The Jackson School has student opportunities for research among our different themes and disciplines. Learn more about the current graduate and undergraduate student research opportunities.
|Research in Marine Geology and Geophysics (Graduate)|
There are opportunities for research within Marine Geology and Geophysics.Posted by: Sean Gulick
|Graduate Student Position in Mineral Physics Lab (Graduate)|
The mineral physics lab at the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, the University of Texas at Austin invites applications for graduate student positions towards a Master's or Ph.D. degree in mineral physics. The Jackson School of Geosciences has exceptionally well-funded research programs and offers a number of scholarships to support graduate students for an extended period of time. Candidates with strong background and/or interest in physics (solid state physics), math, and geophysics/geochemistry are strongly encouraged to apply. Our mineral physics research programs focuses on high pressure-temperature experimental studies on materials properties using synchrotron X-ray and optical spectroscopies in a diamond anvil cell. Information about the graduate student programs at the Jackson School is available at: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/.Posted by: Jung-Fu Lin
Please contact Dr. Jung-Fu Lin at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
|Graduate and undergraduate research in geologic sequestration of CO2 (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
Gulf Coast Carbon Center supports a team of students and post docs working in geologic sequestration (deep subsurface long-duration storage) of the major greenhouse gas CO2, as a method to reduce release to the atmosphere. Student projects are wide ranging, from sedimentology to policy, linked in that they are 1) multidisciplinary and 2) applied to current issues.Posted by: Susan Hovorka
Students are typically jointly supervised by faculty in geology or petroleum geosystems engineering and staff at the GCCC. A class in geologic sequestration is offered in the fall some years.
|Present-day rheology of the lithospheric mantle in the western Mojave from naturally deformed peridotite xenoliths (Graduate - 5 years)|
Microstructure and petrology of upper mantle xenoliths erupted from volcanoes in the Mojave desert in the western US. Correlating properties of these xenoliths to geophysical measurements of seismic anisotropy, mantle tomography, seismic reflection data, and post-seismic relaxation models from geodesy.Posted by: Whitney Behr
|Fault and fracture processes, structural diagenesis (Graduate)|
Graduate student projects combine the fields of fault and fracture mechanics and low-temperature geochemistry addressing deformation mechanisms of the upper crust, structural control of mass and heat transfer in sedimentary basins, the effects of chemical mass transfer on the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of fractures and faults, and the chemical interaction between fluids and minerals. Projects usually require the integration of field and laboratory analytical or numerical work and preference goes to applicants that are equally comfortable in the field and in the lab. Research topics include field- and core-based structural geology, geomechanics, geofluids, geochemistry, and natural resources including CO2 sequestration. A current research emphasis lies in Structural Diagenesis which combines the traditionally separate fields of brittle structural geology and diagenesis/geochemistry. Preference goes to PhD applicants with a prior MS degree and MS applicants with undergraduate research experience, preferentially through completion of a senior's thesis.Posted by: Peter Eichhubl
|Magnetite He dating of serpentinization and mantle exhumation along rift margins (Graduate)|
The goal of this project is the understand the role of mantle exhumation and serpentinization during the rupturing of continental lithosphere and radiometrically constrain the age of serpentinization and/or exhumation along rifted and hyper-extended margins by (U-Th)/He dating of magnetite, olivine, and chromite. Our state-of-the-art thermochronology laboratory at UT is ideally suited for the developmental dating work and is augmented by UT's great ebeams lab (with SEM and EMP) and specially the micro-CT facility. The micro-CT has been key in non-destructive characterization of the samples and image the opaque grains in 3D with micron resolution without destroying them. The project would involve a lot of cutting-edge laboratory work, work on drill-cores (IODP), but also field work on exhumed mantle rocks (most likely in the Pyrenees and S Spain), but other places could be included as well. This exciting project has full funding and is intended for a Ph.D. student interested in petrology, tectonics, and geo-thermochronometry.Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Novel Coupled Thermochronometric and Geochemical Investigation of Blind Geothermal Resources in Fault- Controlled Dilational Corners, Dixie Valley, Nevada (Graduate)|
Geothermal plays in extensional and transtensional tectonic environments have long been a major target in the exploration of geothermal resources and the Dixie Valley area has served as a classic natural laboratory for this type of geothermal plays. In recent years, the interactions between normal faults and strike-slip faults, acting either as strain relay zones have attracted significant interest in geothermal exploration as they commonly result in fault-controlled dilational corners with enhanced fracture permeability and thus have the potential to host blind geothermal prospects. However, structural ambiguity, complications in fault linkage, etc. often make the selection for geothermal exploration drilling targets complicated and risky. Though simplistic, the three main ingredients of a viable utility-grade geothermal resource are heat, fluids, and permeability. In light of this, in this Proof of Concept study, we propose a novel integrated approach combining footwall thermochronometry and soil-gas geochemistry to pin-point heat and geothermal fluids in a well-characterized structural context (permeability and alteration) in order to minimize these ambiguities, reduce the geothermal exploration risks, and improve the feasibility evaluation of blind geothermal exploration. While the individual techniques themselves are still quite novel, the exciting combination of the two techniques holds tremendous promise as it addresses two crucial ingredients for a exploitable geothermal resources, the thermal history (heat) and fluid flow and chemistry in an unprecedented fashion. 4He/3He dating, an exciting new technique to recovering thermal histories from a single sample, will be applied for the first time in geothermal exploration. The combination of conventional (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He thermochronometric dating in conjunction with soil-gas surveys is a exciting new approach in the exploration of blind geothermal resource in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley NL and the Univ of Kansas. The aim of our proposed work is to develop and test a novel integrated geochemical approach to the exploration of blind-geothermal resources that is cost-effective, efficient, and directly addresses key ingredients of the geothermal resource itself.Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Mars Ice and Paleoclimate (Graduate)|
I am seeking one or two graduate students beginning in the 2012-13 academic year to conduct research in Mars paleoclimate using orbital radar sounding combined with high-resolution image and morphological analysis to study the internal stratigraphy of polar layered ice deposits and to map and characterize buried, mid-latitude glacial deposits. Students will participate in the SHARAD radar sounder instrument team on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, an active NASA mission. Support is available through NASA research grants.Posted by: John Holt
|Innovative Detrital Provenance Studies - Double Dating PLUS (Graduate)|
A major thrust of my current research the development and application of more comprehensive isotopic detrital provenance tools. U-Pb on zircon is clearly the big work horse, but only goes so far and sometimes yields "no" useful info, e.g., if the source of the sediment is mostly recycled sediment. We have extensively pursued double dating of zircons by U-Pb and He, as zircon He ages yield very interesting insights into the thermal and tectonic history of the source terrane; often yielding very different insights than crystallization ages. The combination is powerful, but I think we can take things so much farther by combining double dating with other constrains. People have tried fission track (not precise enough), Hf/Hf (to get mantle separation model ages), etc., but what we want to do and are working on is really Double Dating ++, combining zircon U-Pb-He dating with a variety of other geochemical aspects to more comprehensive understand detrital provenance and improve paleo-tectonic reconstructions. For example, trace-element thermometry (Ti in zirc), REE on zircon (met vs mag origin), Hf/Hf (see above), oxygen isotopes, etc. and also to develop rutile in an analogous manner (e.g., Zr in rut thermometry, Cr/Nb ratio (mafic vs granulitic), REE, etc.). The sky is the limit and what can learn so much. The issue in part it, how much can a single grain tell us before it's gone? The project sounds very laboratory oriented, but it's really a combination of field and lab work. We have identified a few possible case study areas, e.g., Morocco; great exposures, long-lived and preserved record of basin deposition since the Precambrian. My group is already working on some case studies in NE Africa (Egypt), Sevier FTB and foreland basin, and the Colombian Llanos and Magdalena Basins.Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Exhumation of the Central Alps, Switzerland (Graduate)|
Being Swiss, I have had a long-standing interest in the Alps and over the past few yearsI have had two students working on the exhumation of the eastern Alps (Engadin) and the Molasse foreland basin. Over the past decade different models have explored the role of climate (incl. Messinian salinity crisis) vs tectonics (out-of-sequence thrusting etc.). The exhumation of the northern Alpine external massives (esp. central Aar Massif) in Switzerland is key in solving this problem. We have a detailed study in the western Aar Massif and it has really questioned a lot of the thinking in terms of the late-stage structural and tectonic reconstruction of the Alps and the evolution of the Alpine critical taper. This is also a project a lot of people would be very interested in in terms of the results. I have collected some samples, but a lot more work needs to be done in the field and the laboratory. Some of the sampling might require good fitness etc. or more. In addition to surface sampling, there are also a lot of tunnels and the potential of 3D modeling to really understand and solve this problem.Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Thermochronometric Paleohydrology (Graduate)|
The impact of fluid flow on the upper-crustal thermal structure is often difficult to evaluate. We have a suite of tunnel samples from the Alps (Mt. Blanc and new NEAT Gotthard base tunnel (55 km long and just recently completed) that cross either major fracture zones or infolded porous sediment, promoting tremendous amounts of water circulation and depressing the isotherms. For example in the Gotthard tunnel, the temperature in the tunnel is about 45C (!), but drops to about 15C at the location with the infolded seds and recovers to 45C north of the syncline. Similar things can be said for the Mt Blanc road tunnel, but there it's a fracture zone with plumbing linked to a glacial carapace some 2-3 km above the tunnel. I have detailed sample transects from these tunnels and this would or could be supplemented with surface samples. The goal would be do apatite and zircon He dating and to model the long-term thermal evolution of these isotherm deflections. This project and case study explores the implications of thermochronometric data coupled with numerical modeling and the long-term thermal structure and paleohydrology and its possible implications for paleoclimate (in the case of Mt Blanc).Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Undergraduate and Graduate Opportunities (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
I regularly work with from 2-5 undergraduates and am open to co-advised honors theses and other. I feel undergraduate research is one of the most important aspects of undergraduate education.Posted by: Julia Clarke
I will be accepting several graduate students over the next two years (I average from 2-5 total).
I am particularly interested in PhD students with prior experience in systematic methods, an interest in phylogenetic or anatomical (evolution of morphology) questions concerning the evolution of birds.
I am also interested in highly motivated MS candidates with an interest in studying avian evolution. Although I have advised theses on non-avialan dinosaurs in past years, given current funded research projects, I am presently interested in advising students interested in working on birds (origin and evolution of).
Please feel free to contact me via email with any questions.
|Research in structural diagenesis (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
Fundamental and applied research on fractures, particularly as these studies apply to petroleum reservoirs, is conducted under the auspices of the Fracture Research and Application Consortium at The University of Texas at Austin. The academic program of research, mentoring and teaching is led by staff of the Bureau of Economic Geology, the Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering and the Department of Geological Sciences. Students in the Energy & Earth Resources Graduate Program also participate in FRAC sponsored research projects.Posted by: Stephen Laubach
For further information on opportunities for fracture studies within the program see the FRAC pages on opportunities in Geology, Petroleum Engineering, Geophysics, and Energy Economics.
FRAC welcomes Visiting Scientists from industry and from other academic institutions. Contact Steve Laubach for more information about these opportunities.
A key part of the FRAC academic program is the Structural Diagenesis Initiative, a new teaching and mentoring perspective on interacting mechanical and chemical processes at high crustal levels in the Earth. For more information on the initiative see the Structural Diagenesis Initiative web site.
If you are a prospective student, please see the admissions information on the Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering or Jackson School of Geosciences web sites.
|General Opportunities in Field and Laboratory Based Studies (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
My position does not permit sole supervision of graduate student theses, but I co-supervise or serve on graduate student theses committees, particularly those involving aspects of GIS, GPS, structural geology, tectonics and petrology/mineralogy. I have supervised several undergraduate student honors thesis, both lab- and field-based, and look forward to continuing to do so.Posted by: Mark Helper
|It's wide open... (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
Prospective students with an interest in any topic related to the kinetics of deep crustal processes are invited to contact me. If you can come up with good science, we can make it happen!Posted by: William Carlson
|Magma dynamics of monogenetic vents (Graduate - Start Fall 2013)|
We are looking for a PhD student interested in modeling the compositional variations observed in the lavas of monogenetic vents. These short lived magmatic systems are thought to arise from a single pulse of melt formed from a chemical heterogeneity in the Earth's mantle. The importance of chemical heterogeneities for the melting processes in planetary interiors has only recently been recognized and the monogenetic vents provide unique constraints on the role of mantle heterogeneities in mantle melting.Posted by: Marc Hesse
The student will be part of an interdisciplinary team comprising Profs. Lassiter and Barnes and their students. Lassiter and Barnes will provide a detailed geochemical characterization of the temporal variations in monogenetic vent lavas and our group will develop numerical models for the geochemical evolution of an isolated pulse of melt rising through the mantle. Comparison between model results and observations will then provide constraints on the depth of melting and the size of the heterogeneity that gave rise to it.
Interested applicants can learn more about our previous work in this area from these papers:
Liang, Schiemenz, Hesse & Parmentier (2011) Waves, channels, and the preservation of chemical heterogeneities during melt migration in the mantle, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L20308, doi:10.1029/2011GL049034
Hesse, Schiemenz, Liang & Parmentier (2011) Compaction-dissolution waves in viscously deforming porous media, Geophys. J. Int., 187(3), 1057-1075, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05177.x
|Graduate research opportunities in computational seismology (Graduate)|
Texas Consortium for Computational Seismology is looking for Ph.D. students interested in computational research. Our group works on a broad range of topics in exploration geophysics, from wave-equation seismic imaging and inversion to computational algorithms for seismic data processing and seismic interpretation. The work is supported by industrial sponsors. We use open-source software tools and high-performace computing resources.Posted by: Sergey Fomel
|Graduate and Post-Doctoral opportunities in GeoFluids Research Group (Graduate)|
The GeoFluids Research Group has immediate opportunities for graduate and post-doctoral study. Dr. Flemings is most enthused by students who have a commitment to a doctoral program because that allows time to delve deeply into research. However, he also regularly accepts exceptional M.S. students into our research group. If you are interested, please e-mail, Peter Flemings (email@example.com).Posted by: Peter Flemings
Current Research Opportunities:
1. Hydrate Melting:
Examine the melting of methane hydrates in Arctic systems. DOE funded effort will examine the impact of warming over human time scales and longer. The project description is found here. We are looking for students and post-doctoral scientists with a fascination for marine geology and a yen for quantitative analysis of fluid flow.
2. Mass Transport in Shales:
Study transport processes in shale systems! You will perform permeability testing of shales (e.g. the Barnett, the Marcellus…) and develop multi-scale numerical models to describe mass transport within these systems. The work will include both laboratory analysis and sample characterization. This project is supported by Shell.
3. GeoPressure Analysis:
Study geopressure in sedimentary basins through our industry funded consortium UTGeoFluids. Dr. Flemings is always looking for students with a yen to characterize and model overpressure in sedimentary basins.
4. Mudrock Geomechanics:
Study the geomechanics of mudrocks through experimental analysis. This research is supported by UTGeoFluids. In this research, we analyze both intact samples (from industry and the ocean drilling program) and we synthetically create mudrocks. We ask fundamental questions such as:
How to mudrocks compact?
What is the permeability of mudrocks and how does it evolve?
What is the strength of mudrocks?
|Seismic acquisition, processing, interpretation (Graduate or Undergraduate - Funding secured through Fall 2014)|
Two exciting student research opportunities exist in the context of an active project evaluating carbon dioxide storage potential in the Gulf of MexicoPosted by: Timothy Meckel
The project utilizes basin hydrocarbon migration concepts and software, and some aspects include reservoir modeling and fluid flow simulation.
We have access to over 4,000 sq. km of continuous 3D data along the Texas inner shelf. We seek students interested in regional interpretation and local mapping for structural interpretation and reservoir characterization. This is an unprecedented data volume with numerous research opportunities.
The project also collects high resolution 3D seismic data using our own P-Cable system (see: http://www.pcable.com). We have one volume in hand and will collect two new volumes in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 2 years. Students with research interests in 3D seismic acquisition, processing, and/or interpretation can be involved of all aspects of working with this unique high resolution dataand emerging technology.