Department Home Atmospheric Science Geology and Geophysics Geography

Department of Geosciences

News and Announcements

April 2015

Departmental research highlights in the media: Associate Professor Chris Weiss and Assistant Professor Johannes Dahl talk how Tornadoes form?

March 2015

AAPG IBA Department of Geosciences students compete for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Imperial Barrel Award. This is the first time that Texas Tech has fielded a team for this highly competitive and prestigious award. Congratulations to the 2015 Imperial Barrel Award Team (from left to right) Alec Dotzer, Kaitlyn Andreas, Jenna Hessert and Tyler Goodell. The department is very proud of your accomplishments!

January 2015

Departmental research highlights in the media: Assistant Professor Dustin Sweet talk’s glaciers.

May 2014

The department is thrilled to announce that Dr. Paul Sylvester will join us in August 2014 as the new Pevehouse Chair of Geosciences. Joe and Beverly Pevehouse generously endowed this professorship and Dr. Sylvester will be the third person to hold it, after Drs. George Asquith and Hua-Wei Zhou.

Dr. Sylvester is a New York native and received his Ph.D. from Washington Univ. in St. Louis, Missouri. He is coming from Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada.

Dr. Sylvester is best known for his research involving isotope ratios in minerals. The analytical tools used in this type of research allow for very accurate and precise determination of the age of rocks. In addition, the types of data generated are used to determine the source of materials that make up sedimentary rocks. Dr. Sylvester has worked closely with the oil and gas industry on provenance studies off the Newfoundland coast and is ready to expand his research to solving problems in Texas and beyond. In particular, he seeks to solve problems in non-conventional oil and gas exploration and production. His goal is to develop methods that will allow analysis of the very fine minerals in shales to (1) determine the age of shale deposition, and (2) correlate layers within the shale formations. Dr. Sylvester’s research will utilize the current laboratory facilities in the department, but also will involve putting together a new, world-class lab of his own. Plans are for this new lab to include laser-ablation inductively-coupled plasma spectrometry: essentially using a laser to turn a solid sample into particles that can analyzed with a mass spectrometer and an analytical scanning electron microscope that will map the distribution of minerals in shales and related rocks.

We anticipate that he will teach upper division and graduate level classes in geochronology, chronostratigraphy (source and correlation of sedimentary layers), and others to be determined.

Jan 2014

The Department of Geosciences at Texas Tech University invites applications for a Research Associate in Electron Microscopy and X-ray micro-analysis. We seek applicants with a PhD or equivalent experience with research interests or experience in geological, physical and materials sciences, environmental science, or related fields. The successful candidate will have primary responsibility for a S-5000 cold-cathode Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope and a Hitachi S-4300 equipped with EDS, CL and EBSD detectors. The facility also houses a S-8100 Transmission Electron Microscope and familiarity with TEM would be a plus. Responsibilities for the position include day-to-day management, supervision and maintenance of instrumentation, assist individuals and research groups with data collection, contribute to the teaching of graduate level courses in analytical techniques, assist with the development of new analytical protocols, provide expertise and support for groups writing instrumentation and research grants or preparing data for publication, and other related duties as assigned.
To apply applicants must go to the University’s employment website, and “Search Jobs,” for requisition number XXXX, and fill out the necessary online forms. Next, applicants should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, a statement research experience, and names and contact information (including e-mail address) of at least three professional references. These documents should be uploaded to the employment website and we request that copies by e-mailed or sent directly to Dr. Callum Hetherington, Dept. of Geosciences, Texas Tech University, MS 1053, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053.

Additional information about Texas Tech University and the Department of Geosciences may be found at and Please e-mail questions regarding the position to Review of applicants will begin 15 January 2014 and continue until the position is filled.

Texas Tech University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, committed to excellence through diversity. Texas Tech welcomes applications from minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities.


Spring 2014

Dr.Sankar Chatterjee on the History Channel

Dr. Sankar Chatterjee is amongst the featured experts in a new History Channel series on dinosaurs.  The video is titled Prehistoric Monsters Revealed. 


Fall 2013

New Faculty Member

Dr. Jenni Vanos comes to us from Health Canada and the University of Miami's Synoptic Climatology Laboratory, where she has worked since she received her Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Her interests are in human biometeorology and applied synoptic climatology, with a focus on human health during extreme heat events, and the interactive effects of air pollution. She will also participate in activities in the Texas Tech Climate Science Center.

Dr. Johannes Dahl comes to us from North Carolina State University, where he has been a postdoctoral researcher since 2010. He received his Ph.D. from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. Dr. Dahl's research interests are in the dynamics of convective storms, in particular the development of near-surface rotation in supercells.

In addition, two National Weather Service meteorologists will serve as instructors this fall. They are Mr. Justin Weaver, Meteorologist-in-Charge and Mr. Steve Cobb, Science and Operations Officer of the Weather Forecast Office in Lubbock.

National Science Foundation Award

Drs. Brian Hirth and John Schroeder have been awarded funding by the NSF CBET program for their proposal titled, "Building the Foundation for Smart Wind Farms through First-Order Controls Opportunities based on Real-Time Observations of Complex Flows". Over the next three years, this project will utilize the TTUKa radars to provide innovative data collection technologies, strategies, and analysis techniques to document the complex flow fields across several operational wind farms. Through industrial partnerships, this information will be integrated with operational turbine data and first-order controls to construct and test transformative methods for developing the first generation of "smart" wind farms.

Dr. Weiss Receives Grant

Dr. Chris Weiss, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, received an award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for a project entitled "Energy-Aware Aerial Systems for Persistent Sampling and Surveillance". A collaborative effort with the University of Colorado and the University of Nebraska, this work will integrate mobile Doppler radar and unmanned aerial system technologies to create an energy-aware, airborne, data-driven system for persistent sensing in complex atmospheric comditions. Applications of this integration will include sampling of environments preceding deep convection initiation and within severe thunderstorms.

Dr. Schroeder Receives Award

Dr. John Schroeder, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director, Wind Science and Engineering (WiSE) Research Center at Texas Tech is the recipient of the 2012 IAWE (International Association of Wind Engineering) Junior Award. Dr. Schroeder received the award for his great contibutions to the wind engineering community.

Dr. George Asquith, receives Award

George Asquith, Professor of Geosciences and former Joe Pevehouse Chair, was awarded with the Harrison Schmitt Award, given by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Congratulations, George!

Archived News