Directory Academic Home Home  
WebMail Muskie Link Blackboard  
Academics Home Page
Admissions Home Page
About the Geology Department
About the Faculty
Courses Descriptions & Major/Minor Requirements
Current Department Events
After Graduation - Alumni
Awards and Honoraries
Geology Club
Student Opportunities
Student Success Stories
Resources and Links
Geology Department The content below is information specific to this academic department's fields of interest.

Student Success Stories


Landis, Heidi - Heidi writes: "I attended the master's program at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.  My master's project revolved around the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide levels affected by eruptions of the Central Atlantic magmatic province basalts, as recorded by oxygen and carbon stable isotope ratios found in stromatolites that formed in precession-controlled cyclic lakes.  I was able to finish in time to graduate at the end of August.  I am now job hunting and preparing my paper for publication.  Also, I recently signed up to volunteer at OH WOW!, a local children's science center."


Kelly, Tory - Tory writes: " The position with the USGS is a hydrology one, entry level but it's a solid start. I'll be based out of the Columbus officeand work throughout the state, traveling frequently. When I first thought about majoring in Geology my aspirations were mainly in the drilling industry. However at field camp last summer, my feelings changed dramatically. Being in the wilderness and seeing everything first hand my love for the earth, its structures and its processes were restored and probably brought to new heights.

"Now back to the position, I start tomorrow and it will mainly be an abundant amount of data collection and interpretation. From what I understand, I will spend a week in the field at various sites collecting data, then another two weeks organizing and interpreting ...."


Stoller, Heather - Heather writes: "I'm starting my 2nd year / last year of my Masters in Geoscience at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. My thesis is involving the newly discovered dinosaur tracks at Red Rock Canyon Conservation area, and Valley of Fire State Park. These are the first dinosaur trackways found in the state of Nevada. I'm spending time, using photogrammetry imagin to detail these tracks and recreate the environment of the Jurassic using these trackways. I'm also creating my very own exhibit for the Red Rock Canyon Visitors Center!"


Burkett, Ashley - Ashley pursued her MS at Indiana State University, and was involved with the GEOFORM research cruise out of Scripps Oceanographic Institute, investigating the formation of a rifted continental margin in the Gulf of California.

The overall objective of this project is to better understand the geology beneath the central and southern Gulf of California and to determine the age and composition of igneous rocks imaged in 2006 by seismic reflection profiling. Research has been conducted focusing on the rupturing and extension of continental lithosphere and the transition into oceanic spreading basins, but not much has been discovered about the Gulf’s geologic history. Only 5 rock dredge samples have been collected in this vast (20,000 km2) region, each recovering a different type of rock. Extensive research on land and on surrounding islands has already occurred, so sampling this submerged crust would provide invaluable information to land geologists and help bridge the geologic gap between marine and land-based research projects. One recent seismic reflection study, conducted in the fall of 2006 collected high-resolution profiles along the virtually unsampled southwestern margin, extending from just south of Isla Cerralvo to north of Isla Santa Catalina. The most geologically interesting parts of these profiles occur where they cross the rifted and volcanically modified continental crust that forms most of the seabed in the Gulf, surrounding patches of oceanic crust that accreted over the past 6 Myr. Because sediment cover is thinner on the western margin due to its arid climate, geophysical data provides much information about the structure of the extended continental crust; profiles also identify steep scarps where basement reflections appear to outcrop. Sampling these seismically imaged fault scarps would provide “ground-truthing” to the seismic interpretations by yielding information about inaccessible, sub-bottom horizons, thereby enabling scientists to confidently interpret basement reflectors and trace the sampled basement along the profiles.

You can keep up with Ashley's research and the rest of the GEOFORM cruise at


Vasil, Phil - Phil reported being employed at the David V. Lewin Corp. which is located in Cleveland, Ohio. It is a geo-technical engineering firm which has been involved with such projects as the Case Western University, Cleveland Clinic, Metro Hospital, Jocobs Field, RTA, and etc.


Morrison, Les - Les reports working as a consulting geologist in the oil and gas industry. His company is names J.I.L. Petroleum and has been in existence for five years at that time. They write geologic reports, take oil and gas leass, perform well site geology, put prospect together, and have some minor interests in some wells. Presently, the employees include Les and another person.


Thomas, John - After leaving Muskingum in 1982, John went on to Kent State and received a masters degree in geology in 1985. His work at Kent took him to southwestern Utah where he studied the beautiful "red rock" that construct the arches and plateaus of Bryce and Red Canyons. In 1985, John started working for Belden and Blake Corporation, an Ohio-based oil and gas company located in Canton. Also in 1985, John married Theresa Mikus (Muskingum '80) and moved from Kent to Massillon, Ohio. The Thomas's have three children ages 17, 15, and 9. They are all active in sports and are good students. Their daughter (sophomore) is showing interest in attending Muskingum.

John's work at Belden started as a development/exlploitation geologist and after five or six years he moved into more of an exploration role, working the deep Knox and Trenton Black River formations of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York. In 2002 John started into more of a management position as Chief Geoscientist, and in 2004 as Vice President of Geosciences. During that time they managed more than 5,000 wells and one million acres. Several field discoveries in both the Knox and Trenton formations highlight their achievements.

With field discoveries came corporate buyouts, so in late 2005 Belden was purchased by Houston-based EnerVest Operating. John is currently employed with EnerVest in Dover, Ohio, as Senior Geologist "working many of the same plays" he worked 20 years ago. John is sure this is not the last cycle we will see.

John says "hello" to all his Muskingum University geology friends.


Lee-Roark, Carol, Ph.D.- Carol received her Ph.D. from Cornell in 1989, MIS FSU 2005, and is a partner in an environmental consulting firm, Hyalite Environmental, LLP, in Bozeman, Montana. Carol, her husband Tim, and their dogs live 17 miles south of Bozeman west of Gallatin Gateway.


Markley, Bruce L. - Bruce reported working for the U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center, Corps of Engineers, in Alexandria, Virginia. He has been working for TEC for the last 12 years. Bruce recently completed a second masters degree from George Mason University in Geographic and Cartographic Science.


Gnidovec, Dale - Dale worked as the Collections Manager (and now Curator) of the Orton Geological Museum, department of Geological Sciences, The Ohio State University. Dale has a B.S. in geology from Muskingum University, and M.S. in geology from Fort Hayes (Kansas) State Univeristy, and has done Ph.D. work at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His main interest is paleontology, with a special interest in dinosaurs.

Originally form the Cleveland area, before coming to Columbus Dale lived in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he taught historical geology and paleontology at Lehigh University and Lafayette University and worked in the Exhibits Department of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. Between geology jobs, he cleaned animal cages, was a construction laborer, loaded bread trucks, and worked in a heavy equipment manufacturing plant.

At the Orton Museum, Dale's main job is taking care of over 50,000 rocks, minerals, and fossils, seeing that they are labelled properly, in the right cabinets and drawers, and available for teaching and research. The museum also loans fossils to scientists all over the world--at any given time we may have specimens in a dozen states and half a dozen foreign countries, so Dale must keep track of who has what and when it is due back.

The second part of his job involves taking care of the Museum's exhibit hall and giving guided tours. A small museum store helps fund the museum, and he orders the inventoryh and keeps the financial records.

Another part of Dale's job is educating the public about geology. Dale speaks to about four thousand people a year, about half of them elementary school children. To reach an even greater audience, he also writes a geology column that appears in the Columbus Dispatch.