• Geology Winter 2021 newsletter–catch up on the the latest news and updates from the Geology Department!
  • Congratulations to Professor Ray Rogers, named an endowed chair and Macalester’s latest Dewitt Wallace Professor of Geology! (11 February 2020) This is an honor bestowed on a small group of faculty members who are doing amazing work on all fronts – teaching, scholarship, and service to the college and their community. Ray will be giving an inaugural lecture in the future to celebrate the appointment.
  • Geology Spring 2018 Newsletter–all the dirt (and rocks) from the 2017-18 academic year. It was a busy one!
  • Geology Spring 2016-17 Newsletter–Read all about the 2016-17 academic year!

 Past Events


Lacuna Bajada—Geology BBQ

Join the Geology Department for an end-of-year celebration of food and fun in honor of our graduating seniors. Come rain or shine!


Macalester Geology Senior Capstone/Honors Presentations

Come support your 2022 graduating seniors as they present their research.

Stay as long as you can! Schedule is posted in the department so you know who is presenting when. Pizza dinner will be at 5:45 PM.

Congratulations, seniors!


The Return of the Jökulhlaup

The Geology Department is pleased to announce The Return of the Seventeenth Annual Mid-Winter Jökulhlaup (Icelandic for Geology BBQ).

Food,  Fun, Hammer Throw, & More! 


Geology Welcome Back Students Lunch

Welcome back Geology Majors and Minors! Our annual welcome back lunch gives us a chance to catch up with each other, go over important announcements, and discuss departmental business. We'll also have some pizza...


Macalester Geology Senior Capstone & Honors Presentations

Macalester Geology Senior Capstone & Honors Presentations--happening Thursday, 8 April & Friday, 9 April 2021 via Zoom, starting at 5 pm CDT.

Congratulations, graduates! 


Macalester Geology Senior Capstone & Honors Presentations

Macalester Geology Senior Capstone & Honors Presentations--happening Thursday, 8 April & Friday, 9 April 2021 via Zoom, starting at 5 pm CDT.

Congratulations, graduates! 


Geology Seminar with Stanford Postdoc Nikki Seymour

Stanford Postdoc Nikki Seymour speaking (via Zoom) about her research on "Discovery of the Orocopia Schist in the northern Plomosa Mountains and ongoing investigations into Laramide subduction & metamorphism in west-central Arizona." Abstract: Recent geologic mapping in the northern Plomosa Mountains (west-central Arizona, USA) documented a newly recognized exposure of the Laramide Orocopia Schist subduction complex in the footwall of the Miocene Plomosa detachment fault. The schist of the northern Plomosa Mountains locally contains graphitic plagioclase poikiloblasts and scattered coarse-grained actinolitite pods, both of which are characteristic of the Orocopia and related schists. Actinolitite pods are high in Mg, Ni, and Cr, and are interpreted as metasomatized peridotite-an association observed in Orocopia Schist at nearby Cemetery Ridge. A 3.5-km-long unit of amphibolite with minor interlayered ferromanganiferous quartzite is localized along a SE-dipping contact between the Orocopia Schist and gneiss. Based on their lithologic and geochemical characteristics, we interpret the amphibolite and quartzite as metabasalt and metachert, respectively. U-Pb ages from this schist strongly resemble those from other Orocopia Schist exposures. Thin (<10 μm) zircon overgrowths on detrital cores record the transition from deposition in the paleotrench to subduction-related metamorphism at ca. 73 Ma. The timing of sediment subduction is contemporaneous with extinction of magmatism in the Mojave region, suggesting the two events are linked. Zircon xenocrysts within Miocene plutonic rocks yield age spectra similar to those for the Orocopia Schist, indicating assimilation of the schist during core complex magmatism. Together, these data show the Orocopia Schist of the northern Plomosa Mountains was deposited off the California coast, subducted at ca. 73 Ma and metamorphosed during Laramide subduction underplating and Paleogene exhumation from 73 to 47 Ma, before assimilation into Miocene plutons and final exhumation during core complex extension.


EnviroThursday - “What’s Soil Got to Do With Climate Change”

“What’s Soil Got to Do With Climate Change”

Speaker:  Dr. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Professor of Soil Beigeochemistry, and Falasco Chair in Earth Sciences at the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Merced

The soil system stores twice as much more carbon than the atmosphere and all of the world’s vegetation combined. Exchange of greenhouse gases between the soil and the atmosphere control composition of the earth’s climate. Over the last two centuries, human actions have increased the flux of greenhouse gases from soil to the atmosphere. Recent studies are highlighting the role of soil management to reverse the increasing concentrations of greenhouses in the atmosphere by implementation of climate smart land management practices. This presentation will include discussion on fundamental mechanisms by which soil system controls the earth’s climate, potential of different land management practices to bend the curve of increasing concentrations of greenhouses gases in the atmosphere; and the urgent need to center soils and equity in efforts to address climate change.