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Geology News

Meghan Miller’s research looked at the ancient geologic record of Eastern Australia, but it is applicable to the Pacific Northwest in the United States, the Mediterranean and southeast Asia. Photo by John Livzey.

Solving a Geologic Riddle

March 26, 2014

USC Dornsife scientist Meghan Miller is among an international team of researchers who used computer modeling to reveal, for the first time, how giant swirls form during the collision of tectonic plates, with subduction zones…

A 22-year-old Greta Garbo poses with a USC track coach on campus in 1926. Photo courtesy of Charles Epting.

Bet You Didn’t Know

November 13, 2013

Remember in The Graduate, when a desperate Benjamin Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman) sped to “northern California” in his beat-up Alfa Romeo Spider to find Elaine? USC stood in for the University of California,…

At times, students traveled by camel during their research trip this summer for the "Field Geology" course taught by Meghan Miller, assistant professor of earth sciences at USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of Meghan Miller.

Shaking it up in Morocco

July 31, 2013

The dusty Land Cruiser bumped and rumbled along the Moroccan desert floor as our caravan approached the village of Merzouga under the light of a waxing moon.  A long day of travel behind us, the dunes in the distance…

University Professor Thomas Jordan of USC Dornsife with his 2012 Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences Award during a Nov. 4 ceremony in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of the American Geosciences Institute.

Tom Jordan Earns AGI Award

November 6, 2012

University Professor Thomas Jordan, W. M. Keck Foundation Chair in Geological Sciences and professor of earth sciences, has won the 2012 Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences Award. Jordan,…

USC Dornsife junior and senior geology majors in Malaga, Spain. Photo courtesy of John Platt.

Spain Rocks

July 13, 2012

For some people, rocks are those pesky objects that sometimes find their way into your shoes. But for aspiring geologists, who study how rocks came to be, the aggregate of minerals provide a looking glass into the past. Was…

USC Dornsife alumna Sarah Greene, who earned a Ph.D. in geological studies in 2011, and Rowan Martindale, a doctoral candidate in earth sciences, contributed to a recent study that looks at geological records for evidence that mass extinction events may have been caused by ocean acidification.

Earth's Past Is Warning for the Future

March 6, 2012

When the Earth’s carbon dioxide level increased at a rapid rate during the Triassic-Jurassic period 200 million years ago, nearly half the ocean’s marine life became extinct. USC Dornsife geologists contributed to…

Cool Science

Cool Science

August 12, 2010

At the bottom of the Earth — the planet's coldest, driest, windiest place — the sky radiates a lavender-yellow hue in the midnight sun.  Whiter than milk, the blanket of ice seems infinite. Amid the…

USC College Ph.D. candidates Mihaela Ignatova of mathematics (left) and Whitney Behr of earth sciences have earned 2010-11 USC Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Merit Fellowship awards. Photo credit Pamela J. Johnson.

Closing the Gender Gap

May 7, 2010

Nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs) are difficult mathematical problems to study. Notice it didn’t say "solve." Ph.D. students researching nonlinear PDEs aren't looking for solutions. They're analyzing the…

Scott Paterson, professor of earth sciences in USC College, shows a student how to use a Brunton compass to measure rocks that have aligned minerals or layering, during a recent trip in Yosemite National Park. Photo courtesy of Scott Paterson.

Rock 'n' Research

May 6, 2010

Hang around the Department of Earth Sciences in USC College in the spring and you might notice posters on the walls asking pointed questions. "Enjoy hiking, climbing, and traveling to exotic spots?" one asks. "Curious about…

True Colors in the Autumn Years

True Colors in the Autumn Years

July 7, 2009

The cadre of USC alumni who had earned their bachelor's degrees at least 50 years earlier met for the first time the morning of June 11, 1949. Clarence W. Pierce, 1898 alumnus and founder of Los Angeles Pierce College,…