The Outcrop 2021 released

I invite you to relax for a few minutes and update yourself on many Department happenings by enjoying this year’s edition of The Outcrop. The largest incoming class of first-year students will be in our classrooms. An example of how faculty and staff have adapted one of our courses, Geoscience 140: Natural Hazards and Disasters, to the uncertainties of teaching during a pandemic is noted in this edition of The Outcrop.

After serving as Department chair from 2017 to 2020, and dramatically improving our financial footing within the College of Letters & Science, Chuck DeMets retired in July of this year. Chuck’s accomplishments and reflections are highlighted in this Outcrop. We wish Chuck and his family all the best in the many years to come.

Luke Zoet and Ken Ferrier were promoted to associate professor with tenure in July; congratulations to both of you! Andrea Dutton’s new uranium-series isotope geochemistry laboratory on the 4th floor of Weeks Hall is nearing completion, as is a complete renovation of the mineralogy and petrology teaching classroom, highlighted herein. We will welcome our newest faculty member, Marianne Haseloff, to Madison in September 2022. Marianne will bring a new computational approach to ice sheet modeling to our program and complement departmental strength in the science of observing and forecasting the effects past and present of climate change.

Shanan Peters was elected a fellow of the Geological Society of America — way to go, Shanan! At our make-shift, COVID-limited Spring Banquet in May the Department made more than $160,000 in awards, including graduate research assistantships, recognition of outstanding graduate student papers published, and scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students. These awards reflect the truly remarkable generosity and support from the GeoBadger nation, and we thank each of you who continue to ensure via your gifts the successes of our students and faculty.

The last year has witnessed quite a baby boom among GeoBadger faculty and staff: Luke and Lana Zoet welcomed a second son, Keith Zoet; Annie Bauer and Ken Ferrier brought their daughter Kiri into the world; Will and Caitlin Nachlas’s son Will was christened; and Chloe Bonamici and Tyler Blum graced us with daughter JoJo. Congrats to one and all!

Sadly, we learned in late June that Professor Emeritus Carl Bowser passed away. I remember Carl clearly for his enthusiasm regarding our Department, being a bright positive spirit, and his generosity in sharing experiences and ideas with the assistant professors of the day (Basil Tikoff, Alan Carroll, and me). He made sure that Basil and I visited the White Lake field station in Ontario with him in 2000 to learn how the Department’s, and his own, longstanding commitment to this unique field experience benefitted generations of students. Carl was a gifted photographer and, as highlighted in pages to follow, he was a gracious mentor to many of us in Weeks Hall and will be missed.

I wish you all the best and look forward.


Brad Singer

Vilas Distinguished Professor
Department Chair