Letter to Alumni
As I write this I’m looking out my office window at the first clear, cool day of fall here in Athens. Classes are off and running, campus is the usual wild collection of students going in all directions, and at least for now the Dawgs are looking good. I hope that you are all well and enjoying life wherever you may be!
It’s been an interesting year in the Geology Department. Our undergraduate enrollment continues to soar, we are now advising over 100 undergrads, such that we’ve had to add additional lab sections in all our core classes in Mineralogy, Surficial Processes, and Paleontology to accommodate this growth. Bruce Railsback’s Petroleum Geology class and Rob Hawman’s Exploration Geophysics class are both bursting at the seams, and our introductory class enrollments are strong – it’s a good time to be in the Earth Sciences! Our alums continue to help us support our students, with generous gifts from Active Minerals and KaMin allowing me to get our classes out in the field where they belong, and to underwrite the ever-expanding number of undergraduate research projects. Newmont Mining Corp. continues to provide significant financial support to our Summer Field School as well as scholarships to our most qualified students. Our Alumni Board will be in town in 2 weeks, they are an impressive group of folks who never fail to provide sage advice, time, and dollars to our overall effort, and we as a faculty are grateful for all of the things they have done and will do to make us better. And lastly, our graduate students continue to find amazing job offers in the oil patch, exploration industry, and with a diversity of environmental consulting firms, which I think reflects positively on the dedication of our faculty to the process of producing outstanding young scientists.
We have been authorized by our new Dean, Alan Dorsey, to hire a new Structural Geologist at the Assistant Professor level, which will be our second hire in 3 years. Our staff, including Rachel, Ashley, and Cindy in the main office, Chris in the probe lab, Julie in the stable isotope lab, and our computer folks, Michael and Robert, as usual do more each day with less, and we are lucky to have all these folks. Our budget, for the first time in 5 years, is likely to be the same as last year, following years of drastic declines. My hope is that in the next 5 years we’ll see a rebound, and that we’ll be able to grow and improve the department. We’re thankful for all the support we’ve received in the past from our alums and hope that you will continue to help us in the future. Please, whenever you are in Athens, feel free to stop by and say hello, my door is always open. Visit our website (geology.uga.edu) for event schedules and news from around the department, and of course, please stay in touch!
Professor and Department Head