Outreach & Internships

UTChron/Stockli Group Commitment to Outreach Efforts, Undergraduate Research, and Exchange Programs

The UTChron laboratory and research group is committed to outreach, undergraduate research, and graduate student exchange programs. The PI and graduate students have been involved in years of NSF-and GSA-funded (incl. AeGS-DIG) undergraduate research and outreach activities. Our laboratory and research group have focused on recruiting efforts with the goal of exposing undergraduate students from underrepresented groups to cutting-edge geochemistry, geochronology, and thermochronology and their application to geology, tectonics, petrology, and stratigraphy. Research experience is key to successful applications for graduate school or employment. These efforts have been supported by NSF, GSA, the Jackson School of Geosciences, and industry.

UTChron AGeS DIG 2024: Summer Research Opportunity


Understanding AGeS-DiG

AGeS-DiG (Awards for Geochronology Student Research – Diversity in Geochronology) is an NSF program focused on nurturing student research in geochronology, with a strong commitment to broaden the field. Our goal? To foster inclusive participation in geochronology and thermochronology, shaping the next wave of experts.

About Our Program

Titled “Bridging the Geoscience Gap: South Texas Undergrads Uncover the Great Unconformity Using Zircon Laser-Ablation (U-Th)/He”, our initiative invites South Texas undergraduates to UTChron lab at the University of Texas at Austin for an immersive research experience. Expect a blend of online spring sessions and a 6-week intensive in Austin, offering hands-on training in field work, sample preparation, and advanced analytical techniques using noble-gas mass spectrometry and laser-ablation ICP-MS.

Research Focus

Join us in unraveling the mysteries of the Great Unconformity in central Texas. Our journey encompasses formulating hypotheses, conducting field and lab work, interpreting data, and culminating in a presentation at a GSA conference in Spring 2025. This exploration into historic geology and thermochronology promises a deep dive into a 500-million-year-old geological puzzle.

Why Thermochronology Matters

Thermochronology, such as through the (U−Th)/He dating method, is vital for decoding the thermal history of rocks. This technique is crucial in understanding geological phenomena like mountain formation, erosion, and landscape evolution.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Geology majors (or related fields) from Texas universities.
  • A keen interest in “hard-rock” geologic research is essential; prior experience in geochronology or thermochronology is not required.

Project Timeline

  • April 2024: Preparatory Zoom meetings and online seminars. These will consist of literature reviews, basic technique lectures, and preparing the possible research projects.
  • May 13th – June 23rd 2024: 6-week stay in Austin. This will include ~3 days of field work in the Hill Country in Central Texas and sample processing and measurement in the following weeks at the UTChron lab. In the last ~3 weeks of your stay, you will learn how to evaluate thermochronological data, form a hypothesis, and create a scientific poster to present your research and results.
  • December 2024: Encouragement to submit a GSA conference poster abstract.
  • Spring 2025: Participation in a local GSA conference, marking project culmination.

Participant Benefits

  • A $2,500 stipend for the Austin stay.
  • Provided common housing in Austin.
  • Financial support for Spring 2025 GSA conference attendance.
  • Comprehensive training on cutting-edge geological equipment.
  • Opportunity to research a key aspect of Texas geology.
  • Networking with leading scientists and fellow researchers.

Application Process

  • Portal opens: January 2024.
  • Stay tuned for more details!

Join us for a summer of groundbreaking geoscience research!

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact Max Ehrenfels (max.ehrenfels@utexas.edu).

Screenshot 2024 02 21 At 10.20.17 pm

Link to Flyer – Extended Deadline

HeLIO (Helium Latinx Internship and Outreach) Program (2008-2021)

Internship and Outreach Program for undergraduate students from Latin American Universities in Tectonics and Geo- and Thermochronometry at the University of Texas at Austin. Goal of the HeLIO program is to offer exposure, training, and research opportunities for students from Latin American Universities through summer internships at the UTChron Laboratory. These summer HeLIO internships are 2-3 month in length and provide travel costs, on-campus accommodation, and monthly stipend as well as field and laboratory research experience and training. Laboratory and field training is supplemented by short courses. Each student also has a graduate student or postdoc mentor assigned during the internship. For more information please contact Dr. Daniel Stockli (stockli@jsg.utexas.edu)

Programa de pasantías y alcance para estudiantes de universidades de America Latina en Tectónica y Geo-Termochronometría en la Universidad de Texas en Austin. El objetivo del programa HeLIO es ofrecer oportunidades de exposición, capacitación e investigación para los estudiantes de universidades de America Latina a través de pasantías de verano en el laboratorio UTChron. Las pasantías de verano tienen una duración de 2-3 meses e incluyen costos de viaje, alojamiento en el campus de UT y estipendio mensual, así como experiencia y capacitación para la investigación en laboratorio y campo. La formación dentro del laboratorio y en el campo es complementada con cursos cortos. A cada estudiante también se le asigna un estudiante de posgrado o un mentor de postdoctorado durante la pasantía. Para mayor información, favor de comunicarse con el Dr. Daniel Stockli (stockli@jsg.utexas.edu)

Past HeLIO participants at UT

2014 – Claudia Roig Gonzalez (UPRM), Doris J. Rivera Santiago (UPRM), Joe Kendall Salinas (UT)

2016 – Viridis Miranda Berrocales (UPRM), Kimberly Mendez Mendez (UPRM), Eduardo Gonzalez Lugo (UPRM)

2018 – Jose Corchado Albelo (UPRM), Sahira Cancel Vazquez (UPRM)

2020 – COVID-10 cancellation

2021 – Kiara Cunillera-Cotte (UPRM), Adriel Gonzalez-Rivera (UPRM), and Fernando Pagan-Gonzalez (UPRM) – see news article by Kristin Phillips