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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences


earth and environmental sciences

2016 Master's Completions
  • Yahya Abushaheen - "Quantitative Analysis of High Resolution Chirp Sub-Bottom Profiler Data in the Arabian Gulf Shallow Marine Sediments"
  • Fernando Alvarado Blohm - "Determination of Hydraulic Conductivities Through Grain-Size Analysis"
  • Shaina Cohen - "An Assessment of Heterogeneity within the Lithospheric Mantle, Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica"
  • Caleb Lucy - "Rapid Acquisition of Low Cost High-Resolution Elevation Datasets Using a Small Unmanned Aircraft System: An Application for Measuring River Geomorphic Change"
  • Vanessa Napoli - "Relative Locations of Earthquakes Along the Northeast U.S. Atlantic Passive Margin and Source Parameter Comparison to the 1929 Grand Banks Earthquake"
  • Barbara Wortham - "Last Millennium Decoupling of the South American Summer Monsoon and Local Hydroclimate of Central Brazil"
We're on Instagram! @BC_EarthandEnviro

We are very excited to announce the launch of the official Instagram account for the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences. Our Instagram handle will be @BC_EarthandEnviro; look us up and follow! We want you to contribute by submitting photos (and captions) and you can choose how you'd like to be credited (full name, initials, Instagram handle, anonymously, etc.). Please send all submissions to Examples of photos you may want to submit include (but are not limited to): Research, Field trips, Conferences, Classes, Promotions for upcoming events, Profiles of students and/or faculty.

Jeremy Shakun

The Great Thaw

As the COP21 climate change conference takes place in Paris, Earth and Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor Jeremy Shakun discussed how man-made pollution has increased the speed at which the world's glaciers are melting. Washington Post

Mike Tappa

Welcome Mike Tappa!

The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences is pleased to welcome Michael Tappa as our new Manager of Major Analytical Research Laboratories. Mike brings 10 years of experience in isotope and analytical geochemistry including TIMS, ICMP-MS, and SHRIMP analysis of radiogenic and stable isotopes, as well as related clean lab and other sample preparation. Most recently, since 2011, Michael served as Research Scientist and Lab Manager for the Center for Isotope Cosmochemistry and Geochronology at the NASA Johnson Space Center. He also gained experience as a graduate student at UNC Chappell Hill, and as a research associate at Virginia Tech. At Boston College, Michael will manage our new TIMS, IRMS, and Clean Lab Facilities as well as the recently upgraded SEM Facility. Renovation of the new labs will be completed in Spring 2016. Welcome Mike!

Ethan Baxter

New Faculty

The Earth and Environmental Sciences Department Welcomes Professor
Ethan Baxter!

South Asia's earthquake

Geophysicst John Ebel, chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, spoke with Reuters about the earthquake that struck Afghanistan and Pakistan earlier this week. Pickups ranged from the New York Times, Newsweek and Al Jazeera America to the Irish Times Sydney Morning Herald.

Best Student Paper

Congratulations to graduate student Hannah Chambless who won a "Best Student Paper" award at the Eastern Section Meeting of the Seismological Society of America! An abstract of her paper, INJECTION-INDUCED SEISMICITY, HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OPERATIONS, AND WASTEWATER INJECTION WELLS IN OKLAHOMA AND CALIFORNIA, can be found here.

Students with equipment
Examining the circulation dynamics and sediment transport of the Connecticut River estuary.

Over the last week in September, eleven undergraduates and three graduate students joined Professor Gail Kineke for a research cruise on the Connecticut River as part of her NSF-funded project examining the circulation dynamics and sediment transport of the Connecticut River estuary. The project is a joint effort with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and included a week-long survey of suspended-sediment, bed sediment and hydrologic conditions using advanced acoustic, optical and water sampling techniques. The students are a part of the Environmental Geoscience Senior Research Seminar and will continue to conduct analysis on the data and samples collected through work in the Coastal Processes Lab. Photo by Kevin Simans.

Jeremy Shakun
The Mystery of the Ice Age Glacial Melt and Its Links to Modern Climate Change

A reexamination of more than 1,000 previously studied glacial boulders pinpoints the rise in carbon dioxide as the primary factor in the simultaneous global retreat of glaciers at the close of the last Ice Age. Published in the journal Nature Communications by Assistant Professor Jeremy Shakun and a team of climate scientists, these findings have implications for the current rising levels of man-made greenhouse gases and retreating glaciers.

Noah Snyder
Conference Will Explore Impact of Laudato Si'

Assistant Professor Noah Snyder is one of organizers of “Our Common Home,” a four day conference which will explore the spiritual and policy implications of Laudato Si’, the Pope’s sweeping encyclical on climate change. The conference will feature numerous distinguished speakers and is co-sponsored by the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences along with more than a dozen campus offices.

John Ebel
Geological Society of America Fellow

Department Chair John Ebel has been elected a fellow of the Geological Society of America for his seismological research, teaching, and work to increase public awareness and understanding of earthquakes.