Alumni Honorees

Slawomir M. TylaczykSlawomir M. Tulaczyk

M.S. Geology & Environmental Geosciences, 1993


Slawek Tulaczyk came to NIU from his native Poland in 1991 to work on studies in glacial geology. Instead, he seized an opportunity to work on geomorphology and hydrogeology of karst topography in Mexico, completing his master’s degree in 1993. His thesis resulted in several refereed publications and professional presentations, including a chapter in the widely cited book Applied Karst Geology.

From NIU, Tulaczyk went to the California Institute of Technology, where he earned not only a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences, but a Master’s in Civil Engineering. His research at Caltech focused on the physical conditions at the bed of ice sheets, especially the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and spanned field observations, and theoretical and physical models. His work has proved groundbreaking. The newly funded, multi-million WISSARD (Williams Ice Stream Subglacial Antarctic Research Drilling) Project integrates glaciology, geology, oceanography, and biology in a critical yet poorly known region. 

Dr. Tulaczyk is currently Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has compiled an impressive list of publications in prominent journals, including Science, Geology, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Geophysical Research, and Journal of Glaciology. One of his papers has been singled out as a “Benchmark Paper in Glaciology.”