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Department of Earth Sciences Department of Earth Sciences

Welcome to the Department of Earth Sciences!

The Department of Earth Sciences was formed in 2002 as part of the College of Arts and Sciences on the main campus of the University of Memphis. Our 14 full-time represent the diverse disciplines of Archaeology, Geography, Geology, and Geophysics.  The faculty foster an interdisciplinary approach to Earth Science studies and research, allowing faculty and students to pursue diverse and innovative education and research studies that might be difficult in more traditional academic departments.  Earth Sciences maintains close ties to several centers and institutes on-campus:  the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI), the Center for Partnerships in GIS (CPGIS), the Ground Water Institute (GWI), Chucalissa Museum, and the Confucius Institute (CIUM).  Our Archaeology faculty have common interests with other Archaeology-related programs at the University of Memphis.

Our undergraduate degree is a B.A. in Earth Sciences, with several concentrations offered in each degree program.  Our course offerings, which are thorough and demanding in all areas, range from cultural and human geographic courses to quantitative and analytical geophysics courses.  Opportunities for coursework in societally relevant areas, such as environmental science and issues, hazards, geographic information science, and natural resource management abound at several levels.

At the graduate level, the M.A. degree is awarded in Geography and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are awarded in Earth Sciences.  Students interested in graduate degree programs in geophysics should contact CERI for more information.  Our graduate program encourages academic and personal growth of students through coursework, research, and professional development opportunities. Students are encouraged to pursue graduate research in a wide range of typical disciplinary areas as well as interdisciplinary studies.  Our program maintains its greatest strength in its research focus areas:

Many aspects of these research foci take advantage of our location along the Lower Mississippi River, which is both near the New Madrid Seismic Zone as well as the region where native American cultures thrived during the pre-Columbian era.  However, our laboratory for field studies ranges across the globe.

We invite you to explore our web site to learn about the types of earth science that we do and educational opportunities that we offer. Please feel free to contact any member of the Department of Earth Sciences for further information.

Check out our recent publications to see specific projects that our faculty and students have been doing:

2013 DES Publications

2012 DES Publications

2011 DES Publications

2010 DES Publications

2009 DES Publications




Dr. Julie Johnson


Timothy Alexander

Khurram Aslam

Michael Ayers

Urbi Basu

Elizabeth Cruzado

Graham Ellsworth

Alberto Jimenez

Chunyu Liu

Yusuf Eshqi Molan

Andrew Moodie

Evan Pressley

Mohammad Shahabuddin

Alireza Shahjouei

Catherine Soplata

Alex Ward




2015 Geology Field Camp

2014 Archaeology Field School



2014 GSA Annual Meeting

2014 AGU meetings


Mapping Civil Rights History Project

Earth Sciences graduate students involved in Memphis aquifer recharge study

Geology major and Ground Water Institute emphasize the environment at Tiger Blue Goes Green

Water on Wheels (WOW) unveiled by the Ground Water Institute at International Paper World Headquarters

Dr. Larsen talks about Memphis water resources on Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club radio show

Interdisciplinary undergraduate student research on medicinal compounds in plants and soils

DES students investigate ground-water contamination at Shelby Farms landfill

2010 U of M Geology field camp Slide Show

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Last Updated: 2/24/15