Search within:

Geological Sciences Alumni Symposium

Geology students during field expedition
2019 Field Camp: Beartooth Mountains, Montana

Geological Sciences 2021 Alumni Symposium

Geosciences: Providing Opportunities During Changing Times

The symposium was supported by Ohio University’s Alumni Affairs office, which included archiving recordings of the sessions:

Friday April 16, 2-6 p.m. EDT and Saturday April 17, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT

If you have any questions, please email Travis Esbenshade at

Sponsored by Ohio University Department of Geological Sciences and the Geological Sciences Alumni Advisory Board.

2021 Agenda

  • View the agenda as a pdf.
  • A reminder message with the event agenda and Zoom instructions will be sent the week prior to the event to registrants.

Friday, April 16, via Zoom Conference

2 – 2:10 p.m. Opening and Introduction – Mr. Patrick Jackson, Chair of the Ohio University Alumni Board

2:15 – 2:35 p.m. State of the Department – Dr. Alycia Stigall, Geological Sciences Professor and Chair

2:35 – 2:45 p.m. Q&A with Dr. Stigall

Lynn Wingard, portrait outdoors
Dr. Lynn Wingard

2:50 – 3:35 p.m. Keynote Address – "The Emerging Field of Conservation Paleobiology and Its Role in Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystems" with Dr. Lynn Wingard, U.S. Geological Survey Research Geologist

3:35 – 3:45 p.m. Q&A with Dr. Wingard

3:45 – 3:55 p.m. Break

3:55 – 3:25 p.m. Lawsonite Eclogites: A Cool Take on Subduction Zone Processes – Dr. Katherine Fornash, Geological Sciences Assistant Professor

4:30 – 4:55 p.m. The Future of Carbon Capture Utilization, and Storage (CCUS): Insights and Opportunities for Geoscientists – Mr. Tom Tomastik, Chief Geologist, ALL Consulting, LLC

5 – 5:10 p.m. Donations and Endowments – Mr. David Johnson, Director of Development for Major Giving at Ohio University

5:15 – 6:15 p.m. Open Forum and Panel Discussion with Alumni on Employment Opportunities and Career Development – Dr. Michael Young, University of Texas; Casey O’Brien, Shell; Tom Antonacci, Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc.; Sierra Isard, North Carolina Geological Survey; and Liz Lantzsch, RHI Magnesita

Saturday, April 17, via Zoom Conference

9:15 – 9:50 a.m. Poster Presentations by Students – Poster Breakout Rooms Attendees can move into small virtual groups for poster Q&A with student presenters as hosts.

10 – 10:15 a.m. How do Ecological Niches Evolve during Late Ordovician Environmental Change? A Test using Laurentian Brachiopods – Ms. Ceara Purcell, Second Year Graduate Program

10:20 – 10:35 a.m. – Scallops Through Space and Time: A Study of Scallop Patterns and Consistency – Ms. Hannah Bortel, Second Year Graduate Program

10:40 – 11 a.m. Todays’ Employment Opportunities in the Environmental Sector – Mr. Mitchell Brourman, Executive Principal, Field Environmental Instruments

11:05 – 11:30 a.m. Using Artificial Neural Networks to Model Complex Problems in Geoscience – Dr. Dina Lopez, Professor Emerita of Geological Sciences

11:30 – 11: 40 a.m. Break

11:40 a.m. – noon Largest U.S. Dam Removal and the Science Community’s Integral Part – Ms. Lisa DeRose, Project Scientist III, Camas, LLC

12:05 – 12:30 p.m. Recent Advances in Interpreting Deep-Marine Deposits – Dr. Ganapathy Shanmugan (M.S. 1972), University of Texas at Arlington

12:30 – 12:35 p.m. Q&A with Dr. Shanmugam

12:35 – 12:50 p.m. Alumni Scholarship Announcement

12:50 – 1:05 p.m. Closing Remarks – Mr. Patrick Jackson, Chair Ohio University Alumni Board

1:10 – 2:10 p.m. Alumni Breakout Groups – Students can jump into small virtual groups with alumni for general Q&A. Groups will be hosted by alumni board members.

Additional Notes

Also, in these virtual times, we are working with the department to link and connect alumni into colloquiums. You can learn more by visiting the department's colloquium page and its Facebook page. The alumni network is crucial in helping to open doors for our future geoscientists.

The department is seeking training or real-life datasets from either the public domain or privately donated as training for the environmental and/or energy industries.