Page 1 - 2020 GGE Newsletter
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Colorado School of Mines                                                             2020 Department Newsletter
      Earth and Society Programs                                                                               Page 1
      Department of Geology and Geological Engineering

                          Message from our Department Head,
                          Dr. Wendy Bohrson                                                   2020 GGE Newsletter Index
                                                                                              Page 2: General News and High-
                         Greetings from the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering (GGE).     lights
                         Happy 2021. We had an eventful 2020 in GGE. We saw lots of success among students and   Page 3: DIA Update
                         faculty (see page 2 for more info on some of our outstanding faculty), progress on some of our
                         strategic initiatives, and we have new and exciting plans emerging too. We, like everyone else on  Page 4: New Faculty Welcome
                         Earth, have also been continually adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
                                                                                              Page 5: Graduate Student Spot-
                         Covid hit us here at Mines in mid-March. The campus went into remote operation around that
                         time, and as you might imagine, everyone—students, faculty, and staff alike—had to adapt   light
     quickly to teaching and learning, conducting research, and managing the department from afar (mostly from our living
     rooms!). After we got the second half of spring semester launched, Mines began the process of getting people safely back   Page 6: Undergraduate Student
     onto campus for classes and research (and all else that happens on our busy campus) by summer.    Spotlight
     Mines faculty, staff, students, and alums are well known for our problem-solving skills, and I can say that those skills were in   Pages 7-8: CoRE Center Update
     full bloom as we engineered all of the safety and other protocols that had to be put into place to get people back onto campus.
     We developed lab plans, classroom limits, cleaning protocols, mask protocols…the list goes on. I particularly want to thank   Pages 9-10: IGWMC Center Up-
     Dorie Chen and Cheryl Medford for the amazing work they did to get Berthoud open again for covid-safe business. I am also
     grateful to everyone in GGE for being a community of people who care about one another. Everyone followed the protocols   date
     we set in place to keep our department members safe.
                                                                                              Page 11: PM/NTS & Certificate
     Among the many people who adapted their labs and classes to the remote environment, special kudos go to Professor Bruce   Program Updates
     Trudgill and his faculty colleagues Mary Carr, Steve Enders, Yvette Kuiper, Paul Santi, Christian Shorey, and Steve Sonnen-
     berg, for successfully offering our first ever (and hopefully last ever) totally virtual summer field course. The faculty spent   Pages 12-15: Economic Geology
     many hours pulling together Google Earth images, field site videos, data sets, and other resources so that students had a
     challenging field experience that allowed them to develop useful new skills. While a virtual field class will never replace the    Program Update
     face-to-experience, we learned that some virtual content enhanced student learning. We saw this in other classes as well. So,
     while the remote learning environment presented many challenges, a silver lining is we now have some new approaches in   Page 16-17: Engineering Geology
     our teaching toolkit.                                                                    and  Surface Processes and Geo-
     Enhancing diversity, inclusion, and access (DI&A) continues to be a priority in GGE, and last year, we made great progress   morphology Program Update
     on several initiatives. A shout out goes to Professors Mary Carr and Danica Roth for their leadership, and to the whole DI&A
     committee ( for the work they are doing. Especially since sum-  Pages 18: Hydrology Program
     mer 2020, we have enjoyed regular zoom meetings where we discuss DI&A issues and are educated by experts. A group of   Update
     engaged and dedicated students have brought great ideas to our DI&A efforts, and important among these was a series of
     graduate student seminars that focused on enhancing professional skills. Those seminars were very successful, and we plan   Pages 19-20: SAND Consortia
     to continue this effort. We are also working on community building in GGE. The pandemic has made in person events impos-  Update
     sible, but we are excitedly planning a range of post-pandemic events that we hope will bring members of our department
     together to strengthen our ties.
                                                                                              Pages 21-22-: MUDTOC Consor-
     In the midst of the pandemic, we also accomplished a number of our longer term goals. Among the most important is we   tia and Weimer Trail Update
     achieved a modest revision of the undergraduate curriculum. The changes enhance how our students learn as they step
     through our curriculum while they maintain the rigor of our BS degree. We are about to embark on a similar analysis and   Pages 23-26: Summer 2020
     revision of our graduate curriculum. The broader goals for our curricula review are to better prepare GGE students for the
     challenges of a 21st Century career.                                                     Field Camp
     Our department has also seen some personnel changes. I am pleased to welcome Professor Kevin Cannon to our department.  Page 27: GGE ConocoPhillips
     Kevin arrived in Golden in late August (after moving cross country during a pandemic) and joined GGE and the Space Re-  Student Research Fair
     sources program. Kevin’s focus is in planetary materials and resources, and he brings energy, expertise, and new ideas to
     GGE and Mines. Professors Wendy Harrison and Richard Wendlandt retired from Mines, after long and successful careers.   Page 28: SEG and AAPG Stu-
     We reluctantly said goodbye to them (officially) but look forward to drawing on their knowledge and vast experience. We also
     said goodbye to Professors Alex Gysi, Reed Maxwell, and Richard Palin, all of whom left Mines for exciting new opportuni-  dent Chapter Updates
     ties. We will miss their contributions to our department and wish them all the best in their new lives. Finally, I am very hap-
     py to announce Professor Lesli Wood accepted the role of Associate Department Head in GGE. I am thoroughly enjoying   Pages 29-31: Theses and Disser-
     working with Lesli, who brings knowledge of Mines, wisdom, and her classic sense of humor (sorely needed right now) to   tations
     this position.
                                                                                              Page 32: #idigmines 2021
     In spite of the tumultuous year, friends and alums of our department contributed in major ways—through expertise shared
     with students, through generous donations, and through advice that helped us improve who we are and what we do. An enor-
     mous thank you to all who support GGE.
     And of course, it is time to get ready for #idigmines 2021. This year’s theme Past, Present, and Possibilities is perfect for GGE-geologists and geological engi-
     neers employ what we know about the past to the possibilities of today and tomorrow. I invite you to join us in donating to #idigmines GGE to support our
     amazing students.
     Show your lava for GE students! Join us by becoming involved in #idigmines day—Thursday February 4th (see page 32).
     Please read on further in our newsletter…you’ll find inspiring stories and new discoveries. I continue to be inspired by the people in GGE, and all the more in
     2020, given the huge challenges we faced. We are successful because of dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. I hope that you and your family
     enjoy good health in 2021 and that you have some new and exciting (post-pandemic) experiences.

     Best regards,
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