Yellowstone Supervolcano Could Be an Energy Source. But Should It?

National Geographic Originally Posted: August 8, 2018 Yellowstone National Park could power the entire continental U.S. with clean energy. Maria Richards of SMU Geothermal Laboratory weighs in via National Geographic on why it remains untapped. The northwest corner of Wyoming is boiling. There, 10,000 hydrothermal features transform Yellowstone National Park into an alien world with searing waters and steaming vents—all fueled by a simmering supervolcano. While scientists agree that Yellowstone is not likely to erupt anytime soon, if and when it does, the event would be catastrophic. A massive magma chamber feeds this supervolcano, and an eruption would pack enough power to expel more than a thousand cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once. That would blanket most of the continental United States in debris and potentially plunge Earth into a volcanic [...]

By | 2018-08-09T08:06:48+00:00 August 10th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Yellowstone Supervolcano Could Be an Energy Source. But Should It?

Research and mentorship honored

SMU Magazine Originally Posted: July 2018 Paleobotanist Bonnie Jacobs, professor in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, has been named a Paleontological Society Fellow for her contributions to the field of Cenozoic paleobotany as well as her stellar mentorship of students and postdoctoral researchers. She was particularly lauded for her transformative research on the Cenozoic vegetation and climate of Africa. “The research I am working on with colleagues and students is aimed at understanding how tropical ecosystems in Africa came to be what they are today, and more specifically, how they were impacted in the past by global climate changes, first and foremost,” explains Jacobs. “I am always thrilled by the discovery of new fossils, but the most joyful, rewarding part of my work comes [...]

By | 2018-07-30T09:52:08+00:00 July 31st, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Research and mentorship honored

A Scientist’s Voyage From the Peruvian Amazon to Nordic Iceland

National Geographic Originally Posted: July 13, 2018   Andrés Ruzo is a graduate student in Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Geothermal scientist Andrés Ruzo is a restless spirit whose passion for science and adventure inspire him to always go further, dig deeper, and discover what’s next. In celebration of his thirst for endless exploration, National Geographic and Coors Light launched Ruzo on an epic journey and invited him to share his experiences with other explorers. In the first of four photo essays, follow Ruzo as he prepares for his trip and talks about what sparked his interest in the wild, rugged, and cold land of fire and ice—Iceland. Childhood experiences—like playing on volcanoes and hearing the legend of Peru's Boiling River (above)—sparked Andrés [...]

By | 2018-07-16T08:01:48+00:00 July 16th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News, Graduate News|Comments Off on A Scientist’s Voyage From the Peruvian Amazon to Nordic Iceland

Dedman College faculty retire with emeritus status

Forum Originally Posted: May 31, 2018 Congratulations to the following Dedman College faculty members who are retiring with emeritus status in 2017-2018 Alan S. Brown, Professor Emeritus, Psychology, 1974-2018 Louis L. Jacobs, Professor Emeritus, Paleontology, 1983-2018 Francisco Morán, Professor Emeritus, World Languages and Literatures (Spanish), 2003-2018 Wayne A. Woodward, Professor Emeritus, Statistical Science, 1981-2017 Read the full article here: Nineteen SMU faculty members retire with emeritus status in 2017-18

By | 2018-06-21T10:47:02+00:00 July 3rd, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, Faculty News, Psychology, Statistical Science|Comments Off on Dedman College faculty retire with emeritus status

Paleobotanist Bonnie Jacobs Elected Fellow of Paleontological Society

Dedman College News Originally posted: June 15, 2018 Paleobotanist and Professor in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences Bonnie Jacobs has been named a Paleontological Society Fellow for her contributions to the field of Cenozoic paleobotany as well as her stellar mentorship of students and postdoctoral researchers. She was particularly lauded for her transformative research on the Cenozoic vegetation and climate of Africa. “The research I am working on with colleagues and students is aimed at understanding how tropical ecosystems in Africa came to be what they are today, and more specifically, how they were impacted in the past by global climate changes, first and foremost,” explains Dr. Jacobs. “I am always thrilled by the discovery of new fossils, but the most joyful, [...]

By | 2018-06-15T11:38:03+00:00 June 15th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Paleobotanist Bonnie Jacobs Elected Fellow of Paleontological Society

Save the Date: Smithsonian to Exhibit SMU Paleontology Research

SMU Research Originally Posted: June 6, 2018 Save Nov. 9, 2018 on your calendar. That's when the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History opens a new exhibit on never-before-seen fossils from Angola. The never-before-seen fossils were discovered, excavated and prepared by SMU faculty and student researchers. They tell the story of how the South Atlantic Ocean formed millions of years ago, and provide clues to understand our planet's present and future. READ MORE Ancient “Sea Monsters” Reveal How the Ever-Changing Planet Shapes Life, Past and Present Never-Before-Seen Fossils From Angola Bring a Strange Yet Familiar Ocean Into View The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will open a new exhibition Nov. 9, 2018 revealing how millions of years ago, large-scale natural forces created the conditions [...]

By | 2018-06-06T07:06:19+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man|Comments Off on Save the Date: Smithsonian to Exhibit SMU Paleontology Research

Colossal Cretaceous Marine Reptiles Prepared By SMU Scientists And Students Will Be On Display At The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Nov. 9

Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History Originally Posted: May 30, 2018   The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History will open a new exhibition Nov. 9 revealing how millions of years ago, large-scale natural forces created the conditions for real-life sea monsters to thrive in the South Atlantic Ocean basin shortly after it formed. “Sea Monsters Unearthed: Life in Angola’s Ancient Seas” will offer visitors the opportunity to dive into Cretaceous Angola’s cool coastal waters, examine the fossils of striking marine reptiles that once lived there and learn about the forces that continue to mold life in the ocean and on land. Over 134 million years ago, the South Atlantic Ocean basin did not yet exist. Africa and South America were one contiguous landmass on [...]

By | 2018-05-30T12:27:39+00:00 May 30th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Events, Faculty News, Graduate News, Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on Colossal Cretaceous Marine Reptiles Prepared By SMU Scientists And Students Will Be On Display At The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Nov. 9

Zhong Lu, Earth Sciences, featured in Fortune Magazine

Fortune Magazine Originally Posted: May 25, 2018 Excerpt from an article titled Lone Star Rising in the May 2018 issue of Fortune Magazine: Zhong Lu, a geophysics professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, is part of a scientific team that has used satellite imagery to study what it regards as alarming land subsidence throughout the Permian. Over time, he believes, water from decaying oil-and-gas-related wells has leaked, dissolving subterranean salt layers and causing the ground to shift and ultimately, in places, to cave in. He warns that the industry needs to better shore up its aging wells against leaks. “We’re not trying to point fingers,” he tells me. “Everybody is enjoying the prosperity of oil and gas. But there’s technology we can use to [...]

By | 2018-05-30T09:20:08+00:00 May 30th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Zhong Lu, Earth Sciences, featured in Fortune Magazine

May Commencement Information

If you are looking for May Commencement information click here. Schedule of events Commencement Speaker Message from the President and Provost On behalf of the Southern Methodist University community, we invite you to attend SMU's 103rd Commencement Weekend, May 18 and 19, 2018. The activities that make up Commencement Weekend showcase some of the University's best traditions and are designed to recognize the pride we all feel in our students' accomplishments. The Baccalaureate Service on Friday evening enables graduating seniors and their guests to worship together. Later, as these seniors march through the Rotunda of Dallas Hall for the tradition known as Rotunda Recessional, they mark the end of their undergraduate years and the beginning of their lifelong association with SMU as alumni. On Saturday [...]

Verify: Is West Texas sinking?

WFAA 8 Originally Posted: April 18, 2018 A new research report, from Southern Methodist University and funded by NASA, found a "…large swath of West Texas oil patch is heaving and sinking at alarming rates." A new research report, from Southern Methodist University and funded by NASA, found a “…large swath of West Texas oil patch is heaving and sinking at alarming rates.” To find out if West Texas is sinking, first I'm going to the guy who wrote the report, Dr. Zhong Lu. He's a geophysicist who studies the earth using satellites. By shooting a radar beam from space -- like a measuring stick -- a satellite can calculate elevation changes down to the centimeter. Lu did that over a 4000 square mile area. [...]

By | 2018-04-19T10:14:00+00:00 April 19th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Verify: Is West Texas sinking?
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