College of Charleston Geology Department

College of Charleston Geology Department


Dr. Barbara Beckingham (College of Charleston Geology Department; right picture), CofC Alumni Kerry Wischusen (‘18, B.S. in Biochemistry; foreground of left picture) and Joanna Walker (‘17, B.S. in Public Health; not pictured) were recently published on PLOS ONE for their research entitled “Phthalate exposure among U.S. college-aged women: Biomonitoring in an undergraduate student cohort (2016-2017) and trends from the National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES, 2005-2016).”

Their work served to quantify phthalate concentrations within college-aged females (age 18-22) and compare it to the data from the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)! Their research was made possible through the Women’s Health Research Team and Student Health Services, as well as the participation of over 200 female student volunteers from the College of Charleston! Congratulations to Dr. Beckingham, Joanna, and Kerry on their amazing work!

You can check out their paper here:
Friday highlights around the department: a visit from the Appstate Scholars with Diverse Abilities, the paleo undergraduate researchers hard at work, and a seminar on microplastics by Dr. Barbara Beckingham from the College of Charleston Geology Department
More than 40 donors have made gifts to support resources for BEAMS students in memory of beloved geology alum Matt Christie '13. To learn more about Matt's legacy and BEAMS, watch the video and make your gift online:

College of Charleston Geology Department
We are grateful this to honor the life and legacy of beloved geology alum Matt Christie ’13. Thanks to the generosity of Matt’s family and friends, the Matt Christie BEAMS Support Fund will provide vital resources for BEAMS students for years to come. To make your gift:

College of Charleston Geology Department
Earlier this week, Clyde helped Baylin Bible prep fossils for display in the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History at the College of Charleston. Baylin is a sophomore pursuing a General Studies major and College of Charleston Geology Department minor.
The SSM is proud to host Chesapeake Technology's SonarWiz7 Annual Workshop & Expo this week. SonarWiz provides sonar data acquisition and processing software to the marine geophysical and geological survey industry and is used by College of Charleston Geology Department faculty and students. Ten of our students will participate in the training workshop and have the opportunity to network with professionals and learn more about careers in these fields.
Angus Mullis-McCord is a geology major graduating this semester who recently completed his bachelor’s essay comparing the differences in appearance and ability to provide ecological services between an unmanaged watershed and a managed watershed. He worked with Dr. Carl Trettin of the Center for Forested Wetlands Research to conduct his study and hopes to soon submit his work for scientific publication.
College of Charleston Geology Department
Dr. Scott Harris of the College of Charleston Geology Department was recently involved in research that conducted the first aeroradiometric survey to look for patterns and anomalies of critical minerals along the U.S. Coastal Plain! Dr. Harris worked alongside scientists from both the U.S. Geological Survey and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and it was published in the Geological Society of America’s “GSA Today” Journal in September. Congrats to Dr. Harris!
Dr. Teddy Them and colleagues have published a journal article in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, "New evidence for a long Rhaetian from a Panthalassan succession (Wrangell Mountains, Alaska) and regional differences in carbon cycle perturbations at the Triassic-Jurassic transition". The research focused on understanding the global carbon cycle across the end-Triassic mass extinction.

The photos below were taken while on-site in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska in 2019. Clara Meier ('20), a recent graduate of the College of Charleston Geology Department, helped with sample collection during this particular expedition.

The article can be viewed here:
This is it, folks - the last water quality report of the season. We wrap up on a decent note, with only 25% of samples failing to meet the water quality standard for safe swimming. Check out more at

Swim Guide College of Charleston Geology Department
Great results this week! Even two greens in James Island Creek! Check out more at

Swim Guide College of Charleston Geology Department
Students in Dr. Beutel’s structural geology class were out mapping on Smith street last week. They were making scales of a section of the sidewalk that had bubbled up while adding the strikes and dips of the planes to determine the cause of the sidewalk deformity. College of Charleston Geology Department

Geology Rocks! And so does the College of Charleston! You won't find a better department to be a part of (I may be a little biased).

Feel free to ask any questions if you're interested in Geology and Environmental Geosciences.

Operating as usual


Many of you know Daniel Robinson (Geology class of 2019). In June of 2021 he was reported missing in Arizona after leaving a job site near Buckeye, AZ.

Daniel’s father, David has been tireless in his efforts to locate Daniel and bring him home. You may be following on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or For Daniel’s birthday on January 14th, David urges everyone to take some time in nature this Saturday and share your photos and videos on social media with the tag

Margaret A. Davidson Undergraduate Resilience Research Scholars Program - S.C. Sea Grant Consortium 01/11/2023

Margaret A. Davidson Undergraduate Resilience Research Scholars Program - S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

We are very excited to share the news that Angela Nganga has been selected as a Margaret A. Davidson Resilience Scholar for 2023. Angela is a meteorology and data science student working with Norm Levine and Lancie Affonso on her research project, and she is also advised by Gabriel Williams.

This South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium scholarship provides support to an undergraduate student working on a project related to community resiliency. More information is at

Congratulations, Angela and advisors!

Margaret A. Davidson Undergraduate Resilience Research Scholars Program - S.C. Sea Grant Consortium An undergraduate fellowship for students from historically marginalized and underserved communities to further environmental resilience.

Photos from College of Charleston Geology Department's post 10/31/2022

It's giving Chadwicked. 🎃⚒

Honorary Ph.Ds conferred 10.31.2022 for the undergraduate Dr. John Chadwicks in Mineralogy & Petrology 🎓📜

Photos from College of Charleston Geology Department's post 10/11/2022

ROCKSHOP 2022: An Alumni-Student Community Connection Event kicks of THIS Thursday!

Connect with fellow alumni and support students by giving them the opportunity to talk with people who have been in their shoes while enjoying good food, good company, and good times!

View the flyers for more info and use the FORM link to let us know which events you'll likely attend!


Photos from College of Charleston Geology Department's post 10/10/2022

It’s Mineral Monday during Earth Science Week! Did you know quartz is the most common mineral on Earth? Made from Silicon and Oxygen, it’s harder than glass and can come in a variety of colors. The images below are all quartz collected by members of the College of Charleston Geology Department from South Carolina!

Photos from College of Charleston Geology Department's post 10/04/2022

It's only natural that the gold me[t]al🥇be at home in the department... or in this case the P.O.S.M. Award! We did it! We brought home the Program Of Study Management Award for best table at the 2022 Majors & Minors Fair!

Screaming THANK YOU to all the students who dug our table and took the time to vote! We had a smashing good time getting to know you!

And ya'll... this event and others are made possible by our rockstar 😎 student volunteers. We love your love for your department and your energy MAKES us!!!

Fist bump these students when you see them and give them a boulder size KUDOS!👊🏻

💎Monika Angner
💎Chase Austin
💎Beyla Bass
💎Jared Boye
💎Victoria Edwards
💎Emma Kubitschek
💎Sophia Mucci
💎Skylar Pope
💎Ashlyn Shirley
💎Karissa Venezia (proudly wore a shirt while working the History table 🤩)

College of Charleston Paleontologists Uncover Strange New Prehistoric Sea Monster - Holy City Sinner 09/28/2022

College of Charleston Paleontologists Uncover Strange New Prehistoric Sea Monster - Holy City Sinner

College of Charleston Paleontologists Uncover Strange New Prehistoric Sea Monster - Holy City Sinner By: CofC Media The international peer-reviewed journal iScience published a paper on Monday, September 26th, 2022, by a research team led by College of Charleston geology professor Scott Persons (right) that details the discovery of a new kind of prehistoric marine reptile. Measuring more than 23 fe...


The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History will be partnering with the South Carolina Aquarium to formally announce the discovery and naming of a new plesiosaur. Next Monday at 1:00, there will be a public talk and “unveiling” in the Great Ocean Tank Gallery, followed by a Q&A with the media.

The plesiosaur work is part of our continuing summer field-school efforts in Wyoming. The paper describing the new plesiosaur comes out the same day and will generate broad media interest (including the New York Times). A cast of the plesiosaur’s jaw will be shown at the event, but that specimen will ultimately be going on display at the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History.


The new Center for Collective Impact in Earthquake Science has received $500,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation! It’s goal is to be a leading-edge earthquake research center dedicated to improving resiliency from seismic hazards in an equitable, accessible, and sustainable manner. Kudos to Prof. Steve Jaume and colleagues from across the U.S. on this new program!

College of Charleston College of Charleston School of Sciences & Mathematics

NASA Awards $4 Million Through New Space Grant KIDS Opportunity 09/09/2022

NASA Awards $4 Million Through New Space Grant KIDS Opportunity

CONGRATS to our very own Dr. Cass Runyon and her collaborators in Space Grant! Today it was announced that NASA has awarded $1 million dollars to the Space Grant Consortium for the NASA Space Grant Kids program “Plant the Moon Challenge”. K6-12 teachers can apply for funds to lead students in classroom experiments to see if plants could grow on the Moon. The winning SC team will have an all-expenses-paid trip to Kennedy Space Center!
"Student teams will get hands-on planetary science experience as they design experiments to grow plants in a simulated version of lunar soil, called regolith, through the NASA Space Grant Plant the Moon Challenge. The project significantly expands the reach of the original Plant the Moon Challenge, developed by the Institute for Competition Sciences, and adds Artemis mission-relevant activities and experiences, provides a state coordinator, and adds a teacher professional development component, as well as a stipend for educators to cover materials costs."

NASA Awards $4 Million Through New Space Grant KIDS Opportunity NASA is awarding more than $4 million to institutions across the U.S. to help bring the excitement of authentic NASA experiences to groups of middle and high school students who are traditionally underserved and underrepresented in STEM.


"Now, maybe it's just me, but college was very confusing times." - Tom Hanks 👟 Forrest Gump

'I'm pretty tired, I think I'll go home now.' - College of Charleston Geology Department students after a month of tent camping. ⛏🥾

Photos from College of Charleston Geology Department's post 08/04/2022

Who wore it better: nebulae, supernovae & stars captured by Hubble Space Telescope, or thin sections of various minerals on display at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, IL.


Join fellow College of Charleston Geology Department alumni every 2nd Thursday of the month for a local happy hour at rotating locations! See you August 11 at Island Cabana Bar CHS starting at 5:00 pm!


If you don't follow on Instagram, now is the time! The very first group of students have arrived in Colorado for the very first domestic Field Studies in Environmental Geosciences trip. Students Jordan and Chase are taking over our stories for the next three weeks to bring you a boots-on-the-ground view of the student experience!


medium prize vs. small prize

But is there a big prize? 🦴🦖👀

Photos from College of Charleston Geology Department's post 05/19/2022

POV: romping around all day in dusty western scapes under the scorching sun then smushing into a van with other sweaty bodies + all the field gear is the dream.

ABQ ⬅️ 🗺 | 🦕 ➡️ CPR

Photos from College of Charleston Geology Department's post 05/17/2022

Whenever you want to come home, we'll leave the light on. 🐾

Photos from College of Charleston Alumni's post 04/29/2022

A Charleston Affair is always an event to remember, but this year just got even better with CofC Geology alumna Toni Reale '01 as the official floral designer for Spring Alumni Weekend's signature event!

P.S. have you RSVP'd to the College of Charleston Geology Department Welcome Reception on Friday, May 13? The deadline is TODAY, so let us know you're coming here:


Giant garnets found in the field by adjunct faculty Anton Dumars! These were found in the Craggy Mountains of North Carolina.


Geology Department Senior Roast
5:30 - 8:00 PM
Charleston Beerworks


It wasn't until the advent of rocketry that a true 'birds eye' view of the earth could be seen by humans. This is perhaps the most famous image of earth captured from space - the "Blue Marble" photograph, and unofficial image/flag of Earth Day, photographed by the crew of Apollo 17 [E. Cernan, R. Evans, and geologist H. Schmitt] about 5 hours into their flight towards the moon [Cernan was, by the way, the very last human to walk on the moon].
This view changed attitudes at home, and no single quote captures the significance of this perspective better than Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who said:
"You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a _____."

Community Engaged Internships - S.C. Sea Grant Consortium 04/20/2022

Community Engaged Internships - S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

Interested in a summer internship? S.C. Sea Grant Consortium is seeking undergraduate students from historically marginalized or underserved communities to conduct community-based projects that focus on community environmental & resilience needs. For more information regarding the Community Engaged Internship projects, eligibility, and how to apply please visit our Community Engaged Internships webpage. Applications are due April 29th!

Community Engaged Internships - S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Community Engaged Internships The application period for 2022 fellowships will be open March 16 – April 15, 2022. About the Internship The South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium (Consortium) has established the Community Engaged Internship Program to provide opportunities for undergraduate students f...


Big storm, little storm: where does the water go when it rains? Down, down and sideways!
New paper out from CofC faculty and students! Geology profs. Dr. Callahan, Dr. Vulava, and former student Austin Morrison recently published “Storm event analysis of four forested catchments on the Atlantic coastal plain using a modified SCS-CN rainfall-runoff model” in the Journal of Hydrology. Check it out here!

Caption for the image in the paper: "Conceptual diagram of runoff generation on a pseudo-3D representation of the Eccles Church watershed. MSME model estimates of initial abstraction (average values of Ia1 and Ia2 in Table 5) are related to: A) situation where only subsurface runoff occurs near the channel and B) where streamside runoff extends, by an expanding channel system, across most of the watershed to become watershed-wide overland surface runoff. Arrow sizes reflect the volume of runoff."


Teamwork makes the dream work! Dr. Callahan and graduating senior Jordan worked on updating the wall of honor last week, to get it ready for the Spring Alumni Weekend welcome reception - Friday, May 13th!


Calling College of Charleston Geology Department alumni! Join us during Spring Alumni Weekend for one or both Department sponsored events! RSVP by April 29 via this form:

Photos from College of Charleston Geology Department's post 04/08/2022

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our students and their faculty mentors for their excellent posters at the CofC EXPO yesterday!

Congratulations to our top project: Karissa Venezia (mentor: Steve Jaume’)
“Predicted Ground Motions From Magnitude 7 & 7.3 Summerville, South Carolina Earthquakes and Building Damage in Charleston During the August 31, 1886 Earthquake”

And congratulations to two honorable mentions:

Abby Harper, Bella Fleck, Emily Lowe, Ray Depalma, and Jade Benson (mentor: John Chadwick): “Geochemical Study of Magma Mixing at Lassen Volcano”

And Camille Sullivan (mentor: Adem Ali): “Modelling Harmful Algal Blooms in Saginaw Bay using Sentinel-2 MSI Data”


Tomorrow, April 7, more than 225 students from all disciplines will share their mentored research, scholarship, creative inquiry and community service projects during the inaugural EXPO, the College’s most comprehensive celebration of student achievements. Free and open to the public, the EXPO will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in TD Arena.

Geology & Environmental Geosciences will have 21 student + faculty teams presenting posters! View the abstracts:

Pictured is our very own Kesli Kruzel '22 who has been working with Dr. Vijay Vulava on a project titled "Biogeochemical nutrients in stormwater and coastal lake environments".


Pyrite is one of the most abundant sulfide minerals. It has a brassy metallic hue, leading to its common name of fool’s gold. Pyrite is usually cubic in its crystal nature, but also sometimes forms in pyritohedron crystals - that’s a dodecahedron with 12 equal faces, like in this sample.


Kyanite is an aluminum-rich mineral usually found in heavily metamorphosed sedimentary rocks. It is important for the manufacturing of ceramics (things like porcelain dishware and piping) and also in electronics. It is also an index mineral - index minerals are used by geologists to better understand the degree of metamorphism a rock underwent. Kyanite indicates a high grade of metamorphism as it is found in rocks that were metamorphosed deep within the Earth’s crust.


Hands-on learning!
This week has been photography week for Geol 395 (Applied Paleontology) and Dr. Boessenecker has been spending time with each research team to take photos of the specimens they're researching. This team (Jennifer Floss, Corrine Luksch, and Rebecca Starkey) is working on an unidentified archaic mysticete humerus.

Photos from College of Charleston Geology Department's post 03/22/2022

Graduate and undergraduate hydrology students measured the stream flow on Gadsden Creek in Charleston's Westside neighborhood. This stream is an excellent example of an urban tidal creek in a “little engine that could” way, providing flood relief and salt marsh habitat for many plants and animals in a city setting.


The Department of Geology & Environmental Geosciences invites our alumni to not one, but TWO events this spring! Please help us plan and let us know your interest in one or both events by completing this form!


Happy ! 🍀

Malachite (green) is often found with Azurite (blue.) These two minerals have very similar properties, and are found around the world with copper deposits - they form from the weathering and oxidation of copper ores!

📷 by Sarah Boessenecker from the Burpee Museum of Natural History.

Videos (show all)

Ever wondered how to get water from a well for water testing? Watch our young hydrologist-in-training explain how!
Fall 2021 registration is open again for all students, and we have a few courses with just a handful of seats remaining!...
Summer 2021 Intro to Coastal & Marine Geology
Introduction to Seafloor Mapping
GSA 2020 Virtual Social Hour
DIY Self-Watering Planter





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Charleston, SC

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