Current and Past Events

The Department of Earth & Space Sciences at West Chester University frequently hosts speakers from national lecture series. The presentations are open to the public and typically held each Fall Semester on Thursdays, unless otherwise noted, from 4:00-4:50pm on Zoom. 

Click Here for Zoom Seminar Link

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A panel of alumni speak to current students about their career paths in industry, education, and graduate school

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Students work on their resumes and interview skills


Date Speaker(s) Title Zoom Recording Link
September 3
Drew Anderson
Matthew Binder
Strategies to Communicate Science Effectively to Your Audience Click Here to Access Recording
September 10
Dr. Callen Bentley


Visualization in Geology: a Brief History, Best Practices, and Dispatches from the Future. Click Here to Access Recording
September 17
Ruth Arnoff
Revealing a Hidden Mountain Range in Proterozoic North America


Click Here to Access Recording
September 24
Mike Powers
Groundwater Flow and Ponds Development in a Salt Marsh
Click Here to Access Recording
October 1
Ryan Stauffer
NASA's Monitoring of Atmospheric Ozone: The View from the Ground, Air, and Space. Click Here to Access Recording
October 8
Arianna Soldati
Lab Volcanoes: an Experimental Insight into Lava Flow Dynamics
Click Here to Access Recording
October 15  
Emily Peterman
Nanoscale Evidence of Tectonic-Scale Processes Recorded in Zircon
Click Here to Access Recording
October 22
Dr. Tim Lutz


Probability-Based Scenarios of Flood Futures: Reaching Across the Objective-Subjective
Click Here to Access Recording
October 29
Daniel Bochicchio, John Ennis, Martin Helmke
Recent Advancements in UAS (Drone) Technologies for Geologists and Allied Scientists


Click Here to Access Recording
November 5 Open House    
November 12
Darryl Reano
Centering Indigenous Perspectives within Geoscience Education Research
November 19
Cynthia Hall
Characterization of Lead Particles in Contaminated, Urban Soils as an Assessment of Public Health Risk
Click Here to Access Recording
November 26 No Seminar -- Thanksgiving Holiday    
December 3 Earth and Space Science Faculty Research Opportuniaties at the Department of Earth and Space Sciences Click Here to Access Recording
Attend GSA 2020 for a Robust Scientific Program Delivered to You

GSA Speaker

GSA meetings are known for quality science covering a variety of disciplines. With 200 topical sessions, five Pardee Symposia, and four Feed Your Brain sessions, we’re delivering new scientific discoveries to you.

  • Listen to the experts at a Pardee keynote symposia. Topics include: The Next Generation of Geoscience Leaders: Strategies for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion; Challenges and Solutions for a Changing Climate: New Directions for GSA; Our Coastal Futures: Working Together to Understand Hazards and Mitigate Disasters; Frontiers of Research, Discovery, and Societal Impact in the Hydrologic Sciences; Assembling Laurentia: Turning Points in the Geologic Evolution of Laurentia.
  • Use the meeting app to explore more than 200 topical sessions covering a broad range of the geosciences.
  • Take a virtual field trip to Canada.


Register Now


Check out this short video on Biogeodynamics

Biogeodynamics is an emerging transdisciplinary field that explores how Earth's tectonic evolution is reflected in its biosphere. In this video, we explore the history of biogeodynamics and its relationship to how life and the solid earth evolved. Originally presented at the Geological Society of America 2020 Meeting

GSA 2020 biogeodynamics

Special Courses

International Field Trips (ESS 348/548)

The Department offers field courses to study and explore geology in regions outside the United States. The field study is conducted under the supervision of West Chester faculty and graduate students, during which students learn to apply geology field methods to study geomorphology and morphotectonics. Here is a summary International trips in the past:

2009 - Peru

2011 - Costa Rica

2013  - Russia

In conjunction with Moscow State University, several students studied the most preserved geologic regions of all Europe; the Khibiny Mountains and Lovozero Tundra, the Baltic Shield.

2015 - Costa Rica

2017 - Jamaica

2018 - Iceland

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students! For more information, please contact

Dr. Daria Nikitina


Geology of the National Parks (ESS 394/594 and 395/595)

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Every two years in late summer, the Department offers a course studying field geology in the Western U.S., alternating between the NW Parks (in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana) and SW Parks (in Arizona and New Mexico). In this multi-week experience, students conduct geologic mapping exercises and investigating stratigraphy, tectonic history, structural geology, igneous petrology, geomorphology, hydrogeology, soils, natural hazards, and economic resources of the national parks.

For more information, please contact

Dr. Martin Helmke

Field Trips

ESS 201 October 2020

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Gordon Natural Area

The Gordon Natural Area (also referred to as 'the Gordon' and ‘the GNA’) occupies approximately 135 acres along the southeastern corner of West Chester University's campus and is administered in collaboration with the University's Office of Sustainability. Established as a protected area in 1971, the GNA has since served as a refuge for local wildlife and native plants, and as a multi-use setting for researchers, nature lovers, runners, dog walkers, and people looking to reconnect with the natural world.

Student Research

2014 Northeastern Section Conference of GSA

WCU Geology majors presented their research posters at the 2014 Northeastern Section Conference of the Geological Society of America. A total of seven WCU students presented research posters that week - a record for the Department, and one of the larger University groups at the meeting.

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Field Trips

Petrology Field Trips 1

Petrology Field Trips 2

Petrology Field Trips

Sedimentology & Stratigraphy Field Trips

Sedimentology & Stratigraphy Field Trip 1

Sedimentology & Stratigraphy Field Trip 2

Structural Geology Field Trips

Structural Geology Field Trip 1

Structural Geology Field Trip 2

Summer Southwestern Parks Field Trip

Summer Southwestern Parks Field Trip

Service Learning Projects

Earth Day Fair - 2014

To benefit local land preservation and ecosystem restoration programs. 

Earth Day Fair 2014

Annual Garlic Mustard Pull

Students harvesting this non-native plant in the Gordon Natural Area.

Garlic Mustard Pull

Annual Clean-Up of Goose Creek in West Chester

Geoscience students participate in the Chester Ridley Crum Watershed Association's annual clean-up of Goose Creek.

Goose Creek Cleanup Volunteer

Goose Creek Cleanup Volunteer

Tree Planting Along the Brandywine

Students planting trees along the Brandywine Creek to benefit local land preservation and ecosystem restoration programs.

Planting Along the brandywine volunteers

Planting Along the brandywine volunteers

Native Plant Gardening

Students gardening native plants at Hildacy Preserve, Natural Lands Trust

Land Preservation Project Volunteers

Brandywine Polar Plunge 2014

Students took the plunge for this fundraising event to keep the Brandywine and Red Clay Watersheds
clean and healthy, and to support environmental education at the Myrick Center.

Polar Bear Plung Sign: Today's temperatures 32 degrees, Air temperature 37 degrees

Brandywine Polar Bear Plunge sign

Brandywine Polar Bear Plunge participants


Alumni Spotlights

Alumni Spotlight

  • Dan Bochiocchio

    Name: Daniel Bochiocchio, Class of 2017
    WCU Degree: M.S. Geoscience
    Current Location: West Chester, PA
    Occupation: Geoscientist-In-Training, Drone Pilot

    The initiative to purchase drones allowed me to pursue a new skill that has advanced my career progress three-fold. Given the resources from West Chester University Earth and Space Sciences I was given the opportunity to learn the steps of acquiring new data collection tools, learn to apply them to my field of interest, and continue to capitalize on that value by starting my own business using the skills I had learned. If not for this experience at WCU I would not have learned a new skill set, started a successful business, and moved myself to a higher position within a new company that would have required three-times the amount of time spent in a traditional career track to reach my current level.

  • Malcom Morris

    Name: Malcolm Morris
    WCU Degree: B.S Geoscience: Geology Concentration 2016
    Current Location: Upper Darby, PA
    Occupation: Field Technician, Groundwater & Environmental Services (GES).

    The faculty at WCU helped me to attain my degree in a field I am passionate about. More than that, they have instilled in me life lessons and experiences which I will cherish years after my graduation. I must stress the importance of a college education, not only for facilitating your potential career, but for the advancement of your mind. With that said I wholeheartedly recommend any prospective students to consider an education with West Chester University.


  • Krissy Sherlock

    Name: Krissy Sherlock
    WCU Degree: B.S Geoscience: Earth Systems 2015
    Current Location: Charleston, SC
    Occupation: Graduate Student at College of Charleston, Graduate Assistant in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning

    During my time in the Earth and Space Science Department I grew not only as a professional, but as a person. Not only did I gain skills and knowledge needed to advance my career, I also made a great group of friends and had the best experience. I got the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research with Dr. Joby Hilliker, while leading on the executive board of the honors earth science fraternity. Currently, I am working on my master’s degree at the College of Charleston. I plan on obtaining a master’s in both environmental studies and public administration. I am applying the knowledge and skills that I gained from the department of earth and space sciences to my thesis work focusing on meteorological hazards management.

  • Sarah Sharkey

    Name: Sarah Sharkey
    WCU Degree: M.A. Geoscience 2014
    Current Location: State College, PA
    Occupation: Research Assistant at Penn State University

    The amount of time the department dedicates to being in the field and working in teams was an invaluable experience for the start of my career. I use skills I learned from my research in the Gordon Natural area, my multi-disciplinary classes, and time spent in the GIS lab in my current position as a research assistant for the NSF Critical Zone Observatories program. I wanted a versatile degree and I feel confident my master’s education at WCU has prepared me to move from academia to industry as I navigate my career path in the field of Earth Science.

  • Rebecca Flannery

    Name: Rebecca Schremp Flannery
    WCU Degree: B.S. Earth Science/Geology 1997, Teacher Certification 2003, M.A. Geoscience 2007
    Current Location: PA Department of Environmental Protection
    Occupation: Geologic Specialist

    When I started at WCU, I chose the Geology Department because I thought it would be interesting. Right away, all the students and teachers in the department made me feel welcome, like one big happy family. I currently work at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection using my degree as a Geologic Specialist. I work in the Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields section, where I use state regulations to make sure that responsible parties clean up soil and groundwater contamination to an appropriate standard.

    My education at West Chester has been ongoing since I started there in 1993. I’m currently pursuing my Professional Geologist (P.G.) license since this was not available when I graduated. Throughout my years at WCU, the professors and staff have always been there to help me out, answer questions and offer support. I feel that all the classes that I took in receiving my degrees have helped me understand and be more prepared for my job.

  • Jennie Matkov

    Name: Jennie Matkov, B.S.
    WCU Degree: B.S. Geoscience Geology, Anthropology Minor, 2009
    Current Location: West Chester, PA
    Occupation: Research Assistant, Stroud Water Research Center, Avondale, PA

    "The incredible field experiences and warm community of the West Chester University department of Geology and Astronomy facilitated such a wonderful learning environment. Not only did I learn the technical intricacies of the geoscience field, but most importantly I was taught how to continually apply this knowledge in creative ways to ask more questions and to solve multidisciplinary problems. The amazing faculty in this department created in me an ability to build my career within the context of who I am and where I want to go."

  • Russel Losco

    Name: Russell Losco, B.A., M.A., PG, CPSS
    WCU Degree: M.A. Geoscience, 2009
    Current Location: West Grove, PA
    Occupation: Principal Geologist & Soil Scientist, Lanchester Soil Consultants, Inc

    Completing a master’s degree in geoscience at West Chester University opened countless opportunities for me. In addition to allowing me to become licensed as a Professional Geologist, I am now an adjunct professor, a published author with several peer-reviewed publications, and am active on a national scale in research and in professional organizations. The geographical range and scope of my work has increased dramatically based upon the knowledge and experience that I gained through West Chester.

  • Maureen Moore

    Name: Maureen Moore, class of 2007
    WCU Degree: B.S. Geology & B.S.E.D. Earth & Space Science Secondary Education (dual degree)
    Occupation: Geologist, Newmont Mining Corporation

    While attending West Chester University, I got the opportunity to be a part of the Geology & Astronomy Department. The well-rounded education I received from West Chester University has set me up to use my degree in a variety of disciplines within the field of Geology and Earth Sciences. Prior to pursing a graduate degree in Economic Geology and Ore Deposits, I had the opportunity to work for an environmental consulting firm directly supporting DuPont. I am currently working as a geologist in the emerging talent program at Newmont Mining Corporation in Denver, Colorado. The emerging talent program allows students coming out of graduate school to get exposed to the different geologic disciplines within the mining industry. My current focus within the program is precious and base metal mineral exploration. Without the solid geologic foundation I received from WCU, I would not have the opportunities I have.

  • Tom Watters

    Name: Dr. Tom Watters
    WCU Degree: B.S. Earth Sciences, 1977
    Current Location: Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
    Occupation: Senior Scientist and Chair, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies

    My time at West Chester University set me on a path to become a planetary scientist. George Reed, Sy Greenberg, and the others were more than my teachers; they were my mentors and my friends. What success I’ve achieved as a scientist, I owe in large measure to them.

  • Laura Mazzagatti

    Name: Dr. Laura Mazzagatti
    WCU Degree: M.S. Geoscience
    Current Location: West Chester, PA
    Occupation: Secondary Education Science Teacher

    In obtaining my Masters from WCU, I have been able to combine my passion for both science and children as a Secondary Education Teacher. I have been pleasantly surprised by how rewarding and fulfilling this profession is and I enjoy brightening the minds of students with Astronomy, Geology, Meteorology, Physical Science and Environmental Science. I have WCU to thank for their incredible graduate program and talented professors.


Coming Soon!


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