Department Information




Marie Dvorzak, Rm. 440,

Toby Lathrop, Rm. 440,


TA/Faculty contract begins: August 17
New grad student welcome: August 26 *
Mandatory Teaching Assistant Workshop: August 30 **
Instruction Begins (Fall semester): September 5
Thanksgiving Recess: November 22-November 25
Last Day of Fall classes: December 12
Winter Break: December 21-January 21
Instruction Begins (Spring semester): January 22
Spring Break: March 16-March 24
Last Day of Spring classes:  May 3


Wednesday, August 26, 2020: All new graduate students are expected to attend; continuing grad students, faculty and staff are also invited to the orientation.


College of Letters and Science

Please register to attend the L&S TA Training for Remote Teaching (run virtually asynchronously August 17-21).

Dept of Geoscience

See your email from Brittany Hupp.


Faculty meetings are held once per month in room 235. The first faculty meeting of the year is scheduled for Wednesday, September 23 at 3:30 pm.  Council meetings are normally held on the Wednesday one or in some cases two weeks prior to the faculty meeting.

23 September
21 October
25 November
16 December
Spring Semester: TBD

Virtual Board of Visitors meeting, 24-25 September

2020-21 GGSA Leadership (Dept of Geoscience Graduate Student Association)

President:                              Cam Batchelor
Vice President:                     Alex Villa
Treasurer:                              Collin Roland
Secretary:                              Catherine Christenson
Public Relations:                 Ethan Parrish
Professional Development: Stefanie Dodge
Recruitment Coordinator:  Andy Jones
Faculty Liaisons:                  Kai Hu and Nate Stevens
Student Ombuds:                  Chelsea Volpano and Daniel Segessenman
Faculty Ombuds:                  Steve Meyers and Shaun Marcott
GeoPath Chair:                     Claudia Roig

2020-21 AAPG Leadership (American Association of Petroleum Geologists)

President:                              Colby Schwaderer
Vice President:                     Nick Sullivan
Treasurer:                             Kai Hu
Secretary:                             Cameron Shepherd
Outreach                               Chair: Ellie Callahan

2020-21 AWG Leadership (Association for Women Geologists)

President:                            Riley Kies
Vice President:                   Tea Jackson-Strong
Treasurer:                           Cameron Batchelor
Secretary:                            Filzah Amni Abdul Latiff
Public Relations:                Sydney Widell
Volunteer Coordinator:    Chelsea Volpano


The building is closed except to those doing legitimate university business 5 PM to 7 AM Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday. You may be asked to show your UW ID by UWPD if you are in the building outside those hours. The building is locked and unlocked by security on a schedule similar to the Library’s hours.

REMINDER:  The department offices on the 2nd floor will be closed on holidays.


The bulletin boards in the stairway landings are for posting notices of Weeks Lectures, brown bag talks, prelims, etc.  You are responsible for removing any notices that you post immediately following the talks. Please DO NOT remove the bulletin boards themselves or take down the evacuation maps.


If you wish to use a room in Weeks Hall for a class, meeting, exam, etc. you must reserve the room in advance.  Also, if there is any change for a class, meeting etc., please inform the office so the schedule can be updated.


Ben Abernathy                  Room 156         262-9698

Joshua Benish                 Room 156         not_currently_assigned

We are charged with maintaining the various departmental servers, network connections, computing laboratories, printers, and other equipment in the department. In normal times, most of you by this time would have already been in contact with one of us. This year we’ll have to manage mainly with remote virtual contact. Please send us an email if you need help.

Computer Self Help Site

We have provided answers to the most commonly asked questions at:

On this site, we have information about connecting to various departmental computing resources.

Please consult this site first for help with common computer related problems before contacting us.

There are several web sites maintained by the campus computing center (DoIT) that you should also know about.

Campus Knowledgebase:           
UW Madison Web Portal:          
Campus Software Library:            (Free campus provided software)
Campus cloud storage:                               (Free cloud storage)
GSuite (Formerly Google Apps):   (Google Drive, Google Docs, etc.)

Personal Computers

A firewall is installed between the outside world and the building that protects computers inside from network attacks.  It does not protect against viruses and attacks which “walk through the door” with computers that move between home and the office. Therefore, we need to make sure everyone is conscientious of computer security.

We have adopted a policy which requires you to have current operating system software with all applicable security patches installed. We also require you to obtain and keep current some type of antivirus program. We encourage everyone to install and use a software firewall program on your computer. We retain the right to disconnect any computer from the network which may pose or is suspected to be a hazard to other computers. If you are connecting your personal computer to the network for the first time, please bring it to one of our offices for inspection.

On-line department directory

A database driven departmental listing of graduate students is available at:

Your name should already have been entered in this database by our graduate admissions secretary. You can request changes to your information by sending an email to Ben Abernathy or Josh Benish.

Personal Web Pages

We encourage people to add to the minimal information for this departmental web presence and also encourage you to develop and maintain your own personal web pages. Before you can start creating personal-page type content, you will need to email Ben or Josh and request an account.

Once your account is created, you will receive an email notifying you, and a new personal page will be created for you. You will have full control of this page and be able to create sub-pages of it, of which the contents will appear below your basic information on the People page. More information on how to use the website can be found here:

Departmental Wireless

Wireless access is available in the department. The UWNet network is accessible via your NETID. It provides basic internet connectivity. For wireless access to departmental shared printers and servers, you will need to use our separate network, which requires setup by IT staff.

High Throughput and High Performance Computing Resources

The campus provides free access to both High Throughput (many small computing jobs such as running thousands of Monte Carlo simulations), and High Performance (multiple processors, large memory requirement, etc.) computing. You will have to fill out a form describing your computing needs and meet with their computing facilitators for authorization to use those resources.  Information about both can be found here:  The request form is here:


If you primarily use your personal computing for your work, you are encouraged to provide your own backup hardware and software solution.  The departmental IT staff can give you advice if you need help.

We regularly backup accounts on our Departmental Windows Server (AD1) (weekly), the Departmental Linux home directory (/usr1) (daily). The administrative staff computer home directories are also backed up daily.

In the department, we have over 300 TB of data spinning on disks and it is not feasible to back it all up.  That data is protected against single and (on certain disks) double disk failure. This is not a backup and you can still remove files that cannot be retrieved.

Certain directories are backed up periodically. Please contact the IT staff if you have additional questions about specific drives or directories.



Campus police – UWPD: (608) 264-2677

More info available from Michelle Szabo in room 231.


The Department has faxing capabilities. Faxing on campus is in transition, though. If you need to fax, please consult with Michelle Szabo,


Undergrads: see your TA then your Professor or the Department Administrator  then the Department Chair/Department Administrator  then the Dean of Students Office

Grads:  see your Professor/Department Administrator  then the Department Chair/Department Administrator  then the Dean of Students Office


Extra envelopes may be returned to Room 238.


People assigned offices receive an Outside Door (OD) key and their office key. Keys for labs must be authorized by your advisor. Keys are signed out from Michelle Szabo. Your OD key will open the doors to the copier room (Rm 238) and the printer room (Rm 234). If you lock yourself out, please see one of the staff on the 2nd floor, any of the faculty, or the library for help. Please do not lose your keys. Please return your keys to the office when you leave the UW.


These must be reserved and checked out. To check out a Geosci Departmental Projector, please stop by the Library with your UW ID card.

LOST AND FOUND is located in Room 225A.


Mail is distributed as quickly as possible after it arrives in the office, approximately 2 PM. The mail (both campus and U S mail) leaves the department once a day at approximately 10:00 AM.  If you have something that needs to be sent FEDEX, please check with Sue or Karen for the form.  It needs to be in the office NO LATER than 2:00 PM to get the necessary paperwork filled out before the pickup time at 3:15 PM.


The McBurney Center mission is to utilize our expertise in disability and higher education, and work in partnership with the University of Wisconsin community to:

  • deliver innovative and high quality services and classroom accommodations to UW students with disabilities
  • facilitate and advocate for reasonable accommodations so that students have equal access to the programs, activities and services of the institution
  • cultivate opportunities for students to articulate their strengths and advocate for necessary accommodations
  • identify and respond to the dynamic nature of student needs and learning environments.

The McBurney Center is mainly concerned with classroom and learning accommodations. Graduate students may require additional accommodations. Please see your advisor, the department chair, or the department administrator for more information regarding accommodations as they relate to your RA or TA appointment.

Check out this resource:


The graduate students have selected Professors Steve Meyers and Shaun Marcott as departmental ombuds. (An ombudsman (conventional English plural: ombudsmen) is a person who acts as a trusted intermediary between an organization and some internal or external constituency while representing the broad scope of constituent interests []; also see

The Ombuds Office for UW is at


In order to print or makes copies you will need a copy code and access to the department’s wireless network (see Ben Abernathy and Josh Benish).


DO NOT BLOCK outside exit doors or keep fire doors open.  Authorized personnel should make sure they have an outside door key. Also, be sure to lock your door when you are out of your office. Security may ask to see your UW ID after hours. Please carry this. Please do not open doors for people you don’t know.


To call within the university (262-, 263, 890- numbers), just dial the number. To get an outside line (to dial outside of the university), dial 1+ the number (1-438-1234, 1-608-438-1234, 1-1-212-233-9999, etc.).

Not all offices have phones. Additional will not be added.

The State Telephone System is to be used for long distance calls that are related to University business only.  Use of the system for personal calls, even if reimbursement is subsequently made to the University by the individual, is NOT permitted and is considered an abuse of the system.  Unavoidable personal calls are to be made as collect calls, billed directly to your home phone, or charged to personal credit card. There is a charge for each local call and for calls to directory assistance made from an office telephone.  LONG DISTANCE BUSINESS CALLS are to be made by dialing “1-1” and the area code and number being called.  Such calls SHOULD NOT be made by dialing “9-1”, area code/number.


room 206

New students must go through saw room orientation. If you can coordinate with another person, it will be more efficient than training each person individually. There are numerous options for cutting rocks in the department; about 12 working saws. Rocks or slabs may require impregnation before processing. Brian is here to help with individual needs. All materials received are processed in rotation to be fair to all. Turn around time is usually a few weeks depending on the backlog of materials to produce. Standard sections are produced more rapidly than polished materials.  Please do not sign up for Probe or SEM time before your project is complete. Many problems arise in polishing the wide variety of materials collected. It is not fair to take machine time from others if your materials are not ready.


There are strict rules regarding travel and expense reimbursement. Please review:

Please do not make any travel arrangements before you speak to Karen Turino, Sue Hyatt, or Michelle Szabo.

Meeting Travel:

Students may request department support up to $500 for travel to one meeting per year if they are presenting UW-Madison work, that they have not/will not ask for other meeting expenses this calendar year, and that there are no other sources (i.e., grant funds) to cover the cost of the trip. In order to obtain authorization for department funding, the student’s advisor needs to send a note to the department chair.  The chair will forward approval to the advisor and the student can THEN make travel arrangements.

Department assistance is intended to support the lowest cost airfare only for students that have no other means to attend the meeting. A student may receive this departmental support only once per year. The student must be presenting a paper based on research done at UW-Madison, in collaboration with a Geoscience faculty member.

Summer Field Work Travel and Expenses

Each year the department uses gift funds from alumni and other donors to support student research, particularly for summer field work, but also for other purposes as appropriate to the student’s research area. The chair issues a call for requests early in the spring semester and these requests are generally due in mid-April. Requests to the department must be back-up to pending external support requests.

Some URLs for relevant student grant programs:

Sigma Xi:

There are, of course, many others, so some effort on your part at finding these will certainly increase your chances of securing funding for your work. Before submitting a request for departmental support, you should discuss your needs with your advisor. All requests must include a signed statement from your advisor that he/she has reviewed your request, supports it, and that other funding sources are not available. The request should include a short paragraph describing what you want to do and why it is significant, a budget, other available and/or pending sources of support, and the amount you hope the department will contribute.

Reimbursement for Travel Expenses:  See Karen Turino and Sue Hyatt

Travel and other expenses are reimbursed through a system called “e-reimbursement.”


Please check your box frequently for mail and messages.


UW Police & Security and the Madison Fire Department are notified of a fire alarm in a University building. When an alarm is sounded, occupants of the building MUST evacuate if it can be done safely. Departmental personnel ARE NOT to reset alarms. Only the fire department can give permission for people to return to the building.


In order to be covered by the State’s Liability Protection while driving on university business and to drive any of the department or UW vehicles, all prospective drivers must complete the appropriate driver authorization request form

All drivers must be approved through Risk Management, regardless of whether you are driving your personal vehicle, a Car Fleet or DOA vehicle, or a rental vehicle.

The parking permit for the vehicle hangs from the rear view mirror.  DO NOT REMOVE IT FROM THE VEHICLE, DO NOT LOSE IT!!!  If the permit is lost or for any reason we have to replace it, you will be charged $75. The vehicles are parked behind the building in lot 54, depending on the parking permit.  There is a sign at the lot entrance indicating which lot it is. Parking in the wrong lot results in a parking ticket for the Department and you will be charged.

To use or reserve a department or UW Fleet vehicle, check with Michelle Szabo (sign out sheet is outside Room 215).  Each vehicle has its own credit card for gas purchases.  It is included in the log book, along with the keys.  When using the credit card you are required to put in the odometer reading and the PIN number.  If you do not know the PIN number, please check with Mary before taking the vehicle out.  The department vehicles use REGULAR UNLEADED gasoline only, NOT premium and NOT mid-grade.  The gas credit cards are to be used for fuel, emergency repairs, and necessary automotive fluid (oil, auto transmission fluid, etc.) replacement ONLY.  They are NOT to be used for food, beverages, or any other items not specifically related to the vans or truck.  Also, it is good practice to check the engine oil when gas is purchased.   If you don’t know how to do this find instructions in the manual that is located in the glove compartment or check with Phil Brown or Neal Lord for instructions.

NO SMOKING in department or fleet vehicles.

All paper waste, food, and beverage containers MUST be removed from the vehicles and thrown away when finished with the vehicle.  CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF!!!! You may use the gas card to get the vehicle washed.

Dates, mileage (leaving and returning), driver’s name, and account to be charged must be recorded in the book for that vehicle.  Please make note of any problems you had with the vehicle, repairs made, or anything you noticed that could be a problem.  We need MORE information than is usually jotted down so please report problems in a style and with enough information that enables those in charge of the vehicles to see that the problem be corrected.  This is VERY important to insure that the vehicles are properly maintained.

Upon completion of the trip all doors should be locked.  The keys (all sets given to you), the log book and the credit card must be returned to Mary.  If the office is closed please put the keys in the mailbox marked “Office”.  This will insure that the vehicle can be used again immediately if necessary.  Replacement of lost keys will be the responsibility of the person who lost them.

Failure to follow these instructions could result in revocation of driving and or vehicle use privileges.


Wireless access is available in the department. The UWNet network is accessible via your NetID and only requires authentication once every semester. It provides basic internet connectivity. For wireless access to departmental shared printers and servers, you will need to use our separate network (Geoscience_Dept), which requires setup by IT staff. See also section on Computer Support, above.

There are some UW systems that will only work with the Campus VPN turned on. For more info, see