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Geology and Geophysics


GEosciencesThe Geology and Geophysics Program provides a wide range of research and educational experiences in the field of Earth Science. The program has a strong commitment to research, education and outreach in the subdisciplines of geology and geophysics. Our faculty are recognized experts in the fields of geochemistry, geophysics, geomorphology, mineralogy and petrology, structural geology and plate tectonics, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, and the application of research techniques to solve geological, energy and environmental problems.

George B. Asquith, Professor, Joe Pevehouse Chair Emeritus
carbonate petrology petrophysics

Calvin G. Barnes, Professor
igneous petrology and geochemistry

James E. Barrick, Professor
mincropaleontology and biostratigraphy

Sankar Chatterjee, Horn Professor
vertebrate paleontology

Harold Gurrola, Associate Professor

Callum J. Hetherington, Associate Professor
mineralogy and geochemistry

Juske Horita, Professor
stable isotope geochemistry

Haraldur R. Karlsson, Associate Professor
stable isotope geochemistry

Thomas L. Lehman, Professor
clastic sedimentology

David Leverington, Associate Professor
remote sensing and planetary science

Seiichi Nagihara, Associate Professor
geophysics, geographic information systems

Moira K. Ridley, Professor
aqueous geochemistry

Dustin Sweet, Assistant Professor
sedimentology and stratigraphy

Paul Sylvester, Pevehouse Chair
mineral geochemistry and geochronology of sedimentary systems

Aaron S. Yoshinobu, Professor
structural geology and tectonics

AcademicsThe Geology and Geophysics Program offers a course of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Geosciences (geology concentration), Bachelor of Science in Geosciences (geology or geophysics concentration), Master of Science in Geosciences, and the Ph.D. in Geosciences. At the undergraduate level, non-majors may choose to minor in either Geology or Geophysics as part of their degree plan – or Geosciences majors and non-majors may choose to minor in Geographic Information Science and Technology. The Geology and Geophysics Program also offers a wide variety of courses that can be used as general electives and several approved courses that can be used to meet the general education requirements of the core curriculum.

Graduate Student Support
Teaching assistantships are available for qualified graduate student applicants on a competitive basis. These assistantships provide the opportunity for students to acquire instructional skills while further developing their understanding of topics in geology and geophysics. As a matter of university policy, out-of-state tuition and fees are waived for graduate students who serve as teaching assistants in the department.

Research assistantships might also be available for qualified applicants depending upon the research needs of the faculty. These research assistantships allow students to participate in funded research projects in the field of geology and geophysics. As is the case with teaching assistants, out-of-state tuition and fees are waived for graduate students who serve as research assistants in the department.

Application Procedure
Admission to the graduate degree program is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School and is contingent upon acceptance by the department. Each applicant seeking admission to the Geography Program must therefore apply through both the Texas Tech University, Office of Graduate Admissions and the Geology and Geophysics Program in the Department of Geosciences. Learn more.

Research in the Geology and Geophysics Program is focused on, but not limited to, several major themes. These program research areas include:


The geochemistry group conducts research focused on aqeuous and environmental geochemistry, solid Earth geochemistry and stable isotope geochemistry.


The geophysics group conducts research on earthquake and exploration seismology, heat flow studies, sedimentary basin analysis, and gravity, magnetic and electromagnetic prospecting.


Paleontology and Biostratigraphy
The paleontology and biostratigraphy group conducts research in vertebrate and invertebrate paleo and biostratigraphy.


Mineralogy and Petrology
The mineralogy and petrology group conducts research in igneous and metamorphic petrology, mineralogy, and crystallography.


Planetary Science
The planetary science group conducts research focused on the Moon, Venus and Mars.  Research is focused on volcanic and hydrologic landforms and lunar heat flow.


Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Geomorphology
The sedimentology and stratigraphy group conducts research focused carbonate petrology, conodant and vertebrate biostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, and siliclastic sedimentology.


Structural Geology and Tectonics
Research in structural geology and tectonics is focused on magma migraion and emplacement, geomorphic evidence of recent uplift, and the application of kinematic and dynamic analysis.

The Geology and Geophysics Program maintains a number of state-of-the-art facilities used by faculty and students for research and teaching.

Aqueous Geochemistry Lab

Digital Microscopy Lab

GeoAnalytical laboratory

Laboratory for Stable Isotope Geochemistry

College of Arts & Sciences Microscopy

Graduates of the Geology and Geophysics Program can be found at work in the petroleum industry, state and federal agencies, environmental firms, and major colleges and universities.