Faculty & Staff

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Harrington Hall, Room 215
Phone: (920) 424-4460
Email: geology@uwosh.edu

They might have a Ph.D., but they’re still down to earth.

Geology department faculty bring many years of experience across a variety of geological areas of study. In keeping with the department’s proud focus in research and field work, most faculty have specific research interests that they pursue beyond the classroom. Several faculty also serve as advisors for students in the major. 

Dr. Eric E. Hiatt, Ph.D., Chair

 (920) 424-7001
Harrington 315/214

Dr. Benjamin Hallet, Ph.D.

 (920) 424-0868
Harrington 310
Learn More About Dr. Hiatt

Eric teaches Sedimentology, Oceanography, Sedimentary Petrology and Physical Geology. He also teaches field courses in Bermuda and the Florida Keys that involve the study of modern coral reefs, sedimentology, oceanography, carbonate geochemistry, the Pleistocene record of sea-level change, and limestone formation.

Many students have completed research projects with Eric on a wide range of research topics including early marine life (bacteria), oceanography of the Earth’s early oceans, analysis of ancient sedimentary basins in the western U.S., northern Canada, South America and Australia, and lead contamination in Wisconsin lakes. These projects have resulted in many research publications with student collaborators. Eric’s research currently involves projects with colleagues in Western Australia, Canada, the U.S. and South America.

Eric received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and was a visiting scientist at both the USGS in Denver (isotope geochemist), and Texaco in Houston (petroleum geologist). He completed a post-doctoral research fellowship (sedimentology, stratigraphy and sedimentary geochemistry) at Queen’s University in Ontario, and was appointed to the Geology faculty at Queen’s University before coming to UW Oshkosh. In addition to his UW Oshkosh position, he is currently an adjunct faculty member at Queen’s and Acadia Universities in Canada where he co-advises graduate students and post-doctoral researchers.

Webpage: http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/hiatt/

Learn More About Dr. Hallett

Dr. Hallett teaches Physical Geology, Lithology, Geochemistry, and Mineral Deposits. He is a metamorphic petrologist whose research addresses the tectonic evolution of continental crust during mountain building events. He uses the geochemistry of metamorphic minerals to track the record of burial, heating, and exhumation of ancient mountain belt systems.

Ben’s research has involved fieldwork in Nevada, New Mexico, British Columbia, Greenland, and New England. Recently he has studied the burial and exhumation history of metamorphic core complexes in the North American Cordillera. His current research with students is focused on the Proterozoic development and growth of North America and the dynamics of trace element partitioning between garnet and metamorphic accessory minerals. He has also worked on pioneering projects that address the digital stewardship of geologic samples and geochemical datasets. Ben received a B.S. from Bucknell University, an M.S. from the University of Idaho, and a Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

 

Dr. Beth A. Johnson, Ph.D

 (920) 832-2659
  Fox Cities Campus 1043

Dr. Timothy Paulsen, Ph.D

  (920) 424-7002
  Harrington 306
Learn More About Dr. Johnson

Beth teaches geology at the UWO Fox Cities Campus, where her classes include Physical Geology, Evolution of the Earth, Landscapes of North America (focusing on national parks), Disasters, Environmental Geology, and Global Climate Change.  She is a Quaternary Geologist by training, with interests in the glacial history of the Upper Midwest, particularly the origin of glacial materials now found down ice in several midwestern states.  She has traveled a great deal in eastern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to more closely study the regional geology that has shaped Wisconsin glacial landforms.  Her past work includes determining the origin and extent of slackwater terrace sediments in the Savanna Terrace of the Mississippi River in northwestern Illinois.   

Beth also has a Masters in Earth Science Education and conducts research in geoscience education, geology history, and women in geology.  Her recent research focuses on increasing awareness and participation of women in geoscience programs.  A woman of wide-ranging interests, she is always willing to look at subjects outside of science and build connections between them and geology.  She is often to be found teaching classes or presenting geology talks to a variety of community, educational, and nature groups, including the Wisconsin Master Naturalists, the Weis ‘n Miners Geology Club, and various nature programs.  She has had a long partnership with the Weis Earth Science Museum, where she collaborated on many projects to increase access to geological education for the community.

Beth earned her Associate of Arts Degree from Black Hawk College in Illinois, giving her experience as both a student and a professor in the two-year college environment.  She later transferred to Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, where she earned a B.A. as a double major in Geology and French.   She earned her M.S. from Boise State University before going on for her Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University.  She has held positions as a visiting professor at both University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Winona State University before being hired at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, now the Fox Cities campus of UWO.  She is also a semi-professional singer, but her repertoire does not often contain “rock” music.

Learn More About Dr. Paulsen

Tim teaches Structural Geology and Tectonics, Geophysics and Geotectonics, Introduction to Field Methods, Applied Field Methods, and Field Geology (i.e., field camp in Park City, Utah). Tim is a structural geologist and his research focuses on understanding mountain building in North America, India and Antarctica.

Prior to joining the Geology Department faculty in the fall of 1999, he did a three-year post-doctoral study at the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. Tim received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1997, where he studied fold-thrust belt deformation in the Wasatch Range of Utah.

He is currently working with students on projects focused on understanding the Tertiary structural evolution of Antarctica and the North America Cordillera.

Webpage: http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/paulsen/

Dr. Maureen A. Muldoon, Ph.D

   (920) 832-4461
  Harrington 104

Dr. Joseph Peterson, Ph.D

  (920) 832-4463
  Harrington 211
Learn More About Dr. Muldoon

Dr. Muldoon teaches three hydrogeology courses (Physical, Chemical and Field Methods), as well as Environmental Geology. She also teaches a geology field trip to the Colorado Plateau and an Environmental Studies field course in Belize.

Maureen’s research focuses on applied groundwater questions throughout Wisconsin and all of her projects at UW-Oshkosh have involved undergraduate research assistants. Her research interests include investigation of groundwater quality and flow in carbonate rocks, relationship between carbonate stratigraphy and hydraulic properties, land-use impacts on groundwater quality, and delineation of wellhead protection zones in fractured rock.

Dr. Muldoon is a licensed professional geologist and hydrologist in Wisconsin and she occasionally consults on projects that address the hydrogeology of fractured carbonate aquifers. Before joining the staff at UW Oshkosh, she worked as a hydrogeologist with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey for almost 11 years where she conducted groundwater research throughout Wisconsin, worked with several counties on inventories of their groundwater resources, and taught several short courses.

Maureen received her A.B. degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Webpage: http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/muldoon/

Learn More About Dr. Peterson

Dr. Peterson teaches Evolution of Earth, Paleontology, and Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis. He also teaches field courses to Utah that involve looking at Mesozoic stratigraphy and paleontology.

Joe’s research interests include vertebrate paleontology and vertebrate taphonomy, focusing specifically on Late Cretaceous dinosaurs such as tyrannosaurs and pachycephalosaurs. He is also investigating the role of microorganisms in the preservation of soft tissues in dinosaur fossils.

Joe received his B.S. in Geology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, IL, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL.

Dr. Jennifer M. Wenner, Ph.D

  (920) 424-7003
  Harrington 107

Mary Jo Pankratz, M.S.

  (920) 424-2078

   Harrington 208

Learn More About Dr. Wenner

Dr. Wenner teaches courses in physical geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, igneous and metamorphic petrology, and field trips to Hawaii, Death Valley and the Sierra Nevada. Her research interests include the generation of continental crust (using geochemistry and geochronology), the evolution of the mantle beneath arcs and best teaching practices for increasing college students’ quantitative skills.

Her current research projects include the geochemical and volcanological study of basaltic cinder cones in the Cascades at Lassen Peak, California and an educational study of the use of online tutorials to build introductory geoscience students’ mathematical skills. In the past, her crustal research has taken her to ancient and modern volcanoes in California, Oregon, Missouri, Wisconsin, Washington and New England. Since 2001, approximately a dozen students have traveled with Jen to complete a variety of field and geochemical projects dealing with the generation and evolution of continental crust. Each of these students received grants to complete the research (through GSA, Sigma Xi, UW Oshkosh, etc.) and many of them have presented the results of their research at national and regional meetings.

Since 2006, the National Science Foundation has funded Jen’s education and the project is active in Alabama, Connecticut, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Illinois, Colorado, Wyoming, New York, California and Washington State. She holds a B.A. from Carleton College (1992) and a Ph.D. from Boston University (2001).

Dr. Peir Pufahl, Ph.D (Adjunct)

  (613) 533-3262

  Queen’s University

Website

Christie Demosthenous, M.S.

  (920) 424-3154
  Harrington 207
Learn More About Dr. Pufahl

Peir Pufahl (Ph.D) leads an international, multidisciplinary research program focused on the sedimentology and economic geology of bioelemental sediments. Bioelemental sediments include phosphorite, iron formation, and chert, which are precipitates of the nutrient elements P, Fe, and Si. These rocks are economically important because they are used in the manufacture of fertilizer and steel, and are important hydrocarbon reservoirs. Since bioelemental sediments actively participate in Earth system evolution they record the interplay between climate, meteorology, and ocean circulation on nutrient cycling and environmental change.

My students use a process oriented, interdisciplinary approach to solve sedimentologic problems that result in manuscripts published in high-quality peer-reviewed journals. International and Canadian-based thesis research interprets the sedimentology, stratigraphy, and geochemistry of bioelemental sediments to understand Earth history and create state-of-the-art exploration models for industry.

It is an exciting time for my research group with the construction of our new CFI-funded lab, which focuses on the petrogenesis of sedimentary ore deposits.  Working closely with Acadia’s Office of Advancement and industry to establish a NSERC Senior Industrial Research Chair will help Canada become a global leader in fertilizer research.

Learn More About Christie

Christie’s teaching responsibilities currently include labs and lecture for both Environmental Geology and Physical Geology.

She received an A.B. in Geology from Colgate University and an M.S. in Geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she specialized in clay mineralogy. Her research at Illinois focused on determining the alteration history of volcanic rocks from the island of Ischia in Italy. 

Christie served as a teaching assistant for a variety of geology classes while at the University of Illinois and Colgate University. Prior to coming to Oshkosh, she worked at the Byrd Polar Research Center at the Ohio State University, using radar imagery to study the structural architecture of the Transantarctic Mountains and the distribution of volcaniccones in Antarctica.

Courtney Maron

Academic Department Associate
  (920) 424-4460
  Harrington 215

Faculty Emeriti

Dr. William Mode

Bill retired in 2019, but he continues his research on glacial geology, palynology, and climatic change.  His research has taken him to Baffin Island, Alaska, Russia, and the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The glacial geology of Wisconsin is also of interest as he is a native of Wisconsin. Currently he is collaborating with geologists at the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey on mapping the Quaternary geology of the Fox River lowland. 

Bill admits that research on surficial geology is easier to do in arctic areas than in Wisconsin, because the trees don’t get in the way in the Arctic. He earned his B.A. in Geology at Augustana College, M.S. in Geology and Water Resources Management at UW Madison, Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, and spent one year at Ohio State University as a post-doctoral fellow before coming to Oshkosh in 1981

Dr. C.W. Fetter

Dr. Charles W. Fetter, professor emeritus of Geology, passed away on September 10, 2011. Fetter received his Ph.D. and M.S. from Indiana University.  Fetter served on the UW Oshkosh faculty for 27 years from 1971 to 1998, serving as Department Chair from 1979-1981 and from 1984-1996.  He was named a John McNaughton Rosebush Professor in 1983.  Fetter taught environmental geology, hydrogeology, engineering geology, and glacial geology and authored several hydrogeology textbooks.  In recognition of his important contributions in the field of hydrogeology, he received the Excellence in Science and Engineering Award in 1996 and the Life Member Award in 2006, both from the National Ground Water Association.  In 1998 the Wisconsin Ground Water Association awarded him their Distinguished Professional Award. The family has asked that memorial contributions be sent to the C.W. Fetter Endowed Research Fund at the UW Oshkosh Foundation.

Dr. Norris W. Jones

Professor Jones (Norrie) retired in 2000, the same year he married Carol. Both had lost their spouses a few years before and Norrie liked the idea of getting married and retiring in 2000 because the year number would be easy to remember. Since that time his geological activities have diminished. He coauthored two papers, one in 2001, the other in 2005. His only remaining connection to geology is his Laboratory Manual for Physical Geology, which he coauthors with his son, Charlie.

Charlie is a geology professor at the University of Pittsburgh (a chip off the old block). He has been a coauthor since the 4th edition, which came out in 2003. The Manual is now in its 8th edition, published in 2013. Prof. Jones may have retired from UWO, but the Manual is still working there. He has 2 sons but only one is in geology. The other son, Peter, is a farmer in upstate New York. He raises goats and chickens, and makes goat cheeses and gelato from cow’s milk. His farm is near the town of Herkimer — ever heard of the Herkimer diamond? Between the two sons, they have gifted Norrie and Carol with 5 granddaughters, 2 of whom are twins. The girls range in age from 8 to 13 (in 2014) and Norrie is sure you have never seen such smart and beautiful little girls! Given 5 granddaughters, you can probably guess where most of Norrie and Carol’s travels lead them.

The Joneses still live in the same place west of Oshkosh, the old (early 1880s) farm house on 5 acres. (Some of you may remember the Halloween parties.) It seems to get harder and harder every year to do all the outdoor chores — wonder why that is?

Email: jonesnw@uwosh.edu 

Dr. Gene LaBerge

Gene has been involved in the production of an exhibit on the Flambeau Mine at Ladysmith, WI (his hometown). The exhibit is primarily mineral specimens that illustrate features of the Flambeau Mine that, in turn, illustrate how the ore in the mine was formed.  Fortunately he had made many trips to the mine site before, during and after the mining occurred (1993-1997).  The old samples, photos and other information helped in selecting rock and mineral specimens for the display. Along with the display, Gene was asked to create a pamphlet explaining when and how the ore formed. With the help of Dr. Joanne Kluessendorf from the Weis Earth Science Museum in Menasha, and Dr. William Cordova of UW-River Falls, the pamphlet was completed. It included maps, diagrams and numerous photos of the mine, before and during mining, as well as during back-fill of the pit and reclamation of the site.

Email:  

Dr. Thomas S. Laudon

Dr. Thomas Laudon passed away on January 1st, 2017 at his home on Lake Winnebago. In 1963, Tom accepted a job at UW Oshkosh as the second geology professor in the department. It was a job he would love until his retirement in 1999. During his tenure at UWO, Tom established a renowned geology summer field camp. Over the course of 35 summers, he led hundreds of students through the Canadian Rockies to the Yukon Territory. He passed to his students his knowledge of geology, passion for the outdoors and mountaineering, and love of cheap whiskey, cigars and campfire revelry. Academic research played an integral component to Tom’s career taking him around the world including the UK, Mexico, the South Pacific, the Himalayas (Mt. Everest), Australia. 

His family established the Laudon Family Field Camp Scholarship, which was given for the first time in 2018.

James W. McKee

I miss my faculty colleagues since retirement, but luck has been with me and I now enjoy daily association with new colleagues; Daisy is on my left and her colt, Buddy, is on my right. 

These new colleagues are like my former ones in some ways: they are friendly, tolerant of my shortcomings, tenacious of their opinions, and may be more intelligent than they appear. They aren’t conversationalists so they wouldn’t have added to the daily lunchroom chats I used to enjoy. On the other hand, both burros are patient listeners and when they do get agitated or inattentive, they respond well to an arm around the neck and gentle pulls on their ears. I don’t know whether that would have worked with any of my previous colleagues but I enjoy the contemplation of it.

Daisy and Buddy belong to Mary Beth, who is teaching them manners and how to be good saddle animals. They are quick to learn simple tricks (jump barrels, stand on stumps, side-pass, etc.) but have great trouble with Go Faster, and Don’t Stop. (That kind of reminds me of me. ) Buddy has grown to be much larger than Daisy and may allow me some day to use his young knees instead of my oId ones on yet another field project.

Of course, I miss relationship with students, but the donkeys never make me think of them. Well, hardly ever. There was this fellow though…

As for geological stuff, we are much pleased to have completed, finally, our work in Sonora and southernmost Arizona. We set out, full of confidence and high purpose, in investigation of a splendid hypothesis that we were ultimately unable to evaluate. That sounds like failure, but since the hypothesis was neither supported nor disproved, it remains as splendid as ever –as good as new. We continued to work on the same rocks in the same area and ultimately discovered a geological history we had not dreamed of–stories far more interesting than that damned splendid hypothesis. The fact is that patient, thoughtful, high-mileage field work will almost always wrest good stories from rocks.

These most recent stories are in GSA Special Paper 393 (McKee, J. W., McKee M. B., and Anderson T. H., 2005, pp. 481-507. ) Some earlier work in Zacatecas is in the same volume (Anderson, T.H., Jones, N. W., and McKee, J. W., 2005. pp. 427-455.) Oh what fun we had in those days!

I still hope to write my opinion of the origin of the entire Sierra Madre Oriental and may yet do so. If so, I hope my work will not be an embarrassment to my colleagues. Either set.

Dr. Brian K. McKnight

Professor McKnight retired in 1999. Brian received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1984 and the Rosebush Professorship in 1987. He used to teach honors geology, structural geology, sedimentology, and oceanography. Brian was an early participant in the Deep Sea Drilling Project in both the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans with the purpose of understanding the history of those oceans in relation to Plate Tectonics. He later spent two years at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. as Program Officer of the ocean drilling projects. His later research was forearc basin sedimentation in Western Oregon. In collaboration with others, several geologic quadrangle sheets were prepared and the USGS is finally ready to release them. 

After retiring from the University, Brian had been an owner and wine buyer for two wine stores, one in Oshkosh and the other in Appleton under the name McKnight & Carlson. This had taken him to Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and Germany as well as numerous U.S. locations to taste and learn about wine. He has recently sold his interest in McKnight & Carlson and retired from the wine business. Brian lost his wife, Carole, in June 2010 after a sixteen year battle with cancer. 

Brian has written many stories about growing up in the Kickapoo Valley for his home town newspaper. He has completed the first draft of a book about that region covering farm and small village life from the end of the depression through WWII and into the 1950’s.

Email: briankmcknight@yahoo.com

Thomas J. Suszek, M.S.

Tom joined the UW Oshkosh Department of Geology as their Associate Instrumentation Specialist in 2000. He has been involved in procuring and cataloguing rock and mineral specimens, maintenance of all field equipment, rock preparation equipment and laboratory instruments, creating new hall displays, and establishing EPA compliance throughout Harrington Hall. 

In addition, Tom trains and supervises students as tutors, proctors, and outreach presenters, and in the use of instruments and laboratories. He is also part of the permanent summer Field Camp faculty. 

Tom is a native of Wisconsin and a UW Oshkosh geology Alum. He received his M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with emphasis in sedimentary and economic geology. Tom has been involved in exploration for precious and base metals throughout the upper Great Lakes region for over 15 years. His area of expertise is recognition of environments of deposition conductive to formation of sediment-hosted stratiform copper deposits, and sedimentary and volcanic rocks associated with intracontinental rifting.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN OSHKOSH

Geology Department

Harrington Hall, Room 215
geology@uwosh.edu
(920) 424-4460

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