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Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH, D. Hacker
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH, D. Hacker
Yellowstone Falls, Sean Robertson
Yellowstone Falls, Sean Robertson
Pikes Peak, Darren Reilly
Pikes Peak, Darren Reilly
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH, D. Hacker
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH, D. Hacker
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH, D. Hacker
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH, D. Hacker
Great Smoky Mountains, TN, EGS
Great Smoky Mountains, TN, EGS
Grand Teton National Park, WY, SS
Grand Teton National Park, WY, SS

Department of Geology



Geology Faculty publications and presentations are the highest in the College of Arts & Sciences

Current research in the Department of Geology

Palmer Geology
Lecture Series


Geology: A Most Valuable Major (Forbes 5/15/2012)

According to PayScale's massive compensation database and job growth projections through 2020 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Geology is the 7th most valuable college major in terms of salary and career prospects. They are ranked by median starting pay, median mid-career pay (at least 10 years experience), percentage growth in pay and projected growth of job opportunities.

No. 7: Geology
Starting Median Pay: $45,300
Mid-Career Median Pay: $83,300
Growth In Pay: 84%
Projected Job Growth: 19.3%

New Research Funding and Projects Updates

  • Development of an expanded pigment spectral library for identification of phytoplankton by visible derivative spectroscopy

  • Stark Campus Acquisition of an Intuitive Multi-Touch Scanning Electron Microscope to Enhance Research as well as Undergraduate Student Research and Natural Science Courses

  • Rock Mass Characterization and Stability Evaluation of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, South Dakota

  • Response of the Harmful Algal Species Microcystis (Cyanophyceae) to Variable Environmental Conditions

  • Characterizing Stream Restoration's Water Quality Improvement Potential Through Hyporheic Enhancement

  • Assessing the Effects of Green Infrastructure on Metals Concentrations in Stormwater Runoff


KSU Scholarships for Broadening Participation in the Sciences annually provides 21 undergraduate scholarships, averaging $5,000 each to promising science students.

Applications are accepted beginning in early March for undergraduates pursing a STEM major for the following academic year. For more scholarship opportunities, search Pathways to Science for opportunities to do research at the undergraduate level, here and abroad. The Institute for Broadening Participation in the STEM sciences also offers free online search tools to encourage minority participation in STEM sciences.

Sabrina Tucker awarded Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellow

WWilsonFellow2013KSU Geology Alumnus Sabrina Tucker (BS 2013) was among 79 Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellows recently named at the Ohio Statehouse by the Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Department of Education, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship recruits top-quality teacher candidates to teach math and science in high-need Ohio schools. The Fellows include both accomplished career changers and outstanding recent college graduates, all with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (the STEMM fields). Ms Tucker will receive a $30,000 stipend while completing a rigorous master’s program at the University of Akron that includes a full year of practical experience in local classrooms. Following this, she will commit to teach for three years in Ohio’s high-need schools with ongoing mentoring and support. Congratulations Sabrina!

KSU eInside story:  Prehistoric Landslide in Utah studied by Dr. David Hacker, associate Professor Geology Trumbull Campus

WKYC News story about theToledo and Lake Erie algal blooms response with an interview with Dr. Joseph Ortiz

KSU eInside story: Kent State Team Awarded $15,000 for Sustainability Design Competition

KSU eInside story: Can Fireworks Damage Mount Rushmore? features Dr. Abdul Shakoor studying the effects of vibrations from the Fourth of July fireworks on the national monument.

KSU eINSIDE story: Monitoring Lake Erie's Algae From Space features Dr. Joseph Ortiz and his current work on Lake Erie.

NPR's IDEASTREAM Radio Show features panel discussion on water quality with Joseph Ortiz

Geology Doctoral Student Awarded NASA Ohio Space Grant Fellowship to Study Lake Erie Water Quality

A satellite image taken Aug. 3 by MODIS instruments, onboard both the Aqua and Terra NASA satellites, shows various color-producing agents (CPAs) across the entire Lake Erie basin. The use of MODIS data allows researchers to analyze water quality on a larger scale, as well as take advantage of twice-daily imaging.

Dulci Avouris, a Kent State University Geology Ph.D. student was recently awarded a NASA Ohio Space Grant Consortium doctoral fellowship in Applied Geology to study the water quality of Lake Erie through satellite remote sensing.  By analyzing NASA satellite data, she will assist in identifying potential harmful algal blooms (HABs), which pose numerous risks to human and animal health in addition to impacting taste and odor of drinking water for affected populations in the region.


Alumni Newsletter 2014

Dr. Joseph Ortiz is featured in Environmental Monitor for research using remote sensing on Lake Erie.

Dr. Carrie Schweitzer is interviewed (pg 19) in Kent State Stark's Encompass Magazine.

Advisors in Geology

Undergraduate Advisors:

Graduate Coordinator:
Dr. Joseph Ortiz

Field Camp Director:
Dr. David Hacker

Free Tutoring for all Geology CORE Courses

Experienced Geology graduate students and lab instructors answer your questions, beginning week three of each semester, in room 223 MCG, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. No appointment necessary.

Matt Harding Columnar Jointing 2013 Student Photo Contest Winner

Columnar Jointing on Virginia Skyline Drive, Matt Harding, 2013 Geology Student Photo Contest Winner