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Earth Science

Earth Science provides the opportunity to learn about the history of our planet, the processes that have shaped it,  and its position in the Universe, through the subfields of Geology, Meteorology, Oceanography, Astronomy, and Environmental Geoscience.   Interest and employment in the Earth Sciences is driven by society's continued need for energy and natural materials, environmental protection, natural-hazard mitigation, and responsible stewardship of land and natural resources.

Earth Science has been heavily involved with student-faculty collaborative research projects which have led to a number of successful grants, publications, and presentations. Two of these projects (Rock Wall and Rock Garden) are prominent additions to the new Academic Science Building and should impact geoscience teaching and learning at SCSU for decades to come.

Earth Science works closely with its majors to introduce them to research projects and internship opportunities. Four students worked on projects related to Connecticut geology, and one interned at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT. Three held internships at the Yale-Peabody Museum which were initiated as part of a joint Yale-Peabody-SCSU project (funded by NSF) to improve the pipeline of Geoscience students from under-represented groups. SCSU students worked on Earth Science research projects mentored by Yale faculty and graduate students, and they in turn mentored high school students from the greater New Haven community. Four students presented with faculty at Southern’s Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference. Ten majors accompanied Earth Science faculty to the 3-day Northeastern Geological Association of America (GSA) meeting in Bretton Woods, NH where one of them presented a poster on her senior thesis.  Five graduates will soon begin graduate programs from Connecticut to Texas.

Earth Science Department

Recent Departmental and Faculty Successes

Dr. Cynthia Coron co-authored a geological abstract, “Petrography of the Coe Limestone, Shuttle Meadow Fm. (Jurassic), Southern Hartford Basin, CT,” for Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs and co-presented with an ESC student this work at the Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference  at Southern. She won a CSUS Research Grant for her work, “Ash Fall- Induced Climate Change: A Contributory Cause of the End Triassic Mass Extinction.”

Dr. Tom Fleming co-authored a journal article for Earth and Planetary Science Letters. At Southern’s Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, he co-presented with Dr. Knell and three ESC students, “A Unique Educational Display of Connecticut Geology.” He continues to present his work on Antarctica at international venues from India to New Zealand.

Dr. Michael Knell co-presented with Dr. Fleming and three ESC students at Southern’s Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference. He has been awarded several grants for his research including a Research/Creative Activity Reassigned Time grant for his work on fossil collecting in the Southwest and a CSUS Research grant for his paleontological field work in the Southwest.