• Sustainable EweMass a Success

    Twelve very fetching sheep in a pen looking at the viewer with adroit interest.

    Dr. Britt Crow-Miller organized a cross-campus collaboration that brought 12 UMass sheep to the lawn between the FAC and Isenberg. “The idea is kind of to start a conversation about land management, and land management practices on campus and in our communities...”

  • Castañeda honored with Lecture Series

    Picture of Dr. Castañeda smiling at camera

    Dr. Isla Castañeda has been named a lecturer in the U.S. Science Support Program's `22-23 Ocean Discovery Lecture Series. The program facilitates involvement of the U.S. scientific community in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). For over 20 years, the Ocean Discovery Lecture Series (formerly the Distinguished Lecturer Series) has brought the remarkable scientific results and discoveries of the Program to academic research institutions, museums, and aquaria.

  • Summer 2022 Courses

    Buttercups smiling in the grass besides a tree in a summertime meadow, foreboding things to come...

    From Lakes in a Changing Climate to Diversity, Globalization, and Sustainability to Spatial Decision Making and Support, we have a host of great courses this summer to help you make change in the world.

  • Energy Budgets of Faults

    Figure from research article linked in text showing colorful 2D model of geologic faults

    PhD student Laura Fattaruso, Professor Michele Cooke, and alum Dr. Jessica McBeck published a paper in Frontiers in Earth ScienceGeohazards and Georisks highlighting the critical role that heterogeneities in materials, such as microcracks, play in leading up to failure and faulting in rock.

  • Julie BG receives career award

    Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette smiling in front of Arctic Lake

    Professor Julie Brigham-Grette is the recipient of the 2022 American Quaternary Association's (AmQua) Distinguished Career Award: This is AmQua’s highest honor, that recognizes a senior-level scientist who has contributed significantly and continuously to advancing Quaternary science.

  • New report on groundwater aquifers near Mt. Toby

    New England wetland in autumn with orange-gold foliage on trees.

    Recent MS alum Matt Hemler and Professor David Boutt recently published new data on the hydrogeology of the area surrounding Mt. Toby in Leverett, Sunderland, Montague, and Amherst and its affects on local drinking water supplies.

  • Arctic Sedimentary Record Reveals New Information

    False color LANDSAT satellite image of Lake E in Siberian Arctic

    Recent undergrad alum Mark Lindberg, postdoctoral researcher Will Daniels, and professors Isla Castañeda and Julie Brigham-Grette published new research in the journal Climate of the Past providing a continuous look at a shift in climate, called the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, that has puzzled scientists.

  • Castañeda receives Mentoring Award

    Dr. Isla Castañeda

    Dr Isla Castañeda is a receipient of a 2022 ADVANCE Faculty Peer Mentor Award. This annual award recognizes the critically important work faculty members perform in mentoring and supporting their colleagues’ professional development and success.

  • Bowlick receives Lilly Fellowship

    Photo of Dr. Forrest Bowlick wearing a fetching sweater

    Dr. Forrest Bowlick has been named a 2022-23 Lilly Fellow for Teaching Excellence by the Center for Teaching and Learning. It enables promising early-career faculty to expand their expertise in teaching while pursuing the teaching and scholarly activity expected of faculty at a major research university. 

  • Graduate student Leah Travis-Taylor selected to join paleoCAMP

    Photo of Leah Travis-Taylor

    paleoCAMP is a 2-week summer school for graduate students in paleoclimatology, hosted at a rotating location in the American West. The school’s mission is to provide vital cross-disciplinary training for the next generation of climate scientists; provide an optimal environment for networking and mentoring of rising stars in paleoclimatology; and promote diversity and inclusive practices in order to encourage retention of underrepresented groups in the Geosciences.

  • Geography Program, Student Win Awards

    Image of the globe with cyberpunk-style digital overlay displaying text and computer code

    The Master's Program in Geography was recognized by The American Association of Geographers in its 2022 awards as "being impressive in several areas". Geography Major Keegan Moynahan was also awarded The 2022 Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Award in Geographic Science for a strong effort to bridge geographic and computer sciences.

  • The Surprising Reason why Vikings Abandoned a Successful Settlement

    Researchers exploriing the shore of a lake in Greenland during the summer

    Recent alum Dr. Boyang Zhao, Associate Professor Isla Castañeda, Dr. Jeffrey Salacup, post-doctoral researchers Will Daniels and Tobias Schneider, and various alumni, collaborators, and department members published research in the journal Science Advances that challenges the hypothesis that Vikings abandoned their settlements Greenland because it got too cold.

  • The Geography of Connecticut Wine

    Grapes in a Sunny Vineyard

    Dr. Forrest Bowlick published an analysis in the The Geographical Bulletin's special issue on Food, Fermentation, and Drink of the nuances of Connnecticut's wine geographies and their economic impact on the state's American Viticultural Areas

  • Water Sustainability of Lithium Mining

    The Atacama Dry lake, in Chile. At the horizon, the Tumisa, Lejía and Miñiques volcanoes. Photo by Francesco Mocellin

    PhD students Brendan Moran and Sarah McKnight, with Professor David Boutt and udnergraduate student Alexander Kirshen, published research in the Earth and Space Science Open Archive about using isotope analysis and remote sensing to gain a better picture of how drought and recent rain events impact groundwater in the Salar de Atacama. This assessment provides a better hydrological framework for evaluating the effects of lithium extraction in the region to support renewable energy technologies.

  • It's All in the Way Faults Move

    Figure from the paper in the URL

    Graduate Student Hanna Elston, Professor Michele Cooke, and recent alum Dr. Alex Hatem published research in the journal Geology that shows how piecess of large fault systems, such as the San Andreas, reorganize themselves and cause movement on other pieces of the fault system at a local scale.

  • The Cold is Getting Hot

    Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette seated as part of panel on a stage. She is speaking and gesturing towards audience.

    Dr.'s Julie Brigham-Grette and Rob DeConto were invited to address an international symposium of the world’s leading polar researchers, at an international symposium organized by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and the International Arctic Science Committee, in collaboration with the Oceanographic Institute, Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation, the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative and the UN Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

  • Geosciences at AAG

    A stylized rendition of the Earth in space, with a mesh of interlocking glowing lines covering the surface

    Several students and faculty are presenting at the 2022 (Virtual) Annual Conference of the Association of American Geographers this weekend!  Click here for a schedule of their talks.

  • Shaina Sadai featured on I Was A Kid

    Illustrated comic featuring PhD Student Shaina Sadai

    PhD student Shaina Sadai was featured by Karen Romano Young's "I Was A Kid" which map paths to STEM/STEAM careers for today's kids.  Visit here to see the project, and here to see a recording of Shaina's presentation for students at a school.

  • Dr. Eve Vogel Named 2022 Public Engagement Faculty Fellow

    Dr. Vogel

    Dr. Eve Vogel was named one of eight 2022 Public Engagement Faculty Fellows by the UMass Amherst Public Engagement project. The PEP Fellows Program facilitates connections between fellows and lawmakers in the U.S. Congress and Massachusetts State House, journalists, practitioners and others to share their research beyond the walls of academia.

  • New Research Ends Debate on Antarctic Climate Change Mystery...

    Halberstadt analyzing marine sediment cores

    New research led by PhD student Ruthie Halberstadt definitively resolves a long-standing discrepancy in the geologic record that pitted studies of marine ice-sheet behavior against those that reconstructed past conditions on land. The research, published recently in the journal Geology, and funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Environment Research Council, lends additional weight to evidence that the Antarctic Ice Sheet is sensitive to small changes in CO2 levels and that, in the past, large portions of the ice sheet could have disappeared under CO2 levels similar to today.

  • Do solar farms change local hydrogeology?

    Photovoltaic cells, shining with all their promise, in the sun.

    Environmental Science major Bridget Beaudoin and Research Assistant Professor Brian Yellen highlight the need for more research into how large-scale solar installations affect local runoff and drainage patterns.

  • Western U.S. “Megafloods” Might Not Have Been So Mega

    Dry Falls in Washington: a canyon carved out of orange stone in an arid landscape

    After the Last Glacial Maximum in North America, a kilometer-thick ice dam at the toe of a glacier failed, allowing the waters of massive Lake Missoula to rush out and inundate the landscape of what is now eastern Washington. PhD student Karin Lehnigk and Assistant Professor Isaac Larsen investigate just how big those floods were...

  • How analog models are changing what we know about fault behavior

    Hannah Elston preparing the model by sprinkling sand on the surface of the clay. Credit: UMass Amherst

    In a new paper recently published in the journal Geology, graduate student Hanna Elston, Professor Michele Cooke, and alum Dr. Alex Hatem unveil a physical model that yields an unprecedented, high-resolution look at the slip rates of faults, which determine the likelihood of earthquakes.

  • The inequitable impact of natural disasters

    Pickup trucks and light SUVs parked to the side of a road flooded with brown water up to the bottom of the truck

    Dr. Seda Şalap-Ayça, Assistant Professor Eve Vogel, and Associate Professor Christine Hatch are part of a cross-disciplinary advisory panel to Massachusetts policymakers on  responses to flood hazards that help the marginalized populations hit hardest by these disasters.

  • Neural networks and structural geology

    Scatterplot graph, in blues and purples, from paper referenced in link

    Graduate student Hanna Elston, Professor Michele Cooke, and co-authors published research in Geophysical Research Letters that uses a Convolutional Neural Network to analyze surface-trace patterns of experimental models of strike-slip faults. The network can accurately predict crustal deformation away from the fault.

  • Don't look up (north)

    Blue glacial ice melting in the sun.

    The reality of CO2 emissions on the Arctic & Antarctic will not be mitigated by a technological fix, says Professor Julie Brigham-Grette. Read her take in The Hill on what measures need to be implemented.

  • Tracing groundwater's journey

    A rushing brook winds its way through a snow-dusted woodland

    Professor David Boutt discusses five case studies demonstrating the power of using stable isotopes to track the movement of groundwater in New England.

  • Deciphering historic patterns of tropical rainfall

    Sillhouettes of Boabab trees in Madagascar at sunset.

    With a new paper in Quaternary Science Reviews, Professor Stephen Burns and colleagues use speleothems in SW Madagascar to document the migration and atmospheric controls of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone over the past 117,000 years.

  • The surprising cause of the little ice age

    Ice and iceberg floating in Arctic Ocean.

    The Little Ice Age was one of the coldest periods of the past 10,000 years. Post-doctoral research fellow François LaPointe and Dr. Raymond Bradley's latest research gives an up to date picture of why it happened.

  • Undergraduate recognized for academic excellence

    Wildfire working its way up a hillside at night.

    Keegan Moynahan has been awarded the competitive 2022 AAG Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Award in Geographic Science. He is currently using GIS to analyze wildfire data and determine vulnerable areas that would best benefit from risk management and disaster mitigation strategies.

  • Documenting high Andean wetlands

    Blue lake surrounded by white salt-rind in a mountanous brown landscape. Image by Jackiesar via Pixabay.

    PhD student Brendan Moran and Dr. David Boutt are co-authors of a new paper in the journal Hydrology providing baseliine data on poorly-described high altitude Andean wetlands.

  • Northeast records warmest October on record

    Photograph of Earth from space.

    WAMC radio interviews Michael Rawlins (Associate Director, Climate Systems Research Center) on this October's record breaking temperatures in the context of climate change.

  • UMass Geosciences at COP-26

    PhD Student Shaina Sadai stands in front of a blue wall with white letters and a globe on it.  The text reads: "UN Climate Chang

    PhD student Shaina Sadai, and professors Julie Brigham-Grette and Rob DeConto have been presenting their research at the United Nations COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow.

  • The needs of next-generation GIST professionals

    Students lined up at workbench along floor to ceiling window using laptop computers. Photo by Marley Clovelly from Pexels.

    Environmental Science alum Emma Curran and Dr. Forrest Bowlick explore GIST skill-learning and pedagogy across a number of academic insitutions with new research published in Transactions in GIS.

  • New study examines how global warming is altering Earth's carbon cycle

    Photo of high artic mountain valley, with braided river winding its way though wide floodplain

    In a pair of recently published papers, Michael Rawlins, a professor in the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s geosciences department and associate director of the Climate System Research Center, has made significant gains in filling out our understanding of the Arctic’s carbon cycle

  • Department at NESTVAL 2021

    Antique map of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence river.

    Dr. Eve Vogel and PhD student Shanai Sadai will be presenting at this year's Association of American Geographers' NESTVAL conference, in addition to Geography students participating in the 2021 World Geography Bowl.