DeFord Lecture Series

DeFord Lecture Series Speaker Schedule

The DeFord (Technical Sessions) lecture series has been a requirement and a tradition for all graduate students since the late 1940s. Once the official venue for disseminating DGS graduate student research, the DeFord Lecture series is now the forum for lectures by distinguished visitors and members of our community. Faculty and researchers from the Jackson School have invited prestigious researchers from around the world to present a lecture in this series. This is made possible only through a series of endowments.

The list below shows all the scheduled talks this semester. If you would like to meet with any of the speakers, please contact them or their hosts directly.

DeFord Lecture Series Speaker Schedule 2020-2021 academic year

All talks are Thursdays from 4-5PM (CST) and are available to the public using the link below. Past lectures are posted on the Jackson School Youtube channel.

Join the Zoom Conference

Date Speaker/Affiliation Field/Title Hosts (if applicable) Lectureship (if applicable)
Mar. 4 Laurel Larsen

UC Berkeley

Multiscale Flow-Vegetation Feedbacks in Low-gradient Landscapes

How flowing water structures the form and function of landscapes, with emphases on the Florida Everglades, wet meadows across the US, and intermittent streams in coastal California; forefront of surface processes, ecology, and hydrology

Bayani Cardenas The Fred L. and Frances J. Oliver Lectureship in Texas Hydrology and Water Resources
Mar. 11 Jennifer Druhan

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Identifying the underlying processes contributing to chemical variability during reactive transport through porous media using measurements and modeling of associated stable isotope fractionations. My recent work has involved integrating stable isotope systems in numerical models of reactive flow and transport for a variety of field and laboratory experiments. Daniella Rempe N/A
Mar. 25 Donna Shillington

Northern Arizona University

Controls on early-stage magma-poor extension throughout the lithosphere in the Malawi Rift

Deformation, magmatism and sedimentation at plate tectonic boundaries and in other interesting geological settings; use of active-source seismology together with other geophysical and geological approaches.

Brandon Shuck N/A
Apr. 1 Rufus Catchings


Geophysical earthquake research, studying fault zones in Los Angeles, Beijing, and other places; precise locations and identification of faults at the surface using sensors to measure energy traveling within fault zones, and ratio of P- to S-wave velocities. Read more about his research and experience here. Sam Moore The Judd H. and Cynthia S. Oualline Centennial Lectureship in Geological Sciences
Apr. 8 Howard Zebker

Stanford University

Development of radar interferometry, leading to spaceborne and airborne sensors capable of measuring topography to meter-scale accuracy and surface deformation to mm scale. The high-quality surface deformation data set can be used to study a broad range of earth science topics, including earthquakes, volcanoes, groundwater flow, ice accumulation and ablation from global climate change, and atmospheric water vapor mapping. Ann Chen The Robert H. Cuyler Endowed Lecture Series 
Apr. 15 Christine McCarthy

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Studies the way that micro-features control macro-behavior; how grain and phase boundaries, defect concentration, and partial melt influence the mechanical behavior of terrestrial and planetary materials. Marc Hesse N/A
Apr. 22 Christine Chesley

Lamont Doherty/Columbia Univ.

Novel EM methods to study crustal and hydrological processes; freshwater resources offshore the NE US, and is also involved in imaging studies of subduction zones. Her work spans a range of processes and settings in areas of growing interest (water resources, subduction hazards) Demian Saffer N/A
Apr. 29 Marcelo Leppe

Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH)

Triassic flora of southwestern Gondwana; study of the connections between South America and Antarctica during the Mesozoic (mainly Cretaceous) and the origin of the southern South American biotas; Chilean representative at Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). Julia Clarke The Edwin Allday Lectureship
May 6 Dawn Wright


52 Million Points and Counting: A New Stratification Approach for Mapping and Modeling the Ocean

Chief Scientist of Esri; Seafloor mapping and tectonics, ocean conservation, environmental informatics, and ethics in information technology.

Sam Moore The Judd H. and Cynthia S. Oualline Centennial Lectureship in Geological Sciences
Past lectures are posted on the Jackson School YouTube channel