News and events

Bringing leaders in the geosciences to our campus

World-class geological science and engineering research and cutting edge topics are presented in our Department seminar series.

News from the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering

Four people sit on the ground surrounded by jackets and cooking items. They are all facing the camera and smiling, dressed warmly.
How to cook chicken on a volcano

Six years of research leads to new theories (and new cooking methods) at the Puyehue Cordón Caulle volcano

A microscopic image shows two large grains of pollen that look like spiky yellow balls on a butterfly leg, which is a straight line horizontally with grooves in it.
Museum collections shed light on butterfly adaptations over time

Research looking at preserved butterflies reveals the complex story in a grain of pollen

A person stands in a clearing holding a large drill. Another person stands nearby with a notebook under their arm. They are standing in a mountainous area with the ocean visible in the background.
Eroding rocks can put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. What does that mean for the climate?

Graduate student Mara Nutt looks for answers in the Santa Ynez Mountains

A woman wearing a blue rain jacket stands next to a large rock face. She is surrounded by mosses and trees.
Nick Zentner Field Trip to the Cascades with Professor Stacia Gordon makes an impact on YouTube

Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering Professor Stacia Gordon hits the road for another YouTube cameo

A woman and a man shake hands in front of another woman holding a glass award.
Celebrating the 2022 College of Science Distinguished Alumni

Among the awardees are Las Vegas’s city planner, a globe-trotting fish biologist, a psychologist providing culturally sensitive services and more

Q&D Construction worker in open trench
Aging infrastructure in rural Nevada sees alumni-led improvements

Yerington nears the completion of a USDA-funded project to remove and replace the rural Nevada city's 100-year-old sewer and water systems.

JCSU building with trees
University taking part in Great Nevada ShakeOut public earthquake drill 10/20 at 10:20 a.m.

Campus community encouraged to be earthquake aware and to Drop, Cover and Hold-on

People walk around the wooden and glass cases holding rock specimens in the Keck Museum. The photo is taken from above.
Explore Earth Science Week with the College of Science

Earth Science Week this year is celebrated from Oct. 9-15

adjusting instruments on tower on Antarctic ice shelf
Thwaites Glacier under threat from warming sea temperatures – College of Science scientists use fiber-optics to study ice-shelf melting

Chris Kratt travels to Antarctic to set up temperature sensing devices and retrieve data

A mountainous landscape shows a canyon carved by a river.
How old are the Sierra Nevada mountains, really?

Researchers in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering weigh in on a hotly debated topic in tectonics and geomorphology: the age of the Sierra Nevada mountain range

A house’s porch stands unsupported by the ground that used to lie beneath it.
Yellowstone flooding response includes geotechnical surveys

Assistant geological engineering professor Michael Gardner visited the sites of flooding in Yellowstone National Park to determine how geostructure integrity was compromised

A male and a female stand on an ice sheet, posing with a LGBTQ+ Pride flag.
Exploring ice and expanding access

Hydrogeology student Drake McCrimmon found space to be himself while doing science on the Greenland ice sheet.

A man wearing a hat and sunglasses stands on red rocks in front of a rock arch.
Paving the Wolf Pack Way: Garrett Vice ‘08

Paving the Wolf Pack Way is a series of stories showcasing Wolf Pack Way alumni from the College of Science.

A jetty of rocks spits out to the left with the clear turquoise waters of Lake Tahoe in the foreground and alpine mountains in the background.
State geologists gather in the Sierras for annual meeting

The 2022 meeting is being hosted by the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology.

Discover Science Podcast with Harrison Schmitt
Discover Science podcast: Harrison Schmitt on his trip to the Moon

Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt discusses what it was like to be on the Moon's surface, what we're still learning from the samples brought back to Earth and what the future of lunar exploration looks like

Astronaut and flag in the foreground with Earth in the background far away.
Apollo 17 astronaut, scientist and moonwalker Harrison Schmitt visits University March 31

The Discover Science Lecture Series continues with a visit from Apollo 17 astronaut and scientist Harrison Schmitt who stepped off the Moon's surface on December 19 during the last lunar visit.

Nick Zentner (left panel) wears headphones in front of a chalkboard. Stacia Gordon is sitting in the right panel.
YouTube becomes SciComm avenue for geological sciences professor

Stacia Gordon has been featured in several videos on CWU Professor Nick Zentner's YouTube channel.

Brown (left) and Vahidi are wearing goggles and are in focus in the background, with lab equipment out of focus in the foreground.
Mission Support and Test Services supports undergraduate research

Student researchers studied security in a variety of fields.

Two people each stand in front of a booth display for CREG and the Mackay School.
AEMA 2021 annual meeting sees prominent Mackay School presence

Students, faculty and alumni participated in many aspects of this year's AEMA conference

Cover of Nevada Geology calendar
Dramatic Nevada scenery featured in 2022 Nevada Geology photo calendar

Funds raised support University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

Students on the quad in autumn.
College of Science celebrates 2021 distinguished alumni

Alumni from the College of Science and the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering were commended at last night's annual event.

Surface rupture of Monte Cristo earthquake
University taking part in Great Nevada ShakeOut public earthquake drill

Campus community encouraged to be earthquake aware and to Drop, Cover and Hold-on

House and building debris from flooding in Europe
Devastating floods in Europe bring geoengineers to study impact on infrastructure

Michael Gardner visited Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium as part of a reconnaissance team to see how geo-structures performed with severe flooding.

Photo of the Truckee River in fall.
Earth Science Week guided tour explores water in western Nevada

Tour western Nevada’s hydrologic cycle and rapidly evolving landscapes with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Saturday, October 16

thermal image of south lake tahoe
Thermal cameras installed by ALERTWildfire to help firefighters see through Caldor Fire smoke

University of Nevada, Reno and DigitalPath technicians deploy latest technology onto mountaintop camera platform

two researchers installing seismometer in ground
University of Nevada, Reno scientists and engineers collaborating on seismic survey for earthquakes

Unraveling the sub-surface geology of the Truckee Meadows using fiber-optics

A sepia-toned photo shows the Mars landscape with a hill and rocky features.
Is there life on Mars?

Professor and Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering and member of the Mars Exploration Rover Team answers questions about roving on Mars.

High-Resolution Still Image of Perseverance's Landing
Roving Mars: From Sojourner to Perseverance

Foundation Professor and planetary scientist Wendy Calvin will discuss the evolution of Mars rovers in her March 11 Discover Science virtual lecture.

Microscopic image of marine plankton.
Marine Plankton face threat of extinction as planet warms

Census of marine plankton fossils reveals inability to adapt to large shifts in climate

desert mountains
Geology-themed 2021 calendar available from College of Science

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology compiles scenic photos, Nevada facts in annual calendar

volcanic rocks in Hot Springs Mountains
Explore Nevada’s Hot Springs Mountains in virtual Earth Science Week field trip

University of Nevada, Reno’s Bureau of Mines and Geology event Sat., Oct. 17

earthquake damage Wells, Nevada
University taking part in Great Nevada ShakeOut public earthquake drill

Campus community encouraged to be earthquake aware and to Drop, Cover and Hold-on

Bridget Ayling sampling water
Geothermal energy exploration to get boost from University research

College of Science awarded $10 million DOE grant to develop comprehensive ‘toolkit’ for industry

Photo of Tommy Thompson sitting at the base of a rock face holding a map.
Tommy Thompson, Professor Emeritus and former director of the Center for Research in Economic Geology, graduates his 100th graduate student

Monte Cristo faultline
Monte Cristo Earthquake fault still active with 6,500 aftershocks

University geoscience teams monitoring, finding, mapping damage and surface ruptures

students studying earthquake trench
Carson City aftershocks continue after magnitude 4.5 earthquake

College of Science seismological lab tracks seismic activity in Silver State

Heather Winslow standing on the crater wall.
AGU Outstanding Student Presentation awarded to graduate student Heather Winslow

Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering student receives prestigious award granted to the top 5% of student participants.

Joel Scheingross and his PhD adviser Michael Lamb surveying waterfall plunge pools on Dry Meadow Creek in the Southern Sierra Nevada (credit: Roman DiBiase)
Joel Scheingross receives the 2019 Luna B. Leopold Award

Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering honored as an early career scientist by the American Geophysical Union.

The collapsed San Marin Hotel
Drop, Cover and Hold On in the Great Nevada ShakeOut public earthquake drill

College of Science’s seismological lab uses drill to help Nevadans learn, prepare for earthquakes

Mountains of Nevada with interesting geology coloring different sections
Public invited to annual Earth Science Week field trip

Participants will learn about the geology of the Truckee Meadows and Virginia City

Granite Range near Gerlach
Great Nevada ShakeOut public earthquake drill Oct. 17

University of Nevada, Reno’s seismological lab uses drill to help Nevadans learn and prepare for earthquakes

Lake Tahoe
Mineral Monday field trip to Lake Tahoe

The College of Science favorite is back for a new season

AlertTahoe camera and tower install
Final AlertTahoe fire camera installation complete near Emerald Bay

Camera goes live on University of Nevada, Reno’s AlertWildfire website

Wells Nevada earthquake damage
Seismic Nevada: Sequence of 60 earthquakes in Sun Valley, Washoe Valley earthquake

College of Science leads effort to monitor, research, assess earthquake hazards

teaching geothermal class in a trench
Machines being trained to enhance geothermal exploration in Nevada

College of Science geologists are successful with new exploration methods for renewable energy

Drilling rig on the Play Fairway project. Drill is extended vertically from the truck
Nevada in hot water: Geothermal industry gets boost with discoveries of ‘blind’ systems

College of Science team successful with new exploration methods for renewable energy

Fox Creek waterfall
New mechanism found for waterfall formation

Earth history calculations could change

Margery McKnight Carr infront of Mackay Mines building
A woman among men: Margery's story

Margery McKnight Carr was the only woman and the third in history to have graduated from the Mackay School of Mines in 1951

Wendy Calvin with Mars Rover
Wendy Calvin looks back at 15 years of working on Mars

College of Science geologist on the science team for the rover Opportunity

old photograph of two women in front of Mackay Statue
A place in history: the Mackay School

A look back at some remarkable images from the Mackay School's past.

Image of river basin developed through airborne lidar mapping technology
Revealing our dynamic landscape through new high-resolution topographic data

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology’s regional-scale lidar mapping provides novel insights into earthquake, flood and glacial history

Frenchman Mountain in Clark County
Geology-themed 2019 calendar available

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology compiles scenic photos, Nevada facts in annual calendar

Damaged two-story building in Wells, Nevada, after a 6.0 earthquake in 2008
Great Nevada ShakeOut public earthquake drill Thursday, Oct. 18

University of Nevada, Reno’s seismological lab uses drill to help Nevadans learn, prepare for earthquakes

Soda Lake, Nevada
Visit Nevada’s youngest volcano, geothermal power plant and other geologic wonders for Earth Science Week

College of Science's Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology to lead free public tour Saturday

Kirkwood camera installation
Historic Sierra Nevada peak site for newest AlertTahoe network camera

College of Science's Nevada Seismological Lab goes to great heights to help firefighters

Photo of Jim Bell's book: The Ultimate Interplanetary Travel Guide: A Futuristic Journey Through the Cosmos
Planetary Scientist Jim Bell will take you on a vacation through space

Discover Science Lecture Series brings solar system tour guide and astronomer to talk with community

Fly Geyser
Mineral Monday: field trip to Fly Ranch

Explore this incredible geological site and hear the Burning Man Organization's plans for the property in this special field trip edition of Mineral Monday.

Holy Fire captured on Alert Wildfire camera
Seismo Lab's AlertWildfire mountaintop camera network slated for Sonoma County

College of Science and UC San Diego team with regional agencies to help firefighting efforts

Graham Kent speaks at Tahoe Summit about AlertTahoe fire camera system
Funding for AlertTahoe fire camera network announced at Tahoe Summit

College of Science’s Graham Kent talks about successful mountaintop fire tracking system

Drawer of ore samples
Mineral Monday: Mackay Stanford Ore Deposit Collection

Explore one of the Keck Museum's off-site storage locations with curator Garrett Barmore.

Fire camera installation
Innovation award presented to AlertTahoe mountaintop fire camera team

College of Science leads efforts to bring internet to the wilderness for hazard monitoring

carrying equipment to AlertTahoe fire camera site
AlertWildfire mountaintop camera network tracked 240 western wildfires in 2017

College of Science leveraging technology for public safety

Volcano viewing in Kamchatka
Active volcanoes lure College of Science geologist to remote Kamchatka

Philipp Ruprecht and team get treated to several eruptions in trek on northern peninsula

Professor Wendy Calvin with two students using a portable field spectrometer.
College of Science program helps launch the first multi-university graduate course

The University of Nevada, Reno partners with five other universities nationwide to offer new topics in hydrology research.

Campus aerial image from north campus looking toward south Reno
Nevada Seismological Lab reports swarm of 90 earthquakes in south Reno

University reports several magnitude 2 and lower quakes, no damage reported

Students pose for a photo on top of a large dirt hill
Game of drones: College of Science students test the use of unmanned aircraft systems for research

The University of Nevada, Reno partners with five universities nationwide to teach new topics in hydrological research.

Explaining search for dark matter
One step closer to defining dark matter, celebrate Dark Matter Day

Cross-campus collaboration brought together a quantum physicist and a geophysicist to look for particles

A destroyed building in Wells, Nevada following a 6.0 magnitude earthquake.
Practicing for pizza: The Great Nevada ShakeOut is 10:19 on 10-19

Students can win a pizza or donut party for their class if they take and post a picture with #ShakeOutPizza

A photo showing the mountain range and fault line in Pleasant Valley following the 1915 earthquake.
Get Ready for Shaking during Annual Earthquake Drill

The Great Nevada ShakeOut is Oct. 19

drilling blind geothermal systems
Drilling to begin in University’s Great Basin geothermal exploration project

College of Science receives $1.5 million from DOE for Phase III of project to find “blind” systems

slide mountain fire camera
AlertTahoe fire camera network readies for robust fire season, adds cameras

Nevada Seismological Lab system helps firefighters respond to wildfires with mountaintop monitoring

Zuza in South Africa
New Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology faculty geologist

Andrew Zuza will study the unique history of Nevada’s geology, tectonics and crustal deformation

Geothermal Plant
Meet the Geothermal Energy Center’s new director

Bridget Ayling took over the director position at the GBCGE last spring

Northshore Summit Trail
Nevada geology calendar puts state’s natural wonders front and center

Nevada comes to life in Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology’s 2017 calendar

Annie Kell near new fault
New fault discovered in earthquake-prone Southern California region

Scripps-led study offers new insights for hazard assessment models

Register now for the Oct. 20 Great Nevada ShakeOut public earthquake drill

University’s seismological lab uses drill to help Nevadans learn, prepare for earthquakes

multi-hazard monitoring
USGS awards $3.7 million for ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System

Nevada Seismological Lab to initially integrate eastern California within the Tahoe-Truckee corridor

Brandon Rasmussen standing among trees
Motivated senior becomes the University’s 9th Barry Goldwater Scholar

Brandon Rasmussen receives scholarship to pursue research in geophysics and geology

Granite Range near Gerlach Nevada
Magnitude 3.9 one of 300 earthquakes near Gerlach, Nevada

Nevada Seismological Lab in College of Science continues to monitor seismic activity

Cartographers Award
College of Science cartographers receive awards at state GIS conference

Cartographers and GIS Specialists recognized for their work on two maps

Scott Tyler CTEMPs at Shasta Lake
Scott Tyler – taking the world’s temperature on land, in the sea and in the air

Lasers and fiber optic cable used for research projects around the world

College of Science geologists to show signs of local volcano, glacier and quake activity

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology to lead community on Earth Science Week field trip Oct. 17-18

1915 Great Nevada Earthquake spurs reminder for 2015 Great Nevada Shakeout

Register now for Drop, Cover, Hold On public earthquake drill

Foundation Professor Scott Tyler named Fellow of American Geophysical Union

Recognized for advancements in environmental processes through novel measurement, theory and international collaboration

Forging new geothermal resources through research

U.S. Department of Energy project calls on University expertise in geologic modeling and geothermal exploration

Professor recognized for work in the field of strong-motion earthquake research

University of Nevada, Reno Professor John Anderson awarded the 2015 Bruce A. Bolt Medal

University Geology program excels at Geological Society of America meeting in Vancouver

Students took gold, silver and bronze medals in the Student Map Competition

University professor and undergraduate student continue work with Smithsonian

Team uses LiDAR and photogrammetry technology to create 3D scans of Ichthyosaur fossils

Winning photography revealed in annual calendar contest

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology offers 2015 geology calendar

blewitt receives plaque
Geoff Blewitt receives top European science award in geodesy

College of Science professor studies wide range of topics based in earth science and physics

tyler at antarctica
Climate change effects on Antarctic ice shelf monitored 24/7 with fiber optics

McMurdo ice shelf and sea water interface temperatures recorded for first time by University of Nevada, Reno researcher

Study shows tectonic plates not rigid, deform horizontally in cooling process

University of Nevada, Reno and Rice University professors challenge old assumptions of tectonics

Secretary of Energy Moniz visits University of Nevada, Reno to talk geothermal

Students, faculty, industry leaders, agency reps participate in informal forum on geothermal in Nevada

Nevada geologists host inaugural event for National Earth Science Week

Public invited to University’s first Discover Nevada open house at Great Basin Science and Sample Records Library in north Reno Oct. 15 and 16

Nevada geologists host interactive field trip in northern Nevada

Public invited to join a one-day excursion in the Carson City area for Earth Science Week

tahoe fire cams
University fire cameras activated at Tahoe, newest camera tracking smoke from King Fire

College of Science seismological network does double duty as fire lookout system

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology’s Cartography and GIS Lab receive Special Achievement award

Community and campus resource nationally recognized

Climate change puts endangered Devils Hole pupfish at risk of extinction

University and DRI research shows rare fish struggling to survive

tahoe research
Fire cameras activated, invasive species and nearshore work continues at Lake Tahoe

University and DRI continue important research work in many areas

Students get shaken up in earthquake simulator; trailer comes to University campus

University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Seismological Lab brings training and education trailer to area schools

sierra nevada uplift
Research finds human impact may cause Sierra Nevada mountains to rise, increase seismicity of San Andreas Fault

College of Science researchers go to science conference in Vienna to present findings

Nevada Bureau of Geology and Mines director awarded fellowship

Jim Faulds recognized for work in tectonics and structural geology

Professor receives international accolades for geological research

University of Nevada, Reno professor Stacia Gordon to discuss her research on partial melting at awards banquet in Vienna

Enjoy the beauty of the state with the 2014 Nevada Geology Calendar

The Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology’s new calendar features geological themes from throughout Nevada

University professor to be honored at National Groundwater Expo

Scott Tyler will receive the John Hem Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering in December

University hosts Earth Science Week Field Trip October 12 and 13

Participants can take part in earth science discovery hike to collect rocks and map local geology

College of Science seismological lab tracks fires with multi-hazard camera network

New platform in works to monitor environment, multi-hazards for use by statewide emergency managers

University to join in Geothermal Summit and host National Geothermal Academy

University professor to sit on discussion panel at the National Geothermal Summit

Carson City earthquake swarm attracts attention of emergency managers

Nevada Seismological Lab and Nevada Department of Emergency Management send preparedness messages

University of Nevada, Reno geologist receives national mining award

State Geologist Emeritus Jonathan Price nominated by colleagues

John Muntean new director of Center for Research in Economic Geology

Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering unit leads industry collaboration

EarthScope selects Graham Kent to participate in national lecture series

Seismo Lab leader to talk on novel methods for underwater paleoseismology

Nevada Seismological Lab used quake-monitoring network to track Sutter’s Mill meteorite

Ken Smith's work helped locate impact area quickly, accurately

Geological Sciences' Russell is Dec. Employee of Month

Marie Russell, an ultimate 'can-do' person, is honored

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology produces 2013 Nevada landscape calendar

The NBMG is selling a 15-month calendar including different geological themes in the state of Nevada.

Nevada State Geologist wins geothermal award

The University's James Faulds wins Peer Review Excellence award for geothermal technology project

Duck, cover and hold-on in “Great Nevada ShakeOut” earthquake drill 10/18 at 10:18

Series of 145 small quakes recorded by seismological lab in past week 10 miles from campus bring awareness to drill

2012 Earth Science Week provides free geological field trip

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology guides “Tuff All Over: Exploring Faulted Volcanic Terrain in the Painted Hills, Virginia Mountains, West of Pyramid Lake"

Alpine Fault study shows new evidence for regular magnitude 8 earthquakes

College of Science seismologist Glenn Biasi co-authors report with GNS Science in New Zealand

University’s National Geothermal Academy recognized for outstanding leadership

University of Nevada, Reno Academy snags spot as finalist in Geothermal Energy Association’s Honors awards

Director of Geology receives Lifetime Achievement Award

University of Nevada, Reno Director of Geology recognized for his contributions in earthquake risk reduction

Seismic Characterization and Offshore Seismic Research Project at San Onofre

University of Nevada, Reno and Scripps Institution of Oceanography to collaborate

Rapid Sierra Nevada uplift tracked by scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno

Nevada Geodetic Lab uses GPS and radar for most precise measurements over entire mountain range

University of Nevada, Reno researchers discover new research use for plaque

Interdisciplinary work yields new, easier, less destructive way to examine diets of ancient peoples by using dental calculus

GPS technology developed at Nevada used for NASA quake monitoring test

Nevada Geodetic Lab operates largest GPS network processing system in world

University using new tech to record Antarctic Ocean, ice temps

Climate change effects to be monitored continuously with new fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing

2011 Earth Science Week: “Life’s a Beach,” free field trip Oct. 15 or 16

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology to lead, “In Search of Shorelines and Volcanoes in the Grimes Point and Lahontan Mountains Area”

Nevada scientists take the world’s temperature with $1 million grant

Tyler of geosciences to travel to Antarctica to measure ocean temperatures under McMurdo Ice Shelf

Geothermal industry to get boost from University research

Baseline study to help reduce upfront exploration costs

Seismo lab director co-authors report on cause of San Andreas earthquakes

TV program inspires University researcher’s work with gold

Hydrologist Scott Tyler named to national science panel

solar pond
Suarez develops new solar distillation pond methods

System to help terminus lakes ecosystems

National hydrological facility on campus funded by NSF

Geology doctoral student receives top honor

Muckers have strong showings at international competition

Great Basin Science Sample & Records Library to open April 27

National Geographic to feature student in documentary

Scott Tyler out in Great Basin National Park with the “Mobile Environmental Thermal Laboratory” trailer.
Taking nature's temperature

Geological Sciences professor set to collect temperature data worldwide

Are we ready for a 7.1-magnitude earthquake?

Nevada second in Mars University Rover competition

Three faculty named as 2008 Foundation Professors

Experts help Nevadans understand/prepare for quakes

Three grad programs rank in top 50

Making 'mom' proud, Wesnousky accepts Tibbitts Award

Seismologists, geologists brief media on recent earthquakes

Mines and Geology study maps strategies for carbon sequestration