Geology Highlights

Craig Chesner featured on NOVAs 'Megavolcano'

Under the direction of Dr. Chesner, the Microscopy Laboratory has a new X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD) used for teaching and in research. The XRD is being cooperatively used with the Physics Department in the Radiation Physics option for their major. Dr. Chesner has also been instrumental in upgrading the microscopes used in the laboratory. The Geomorphology/Sedimentology Laboratory has acquired a fairly new Ro-Tap Sieve Shaker, complete with a sound-dampening box and sieve set courtesy of the United States Government surplus. This equipment has already been pressed into service in the Sedimentology course to help students identify unknown samples through quantitative analysis. The Geology Field Camp continues to be a wonderful capstone experience for both EIU students as well as people from other schools. The Outreach program, under Dr. Bower’s leadership, is very active in presenting demonstrations to area schools to help excite future students about Earth Science. Because our majors are the ones doing the demonstrations, these students gain valuable experience in teaching that they can then take with them into graduate school or their own classroom.

Besides their teaching responsibilities, Geology faculty are quite active in research and service to their professions and the university as well. They have independently or collaboratively brought in over $50,000 in external contracts and grants. Funding agencies include the American Honda Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency. Over $32,000 of smaller internal grants was awarded to Geology faculty to fund their research and scholarly activities as well. Geology faculty have had 10 research papers published since 2002 in journals such as the Geological Society of America, Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Ground Water, SEPM Special Publications and the Journal of Geoscience Education. They have given 26 presentations at professional meetings, many of which were co-authored with student researchers. The research of one geology faculty member was featured on the PBS program, NOVA – “Mystery of the Megavolcano”.

The geology faculty are active members of numerous national and international geological and engineering professional organizations as well as honor societies. They have served these organizations as officers, session chairs, and judges. Geology faculty have served as reviewers of NSF proposals, manuscripts submitted to geology journals, and geology textbooks. Two faculty members hold professional licenses in the state of Illinois. Service has been provided to several state and local organizations and committees as well. Furthermore, the Geology faculty provide extensive service to Eastern Illinois University and their home department. Indeed, the Geology faculty have been recognized for their teaching, research, and service contributions by receiving numerous University and other awards.