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Learn more about current geology news and events in the department of geology, department newsletters, and the Distinguished Speaker Series at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Geology Department News and Events

Geology Club Distinguished Speaker Series


Fall 2018


Refreshments will be served at 4 p.m. All dates are Thursday; talks will begin at 4:10 p.m. and are held in Harrington Hall Room 217, 845 Elmwood Ave, Oshkosh WI, unless noted otherwise.

  • Thursday, September 27: Resumes by Rich Marshall, Career & Professional Development and Applying to Grad Schools by Dr. Tim Paulsen.


  • Thursday, October 4: Geology Club Guest Speaker - Erik Gulbranson - Polar forests, a fluctuating biome through geologic time: insights from below-ground and above-ground paleoecology of Antarctic fossil forests.


  • Thursday, October 25: Geology Club Guest Speaker - Kelsey Putman - Petroleum exploration in the Anadarko Basin, Oklahoma: geology meets business. Halsey 109.


  •  Thursday, November 29: Geology Club Guest Speaker - Ray Reser - Weathering The Ice Age: 14,000 Years of Early Native Presence in Central Wisconsin. 

News and Events

Department Newsletters

Congratulations to All Who Participated in Celebration of Scholarship!

Geology students represented the Department impressively at the UW Oshkosh Celebration of Scholarship on April 26, 2018. Students presented their research as posters (6) and one oral paper.

  • Karsen Daus won Best Paper award for her poster “Subadult Tyrannosaur Feeding Traces on a Partial Hadrosaurid Skeleton.” 
  • Max Schwid gave the oral paper “Phosphate and Iron Minerals of the Marinoan Serra do Caeté Formation, Mato Grosso, Brazil: Diagenesis of a Glaciomarine Biochemical System.”
  • Kyle Kottas and Eli Schukow presented the poster “ Spatial and Temporal Variability of Nitrates in the Groundwater of Dunes Lake Wetland in Door County, WI.” 
  • Monica Preston’s poster was “Exceptional Preservation of an Oligocene (ca. 28 Ma) Invertebrate Marine Benthic Fauna, South Island, New Zealand.”
  • Nicole Salchert presented the poster “Crustal Processing of Primitive Basalts in the Southern Cascades, California.”
  • Brooke Vander Pas presented the poster “Effects of Micro-Organisms on Fossil Structure and Chemistry: An Example from the Terrestrial Gastropod Poecilozonites of Bermuda.”
  • Pat Wanczek’s poster was “Determining the Utility of Using a Sentinel Well to Preditct Recharge across Regional Wells in a Fractured Dolomite Aquifer.” Congratulations to all participants!


Lauren Bane and her team from the Colorado School of Mines won the Rocky Mountain regional competition for The American Association of Petroleum Geologist's 2017 Imperial Barrel Award Program.

The Imperial Barrel Award Program is an annual petroleum basin evaluation competition for geology graduate students from universities around the world. University teams compete to win scholarship funds for their home geology department and the international recognition that comes from competing or winning in the competition. 

Lauren graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Professional Emphasis and Honors) from UWO Geology Department in 2016 and is currently completing her Master's degree in Geology at the Colorado School of Mines.

Professor Laudon Passes

Leigh Hayes receives the 2018 Chancellor's Award for Excellence!!

2018 Awards: Four Research Grants from the C.W. Fetter, Jr. Endowed Research Fund

Shannon Brink, Nicole Salchert, Danny Makowsky, and Brooke Vander Pas have been awarded research grants of $250 each from the C.W. Fetter Endowed Research Fund. Shannon and Nicole are collaborating with Dr. Jen Wenner on their research. Shannon’s project is “Mineral chemistries provide a record of complex crustal processes that modify basalts in continental arcs: An example from the Poison Lake Chain, southernmost Cascades.” Nicole’s project is “Evidence for crustal processing of basalts in the Poison Lake Chain, Lassen region, California.” Dr. Eric Hiatt will supervise the research of Danny and Brooke. Danny’s project is “Oxygen isotope exchange between water and natural biological CaCO3." Brooke’s project is “Effects of micro-organisms on fossil structure and chemistry.” Congratulations to all four students!

2017 Awards: Four Research Grants Awarded from the C.W. Fetter, Jr. Endowed Research Fund

Kira Bausch, Monica Preston, Max Schwid, and Anna Sweeney have been awarded research grants of $700 each from C.W. Fetter Endowed Research Fund. All four students are collaborating with Dr. Eric Hiatt on their research. Kira's project is "Phosphate mineralization of an exposed island surface, southeastern New Zealand." Monica's project also focuses on New Zealand geology: "Preservation of an Oligocene (ca. 28 Ma) invertebrate marine fauna, Otekaike Formation, South Island, New Zealand." Max will study "Iron- and phosphate-rich rocks and mineral evolution in a 640-million-year-old ice age succession, western Brazil." Anna's project: "Dolomitzation events in Neoproterozoic cap carbonate rocks, Mato Grosso State, Brazil," is also based on Brazilian samples. Congratulations to all four students!! 

2016 Awards: Three Research Grants Awarded from the C.W. Fetter, Jr. Endowed Research Fund

Jordan Foote, Jen McLeod, and Ali Wiemer have been awarded grants for $700 each from the C.W. Fetter Endowed Research Fund. Jordan Foote's project "Developing Pressure-Temperature Paths for Rocks of the Rincon Range, New Mexico" will be supervised by Dr. Benjamin Hallett. Dr. Hallett will also supervise Ali Wiemer's project "Field Study of Tectonics of Metamorphic Rocks of the Taos and Rincon Mountain Ranges, New Mexico." Dr. Jennifer Wenner will supervise Jen McLeod's project entitled "Pb Isotopes in Basaltic Plagioclase of the Southern Cascades as Indicators of Crustal Processes." Congratulations to all three students!! 

2015 Awards: Five Research Grants Awarded from the C.W. Fetter, Jr. Endowed Research Fund

Five geology majors have been awarded grants of $650 each to support their research projects being undertaken in collaboration with faculty members. Lauren Bane’s project “Biogeochemical marine minerals formed below the seafloor off the coast of Peru, South America: implications for phosphorus cycling and ancient analogs” will be done in collaboration with Dr. Eric Hiatt. Tom Bodden will collaborate with Dr. Tim Paulsen on the project “Provenance analyses of Antarctic sandstones.” Jennifer Lemke’s project is titled “Do radiogenic isotopes reflect small-scale heterogeneities in the source of Cascade basalts?”, and Dr. Jen Wenner is her collaborating faculty member. Jennifer McLeod will also be collaborating with Dr. Wenner; her project is “Plagioclase phenocrysts as recorders of processes that modify primitive basalts of the southern Cascades.” Piper Poe will pursue the project “Textural alteration of Late Permian brachiopods: implications for understanding alteration in biomineralized skeletal material” in collaboration with Dr. Hiatt. Congratulations to all of you!

2014 Awards: Three Research Grants Awarded from the C.W. Fetter, Jr. Endowed Research Fund

In April 2014 Samantha Anderson, Amanda Doherty, and Quin Lenz were awarded $500 research grants from the C.W. Fetter, Jr. Endowed Research Fund. Samantha’s research was entitled “Geochemical Variations in Basalts of the Poison Lake Chain, Lassen Volcanic Center.” She collaborated with Dr. Jen Wenner on the project. Amanda Doherty’s project was undertaken in collaboration with Dr. Eric Hiatt. Its title was “Microbial Destruction of Calcium Carbonate Gastropod Shells During the Pleistocene.” Her field area is Bermuda. Dr. Wenner also collaborated on Quin Lenz’s project “Using Oxygen Isotopes to Characterize Mantle Processes Beneath the Southern Cascades.” Congratulations to all three student researchers for receiving the grants.

Geology Students Make Strong Showing at Celebration of Scholarship

Eleven geology students presented nine posters (one was co-authored by two students) and one artistic presentation at the UW Oshkosh Celebration of Scholarship on April 24, 2014. Lauren Bane, Peter DeVries and Ryan Steiskal received Undergraduate Awards of $100 each. Lauren’s poster was “Biochemical Minerals and Nearshore Processes in a 1.7 Billion-Year-Old Marine Deposit: Implications for the Oceanography During Oxygenation of the Earth from the McKay Formation, Northern Territory, Australia.” Her Faculty Mentor was Dr. Eric Hiatt, who was also Peter DeVries’s Faculty Mentor. Peter’s poster was “Carbonate Diagenesis and Limestone Formation in a Sub-Polar Ocean System: Middleton Island, Gulf of Alaska.” Ryan Steiskal’s Faculty Mentor was Dr. Joseph Peterson, and his visual art presentation was “Illustrations for the Article ‘Distributions of Cranial Pathologies Provide Evidence for Head-Butting in Dome-Headed Dinosaurs,’” published in the journal PLoS ONE in 2013.

The other geology students who presented posters were Amanda Doherty, Matt Hiebing, Krista Kroeninger, Quin Lenz, Jordan Lubbers, Sam Schoenmann, Joe Knafelc, and Tony Seefeldt. In addition, Collin Dischler gave an oral presentation on head-butting dinosaurs. Congratulations to all for the fine showing you made at this event.

2013 Awards: Congratulations to Matt, Quin and Jordan

The Department is pleased to announce that three research grants were awarded in April 2013 from the C.W. Fetter Endowed Research Fund for undergraduate research projects. Matt Hiebing will collaborate with Dr. Jen Wenner to determine if basalts near Lassen Peak, California have a monogenetic origin. Quin Lenz will also collaborate with Dr. Wenner. He will attempt to understand magmatic processes that generated those same basalts near Lassen   Peak. Jordan Lubbers will investigate geothermal and hydrothermal processes associated with the super-eruption of the Lake City caldera in southwestern   Colorado. His faculty collaborator is Dr. Chad Deering. Each student received a grant of $275.
2012 Awards: Three Research Grants Awarded from the C.W. Fetter, Jr. Endowed Research   Fund

Collin Dischler, Matt Hiebing, and Krista Kroeninger have each been awarded $350 research grants from the C.W. Fetter, Jr., Endowed Research Fund. Collin’s research is entitled “3D Modeling of Battle Injuries on   Dinosaurs”; he will collaborate with Dr. Joe Peterson on the project. Matt Hiebing’s project will be undertaken in collaboration with Dr. Jen Wenner. Its title is “Petrographic Study of Intraflow Variation Within Primitive Basalt Eruptions of the Poison Lake Chain” (Lassen Volcanic Park, California). Dr. Wenner will also collaborate on Krista Kroeninger’s project “Residence Time of Small-Volume Basalts in Arcs: An Electron Microprobe Study to Characterize Modification Processes in the Poison Lake Chain, California”. Congratulations to all three student researchers for receiving the grants.

2011 Awards: Research Grants from the Department of Geology Endowed Research Fund

Congratulations to the four students who have been awarded $200 research grants from the Department of Geology Endowed Research Fund. The grants will help support research projects in collaboration with Geology faculty members. The students, their projects and their faculty collaborators are listed below.

  • Carol Bigalke: “Erosive Craniofacial Structures in Marginocephalians: An Extant Phylogenetic Bracket Approach” with Dr. Joe Peterson
  • Bryan Ernst:  “The Glover Bluff Structure: A Possible Impact Feature Exposed in the Mid-Continent Cambro-Ordovician Strata of Central Wisconsin” with Dr. Tim Paulsen
  • Candice Phillips: “Trace-Element Comparisons of Spatially Related Basalt Pairs in the Poison Lake Chain, Northern California” with Dr. Jen Wenner   
  • Mike Schallhorn: “Taphonomic Investigations of Erosive Structures in Pachycephalosaurid Crania” with Dr. Joe Peterson

The Department of Geology is pleased to announce the creation of The C.W. Fetter Endowed Research Fund to provide financial support to our student researchers. More information may be found by clicking on the above link or you may make an online donation. Please indicate 'Geology Endowed Research Fund' at the bottom of the page under 'Gift Allocation Notes'.

The Endowed Research Fund was established and continues to grow as a result of donations from faculty members, emeriti and alumni. To be eligible for a research grant, a student must apply for another research grant such as Sigma Xi or Geological Society of America.

Department Newsletters

Fall 2018

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