Geology Research Opportunities & Collaborations
The Geology Discipline at Morris strongly advocates undergraduate research. Students are actively involved in research programs conducted by the faculty and are invited to create their own projects.
Equipment For Student Use
- Abundant laboratory and field equipment (petrographic microscopes, Brunton compasses, hand-held GPS units)
- Research-grade Nikon petrographic microscope with digital imaging capability
- Complete rock-cutting and thin-sectioning lab
- Mineral separation equipment including a jaw crusher, pulverizer, and Frantz magnetic separation
- aTrimble LS4600 Differential (survey grade) GPS unit
- In-house map and graphics laboratory features both Mac and PC computers supporting the latest graphics, analytical, and GIS software, along with large–format scanners and printers
The Discipline is also currently pursuing the acquisition of a new Rigaku Multiflex X-ray diffraction unit for mineral analysis.
Morris Geology majors have completed an impressive array of independent research projects ranging from laboratory investigations to computer modeling to field studies. With the encouragement of the faculty and financial support from the Division of Science and Mathematics, geology students have presented their findings at regional, national, and international meetings, including:
- the Geological Society of America (GSA)
- American Geophysical Union (AGU)
- International Glaciological Society (IGS)
- Institute for Lake Superior Geology
- National Council of Undergraduate Research
- and Minnesota Academy of Sciences (MAS)
Moreover, a number of students are co-authors of papers published in professional journals.
Selected research projects undertaken by Morris geology students include:
Age, kinematic evolution, and tectonic significance of the Grizzly Creek shear zone, western Colorado
Improvement of an empirical model of snow and ice melt on Rabots Glaciar, Sweden
In search of the Younger Dryas cooling interval using weathering rind thicknesses, Sawatch Range, Colorado
Rock glaciers in southwestern Colorado as indicators of late Holocene climate change: A lichenometric study
Financial support for student research is available through several venues. University funding opportunities are consolidated by the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE). Opportunities include:
- Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP): a University-wide program that provides academically talented students the opportunity to earn up to $1,400 assisting faculty with scholarly and creative projects.
- Morris Academic Partners program (MAP): unique to the Morris campus, provides paid research partnerships to academically talented, qualified third-year students. The standard stipend is $2,000.
- University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the Community Assistance Program (CAP)
- Faculty research funding obtained independently via grants or from other awards may also create paid positions for students to assist in research projects.
- National Science Foundation (NSF) funding interface provides a wealth of grant possibilities to help undergraduate students pursue independent research, or to assist with ongoing research projects as an intern or paid assistant.
- Keck Geology Consortium Summer Research Program and the Institute for Lake Superior Geology Student Research Fund also fund student research.