Department of Geosciences
North Dakota State University



The Department of Geosciences at NDSU complements its undergraduate geology program with strong research interests. In recent years, members of the Department were PI's or Co-PI's on over $2 million of external funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Education, and other sources. Undergraduate and graduate students are involved in most projects.

The new interdisciplinary graduate program in Environmental and Conservation Sciences (ECS) is playing an increasing role in recruiting graduate students to the Department. The department also offers a minor in Geology.

Allan Ashworth's primary research interests are in paleontology and stratigraphy. He is currently working on the paleoecology of a terrestrial fossil assemblage from the late Tertiary Sirius Group in the Transantarctic Mountains, about 500 km from the South Pole. He is also studying full-glacial beetle faunas from the Pacific Northwest and from southern Chile. As a result of a collaborative study involving testing of biogeographic hypotheses using molecular genetics, he has become progressively more interested on how the results of paleontological studies might be used to predict the response of insects to global warming.

Donald Schwert has diverse research interests, ranging from reconstruction of late Quaternary climates to the development of tools for enhancing earth science education. He currently serves as the Director of NDSU's Center for Science and Mathematics Education.

Bernhardt Saini-Eidukat is has studied the origin of silicic magmatism in northern Patagonia, Argentina, that is not directly attributed to subduction and arc formation. His current work involves investigating an ore deposit of the rare metal germanium. He is also involved in research to assess whether active learning of geologic concepts be promoted using role-playing software. Other projects include investigations of heavy metals in soils of the upper midwest.

Ken Lepper's research is centered around technique development and advanced applications for Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating, an emerging tool for Quaternary geochronology and geomorphology studies.  Specific areas of interest include development and refinement of analytical methods with the goal of more accurate dating of waterlain sediments (fluvial, glacial-fluvial lacustrine, glacial-lacustrine) as well as adaptation of the technique for age dating on Mars.

Adam Lewis teaches and conducts research in glacial geology and long-term climate change. His research focuses on the growth of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and its influence on global climate evolution. His current research centers on a collection of ancient lake beds that hold exceptionally well-preserved fossil assemblages of tundra plants and animals that inhabited Antarctica just before it was plunged into the extreme cold and aridity.

Peter Oduor carries out research on the fate and transport of contaminants in groundwater systems using experiments, field observations, and theory. He also applies Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to model flow in 4-D.

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