Both the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees require a thesis embodying original research. Entering graduate students should be well prepared in ancillary sciences. This normally would include a full year of calculus, chemistry, and physics. Preparation in statistics and computer programming is recommended.
Departmental research facilities are complete and modern and include an electron microprobe, powder x-ray diffraction, high T-P experimental petrology laboratory, stable isotope laboratory, gas source spectrometer, divided-bar system for measurements of conductivity, gamma-ray spectrometers for measurements of radioactivity, and a truck-mounted gravity and heat flow measurement laboratory.
Research facilities and instrumentation in the Maine Water Research Institute include three ‘clean’ rooms, two atomic absorption spectrophotometers, two inductively couple plasma spectrophotometers (one with mass spectrometer), high and low resolution gas chromatograph mass spectrometers, ion chromatograph, infrared spectrometer, two autoanalyzers, liquid chromatograph, gas chromatograph, and four mercury analyzers.
Field work, supplemented by modern laboratory study and analysis, is a major focus of our Department. Specific research thrusts are summarized below and additional information can be found at our web site (www.geology.um.maine.edu).
ENVIRONMENTAL GEOCHEMISTRY focuses on two broad areas: The types and distribution of surficial materials and their influence on site location, groundwater supplies, waste disposal, and ecosystems in general; and the various interactions between inorganic and organic substrates and water including studies of the chemistry of groundwater, lacustrine and marine sediments, and various pathways for pollutants in the environment.
GEOPHYSICS focuses on heat flow, radiogenic heat production, and gravimetric studies of the Phanerozoic basement terranes in Maine and other parts of the northeastern Appalachians. The geothermal research also involves geochronologic and metamorphic studies in an effort to develop reasonable thermal history models of the Acadian orogeny.
MARINE GEOLOGY-SEDIMENTOLOGY focuses on the Holocene geologic history and sediment transport in the nearshore Gulf of Maine and Maine estuaries accompanying contemporary sea-level rise. Additional emphases are micropaleontological studies related to Quaternary climate change in the Antarctic and North Atlantic, as well as a wide range of Appalachian bedrock and surficial problems.
PETROLOGY emphasizes field and experimental investigations. These studies generally require the integration of observations with theory and may be directed toward either igneous or metamorphic problems. Field studies are aimed at elucidating the nature and extent of equilibrium, the characterization of mineral-ogical reactions, and the conditions of formation of rocks as inferred from phase and chemical observations of the rocks. Experimental investigations include determining equilibrium conditions of petrologically significant reactions and extracting consistent values of the thermodynamic parameters for rock forming minerals.
STABLE ISOTOPE GEOLOGY focuses on the isotopic ratios of oxygen and carbon in marine and lacustrine carbonates, ice, and water. Understanding the processes that control the fractionation between different stable isotopes of these elements allows us to reconstruct aspects of the geologic history associated with rock/mineral formation, biomineralization, ice cores, and sedimentary deposits. Stable isotope data are used to interpret past climatic conditions in both marine and terrestrial environments.
STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY AND TECTONICS involve studies of Earth deformation at all scales, from tectonic plates to individual mineral grains. Recent work has focussed on the structural and tectonic evolution of volcanic arcs in western North America, the Main Central Thrust zone in the Nepal Himalaya, and relationships between deformation, metamorphism and igneous intrusion in Australia and the New England Appalachians.
QUATERNARY GEOLOGY AND GLACIOLOGY emphasizes field problems that commonly integrate glacial geology, glaciology, and paleo-oceanography. Recent work has been directed toward elucidating the glacial history of Maine, the dynamics of ice streams and ice shelves, the dynamics and history of marine ice sheets, Holocene variations of alpine glaciers, and the Quaternary history of Antarctica and of the Norwegian and Greenland Seas.
Cooperative relationships exist with the Maine Geological Survey, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Geology of the University of Bergen (Norway), the Swedish Lappland field station at Tarfala, as well as the University’s Institute for Quaternary and Climate Studies, the Marine Sciences Program and other disciplinary units. These relationships provide numerous opportunities for field work, training, and financial and logistical support. Nearly all graduate students are provided support in the form of research or teaching assistantships.
Daniel F. Belknap, Ph.D. (Delaware, 1979), Professor and Chair. Sedimentology, marine geology, stratigraphy.
Harold W. Borns, Ph.D. (Boston University, 1959), Professor. Quaternary and glacial geology.
Joseph V. Chernosky, Jr., Ph.D. (M.I.T., 1973), Professor. Geochemistry, experimental petrology.
George H. Denton, Ph.D. (Yale, 1965), Professor. Quaternary and glacial geology.
Edward S. Grew, Ph.D. (Harvard, 1973), Research Professor. Metamorphic petrology.
Charles V. Guidotti, Ph.D. (Harvard, 1963), Professor. Mineralogy and metamorphic petrology.
Terence J. Hughes, Ph.D. (Northwestern, 1968), Professor. Glaciology, materials science.
Scott E. Johnson, Ph.D. (James Cook, 1989), Assistant Professor. Structural geology.
Joseph T. Kelley, Ph.D. (Lehigh, 1980), Professor. Marine geology, sedimentology (Maine Geological Survey).
Thomas B. Kellogg, Ph.D. (Columbia, 1973), Professor. Marine micropaleontology.
Peter O. Koons, (E.T.H., 1983), Assistant Professor. Mechanics of mountain building, interaction of surface processes and plate tectonics, metamorphism and deformation, the evolution of active continental margins and deformation in the mantle.
Karl J. Kreutz, Ph.D. (New Hampshire, 1998), Assistant Professor. Stable isotope geochemistry, paleooceanography, ice core geochemistry.
Daniel R. Lux, Ph.D. (Ohio State, 1981), Professor. Isotope geochemistry, geochronometry.
Kirk A. Maasch, Ph.D. (Yale, 1989), Associate Professor. Climate Modeling.
Paul A. Mayewski, Ph.D. (Ohio State, 1973), Professor. Glaciology and climatology.
Stephen A. Norton, Ph.D. (Harvard, 1967), Professor. Environmental geochemistry.
Andrew S. Reeve, Ph.D. (Syracuse, 1996), Associate Professor. Hydrogeology.
Martin Yates, Ph.D. (Indiana, 1987), Associate Scientist. Microprobe analysis, ore deposits.
Detmar Schnitker, Ph.D. (Illinois, 1967), Professor. Marine geology, micropaleontology, paleoecology.
Stephen M. Dickson, Ph.D. (Maine, 1999), Faculty Associate. Oceanography (Maine Geological Survey).
Roger L. Hooke, Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology, 1965), Adjunct Professor. Glacial geology, geomorphology.
Robert G. Marvinney, Ph.D. (Syracuse, 1985), Faculty Associate. Regional geology of Maine, (Maine Geological Survey).
Woodrow B. Thompson, Ph.D. (Ohio State, 1975), Faculty Associate. Quaternary and glacial geology (Maine Geological Survey).
Thomas K. Weddle, Ph.D. (Boston University, 1991), Faculty Associate. Glacial geology (Maine Geological Survey).
Edward R. Decker, Ph.D. (Harvard, 1966), Professor. Gravity and heat flow geophysics, numerical and mathematical geology, computer modeling.
Bradford Hall, Ph.D. (Yale, 1964), Professor Emeritus. Stratigraphy, sedimentology.
Philip H. Osberg, Ph.D. (Harvard, 1952), Professor Emeritus. Structural geology, tectonics, regional geology.