Geology in the News

The UB Department of Geology stands at the forefront of pressing global issues, such as climate change, resource management and environmental protection. Learn more about how our expert faculty and fearless students conduct research that impacts the world around us. 

Buried under the ice!

Scientists journeyed to Greenland in an unprecedented experiment to drill for rocks beneath the ice sheet. But a crack in the ice threatened their mission — and their ability to predict the fate of the warming world.

UB student makes rare fossil discovery!

One of James Hanna’s newest fossils will have different accommodations. It will be preserved in perpetuity at the Paleontological Research Institute’s Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, likely serving as the definitive example of a brand-new species.

Lava Penetrometer.
Martin and the lava penetrometer he built over the past year - now in action in Iceland!
Nowicki recognized with Richardson Medal

Sophie Nowicki and the ISMIP6 team she leads
were recognized with the Richardson Medal by
the International Glaciological Union for their
academic and leadership activities in the design
and production of future sea-level projections.

  • An earthquake in WNY?
    Did you feel the earthquake? That was the hot topic of conversation on Monday, as many of us awoke to a natural phenomenon that is common in California, but not here on the shores of Lake Erie. UBNow caught up with Tracy Gregg, professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Geology, College of Arts and Sciences, to get her insights on earthquakes in general and on Monday’s event that had its epicenter in West Seneca — a little more than 16 miles from the UB North Campus.
  • Volcanic risk areas may be larger than previously thought, UB-led research suggests
    A study led by UB geologist Greg A. Valentine on the potential reach of volcanic eruptions could have significant impact on how hazard assessments are conducted in areas prone to eruptions.
  • UB scientists spend five days on Helheim Glacier
    After months of preparations, UB glaciologists Jessica Mejia and Courtney Shafer landed on Helheim Glacier in southeast Greenland in early September. Fog delayed their arrival by helicopter. Blistering winds in the forecast forced them to shorten their trip. Scarce resources for scientists on Greenland, a continuation of effects from the pandemic, caused other changes in plans.
  • UB researchers study future of soft corals
    This summer, coral researchers from around the world gathered to share their latest findings at a conference devoted to reef science, conservation and management.
  • UB Ice scientists resuming fieldwork in Greenland after pandemic delays
    UB researchers, including geologist Jason Briner, will travel to Greenland in late June and early July as part of a project called GreenDrill. Their goal is to gather information that could help them better understand the rise of global sea levels. GreenDrill is funded by the National Science Foundation to study the Greenland Ice Sheet and the bedrock underneath.

Short News Stories

Mr. Jason Hanania (BS, 2023, expected) won First Place in the undergraduate poster competition for the Hydrology Division of the Geological Society of America (October 9 – 12, Denver, Colorado). Jason presented at this national conference that he conducted with Prof. Chris Lowry. Jason and Chris investigate infiltration and the storage of water in rain gardens on the west side of Buffalo. These rain gardens are one method that Buffalo uses to reduce combined sewer overflows. Jason was able to identify relationships between wetting and drying cycles based on the soil-moisture data he collected. He quantified the conditions where plants within the rain garden were able to maximize root water uptake, thus reducing flows into the stormwater system. Using a variably saturated flow model, he identified optimal soil types to maximize water storage. Congratulations, Jason! 

Jason Hanania next to his prize-winning poster at the Hydrology Division of the Geological Society of America (October 9 – 12, Denver, Colorado).