh Department of Geology. Her teaching responsibilities currently include labs and lecture for both Environmental Geology and Physical Geology.

She received an A.B. in Geology from Colgate University and an M.S. in Geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she specialized in clay mineralogy. Her research at Illinois focused on determining the alteration history of volcanic rocks from the island of Ischia in Italy. 

Christie served as a teaching assistant for a variety of geology classes while at the University of Illinois and Colgate University. Prior to coming to Oshkosh, she worked at the Byrd Polar Research Center at the Ohio State University, using radar imagery to study the structural architecture of the Transantarctic Mountains and the distribution of volcaniccones in Antarctica.

Email: demosthe@uwosh.edu
Webpage: http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/demosthe/

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