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News & Events

  • Fox Valley trio heading to Antarctica for scientific expedition. Ross Powell, Reed Scherer, and Rebecca Puttkammer go to Antarctica for a project supported by the National Science Foundation that will drill through about a half mile of Antarctic ice to study the grounding zone where the West Antarctic Ice Sheet on land meets the Ross Sea. Read the Aurora Beacon-News article. - December 15, 2014
  • Exploring the unseen West Antarctic coastline. NIU scientist Ross Powell is leading a National Science Foundation-supported effort to drill through the ice, probe grounding zone’s influence on rising sea levels. Read the Northern Today article. - November 11, 2014
  • On November 1, 2014, a research team from the Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and Beloit College will embark on a 4,453 mile journey from DeKalb, Illinois to Iquique, Chile. The purpose of this trip is to study the hydrology of the Pampa del Tamarugal Aquifer, which is the sole source of municipal, agricultural, and industrial water in the region. The research team includes Dr. Justin Dodd and Dr. Ryan Pollyea from NIU, Dr. Sue Swanson from Beloit College, and two NIU graduate students, Elizabeth Olson and Rick Jayne. You can follow their blog by clicking here. - November 4, 2014
  • Professor Richard Alley's recent visit to NIU was highly successful. He gave 4 exciting presentations during his stay; a technical lecture related to the WISSARD Project to Geology graduate students, a general lecture to the campus and community on Friday at 4:00 in Cole Hall, and two presentations at STEMFest. The Cole Hall lecture served a nearly packed house, with approximately 300 in attendance. The event was covered by several news media including the Chicago Tribune, WREX TV, the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, and NIU Media Relations. - October 22, 2014
  • Congratulations to Dr. Sheldon Turner and Dr. Nicole LaDue for winning a $192,060 NSF grant to organize and conduct five needs assessment workshops for the geoscience community.  The grant is a collaboration with colleagues from Montana State, Western Michigan and Marshall University, and will bring together geoscience instructors, administrators, educational resource providers, educational researchers and employers to (1) identify barriers for engaging underrepresented students in the geosciences, and (2) develop a model for overcoming these barriers. - August 27, 2014
  • The NSF has funded one of Mark Frank's proposals, Copper and Gold in Sulfur-rich Magmatic-hydrothermal Systems, for 3 years and a total of $271,262.  The proposal will fund a graduate and undergraduate student and also has $31,000 for analytical work. NIU Today article. - August 22, 2014
  • Here's another video touting the recent WISSARD project results. This one from the highly regarded research journal Nature. Lakes under the ice: Antarctica’s secret garden. - August 21, 2014
  • Congratulations to Ross Powell, Chief Scientist and Reed Scherer, Principal Investigator for the WISSARD project. Early results are starting to be published and even NSF is bragging. Check out this video on the NSF Facebook page. - August 21, 2014
  • Dr. Ryan Pollyea has been selected to lead a three-year, $550,000 project funded by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE) to investigate geologic CO2 sequestration in the Pacific Northwest. This project is collaboration between NIU and Stanford University, and funding will be provided for three full-time graduate assistantships, two of which will be here at NIU. - August 1, 2014
  • Congratulations to Dr. Phil Carpenter for winning a one year, $90,000 grant from the U.S.G.S.!  The award carries 13 months of support for a graduate student, and will use Seismic Techniques to Monitor the Effects of the Asian Carp Water Gun in the Chicago Area Waterway, Illinois River, and other Systems. - July 29, 2014
  • Recent B.S. program graduate Bengino Alonzo was selected to participate in the 2014 USGS/NAGT summer internship program. Ben will work with Seth Moran at Vancouver, Washington, and will assist in a seismic imaging study of Mt. Saint Helens. - July 1, 2014
  • Elizabeth Olson has been awarded the AEG (Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists) Norma R. Tilford Field Studies Award for PhD students. The $2,000 grant will be used to fund her field work in November. - May 19, 2014
  • At the National Groundwater Association meeting in Denver this week, Ellen Raimondi won the NGWREF Robert Farvolden Award for best student poster! - May 8, 2014
  • Congratulations to graduate students Emily Devers, Matt Fleming, John Hanke, Cory Hunter, Rick Jayne, Elizabeth Olson, and Josh Zodarecky! This spring they were awarded a combined total of $13,240 in competitive grant funding from GSA, AAPG and SEPM. - April 23, 2014
  • Ph.D student Tim Hodson lands coveted internship aboard the exploration ship Okeanos Explorer to help map the Atlantic Ocean seafloor. Read the NIU Today article. - April 18, 2014
  • Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Dr. Carla Montgomery for receiving NIU’s award for lifetime philanthropy. - March 26 2014
  • Alumnus Kendle Fraley (B.S 09; M.S. 12) gets his research published in a high profile journal, and is held up as an example of NIU’s best. Read story. - March 18, 2014
  • Undergraduate Julie Daniels was selected to take part in a research project that is sponsored by both the the Keck Geology Consortium and a grant that Dr. Nathan Stansell received from the National Science Foundation. She will travel with Dr. Stansell to Peru for 3 weeks this summer and then complete an independent research project during the 2014-2015 academic year. Click here for more information about the project.
  • Dr. Justin Dodd has received funding from the American Chemical Society - Petroleum Research Fund for Doctoral New Investigators for his research on oxygen and silicon isotope variations in diatom silica. The $100,000 grant includes 2 years of funding for a graduate student (MS or PhD) to begin in August 2014. Please contact Dr. Dodd (jdodd@niu.edu) for further information.
    Dr. Dodd has also received $12,000 from the National Geographic Society – Waitt Foundation to continue fieldwork in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile with PhD student Elizabeth Olson and Chilean colleagues. - February 11, 2014
  • Number six on CNN's list of the Best 100 Jobs in America - Petroleum Geologist. - November 14, 2013
  • Articles in Nature and the Chicago Tribune featuring Ross Powell and Reed Scherer talk about how the Antarctic research season is in jeopardy due to US government shutdown. - October 7, 2013
  • The poster of recent MS graduate Kasey Todd wins 2nd place at the AAPG Student Expo in Houston, TX. Kasey earned $500 for her efforts, and Chevron will generously donate a matching $500 to the department on Kasey's behalf.  Congratulations to Kasey and thank you to Chevron! Pictured with Kasey is Steven Shirley, the manager of earth science technical relations for Chevron. - September 19, 2013
  • M.S. student Erik Van Dusen completes a summer internship with IMERYS, a multinational mining and mineral resource company. Northern Today article. - September 18, 2013
  • Article featuring Ross Powell and Reed Scherer in Science News for Kids focusing on the subglacial mud, diatoms, and long-term questions about climate. - September 9, 2013
  • M.S. student Hal Hackett wins an Excellent Student Poster award at the 4th International Polar Marine Diatom Workshop in Wales. - August, 2013
  • Ross Powell and Reed Scherer featured in KABC-7 San Francisco news story about Sub Ice Rover (SIR) testing in Lake Tahoe, CA. - July 23, 2013
  • Congratulations to Professor Mark Fischer on being named to the 2013-2014 Editorial Board of the AAPG Bulletin. - July 22, 2013
  • NIU's Antarctic-bound robotic submarine making its maiden voyage at Lake Tahoe. NIU Today article. - July 16, 2013
  • We are very happy to start two new faculty members this Fall. Nathan Stansell is our new Assistant Professor in stratigraphy. Nicole LaDue is our new Assistant Professor in earth science education. - July, 2013