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. Leigh M. Fall
Title: Associate Professor of Paleontology and Geology and Department Chair
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); Introduction to Hydrogeology (GEOL 282); 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 fascinated by Earth and planetary surface processes such as rivers, wind, glaciers, and waves, and the innumerable interactions in the critical zone which encompasses the atmosphere, plants, animals, soils, and groundwater.
My current research projects focus on 3D object reconstruction using structure-from-motion photogrammetry; shape evolution of alluvium in rivers; controls of turbidity in streams; and remote sensing of landforms and geologic features.
Les’ personal website: https://sites.google.com/view/les-hasbargen-web-site/home
Dr. Chris Karmosky
Title: Assistant Professor of Meteorology and Climatology
Office: 311B 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. Zo Kreager
Title: Assistant Professor of Geology
Office: 212 Janet R. Perna Science Building (607) 436-3065
Introduction to Geology (GEOL 120), Science of Natural Disasters (GEOL 115), Earth History and the Fossil Record (GEOL 220), Sedimentary Geology (GEOL 360), 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:
Spatial Visualization, Sequence Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Classroom Pedagogies, Student Conceptual Understanding
My research focuses on three areas: student spatial visualization needs for complex geologic diagrams, best practices for classroom teaching, and student conceptual understanding. My spatial visualization research focuses on which spatial skills are important for students to complete sequence stratigraphic diagram interpretations and more broadly focus on how geologists use spatial skills for sedimentology and stratigraphy. My research on student conceptual understanding has focused on sedimentology and stratigraphy concepts.
My research on best practices for classroom teaching has recently focused on Predict-Observe-Explain Pedagogies. The activities created through this research have students complete inquiry activities in the classroom to build their knowledge about Earth phenomena collaboratively.
Introduction to Oceanography (ESCI 110), Introduction to Meteorology (METR 110), Weather Analysis and Forecasting I and II (METR 360-361)
Areas of interest:
Polarimetric Radar, Mesoscale Meteorology, Cloud and Precipitation Microphysics, Cloud Modeling
My research interests focus on remote sensing of severe convective storms, specifically the use of polarimetric weather radars. The operational WSR-88D network provides meteorologists with consistent polarimetric radar observations of weather phenomena since the completion of the national upgrade in 2013. My work has focused on leveraging these relatively new observations to analyze polarimetric radar features in severe convective storms, specifically supercells. Past projects have utilized simple and complex numerical models, in addition to observational analyses to connect idealized and observational studies to further our understanding of observed radar features. This approach has the aim of providing more information to operational forecasters in the warning decision process to improve warning performance.
Dr. Mitch Scharman
Title: Lecturer in Structural Geology
Office: 214 Janet R. Perna Science Building (607) 436-3707
Introduction to the Earth (ESCI 100), Structural Geology (GEOL 330
Areas of interest:
Structural Geology, Geologic Mapping, Tectonics, Transpressional Deformation, Crustal Stabilization, Appalachian Orogenic Development
My research interest is on how large- and small-scale geologic structures develop to accommodate strain in different tectonic events. I am particularly interested in transpressional orogenic development, and the structures that form to accommodate strike-slip components during collision involving pre-existing crustal geometries. I have been investigating the development of transpressional fault zones and structures in the Iron Mountains of Virginia, located between the Laurentian Virginia Promontory and Tennessee Embayment.
In other research, I have investigated 1) development of low-angle normal faults in the Rio Grande Rift, west Texas, 2) normal fault development by flexure and loading in the Rome Trough, eastern Kentucky, 3) ductile shear zone structure in the Chugach Metamorphic Complex, southern Alaska, and 4) tectonic settings for continental crust stabilization and its role in convergence and passive margin development, in southern Alaska and eastern Maine.
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