Department News

Student Awarded at the South Central GSA Section Meeting March 29, 2019

Rachel SortorRachel Sortor, PhD student was awarded the student presentation award for the South Central GSA Section Meeting this week.

Tulane Study Says Seas May Be Rising Faster Than Thought January 30, 2019

Breton Sound MarshesA new Tulane University study questions the reliability of how sea-level rise in low-lying coastal areas such as southern Louisiana is measured and suggests that the current method underestimates the severity of the problem. The research is the focus of a news article published this week in the journal Science.

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City Digs Deep To Prepare For The Future December 5, 2018

City Digs Deep To Prepare For The FutureMuch of greater New Orleans has been naturally sinking for generations. But scientists don’t know a lot about why, where, or how fast it’s happening. So now, they’re looking below the streets for clues -- at the layers of dirt, sand, and mud. The city hopes it’ll help us prepare for the future.

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Fall Alumni/Retirement Party October 10, 2018

Steve-Nelson-Retirement This Fall's alumni party during Homecoming weekend will also be will also be Dr. Steve Nelson’s retirement party. Please join us in celebrating Dr. Nelson’s career. Cudd Hall, Friday November 9, 2018, 6pm – 9pm.

A Tulane internship of Seismic Proportions September 26, 2018

Cynthia Ebinger and Makiyah Cormick As a research intern in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering, Makiyah Cormick, a senior at the New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School, worked closely with scientists to analyze seismic data from around the world. He was especially interested in the possible causes of an earthquake swarm on Comoros, a volcanic chain off the eastern coast of Africa, in May and June of 2018.

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Tulane Geologist Named Oliver Fund Scholars Award Winner May 15, 2018

Nathan Lyons and Nicole GaspariniThe annual $40,000 award, given every two years, is designed to stimulate outstanding faculty research initiatives, and this year’s competition focused on research in computational science, including modeling and simulation of complex problems.

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Tulane Scientist Antarctica Bound in $25 million Glacier Study May 1, 2018

Antarctica Glacier The collaboration between the United States and the United Kingdom will deploy Arnold Early Career Professor Brent Goehring, an assistant professor in the Tulane Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and 100 other scientists to Antarctica to gather data needed to understand when the glacier’s collapse could begin - in the next few decades or centuries - and its impact on global sea rise.

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School of Science and Engineering Names Outstanding Researcher April 11, 2018

Karen Johannesson Outstanding Researcher Awar Karen Johannesson, a professor of geochemistry and chemical hydrogeology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, will receive the Outstanding Researcher Award Thursday, April 12, during the 12th annual School of Science and Engineering (SSE) Research Day.

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Professor Searches For Clues to Predict Volcanic Eruptions March 6, 2018

cynthia-ebingerCynthia Ebinger, holder of the Marshall-Heape Chair in Geology in the School of Science and Engineering at Tulane University, studies tiny but critical changes in rock-magma interactions. She is the lead author on a review of existing geophysical data that measures magma in that region, on which she collaborated with an international team.

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11th Graduate Climate Conference November 15, 2017

In episode 58 of Forecast, Mike talks with Henri Drake, Jennifer Carman, and Molly Keogh, three of the attendees at the 11th Graduate Climate Conference.

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Study Looks at Link between Ice Sheet and Climate Change November 10, 2017

ice-sheet-climate-changeA Tulane University geologist is among a team of scientists studying an ancient Canadian ice sheet to determine if its collapse could be a preview of future climate change.

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Geologist Enjoys Life on the Rocks October 26, 2017

David DockeryIt was during those formative years that Dockery made the bargain of a lifetime. While out collecting specimens, he bought a unique-looking shell for 50 cents from a friend who had found it while digging in a state park.

Decades later, Dockery would identify that fossilized seashell as a new species, naming it Transovula producta in his 1977 book Mollusca of the Moodys Branch Formation, Mississippi. He wrote the book while working as a summer intern for the Mississippi Geological Survey.

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Tulane Research Aids in Reading Earth's Diary September 26, 2017

Kyle Straub A Tulane University geologist has concluded a study on climate change, which will help develop climate models that simulate the effects of climate change and the Earth’s response to it.

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Tulane Student Hopes Research Will Lead to Protection from Volcanoes, Earthquakes September 12, 2017

Tulane student hopes research will lead to protection from volcanoes, earthquakes East Africa may be a long way from the Crescent City, but it is top of mind for Tulane PhD student Sarah Oliva, who is studying data from volcanoes and earthquakes in that region. Her goal is a better understanding of how a 3,000-kilometer long deep valley — the East African rift system — formed. Ultimately, she hopes her research will enable her to work with scientists and help governments protect residents living near the rift.

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Old Accident in Mississippi Delta Holds Lessons for Saving Louisiana's Coast August 25, 2017

Cubit's Gap For Kolker, who works for Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, the accident known as Cubit's Gap hints at what two planned sediment diversion projects could do - on purpose, this time - to ease Louisiana's land loss crisis. The first of their kind in the state and costing about $2 billion, the Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton diversions, both planned upriver from Cubit's Gap, would allow huge volumes of water and sediment to pour through the river's extensive levee system and build land where much has been lost.

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Young Tulane Scientists Get National Recognition, Support for Coastal Research August 8, 2017

Krista JankowskiTwo Tulane University researchers are among nine scientists nationwide awarded Science Policy Fellowships through the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Gulf Research Program.

Krista L. Jankowski, a doctoral candidate in earth and environmental sciences, will spend the next year at the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority in Baton Rouge, where she will study the challenges facing coastal Louisiana in light of the changing climate.

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6 Filipino scientists who are changing the world June 28, 2017

6 Filipino scientists who are changing the world
Illustration by:

Sarah Oliva is a geophysicist based in Tulane University in New Orleans, United States. Hailing from Naga, Oliva had a background in physics and material science but returned to a childhood love, geology — one that was partially nurtured by having a geologist for a dad.

“I like seeing the world in terms of forces and particles, deformation and material properties,” says Oliva. “But even as I happily pursued [physics and material sciences], I would fondly recall another childhood interest of mine — geology … And when a fire like that burns and stays alive over many years even without being tended and fed, it has to mean something.”

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Researcher Follows Evolution of Landforms May 6, 2016

Nicole GasperiniIt’s called a Schmidt hammer, and for the past eight years, it has been a critical tool in the research of Nicole Gasparini, an associate professor in the Tulane Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Also known as a Swiss hammer, it measures the elastic properties or strength of concrete or rock. Gasparini is a geomorphologist, a scientist who studies the evolution and configuration of landforms. She has been using the device to gain a better understanding of bedrock river erosion.

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Anything Is Possible With a Posse Behind You May 5, 2017

James LeonJames Leon was always a good student, but college was hardly in his plans. Having emigrated from Mexico, his mother never attended college, and as far as Leon was concerned, higher education was “an exclusive kind of thing.”

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Earth and Environmental Sciences Department Host Outreach Program Called GIST March 5, 2015

outreach-program-girlsOn March 5, 2016 Prof. Nicole Gasparini; Prof of Practice, Jeffrey Agnew; graduate students Jordan Adams and Daniel Culling; undergraduate student Claire Beauchamp of Tulane University, School of Science and Engineering, the Earth and Environmental Sciences department hosted an outreach program called GIST for 5th to 8th grade girls to have positive experiences with women role models in STEM fields.

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Karen Johannesson Named 2015 C.C. Patterson Medalist February 16, 2015

Karen JohannessonKaren Johannesson, Professor of Geochemistry and Chemical Hydrogeology at Tulane University has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 C.C. Patterson Award. The Patterson Award recognizes an innovative breakthrough of fundamental significance in environmental geochemistry, particularly in service of society, consisting of either a single outstanding contribution or a short series of papers published within the last decade.

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Professor Recognized For His Work in Climate Change april 23, 2014

Professor Torbjörn E. TörnqvistSchool of Science and Engineering professor Torbjörn E. Törnqvist was invested as the inaugural Vokes Geology Professor during a ceremony on April 16.

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Less of a Class, More of an Experience November 8, 2013

grand canyonFor 40 years, students enrolled in the Grand Canyon Colloquium offered each spring semester have gotten far more than a grade.

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Assistant Professor Kyle M. Straub wins national award! June 11, 2013

Kyle M. StraubTulane University scientist Kyle Straub has been recognized with a national award for his work in sedimentary geology.

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Measuring the Temperature of the Dinosaurs May 21, 2013

Jianwu TangThe research group of Brad Rosenheim (Stable Isotope Laboratory) recently published a manuscript on measuring clumped isotopes of CO2, a promising paleothermometer. Tulane becomes the 7th university to publish clumped isotope data from carbonates worldwide.

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Student plans big climb to help women's causes April 15, 2013

Batina BrockampProject Elevation, a climb at Mount Kilimanjaro, is student Batina Brockamp's way to raise funds and benefit two charities who help needy women.

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River Discharge Influences on Particulate Organic Carbon Age Structure in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River System February 27, 2013

IMG_9857Brad Rosenheim has recently published an article in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles which summarizes how the large Mississippi/Atchafalaya river system is involved in the carbon cycle and how this involvement changes when water levels rise.

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Remembering the Meteorite Which Fell Through Uptown Home Feb 21, 2013

meteorSteve Nelson discusses the September 2003 meteor event on WWLT-TV news. The meteor went though a house in the Uptown area of New Orleans.


To Antarctica and Back Again  November 26, 2012

Brad RosenheimTulane researcher Brad Rosenheim talked about his scientific expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula on November 27, 2012 in the Freeman Auditorium. 

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Renowned Researcher Mead Allison Returns to Tulane November 26, 2012

Mead AllisonMead Allison, one of the nation’s leading experts on land-creating sediment in the Mississippi River and Louisiana’s continental shelf, will join Tulane University as a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, effective Fall 2013.

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 Brad Rosenheim invited on Antarctic research cruise October 5, 2012

Brad Rosenheim - LARISSA cruiseThe LARISSA project, funded by NSF, embarks to Antarctica to study the history of ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula.  Rosenheim will be taking samples of suspended sediments from spring glacial meltwaters to look for potential old sources of carbon within those sediments.

Read Brad's blog from the LARISSA cruise » 

New Orleans Geological Society (NOGS) Award Winners October 1, 2012

NOGS 2012 Award WinnersThe NOGS Memorial Foundation approved four Earth and Environmental Sciences' students for scholarship for 2012.  The students received their scholarship awards at the October, 2012 NOGS luncheon.

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Direct measurement of Riverine particulate organic carbon age structure  october 1, 2012

Rosenheim - Figure 3Brad Rosenheim, with colleague Valier Galy, published a paper on riverine carbon cycling in Geophysical Research Letters.  The article was featured in the News and Views section of Nature Geosciences (October issue) as a highlight in biogeochemistry. 

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Bob Marshall and Scott Heape: A Legacy of Teamwork  Fall, 2012

Bob Marshall and Scott HeapeIn the summer of 1968, freshmen recruits Bob Marshall from New Orleans and Scott Heape of Dallas walked onto the football practice field at Tulane University and became close friends. They learned to balance the rigors of football practice with a demanding geology curriculum, ultimately winning Tulane a Liberty Bowl championship in 1970.

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Links between early Holocene ice-sheet decay, sea-level rise and abrupt climate change september 1, 2012

Source: Nature Publishing GroupTorbjörn Törnqvist and Marc Hijma's paper on ice sheet/sea level connections was published in the September 2012 issue of Nature Geoscience.The paper was also featured in the journal's press release and lead editorial.

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State of the Coast Conference  june 28, 2012

Grad student, Cyndhia Ramatchandirane, at ConferenceGraduate student, Cyndhia Ramatchandirane, presents poster, along with Krista Jankowski and Jon Marshak, at State of the Coast Conference. 

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Deep-water Basin Experiments june 26, 2012

Kyle Straub and Jane StammerKyle Straub and Jane Stammer collect sediment samples from recent experiments. Jane is a Ph.D. graduate student from the Colorado School of Mines working with Dr. Straub in the Sediment Dynamics Laboratory.

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PBS NewsHour reports on Coping with Climate Change June 1, 2012

Isle de Jean Charles in 1993The PBS NewsHour examines the vanishing coastline of Louisiana. Professor Torbjörn Törnqvist and Adjunct Professor Alex Kolker share their comments.

Gulf Coast sea level rise in overdrive, study says april 5, 2012

Torbjörn E. TörnqvistResearch led by Torbjörn Törnqvist finds that "human-induced climate change" has a dramatic effect on the rate of sea level rise in the 20th century.

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Early Humans Loved Living Near Water, Too January 9, 2012

Nahid Gani, Professor of PracticeThe lure of waterfront property goes back a long way in human history.  Ardipithecus ramidus preferred to live close to the water's edge rather than in the interior regions of East Africa.  The article, appearing in Nature Communication, is co-authored by professor of practice, Nahid Gani.

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Dating Mississippi Branches and Chenier Ridges March 8, 2012

Marc HijmaMarc Hijma's fieldwork in the Mississippi Delta researching sea-level changes during the last 6,000 years, has led him to a wide variety of places in Louisiana, sometimes with unexpected participants.

Read about his recent research

Research into Heavy Metals Makes Social Impact Winter, 2011

Professor Karen JohannessonWith her latest research highlighted in the leading scientific journal Nature, Professor Karen Johannesson is receiving wide acclaim for her important discoveries about the origin of cancer-causing toxins in the drinking water in India, but her next step will be applying those findings right in Tulane's backyard.

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Sediment Flow Tracked in Lab-Sized Delta October 14, 2011

Mississippi DeltaResearchers in the sediment dynamics lab at Tulane University are focused on determining how water and sediment travel through river deltas. Using reduced-scale experiments,researchers recreate environments such as the Mississippi delta in order to predict where and how the sediment forms.

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Researchers track ‘where the mud goes’ September 27, 2011

KolkerA major river event occurred this past spring: The Mississippi and Atchafalaya became the two largest rivers on earth. It was an extraordinary time to be a scientist who is interested in what rivers do to oceans, says Alex Kolker.

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Kyle Straub Conducts Short Course to Repsol Employees

Kyle and StudentsDr. Kyle Straub recently co-lead a three day course on the geomorphology and stratigraphy of continental margins for Repsol Inc., Spain's largest oil company. 

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