Current Research Positions

Current undergraduate paid and unpaid research positions and general faculty research projects for undergraduate researchers.

Stable isotopes as hydroclimatic indicators

I am looking for an undergraduate student researcher to work on the analysis of stable isotopes in natural waters and plant materials. No experience necessary. The student researcher will be trained in extracting water samples on a vacuum system and analysis of stable isotopes using a laser spectrometer. Depending on progress, there may be opportunities to publish this research

Posted by: Timothy Shanahan

Paleoclimate reconstructions in the southern Rocky Mountains

I am looking for one or more undergraduate student researchers to work on paleoclimate reconstructions in the southern Rockies using geochemical indicators in lake sediments. No experience necessary. Depending on progress, there will be opportunities to publish.

Posted by: Timothy Shanahan

Principal Investigator(s) Project  hours / week Timing Field component
Thorsten Becker Numerical modeling of flat slab subduction and slab-continental plate interactions ~10 summer project, with continued work in the semester Potential for field work in Colombia, but numerical modeling focused
Thorsten Becker Fault localization in southern California from broadband seismic data – analysis of receiver function and shear wave splitting data 10 summer project, with continued work in the semester Potential for field work in southern California, but seismological data analysis focused
Ian Dalziel  &  Brian Horton Detrital zircon studies bearing on paleogeographic reconstructions of the South Atlantic region 15 Jan-August 2020 No field work; the samples will be collected in the Falkland/Malvinas Islands by Ian Dalziel during November 2019.
John Snedden Gulf of Mexico Depositional Systems ~10-20 flexible – summer or in semester None
Jud Partin Help to micro-milk samples and prepare machines for analytics measurements ~10-20 summer Yes
Nick Hayman (lead), Matthew Balhoff (Petroleum Engineering) Experimental investigation of viscoplastic polymeric gels 10 Fall-spring 2020-2021 None – lab based
Chris Lowery Picking foraminifera for stable isotope analysis of End Cretaceous Mass Extinction. 10 summer None
Chris Lowery Grain size analysis of sediments to reconstruct plankton size distribution  after End Cretaceous Mass Extinction 10 spring None
Steve Phillips, Chris Lowery Sea level rise on the Texas coast and response of salt marsh greenhouse gas cycling 10 summer Yes- sediment coring, gas flux measurements, and core analysis
Sean Gulick, Gail Christeson Mapping the infilling of the Chicxulub crater using geophysical data ~5-10 summer and/or in semester Possible
Duncan Young, Don Blankenship Reconciling Antarctic englacial layers using the Landmark seismic package 20 spring-summer None
Duncan Young, Jamin Greenbaum, Cyril Grima Documenting 30 years of radar data interpretations for release to a international compilation of Antarctic ice thickness data 20 spring-summer None

General Research Possibilities

Afu LinAfu Lin’s Mineral Physics Lab

NSF REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) opportunities in mineral physics, planetary interiors, and methane hydrate research.

Additionally, Dr. Lin helps connect students with summer research internships in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and China

MartindaleMass Extinctions and Reef Paleo-ecology

Join the Martindale Research Group for research opportunities in mass extinctions, reef paleo-ecology, and more!

Contact Dr. Rowen Martindale (

PoteetEnvironmental Monitoring of Urban Creek Ecosystems

Dr. Mary Poteet and the Waller Creek Working Group is seeking upper division undergraduates to help research the response of creek ecosystems to restoration efforts in Urbanized watersheds.

Using Waller Creek as a case study, we synthesize data from environmental sensors, measures of organic matter dynamics, and surveys of algal biomass and production to assess whether large-scale restoration efforts lead to “sustainable” creek ecosystems – meaning that the energy produced within the creek ecosystem (including riparian) can provide enough energy to sustain diverse creek communities. I currently need upper division students to conduct research on 1) spatio-temporal dynamics of dissolved organic matter, 2) seasonal shifts in algal production in relation to anthropogenic nutrient influxes, and 3) work with environmental sensor data to assess whether/how specific hydrologic changes alter metabolic regimes in creeks – as measured by dissolved oxygen dynamics.

Lietal Press2

Dinosaurs and the Evolution of Novel Structures and Functions

Dr. Julia Clarke’s lab regularly works with 2-5 undergraduate collaborators, and Dr. Clarke is open to advising or co-advising theses.

“I feel undergraduate research is one of the most important aspects of undergraduate education. Visit my lab website to learn more about what students in the lab are doing:”


Have good programming skills? Interested in oceanography?

Contact Dr. Patrick Heimbach ( about potential opportunities in the context of ocean and ice sheet modeling and data analysis.

LoweryInterested in micropaleontology or paleoceanography?

Contact Dr. Sean Gulick and Chris Lowery

GardnerInterested in magma chamber dynamics, pyroclastic flow behavior, volcanic degassing and eruption?

Contact Jim Gardner at

Stockli Labs CropStockli Research Group

The Stockli research group has a long tradition of involving undergraduate students in field and laboratory based research. For example:

  • “Long-term cooling history of Llano Uplift” – Claire Andrews (2017)
  • “Detrital Provenance of Pennsylvanian Strawn and Cisco sandstones in central Texas” – P. Standring and T. Ditges (2020)

Please contact Dr. Daniel Stockli at