Dr. Jerome Blechman
Title: Professor of Meteorology and Chair
Office: 311B Janet R. Perna Science Building (607) 436-3322
Introduction to Meteorology (METR 110), The Atmospheric Environment (METR 205/ENVS 205), Lightning and Thunderstorms (METR 180), Climatology (METR 212), Weather Analysis and Forecasting I and II (METR 360-361), Remote Sensing in the Atmosphere (METR 385), Senior Seminar in Meteorology (METR 392)
Areas of interest:
Thunderstorms, Severe weather including tornadoes, lightning, lake-effect snow, weather forecasting
I have done research in areas such as lake effect snow in upstate New York, the local climate in Oneonta, computer simulations of thunderstorms with mesocyclones, and even the onset of the monsoon in India. My most recent project was to compare the locations of lightning strokes in thunderstorms with intense small (meso-) scale circulations to the locations of strokes in less severe thunderstorms. That work was presented at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society.
Dr. Keith A. Brunstad
Title: Associate Professor of Mineralogy and Geology
Office: 210 Janet R. Perna Science Building (607) 436-3066
Introduction to Geology (GEOL 120), GEOFYRST (GEOL 120), Mineralogy (GEOL 242), Earth Materials (ESCI 215), Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology (GEOL 314), Field Geology of Plate Boundaries (GEOL 343), Geoscience Research Techniques (GEOL 390), Economic Geology (GEOL 641)
Areas of interest:
Physical Volcanology, Volcano-tectonics, Mineralogy, Petrology, Geochemistry
My primary area of research is in Physical Volcanology and Volcano-tectonics in which I’m interested in the generation, accumulation, transport, and eruption and emplacement processes associated with volcanic systems. Thus far, I have concentrated on the regional volcano-tectonic processes associated with plate-boundary environments such as the Cascade volcanic arc and intraplate environments associated with rifts like the Rio Grande of New Mexico and Hot Spots such as Hawaii. I employ a multidisciplinary approach by combining Sequence Stratigraphy, Geochemistry, Structure and Tectonics, and Geophysics to understand the genesis, evolution, and emplacement processes of both moderate and large volume volcanic systems. Volcanic rocks are analyzed by various analytical techniques including XRF, ICP-MS, SEM-EDX, EMPA, and Light Microscopy, most of which are available in the WSU Geoanalytical Lab and SUNY Oneonta. Currently, the main focus of my research is the generation, storage, and emplacement and eruption of the high-silica rhyolites associated with the most recent caldera forming eruption from Valles caldera, NM. In addition, I’m characterizing the subunit stratigraphy of the Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff associated with this caldera-forming event. I’m also working with students on the emplacement of the Tieton andesite lava flow, which is currently the longest documented lave flow of this type, located in the Cascade Mountain Range of Washington State. Closer to home, I have students working on the environmental impact of reservoir sediment release in the Oneonta Creek drainage basin, Oneonta, New York as a case study, of a the much problem, of aging dams and dam removal in the Northeast, USA. Finally, I also have students working on the geochemistry of the different anorthosites in the Adirondack Mountains of New York in conjunction with the New York State Museum.
Dr. James Ebert
Title: Distinguished Teaching Professor of Geology
Office: 212 Janet R. Perna Science Building (607) 436-3065
Introduction to Geology (GEOL 120), Science of Natural Disasters (GEOL 115), Introduction to Forensic Geology (GEOL 150), Earth History and the Fossil Record (GEOL 220), Sedimentary Geology (GEOL 360), Geoscience Research Techniques (GEOL 390), Introduction to the Earth (ESCI 100), Earth Materials (ESCI 215), Investigations in Earth and Planetary Science (ESCI 200 – for pre-service elementary teachers), Laboratory Techniques in Earth Science (ESCI 315 – for pre-service secondary teachers)
Areas of interest:
Sedimentology, Carbonate Petrology, Lithostratigraphy, Biostratigraphy, Geologic Time Scale Calibration, Geoscience Education, Microplastic Pollutants, Invasive Mussel Species as Biogenic Sediments, History and Philosophy of Geology, Building Strong Geoscience Departments (NAGT Traveling Workshop Program)
My current research is divided among three distinct areas. I continue to examine the limestones of the Helderberg Group with the eventual goals of isolating the boundary between the Silurian and Devonian periods and understanding the processes that produced these rocks. Associated with this work is calibration of the Devonian time scale by use of radiometric dates from volcanic ashes that are associated with the limestones.
I also work on aspects of the coastal geology of the Great Lakes. I am examining the contributions of biogenic sediments from invasive mussel species to beach and dune sediments along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. A student and I are also investigating the aeolian transport of microplastic pollutants to coastal dunes along the eastern Great Lakes.
Third, I work in geoscience education on two ongoing projects. One involves the creation and testing of physical analog models to improve students’ understanding of geoscience concepts. This research typically includes majors in Adolescence Education Earth Science. I am also interested in the role of dual credit geoscience courses in recruiting majors to the geosciences in an effort to help reduce the deficit of geoscientists in the workforce.
Dr. Leigh M. Fall
Title: Associate Professor of Paleontology and Geology
Office: 213 Janet R. Perna Science Building (607) 436-2615
Introduction to Geology (Geol 120), GEOFYRST (Geol 120), Earth History and the Fossil Record (Geol 220), Paleontology (330), Geology of the Rocky Mountain Region (Geol 333), Statistics in Geosciences (Special Topics Geol 394), Global Change Through Deep Time (Special Topics Geol 394), Introduction to the Earth (ESCI 100), Earth Materials (ESCI 215), Introduction to Oceanography (Ocea 110)
Areas of interest:
Paleontology, Paleoecology, Marine Invertebrates, Biodiversity, Body Size, Nitrogen Isotopes, Global Change, Paleoclimatology
My main research interest is examining biodiversity within the fossil record. The fossil record provides a way to investigate how organisms interacted with each other and their environment and how organisms respond to global change (e.g., migration or extinction) over 3.8 billion years of Earth’s history. Currently, my research focuses on investigating the trophic position (i.e., primary producer, herbivore, carnivore) of the moon snail Neverita duplicata. Neverita duplicata is a predatory snail that drills into the shells of their prey items (such as clams and snails) to consume the flesh. Neverita is found all along the east coast, including Long Island Sound. My research has shown that this moon snail is actually an omnivore, which has implications for the food web. The food web is an important concept for understanding changes in biodiversity. I investigated the trophic position of Neverita through nitrogen and carbon isotopes. Nitrogen and carbon isotopes are important tools for determining dietary sources and complex interactions. Although I am working with a modern organism, moon snails have a long fossil record and have been studied intensely as a model predator-prey system.
I recently began work on investigating biodiversity in the some of the rocks in New York, particularly during a major mountain building event known as the Taconic Orogeny in the Ordovician. A student and I are working on a project to assess how body size and abundances of trilobites change along a water depth gradient (shallow to deep) in the Middle Ordovician Trenton Group of Central New York. Both body size and abundances are ways to examine biodiversity in the fossil record.
Dr. Melissa Godek
Title: Associate Professor of Meteorology and Climatology
Office: 311A Science 1 Building (607) 436-3375
Introduction to Meteorology (METR 110), Climatology (METR 212), Atmospheric Dynamics (METR 350), Research Methods in Dynamics (METR 351), Mesoscale Meteorology (METR 375)
Areas of interest:
Climate variability and change, Northeast US climate, winter climatology, dynamics, teleconnection patterns, (El Niño/ Southern Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation), air masses, atmospheric singularities, undergraduate research advancement, women in science, communicating scientific research through presentation
My primary research explores the intraseasonal climate variability that arises with the influence of teleconnection patterns. This allows me to learn about, for instance, how climate oscillation phases like El Niño impact the wide temperature swings that we may get day to day throughout the winter season (all while it may be “warmer than average”). I have also delved into the topic of atmospheric singularities and spend time scientifically validating the existence of events in folklore like the January Thaw and Indian Summer. Most of my time is actually spent with mentoring and co-authoring undergraduate student research. Projects that I have been involved with include examining the specific air masses associated with drought, developing a climatology of winter snow events in the Northeast, exploring how weather can impact MLB game delays and cancellations, and determining vertical atmospheric thickness variations during Albany snow and rain events. Currently two students and I are researching the possibility that hurricane track lengths and phase durations have changed with climate change.
Dr. Les Hasbargen
Title: Associate Professor of Geomorphology and Geology
Office: 219 Janet R. Perna Science Building(607) 436-2741
Earth Science (ESCI 100); Sustaining Water (GEOL 102); Intro to Geology (GEOL 120); Geological Data & Analysis (GEOL 275); Field Geology of Plate Boundaries (GEOL 343); Geomorphology (GEOL 370); Glaciology & Glacial Geology (GEOL 374); Fluvial Geomorphology (GEOL 375); Environmental Geophysics (GEOL 380); Geoscience Research Techniques (GEOL 390)
Areas of interest:
I am interested in Earth and planetary surface processes which move mass around. These processes include rivers, wind, glaciers, and waves, so just about any place where the landform is changing and being sculpted by natural (including human) influences catches my fancy. I also enjoy geologic field data collection, and like to use technology to facilitate collection. Other interests include climate change effects on Earth’s surface processes, and hiking in the great wild places.
My current research projects focus on river erosion and climate change in Otsego County; flood records in lake sediment cores in Otsego County; Mars’ active processes and geological evolution; 3D object reconstruction using structure-from-motion photogrammetry; and remote sensing of landforms and geologic features. I have also collected groundwater chemistry with an eye toward developing a baseline and comparative tool to aid in the detection of contamination from hydraulic fracturing activities in search of natural gas, should it ever come to New York state.
Dr. Chris Karmosky
Title: Assistant Professor of Meteorology and Climatology
Office: 312 Science 1 Building (607) 436-2309
Introduction to Meteorology, Introduction to Oceanography, Physical Meteorology, Atmospheric Radiative Transfer, Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere
Areas of interest:
Climatology, Polar Regions, Northeastern US Snowfall
Weather patterns affecting surface melt in Antarctica and Greenland, Using satellite remote sensing to detect and quantify surface melt of polar regions, Snowfall Climatology of the Eastern United States
Dr. Devin Castendyk
Title: Adjunct Associate Professor
Dr. Castendyk led the department's Water Resources program from 2005 to 2015 before becoming an environmental consultant in Denver, Colorado. He is now a Senior Geochemist and Project Manager at the global engineering firm Hatch, where he advises the mining industry on strategies to minimize the environmental impact of mining on water quality. Each summer, he continues to teach SUNY Oneonta's international course "Water and the Environment of Guatemala," with Dr. Tracy Allen in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability. He also provides advice to students seeking careers as environmental consultants. Students are invited to contact him with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org