Ohio University

Geological Sciences Undergraduate Research

Paleontology students collect samples on a field trip to Maysville.
Paleontology students collect samples on a field trip to Maysville.

Benefits of Undergraduate Research

  • Gain hands-on experience with research equipment and analysis techniques.
  • Deepen your knowledge in an area of interest as you learn more about the specialty.
  • Broaden your perspective as you interact with faculty, graduate, and fellow undergraduate students.
  • Enhance your visibility to faculty within the department and beyond, which is especially helpful as you ask for letters of recommendation for graduate school and employment.

Earning Credit for Research

The following courses provide individualized and directed research opportunities under the supervision of a faculty member. Students select topics or are directed to a possible research area of interest and discuss a research plan with a faculty member. The student experience typically entails familiarization with relevant literature, research methods and analysis. The experience results in a research presentation, poster or undergraduate thesis.

  • GEOL 4900 - Special Topics in Geological Sciences
  • GEOL 4901 - Geologic Studies
  • GEOL 4902 - Seminar in Geology
  • GEOL 4940 - Senior Thesis
  • GEOL 4970T - Geological Sciences Tutorial
  • GEOL 4980T - Geological Tutorial

Opportunities in Geological Sciences

Undergraduate geology students at Ohio University get to work in the field with renowned faculty as well as doing their work on senior thesis projects.

Here are some example:

Hayden Thacker – Researched a Senior Thesis on "Neoichnological Study of Burrowing Darkling Beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) from Larval to Adult Stages." (Adviser: Dr. Daniel Hembree)

Ian Forsythe – Researched a Senior Thesis on "Species Delineation in Character Poor Specimens: Lessons from Rafinesquina." (Adviser: Dr. Alycia Stigall)

Emily Simpson – Researched a Senior Thesis on "The Effect of Sampling Processing on X-Ray Diffraction Peaks of Dolomite: Implications for Studies of Shock Metamorphosed Materials." (Adviser: Dr. Keith Milam)

Christian Thomas – Researched a Senior Thesis on “Insight Into the Evolving Composition of Augustine Volcano’s Source Magma From a Low-K Dacite.” (Adviser: Dr. Patricia Nadeau)

James Fox – Researched a Senior Thesis on “A Petrographic Analysis of the Black Hand and Sharon Sandstones in Central and Southeastern Ohio.” (Adviser: Dr. Greg Nadon)

Emma Swaninger – Researched a Senior Thesis on “Large burrows in fluvial deposits of the Early Permian (Asselian) Dunkard Group, southeast Ohio, USA.” (Adviser: Dr. Daniel Hembree)

Ethan Kunkler – Researched a Senior Thesis on "Geochemical Heterogeneity of Kyanite Ore from a Breached Anticline in the Central Piedmont Province of Virginia." (Adviser: Dr. Craig Grimes)