Geological Sciences

Awarded to full-time students; recipients must demonstrate financial need and exhibit academic progress indictaing promise in the field.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new study from University of Missouri and Virginia Tech researchers is challenging accepted ideas about how ancient soft-bodied organisms become part of the fossil record. Findings suggest that bacteria involved in the decay of those organisms play an active role in how fossils are formed—often in a matter of just a few tens to hundreds of years.

The College of Arts and Science is proud to be home to some of the world’s best historians, scientists, artists, authors, performers, innovators, and scholars. The A&S Faculty Fellowship program allows the college to recognize outstanding faculty members by providing a one-time award of $5,000. The fellowship may be renewed if the faculty member is selected again.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – When seeking clues about the future effects of possible climate change, sometimes scientists look to the past. Now, a paleobiologist from the University of Missouri has found indications of a greater risk of parasitic infection due to climate change in ancient mollusk fossils.

2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Arts and Science Distinguished Alumni Awards, established in 1984, allow the college to recognize some of its many outstanding alumni whose professional contributions have enhanced their respective disciplines and the quality of life for humankind, and in doing so have reflected well on the College of Arts and Science.


Major Garrett
BA ’84 political science, BJ ’84

Morganite is a gem-quality stone that is becoming increasingly popular for its use in engagement and wedding rings because it often comes in light pastel shades of pink. Morganite, named after the financier J.P. Morgan in 1911, is a type of pegmatite, an igneous rock that forms during the final stage of a magma’s crystallization.

Awarded with preference as follows: a) First preference to paleontologic study in Missouri and second outside of the state, b) third preference shall be given to field study in "soft rock" geology in Missouri and fourth outside of the state, c) fifth preference to promote professional growth among students.

Awarded to students attending the summer geological sciences field course.  

To provide one or more annual awards to students in geology. The award is available to both undergraduate and graduate students.

One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.

Awarded to students attending the summer geological sciences field course. Minimum GPA of 3.0 required. Must be a declared major with eight semester credit hours in geological sciences completed. First preference is for non-resident students.

To provide one or more annual awards, available to undergraduate and graduate students.

One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.

One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.

To provide one or more annual awards to graduate students.

One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.

<p>One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.</p>

Noel Bartlow, an assistant professor in the department of geological sciences, is interested in earthquakes that take a long time to occur. The focus of her research is slow slip events, or what are referred to as “slow earthquakes,” earthquakes that can last from a few days up to a year.

Awarded to students majoring in geological sciences who exhibit strong academic standards, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Student loans for junior, senior, or graduate students who are recommended in writing by a committee of professors and associate professors of the Department of Geology. Check with department for details.

Supports undergraduate and graduate student research in the fields of paleontology and systematic botany. This scholarship is alternated annually between the Department of Geological Sciences and the Division of Biological Sciences. Recipients are encouraged to spend some time cataloging or otherwise taking care of the Palmer Collections.

Graduate students must have a GPA of 3.2 to receive this award, and this minimum GPA must be maintained in order to retain the award.

One or more annual awards with preference given to hydrogeologic studies. Available to undergraduate students with first preference given to sophmore-level students.

One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.

Awarded to students attending the summer field course; recipients must have a declared major in geology and have completed a minimum of eight credit hours in that major.

One or more annual fellowship awards to graduate students in the geological sciences. Selected recipients must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate courses, and 3.2 on a 4.0 scale for courses in the geological sciences.

 Awarded every even-numbered year to a junior in geological sciences, based upon academic excellence without regard to financial need.

One or more annual awards. First preference is for students conducting thesis research in paleontology, second and third preferences are for students conducting thesis research in stratigraphy and sedimentary rocks, respectively. Recipients must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all graduate courses, and 3.2 for courses in geological science.

Awarded to graduate students for the study of industrial minerals; must have a minimum GPA of 3.2; preference for graduates of U.S. high schools.

One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.

One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.

Awarded to a graduate student undertaking field-based thesis or dissertation work in geological sciences; that research must include U.S. Paleozoic-age sedimentary rocks that crop out east of the Rocky Mountains.

In 2004, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched a robotic spacecraft aboard a Delta II rocket to study the chemical composition, geology, and magnetic field of the planet Mercury.

Provides stipends for field expenses for graduate students in the areas of stratigraphy and paleontology who are in need of financial assistance.

Provides scholarships for full-time students in geological sciences.

For 103 years geology students have been enjoying world-class geology field training at the University of Missouri's Camp Branson Field Laboratory located in the Wind River Range near Lander, Wyo. This year, the Geological Society of America (GSA) recognized the program with the GSA/ExxonMobil Field Camp Excellence Award. This $10,000 award is given each year to a geology field camp to assist with the summer field season. It is based on safety awareness, diversity, and technical excellence.

John Huntley loves Italian food, which is convenient because the assistant professor of paleobiology will spend the next month as a senior visiting fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna, Italy.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Cambrian Period is a time when most phyla of marine invertebrates first appeared in the fossil record. Also dubbed the “Cambrian explosion,” fossilized records from this time provide glimpses into evolutionary biology when the world’s ecosystems rapidly changed and diversified. Most fossils show the organisms’ skeletal structure, which may or may not give researchers accurate pictures of these prehistoric organisms.

The University of Missouri Department of Emergency Management, Department of Geology and the Red Cross are collaborating to host the Great Central United States Shake Out, the  world’s largest earthquake awareness program.

 Awarded to an undergraduate student majoring in the geological sciences or an incoming freshman who intends to declare that major; must have minimum GPA of 3.0 and maintain continuous progress toward the degree.

One or more annual awards made to graduate students in geological sciences.

Awarded periodically to an undergraduate or graduate student majoring in geology; financial need is not a criterion.

Recipient is an excellent graduate student (GPA 3.788) and experienced paleontologist capable of correctly recognizing the fossils being curated at MU.

One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.

Funds shall be used to support student instruction at MU's geology field camp at Camp Branson, Wyoming. The use of the funds may include, but is not limited to, stipend, travel expenses, faculty support, scholarship awards, supplies, instructional materials, etc.

One or more annual awards shall be made to undergraduate or graduate students in geological sciences.

Jim Schiffbauer is on a roll. The assistant professor of geological sciences has received the Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Research and Creative Activity Award for 2016. The award gives special recognition to junior faculty in the early phases of their careers for superior research and creative activity on the MU campus. And just last week, Schiffbauer was notified his first National Science Foundation (NSF) grant was funded.

One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.

The mountains of the Ningqiang area, in the southern Shaanxi province of south China, are a paleontological gold mine. James Schiffbauer, assistant professor of geology, collected a variety of samples from a specific locality in this region, known as the Gaojiashan Lagerstätte, to aid in his ongoing paleobiology and taphonomy research.

Researchers who study evidence of predatory behavior in the fossil record generally look for drill holes, repair scars, bite marks, and other signs of predation in fossilized skeletons.  But a team of researchers at the University of Missouri has found fossil “snapshots” of predators caught in the act of feeding on their prey.

Seminar speaker Virginie Renson from the University of Missouri Research Reactor will give a talk titled "Archaeometry." The seminar is 1 hour with time for questions after the talk. Beverages and snacks will be provided.

Seminar speaker Robert Dymek from Washington University, St. Louis, will give a talk titled, "Magmatism During the Boring Billion: Proterozoic Massif Anorthosites and Related Rocks from the Grenville Province of Eastern North America."

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Seminar Speaker Allison Graettinger from University of Missouri, Kansas City, will give a talk titled, "When magma meets water: using experiments, field work, and remote sensing to unravel explosive volcanic processes." The seminar is one hour, with time for questions after the talk. Beverages and snacks will be provided.

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Prof. John Cottle, UC-Santa Barbara

John Cottle, distinguished lecturer for the Mineralogical Society of America, will give a talk titled, "Taking The Pulse of the Himalaya: Insight Into Orogenesis From The Roof Of The World." Prof.Cottle is with the Department of Earth Science, University of California – Santa Barbara, CA.

2017 is turning out to be a very good year for MU’s Department of Geological Sciences. The department is in the process of installing the first micro-CT scanner on campus, which will allow researchers across campus to analyze samples three-dimensionally without destroying them, as well as a highly customized scanning electron microscope.

Researchers at the University of Missouri hope that gaining an understanding of major changes in the Earth’s climate in the distant past can improve climate modeling to better predict the future direction of climate change. Fourth-year geologic sciences doctoral student Page Quinton, whose area of expertise is paleoclimatology, has been studying carbon and oxygen isotopes in rocks from the Ordovician Period.

Provides an annual award for the most needy and worthy student in the area of mineralogy and economics geology.

Awarded to a graduate student majoring in stratigraphy or paleontology; must have successfully completed at least one year of graduate work and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Awarded to full-time graduate students who maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA and satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Awarded to students attending the summer field course. Must be a declared major with eight credit hours in geological sciences completed. 

One or more annual awards available to undergraduate and graduate students.

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