Baylor Geology Colloquium Series Will Welcome Four Specialists in November

Nov. 4, 2010

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Baylor University's department of geology will host lectures by four specialists in November as a part of the department's colloquium series. The events are free and open to the public.

Dr. Jeffrey Arnold, agricultural engineer at the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-ASR), will present a lecture on the application of ecohydrological models to environmental policy and planning at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, in room E231 of the Baylor Sciences Building.

Arnold will describe the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model, which was developed to simulate the impact of land management and climate on water supply and quality of river basins. The model is currently being applied across the United States by the USDA to assess the impact of USDA-funded conservation practices. He also will discuss new algorithms for sediment routing, soil carbon dynamics, and pathogen fate and transport.

Arnold received his bachelor's degree in 1981 from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Ill., and his doctoral degree in 1992 from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. His current projects and research include: the development of river basin scale hydrologic and water quality models (SWAT); determining the effects of spatial variability on hydrologic response; the development of automated techniques for base flow separation and recession analysis; and the development of GIS interfaces for basin scale models to automate model inputs and spatially display model outputs.

Robbie Gries, president of Priority Oil and Gas in Denver, Colo., will speak at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in room D410 of the Baylor Sciences Building. Gries' lecture, "An Accidental Geologist...From Fossils to Good Fortune; Affirmative Action to Independent," will discuss her career in geology.

Gries received her bachelor's degree from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., as the first female geology graduate, and her master's degree in geology from the University of Texas in Austin. She also was the first female president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. She specializes in oil and gas exploration.

Dr. Eric Christiansen, associate professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, will lecture at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, in room E231 of the Baylor Sciences Building.

Christiansen received his bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University in 1977 and his doctoral degree from Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., in 1981. His research includes the origin and evolution of igneous rocks, calibration of the geological time scale and the evolution of volcanic landforms on the planets through study of photographs of planetary surfaces.

Dr. Gary Smith, professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., will present at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, in room E231 of the Baylor Sciences Building. In his lecture, "See Saws and Ruptured Hinges: The Ups, Downs, and Tilts of Northern Rio Grande Rift Basins," Smith will use data collected during field work in northern New Mexico over the last decade to challenge conventional views of how faulting takes place in subsiding valleys and how the differences influence the record of the river-deposited sediments that accumulate in valleys.

Smith received his doctoral degree in 1986 from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore. His research and academic interests include: sedimentology and physical volcanology, paleogeomorphic studies of extensional-basin fills to integrate climatic effects with those caused by tectonism and sedimentological characterization of aquifer heterogeneity.

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by Katy McDowall, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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