Department News

Rutgers faculty and students on the R/V Atlantis research cruise

Welcome Aboard the Research Vessel Atlantis, Cruise AT40-03

Welcome the not-so-regular daily blog we're keeping aboard the R/V Atlantis. "We" are 19 members of a science and technical team contributing to a research cruise that's the prelim to drilling by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). Images of seafloor topography and sub-seafloor layering we collect will enable us to choose sites to be drilled by the IODP, using the D/V JOIDES Resolution 2 to 3 years from now. That effort will recover records of Earth history that can be acquired in no other way than by putting out to sea and drilling hundreds of meters into the seafloor at key locations. We expect the sediments brought up from the depths will reveal ocean-atmosphere-biosphere interaction spanning the last 70 million years. The goal will be to improve knowledge of past climate variations and the factors that regulate the flow of deep ocean water that begins in the North Atlantic and circles the globe.

AtlantisAtlantis Image Courtesy of WHOI

Read more: Rutgers faculty and students on the R/V Atlantis research cruise

Mattos awarded AGU Horton Research Grant

Congratulations to EPS PhD student Caio Mattos on receiving a Horton Research Grant from the American Geophysical Union (AGU)! The grant is very competitive, and no more than three are awarded in a given year. The grant will support Caio to do field work in the Amazon over two field seasons. Well done, Caio!

For more information about the Horton Research Grant, please visit the following site:

Caio photo

Miller, Browning receive GSA honors

Congratulations to Professors Ken Miller and Jim Browning on receiving honors from the Geological Society of America (GSA)! Miller was awarded the Laurence L. Sloss Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the interdisciplinary field of sedimentary geology. Browning was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Miller and Browning will be recognized at the 2018 GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis in November.

Ken and Jim

Olsson publishes new Atlas of Oligocene Planktonic Foraminifera

Olsson publishes new Atlas of Oligocene Planktonic Foraminifera


Congratulations to Emeritus Professor Richard Olsson and co-authors on their recent book, Atlas of Oligocene Planktonic Foraminifera!  This is the third book in a larger series, and follows atlases on the Paleocene (by Olsson and others, 1999) and the Eocene. This Special Publication provides updates the taxonomy, paleoecology, phylogeny, and biostratigraphy of the diverse groups of Oligocene planktonic foraminifera, and will serve as an invaluable guide for paleontologists focusing on this epoch in Earth history.

EPS alumni discuss geoscience jobs at Geology Club Career Night

The Geology Club hosted Career Night 2018 on April 2. Twenty-five students attended. Six alumni from environmental companies (Ramboll, Melick-Tully, Langan Engineering, Brinkerhoff and Geo Technology) and the USGS (Trenton) talked about their experiences getting a job, what their typical day is like and advice about career possibilities. A spirited question and answer session and networking opportunity followed.

Read more: EPS alumni discuss geoscience jobs at Geology Club Career Night

EPS Alum Durcanin is runner up for Matson Memorial Award

Michael Durcanin presentation: "Exhumation on the Passive Margin of Eastern North America: Results from Sonic Transit-Time and Vitrinite-Reflectance Analyses in the Newark Rift Basin"


Rutgers’ graduate, Michael Durcanin (BS, 2006; MS, 2009), received news that his presentation at the 2017 AAPG Conference was the runner-up for the George C. Matson Memorial Award. A panel of judges/experts reviewed over 1000 presentations before selecting Mike’s talk as one of the conference’s top talks.  In recognition of his accomplishment, Robbie Gries, GSA President-Elect, has invited Mike to present his work in the Geologic Energy Research Session at the upcoming 2018 GSA meeting in Indianapolis, IN.

Read more: EPS Alum Durcanin is runner up for Matson Memorial Award

Undergraduate Researchers Present in Northeastern GSA

On March 19th and 20th, Rutgers seismology group attended the Northeastern sectional meeting of GSA, held in Burlington, Vermont. In the session aiming to integrate geology and geophysics, our undergraduates, Stephen Elkington and Janine Hlavaty, contributed results from their research investigating the upper mantle rock textures beneath New England. The talk was masterfully presented by Steve. The study was done in conjunction with the Aresty Research Assistant Program (, and will be presented by Janine and Steve once again at the Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in April.


First EPS Publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters

Chondrules are melt spherules in meteorites. Whether chondrules are universally primitive condensates from the solar nebula or spherules produced by planetesimal collisions during planetary accretion is uncertain. Emeritus Professor Roger Hewins and Ph.D. alumna Claire Condie defined the formation conditions of some unusual chondrules, which partially remelted during cooling (see Condie’s 2012 EPS Ph.D. thesis). Melissa Morris’ group at SUNY Cortlandt used Condie’s data to conduct 3D modeling of an impact plume with the adaptive mesh refinement code FLASH4. They found heating spikes in compressed parcels of gas like those in crystallization experiments. The agreement between the geological experiments from Rutgers and the astrophysical models from SUNY Cortlandt supports formation of these chondrules by collision of planetesimals

Read more: First EPS Publication in The Astrophysical Journal Letters

Chen accepted to the Cooperative Institute for Dynamic Earth Research summer school!

Congratulations to Xiaoran Chen on her acceptance into the month-long expenses-paid summer school run by the Cooperative Institute for Dynamic Earth Research (CIDER) ( Xiaoran will spend the month of July, 2018 at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP), University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

The program emphasizes multidisciplinary team-based studies of the Earth Interior (details here

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