The program hosts several active areas of faculty research interests, and undergraduate students are an absolute integral component. We are always looking for energetic, motivated, and driven students to be a part of vibrant team of researchers. In addition, many of the classes that students take in Geology will also experience the research atmosphere at current topics and trends are discussed and experimented with. Below are brief descriptions of focused research areas as well as the contributing faculty members.
The Energy and Economics group's current research works mostly with the petrochemical and mining industry in characterizing oil and ore bodies. Petroleum geologists characterize the different types of rocks that hold petroleum reserves, as well as developing new materials for fluid catalytic cracking for superior oil refinement productivity and yield. Economic geologists seek to understand the the geologic processes and environments that produce high concentrations of strategic metals (such as gold, copper, rare earth elements, and many others) that are of concern to our Nation's security.
- See Dr. Michael May, Dr. Andrew Wulff, or Dr. Aaron Celestian for more information.
Earth's climate has known to change significantly over of the last 600 million years or so. As Earth's climate changes, so do the physical and chemical properties of the minerals that grow in that changing environment. The work done at WKU looks at how these animals and plants grow shells and sequester metals in the present environment, and this will allow the extraction of past environments by analyzing well preserved ancient shells and plant remains.
- See Dr. Fred Siewers or Dr. Aaron Celestian for more information.
Modeling and experimentally determining the role that minerals and rocks play in the transport of contaminants is of the up most importance. Research at WKU Geology is solving problems related to groundwater contamination, modeling transport of chemical species, water-rock interactions, and the molecular level interaction of radioactive species with minerals.
- See Dr. Michael May, Dr. Jennifer Cole, Dr. Aaron Celestian, Dr. Andrew Wulff, or Dr. Fred Siewers for more information.
Linking volcanics to the movement and mixing of magma deep in the Earth will allow WKU geologists to understand how the Earth works. The extent of this will have huge implications on how the Earth's massive plates move and how the Earth's ocean chemistry changes over the time frame of millions of years.
- See Dr. Andrew Wulff for more information.
Combining structural geology, geomorphology, and the tectonic movement of Earth's plates, WKU geologists reconstruct past environments.
- See Dr. Nahid Gani for more information.