Graduate Research Opportunities

The Department of Geosciences offers diverse opportunities for graduate research. Students work closely with a research advisor and undertake some combination of field, analytical and theoretical studies. Research is supported by excellent analytical and computing facilities in the department and college, including industry-standard software. Often, research projects are formulated in conjunction with local energy companies for whom the students may work part time while pursuing their degree.

Geosciences case in Keplinger Hall

Mineral Collection Adds Interest and Color

The family of Ed Siereveld donated his collection of minerals to the Geosciences Department.

The mineral collection currently being enjoyed by all visitors, students, faculty, and staff in the atrium on the main floor in Keplinger Hall was donated to the Geosciences Department by Arlene Siereveld of Wagoner, Oklahoma, to highlight the work of her late husband, Ed.

Ed was an electrical engineer, educator, and avid rock collector. His enjoyment of the vast collection extended to education. He would have classrooms of school children visit the basement of his home where the collection was always on display.

The specimens come from all over the world, sometimes with the same mineral represented from many different countries, such as the deep green Malachite minerals. There is beautiful blue Lapis Lazuli from Badakshan, Afghanistan and a lovely purple specimen called Charioite – found only in Russia. The collection also features many excellent specimens from the United States.

The collection was cataloged and photographed by Catherine Webster, currently the lab coordinator in the Geosciences Department. She also cleaned and filled the display cabinet with the specimens. There are many more pieces of interest and beauty that will be added to the case in the future.

All specimens are labeled with their name, location, and chemical formula. This information provides opportunities for students to learn more about the world around them. Ed Siereveld would be pleased with the attention his collection receives on a daily basis.

Projects involving petroleum geosciences may involve sequence stratigraphy of siliciclastic systems, correlation of well logs with seismic data, reservoir characterization in carbonate or clastic systems or fractured systems, seismic design and interpretation, or basin thermal evolution.

Some students undertake studies in biogeosciences.  For example, the unique biota in alpine acid drainage systems. Cross-disciplinary projects are often undertaken with advisors from multiple departments. Environmental theses may involve characterization of contaminated areas such as brine scars, and design of novel remediation methods. Environmental geophysical studies focus on 3-D mapping of aquifers. There is also active geophysical research at plate tectonic scales, for example the Cascade subduction zone. Research in igneous petrology and geochemistry is focused on mid-ocean ridges and subduction zones, particularly on volatiles in magmas. There are active projects in Lau Basin, Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic, and Juan de Fuca Ridge. Other research projects include (but are not limited to) explosive volcanoes, especially those in Italy; structural mapping of Paleozoic plate tectonic history in Oklahoma; subsidence and carbonate deposition of Pacific seamounts; tectonics of the Mariana fore-arc; finite element modeling of geologic structures.