• DeConto elected fellow of American Geophysical Union

    Picture of Dr. Rob DeConto

    This is among the most prestigious distinctions in the earth, climate and space sciences, awarded to less than 0.1% of members. AGU, a nonprofit organization that supports a worldwide membership of 130,000, ranging from enthusiasts to experts, annually recognizes a select number of individuals as part of its Honors and Recognition program. DeConto joins just 54 other individuals in the 2022 Class of Fellows.

  • Democracy and development in Chilean Patagonia

    Millions of Chileans march through Plaza Baquedano, Santiago on October 25, 2019.

    In a recent piece in Anthropology News Dr. Eric Thomas offers analysis and discussion of Chiles recent vote on a new Constitution and what that means for addressing economic inequality in the region.

  • Matthew Winnick designated CNS Faculty Fellow

    View looking up at a cloudy blue sky with the UMass Chapel in the foreground.

    Dr. Matthew Winnick has been designated part of the College of Natural Science's ADVANCE Faculty Fellow cohort for 2022-2023. The 44 selected faculty members, each representing different units, will partner with UMass ADVANCE to promote gender and racial equity for faculty at UMass Amherst.

  • Collaborating with Indigenous communities to mitigate climate change

    A misty scence in the Cascade Mountains

    Dr. Jonathan Woodruff and several colleagues are part of a team led by Indigenous scholars proposing a new Center for Braiding Indigenous Knowledges and Science that will emphasize scientific research conducted in partnership with Indigenous communities on issues that are central to those communities.

  • Challenging assumptions about weathering

    A trench cut into clay-rich soil as viewed from the bottom of the trench

    In a recent paper in the American Journal of Science, Dr. Matthew Winnick and colleagues re-examine the relationships between Lithium isotopes and global weathering regimes to revise how such isotopes should be used in models that link weathering rates to changes in climate.

  • Teaching and learning GIS in the time of COVID-19

    The Earth as seen from space but modified to look like a Coronavirus phage

    Dr. Forrest Bowlick and colleagues recently published a paper in The Geography Teacher providing an autoethnographic perspective on how the COVID-19 pandemic challenged traditional GIS pedagogy, course format and structure, and higher education technological infrastructures.

  • Laura Fattaruso named 2022-2023 GSA Science Communication Fellow

    Head portrait of Laura Fattaruso

    Graduate student Laura Fattaruso is the Geological Society of America’s 2022–2023 Science Communication Fellow. In this role, Fattaruso will help translate technical research from GSA journals and meeting presentations into relatable stories for non-technical audiences.

  • Examining the impact of the Green Energy Transition

    Alpenglow on distant mountain peaks bordering the Salar de Atacama

    A groundbreaking new study recently published in the journal Earth’s Future by alum Brendan Moran, professor Dave Boutt, graduate student Sarah McKnight, and colleagues at University of Alaska, is the first to comprehensively account for the hydrological impact of lithium mining. Since lithium is the key component of the lithium-ion batteries that are crucial for the transition away from fossil fuels and towards green energy, it is critical to fully understand how to responsibly obtain the precious element.

  • Research Connects the Rise of Islam to Sixth-Century Droughts

    Cracked mud flats

    Fifteen centuries ago, extreme dry conditions contributed to the decline of the ancient South Arabian kingdom of Himyar. Combined with political unrest and war, the droughts left behind a region in disarray, thereby helping to create the conditions on the Arabian peninsula that made possible the spread of the newly emerging religion of Islam. Dr.'s Stephen Burns, Ray Bradley, and collaborators including former post-doc Dominick Fleitmann explain in their new article in Science.

  • After GRExit: Reducing Bias in Geoscience Graduate Admissions

    A zoomed in picture of a fictional keyboard, with the enter key replaced by a bright red key that says "Admissions".

    Dropping the GRE is just a first step toward holistic admissions. To further reduce bias in applicant evaluations, the UMass-Amherst geosciences program has changed the way it assesses students.  A group of Geosciences faculty & students, including Dr. Michele Cooke, Hannah Baranes, Dr.'s Isla Castañeda, Jonathon Woodruff, and David Boutt, have written an article in EOS about the process that might help other programs considering how to move forward from #Grexit.

  • McKnight awarded DOE fellowship

    Photo of Sarah McKnight

    PhD Student Sarah McKnight is one of 80 graduate students selected for the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program’s 2021 Solicitation 2 cycle. Through world-class training and access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources at DOE national laboratories, SCGSR prepares graduate students to enter jobs of critical importance to the DOE mission and secures the U.S. position at the forefront of discovery and innovation. McKnight will be working with Xingyuan Chen at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

  • Western Mass is heating up

    Screen capture of interview with Dr. Michael Rawlins

    22-WWLP News (Springfield, Massachusetts) highlighted Dr. Michael Rawlins, associate director of the Climate Systems Research Center, as part of a special weather program on how climate change is affecting Western Massachusetts 

  • Showing up for transgender scientists

    Image of Laura Fattaruso in front of foliage. PC: Marsha Allen

    In a recent piece in Nature Reviews, PhD student Laura Fattaruso says "It is time to move from quiet tolerance to active advocacy for transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary scientists, because lives are on the line."

  • The hidden waterways of Amherst

    On Nov. 12, 2021, a sudden, heavy rain caused waters to rise over a meter in Tan Brook in less than 15 minutes; in 30 minutes, w

    Dr. Christine Hatch describes the detective work her and her students undertook to trace a hidden stream in Amherst that causes to mysterious flooding

  • Boston to be deeply affected by climate change

    Cohasset High School football player Jackie Lyons examined a press box, destroyed by a storm, at Cohasset Alumni Field in O

    A new report by the Greater Boston Research Advisory group details the effects of climate change on the greater Boston area, from sea level rise, to storms, to declining drinking water. The group includes several department faculty and students including Dr. Ambarish Karmalkar, Dr. Robert DeConto, Hannah Baranes, Dr. Jon Woodruff, and Anna Ruth Halberstadt.

  • Larsen Interviewed by CNBC

    Screenshot of Zoom interview with Dr. Isaac Larsen

    Dr. Isaac Larsen was interviewed by CNBC about recent alum Evan Thaler's and his research about eroding topsoil in the U.S. Midwest.

  • 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...