Department chair: Rhawn Denniston | Contact info
Professor of Geology
Teaches courses that include Climate Change, Environmental Geology, and Geology of New Zealand. With Cornell students, he studies stalagmites and ancient coral to understand prehistoric climate conditions in various regions of the world, including Portugal, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic, the Great Basin of the Western United States, and the Ozarks. Denniston and his students have co-authored a number of articles in leading journals including Geology and Quaternary Science Reviews. He chairs the environmental studies program. Ph.D., University of Iowa; M.S., University of New Mexico; B.A., Hamilton College.
Professor of Geology
Teaches courses that include Marine Science, Invertebrate Paleontology, and Modern and Ancient Carbonate Systems of the Bahamas. He is currently engaged in a three-year comparative study of modern and Pleistocene reef coral community composition in coastal Western Australia, which has resulted in an article in the international journal Global Change Biology. He also collaborates with students and biology faculty on joint studies of fire coral in the Bahamas. Ph.D. and M.S., University of Cincinnati; B.A., University of Rochester.
Associate Professor of Geology
Teaches courses that include Mineralogy, The Origin of Mountains, and the off-campus course Geology of the National Parks. She has also co-led Greek Archaeology in Greece. Her research focuses on the formation of mountain ranges and the mechanisms involved in subduction zones. In particular, she and her students study the metamorphic reactions, geochronology, and deformation of ultrahigh-pressure rocks from Western Norway to better understand the tectonic history of the Scandinavian Caledonides. Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara; B.A., Middlebury College.
Visiting Assistant Professor in Paleontology and Sedimentology
Teaches courses that include Paleontology, Historical Geology and Sedimentology. Her research interests lie in utilizing the tools that paleontology provides in order to more fully understand the impacts of human development, particularly those which affect marine biotas. Past research has taken her to San Salvador Island, Bahamas, and St. Croix, USVI to study the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on shallow marine molluscan communities. By comparing life and death assemblages (living to dead mollusks in the same location), Feser has shown that the death assemblage may provide an accurate indicator of the "baseline" community structure. This may be good news for conservationists who often struggle with the "shifting baseline syndrome." Ph.D., University of Cincinnati; B.A. Cornell College.