2019 Atlanta Alumni event and spring update

The first Atlanta-based UGA Geology event was an astounding gathering of friends because of the high attendance of accomplished alumni. On March 2, 2019 sixty-five alumni and acquaintances gathered at the Eventide Brewery to celebrate the career of Dr. Mike Roden and to create a chapter of Atlanta-based Geology alumni.

Alumni Photograph
Initial gathering of UGA Geology alumni at the Eventide Brewery on March 2, 2019.

Everyone took delight in the wide range of graduating class attendees, while at the same time enjoying the fresh brews of Eventide and a delicious buffet supplied by Zoe’s Kitchen. Mike Roden was presented with a handmade stoneware platter that depicts the Spanish Peaks in the center and imprints of his name and years of service to UGA.

Mike Roden

Mike is now an emeritus Professor and staying busy at UGA serving as a principle editor for the journal Lithos.  Grant Eager, who is new to the UGA Geology Alumni Advisory Board, has graciously agreed to spearhead the new Atlanta-based alumni group, with plans to repeat the gathering as an annual event. The Houston-based UGA Geology alumni group now has some competition to see which group can host the most “flavorable” event. With beer aficionados like Andy Thomas and Mark Hall amongst the ranks of our UGA Geology alumni, we should make for some good times ahead.  A shout out is given to our Denver-based alum, where it seems we could have critical mass to create yet another group/event (at least on years the GSA annual meeting happens in Denver).  On the same weekend as the Atlanta event the UGA Alumni Advisory Board met in Atlanta. Board members met atop the roof the historic William Oliver Building on Friday night with a bird’s eye view of the State Capital building, Mercedes Benz stadium, and the constant string of planes approaching/departing Hartsfield airport  off in the distance.

Alumni Photo
Roof top gathering of UGA Geology Alumni Advisory Board in Atlanta, GA.  March 1, 2019.

On Saturday morning the Alumni Board met in the new home of the Georgia State University Geoscience Department, Langdale Hall with thanks to Dr. Crawford Elliott (Yes! GSU Geology has finally moved out of Kell Hall). Our most recent faculty addition, Dr. Charlotte Garing, impressed the Board with an overview of her research on multiphase fluid flow in porous media. Grad student Laura Fackrell told the Board about her research on simulating Martian regoliths and her plans to grow plants for understanding the amelioration of Martian soils, particularly if humans were to visit our planetary neighbor. Some small changes were made to the Alumni Advisory Board membership. Please immensely thank the Board for their dedication of time and resources. The Board received the annual “State of the UGA Geology Department” address from the Head. Our faculty and students have been busy with their research and teaching. Just to name a few highlights, here is a short list of what’s going on.

Alumni Event Participants
(Left) Dr. Charlotte Garing, Rachel Ashton, and Ashley Arnold attending Alumni event. (Right) Laura Fackrell, PhD candidate. Both Charlotte and Laura discussed their ongoing research with the Advisory Board.
  1. Dr. Doug Crowe is massively upgrading our collections with expansion into a dedicated room. Visit the Allard collection geology.uga.edu/gilles-allard-economic-geology-collection.
  2. A new $65M STEM Building has broken ground with footprints for up to seven high end electron beam instruments including the possibility for a new electron microprobe.

  3. Dr. Andy Darling will be joining the faculty in the Fall as new lecturer, bringing his expertise as a geomorphologist and STEM outreach educator.
  4. Summer field programs (Field Camp and IFP) entered the new domain of the Office Global Engagement with an easy access web portal. Both programs are running strong.
  5. Dr. Sally Walker was awarded the Michel T. Halbouty visiting scholar award and is spending spring term in residence at Texas A&M.
  6. New and renewed grants continue to support geologic research with funds coming from NASA, NSF, USDA, NPS, and Duke Energy and with PI efforts coming from Hawman, Klimczak, Milewski, Schroeder, Dowd, Walker, and Nzengung. We now have the highest number of supported Research Assistantships in the past two decades, which also include fellowships from UGA (Geology, Graduate School, and Peach State’s LSAMP) and Chevron. Pictured below are Drs. Holland, Hawman, and Klimczak who are advising Chevron supported grad student fellows. Also pictured are Devon Verellen (UGA grad) and Amanda Guzofski from Chevron.
     Students and Profesors
  7. Dr. Marta Patino-Douce furthers her recognition as an outstanding outreach provider where she was named as a USG eHero for work with electronic course content.
  8. UGA Geology is a “ground zero hub” for energy industry recruitment. Both Exxon-Mobil and Chevron continue to choose UGA as the  central site for offering short-courses and bringing prospective students from the southeastern U.S. for interviews.
  9. A new book “Clays in the Critical Zone” by myself is available from Cambridge University Press and continues the long-standing tradition of promoting/teaching clay science at UGA.
     Schroeder Book
  11. Chevron continues to support our Imperial Barrel Award competitors, which now brings a cohort of senior undergraduates into the mix.
  12. Dr. Adam Milewski was named one of six UGA faculty to receive a 2019 First Year Odyssey teaching award. Adam mentors a large cohort of grad students including recipients of the Bridge-to-doctorate program supported by the Peach State’s LSAMP. Pictured below are Yannie Donaldson and David Richards, both LSAMP Fellows researching in hydrogeology.

    The above is just a partial list of recent happenings at UGA Geology. As always, visit the department web site geology.uga.edu for the latest news and events.


    Paul Schroeder

    Professor and Head

    Click here to view archived welcome letters