The School of Geology graduate program is structured to provide students with theoretical concepts and the mechanism of applying them to various fields of geology. To improve the quality of our graduates, we have designed our curriculum to reflect program emphasis on the disciplines of sedimentary/petroleum geology and hydrogeology/environmental geology.
The School enhances the quality of instruction through the use of equipment and techniques that help students acquire the factual and conceptual information essential for career development. Whereas our traditional emphasis in field-oriented geological studies is maintained, we continue to expand our analytical and computer facilities with state-of-the art laboratories and computers.
Options for the Master of Science Program
The School of Geology is housed in the east wing of the Noble Research Center. Our facility is equipped with various research/teaching laboratories; geochemistry, paleontology, stratigraphy, core description, rock preparation, etc. We also have several rooms dedicated to computer use: a computer technology center and a student computer laboratory.
- Thesis Option: This option is recommended for students planning
1) to become professional geologists; and
2) to continue graduate studies at the doctoral level.
The thesis option requires 24 semester credit hours of course work plus six semester credit hours of research for the thesis.
- Non-thesis Option (Creative Component): This option is recommended for students who
1) want to become high school science teachers;
2) do not plan to continue graduate studies at the doctoral level; and
3) already have Master's degrees in other disciplines.
The creative component option requires 33 semester credit hours of course work plus 3 semester credit hours of creative component, which is in essence a project developed in consultation with the student's advisory committee.
The research and teaching laboratories have a variety of research equipment used by faculty staff and students that support various areas of research:
Philips X-ray Diffractometer
Dionex ICS-3000 Ion Chromatograph
UIC, inc. Coulometer for carbon analysis
Perkin Elmer and Agilent Gas Chromatographs
Perkin ElmerInductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES)
Lindberg-blue programmable box furnace
ThermoFinnigan Delta V Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer with an elemental analyzer and gas bench interfaces
JEOL 3733 electron microprobe
Scanning Electron Microscope
CITL Mark 5 Cathodoluminescence system (cold cathode) with dedicated petrographic microscope and cooled digital imaging system.
Seismic Micro-Technology Inc.'s A Scintrex CG5 gravimeter
AGI resistivity systems
Syscal Iris Pro resistivity system
Two National Instrument dynamic signal analyzers for lab IP measurements
48-channel Geometrics engineering seismograph
G858 Cesium vapor magnetometer
Pulse Ekko ground penetrating radar unit with several antennas (100-450 MHz)
Geonics EM-34, EM 31
Stratagem (CSAMT) system.
Several petrographic microscopes
Particle Size Analyzer
The school of geology also ownes and operates the R/V Trinity research vessel for coastal research.
The School of Geology at Oklahoma State University operates a computer lab that contains 20 PCs with a wide range of GIS, statistical and word processing software. The department is also home to the Devon Visualization Facility, a new world-class computing facility with 2D and 3D graphical modeling and projection equipment, as well as remote uplink capabilities. The laboratory also includes an advanced graphic station, screens, projectors and Ethernet links enabling the use of cutting-edge technology with real-time, high-speed Internet access. In addition, two-way communication between the laboratory and Devon research teams through the use of SmartBoards enhances interaction between field geoscientists and OSU students and faculty. Additional software includes: KINGDOM Suite geological and geophysical interpretation software GMA and Geosoft geophysical modeling software.
Applications for admission and financial aid are available from the school.
An undergraduate degree in geology is required. Students with an undergraduate degree other than geology may be accepted into the program, but are expected to complete undergraduate geology courses determined by the Graduate Committee, based on transcripts and specific background.
As part of their application, students are required:
1) to write a brief letter of introduction describing their abilities, motives, and goals in regard to entering the OSU graduate program in geology; and
2) to arrange that three letters of reference be sent directly to the School of Geology.
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is recommended for admission to the program.
The School of Geology awards numerous teaching and research assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships to outstanding new and continuing students. The stipend for a half-time teaching assistantship currently pays $10,818 per academic year. In addition, external research grants and gifts from alumni, as well as from many industrial sponsors, support research for faculty and graduate students.
Graduate Faculty List
Alexander R. Simms (PhD, Rice University). Sedimentology/stratigraphy of clastic depositional environments. Emphasize on the deposits from the last glacial-eustatic cycle. Determining how depositional systems respond to sea-level, climatic, and tectonic forcing mechanisms. I am interested in taking the lessons learning within Quaternary deposits and applying them to the rock record.
Anna M. Cruse (Ph.D., MIT/WHOI Joint Program, Marine Geochemistry). Organic geochemistry; inorganic sedimentary and aqueous geochemistry; reconstruction of ancient marine systems through the use of geochemical indicators (paleoceanography); experimental studies of geochemical processes (diagenesis, catagenesis); C and S stable isotopes in low- and high-temperature environments; petroleum geochemistry; and modern (deep subsurface) environments; fluid-sediment interactions; black shales; modern anoxic sedimentary environments. Students interested in sedimentary geochemistry, modern and ancient marine and freshwater systems, the carbon cycle, and applications of geochemical tools to petroleum systems would find suitable projects in my lab. Whether your goal after graduate school is a position in industry (either petroleum or environmental) or further graduate study, we can work together to craft a project to meet that goal.
Darwin R. Boardman, II, (Ph.D., Texas Tech University). Late Carboniferous-Permian sequence stratigraphy of North Central Texas and the North American Mid-continent. Global sea-level fluctuations during the Late Carboniferous-Permian time interval. Paleoecology of Late Carboniferous-Early Permian invertebrate fossils. Multitaxial biostratigraphy (ammonoids, conodonts, microgastropods). Improving teaching skills for teachers of Earth Science and Geology at secondary-school level through summer Institutes. Teaching gifted high school students in Summer Paleontology Academy.
Eliot Atekwana (Ph.D., Western Michigan University). Stable isotope geochemistry, hydrology Applications of geochemistry and stable isotopes of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen to trace the water cycle, studying water balance, investigate biogeochemical cycles, fate and transport of contaminants, microbial interactions with the geologic media, and for studying climate of the recent past.
Elizabeth Catlos (Ph.D., UCLA). The evolution of the Himalayan mountain range, models for heat and mass flow along tectonic structures, developing techniques for isotopic microanalysis, and applying mineral equilibria to estimate environmental conditions during dynamic recrystallization. Overall, I am interested in developing and applying geochemical techniques to the study of lithosphere dynamics. My Ph.D. project involved deciphering the evolution of a thrust fault that largely created the Himalayan mountain range. I am currently interested in extending this research that focused mainly in central Nepal to the Indian Himalayan, as well as broadening my expertise in accessory mineral chemistry.
Estella Atekwana (Ph.D., Dalhousie). Biogeophysics, hydrogeophysics, and tectonophysics. Investigating the potential impact of microbial processes on geophysical properties with implications to biomineralization, bioremediation, geomicrobiology, microbial enhanced oil studies, CO2 sequestration, and the search for life in extreme environments such as the deep ocean and other planets. Tectonophysics research focuses on understanding fault growth and propagation during the early stages of continental rifting as exemplified by the nascent southwestern branch of the East African Rift System in Botswana, Zambia and Malawi.
Ibrahim Cemen (Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University). Structural geology and tectonics; extensional tectonics, southern Great Basin; compressional tectonics in Arkoma basin, Oklahoma; strike-slip tectonics, in Oklahoma and Anatoid, Turkey.
Jay Gregg (Ph.D., Michigan State University), Carbonate Petrology and geochemistry of the origin and textural evolution of dolomites. Basin Evolution. Regional diagenetic patterns and fluid flow within sedimentary basins, particularly with regard to the origin and distribution of hydrocarbons and base metal deposits. Current research projects involve fluid flow and regional diagenesis of Cambro-Ordovician carbonates on the Midcontinent of North America, base metal mineralization of Lower Carboniferous carbonates in the Irish Midlands, and depositional and diagenesit framework of Neogene deep-water carbonate mud-mounds in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Jeffrey M. Byrnes (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh). Volcanology, Planetary Geology, and remote Sensing Analysis of remote sensing data for geologic investigations, specifically of volcanic landforms on Earth and other planetary bodies, including Mars and Venus. Research efforts also include the application of remote sensing techniques to investigate a wide range of scientific questions, addressing issues on earth and throughout the solar system.
Jim Puckette (Ph.D, Oklahoma State University). Research focus on topics of concern to Oklahoma and the southern Midcontinent region. Characterization of the Arbuckle and Simpson aquifers in southern Oklahoma and determining the relationship between stratigraphy and water chemistry. Study of compartmentalization of abnormally pressured gas reservoirs in the Anadarko basin, Oklahoma and Texas. Other ongoing research includes the sequence stratigraphic framework of the Cherokee Group, eastern Oklahoma, and the factors influencing water temperature, chemistry and quality for select Ozark springs.
Todd Halihan (Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin). Characterizing permeability in fractured and karstic aquifers; hydraulic testing in fractured aquifers; using outcrop information to interpret hydraulic data; applying geophysical tools to obtain a real data in aquifers; the Edwards aquifer of central Texas; the Clare Valley of South Australia.