Geology Research Opportunities & Collaborations

The Geology Discipline at Morris strongly advocates undergraduate research. Students are actively involved in research programs conducted by the faculty and are invited to create their own projects.

Equipment For Student Use

  • Abundant laboratory and field equipment (petrographic microscopes, Brunton compasses, hand-held GPS units)
  • Research-grade Nikon petrographic microscope with digital imaging capability
  • Complete rock-cutting and thin-sectioning lab
  • Mineral separation equipment including a jaw crusher, pulverizer, and Frantz magnetic separation
  • aTrimble LS4600 Differential (survey grade) GPS unit
  • In-house map and graphics laboratory features both Mac and PC computers supporting the latest graphics, analytical, and GIS software, along with large–format scanners and printers

The Discipline is also currently pursuing the acquisition of a new Rigaku Multiflex X-ray diffraction unit for mineral analysis.

Accomplish Research

Morris Geology majors have completed an impressive array of independent research projects ranging from laboratory investigations to computer modeling to field studies. With the encouragement of the faculty and financial support from the Division of Science and Mathematics, geology students have presented their findings at regional, national, and international meetings, including:

  • the Geological Society of America (GSA)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • International Glaciological Society (IGS)
  • Institute for Lake Superior Geology
  • National Council of Undergraduate Research
  • and Minnesota Academy of Sciences (MAS)

Moreover, a number of students are co-authors of papers published in professional journals.

Selected research projects undertaken by Morris geology students include:

  • Age, kinematic evolution, and tectonic significance of the Grizzly Creek shear zone, western Colorado
  • Improvement of an empirical model of snow and ice melt on Rabots Glaciar, Sweden
  • In search of the Younger Dryas cooling interval using weathering rind thicknesses, Sawatch Range, Colorado
  • Rock glaciers in southwestern Colorado as indicators of late Holocene climate change: A lichenometric study


Financial support for student research is available through several venues. University funding opportunities are consolidated by the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE). Opportunities include: