Events of Interest to Geology and Environmental Geoscience Folks

Guest speakers, department events, or events on campus that we think might be of interest to you.

2020-2021: As you can imagine there are fewer talks this year and any we do offer will be via Zoom. Contact Sarah with any questions.

Monday, April 12, 3:00pm in G22: Geology Senior Thesis Presentations, Awards Ceremony and End of Year Department Picnic.
Hear about the research thesis students completed, find out who will receive Geology Department awards (see awards here), and a enjoy very yummy dinner from TAPS. If you want dinner, you need to RSVP to Sarah by Monday morning April 12.

March 23-25: Environment Virginia Symposium. Speakers, workshops, presentations and more about the environmental industry. See the website. This event is sponsored by the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics. Contact Sarah about registration fee.

Thursday, March 18 at 1:00pm: Learn about Quantum Computing! Dr. Irina Mazilu's class on Modeling and Simulation of Physical Systems in the Department of Physics and Engineering will be hosting guest lecturer Tom Marcais, our Senior Technology Integration Specialist - STEM, for a session on QuantumComputing. We'd like to invite any members of the Washington and Lee community that are interested in this topic to join us at the following Zoom link on March 18th, from 1:00-3:05pm:

During this session, Tom will explain what quantum computing is and how it differs from classical computing. He will describe various different types of physical systems used for quantum computing, how qubits work and how to get started with coding for quantum computers. He'll also describe practical applications for quantum computing and how they're already being used in areas such as encryption, healthcare, meteorology, artificial intelligence and finance. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to learn more about one of the quickest-evolving emerging technologies of our time!

Thursday, March 18, 4:00pm: Join the Office of Career and Professional Development for the Change Maker Series to hear from alumni about their experiences in enacting change through social innovation and responsible leadership to make the world a better place. For this event on Sustainability, hear from Laura Strickler '08, Senior International Affairs Specialist, NOAA. Strickler is a specialist in international negotiations on marine and atmospheric science and policy, with particular expertise in Arctic affairs, including US engagement in the Arctic Council and bilateral relations with Canada and Russia. Register on Handshake.

Thursday, March 11, 4:00pm: Join the Office of Career and Professional Development for the Change Maker Series to hear from alumni about their experiences in enacting change through social innovation and responsible leadership to make the world a better place. For this event on Sustainability, hear from Lewis Perkins '93, President of the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii).
RSVP in Handshake:

Friday, February 26, 2:00pm: Dr. Dawn J. Wright is Chief Scientist at ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) and an amazing oceanographer. There'll be an interview with her, as an awardee of GSA's Bromery Award for Minorities. This will be highly informative for anyone interested in geosciences, climate change, oceans, information systems, and more. Register here.

Bonus: here's a link to a talk Dr. Wright gave February 2019 at William and Mary. Enjoy.

Thur-Fri, Feb 25-26: Georgia Tech Energy Club Southeast Energy Conference. Virtual conference. Wow. Check this out. Free.

Friday, February 12, 12:30pm: The American Assoc of Petroleum Geologists is presenting Joe Cartwright of University of Cambridge, who will speak on "Highly focused fluid migration and expulsion in sedimentary basins." In his talk, Joe Cartwright summarizes the evidence obtained from 3-D seismic for highly focused fluid migration and expulsion in sedimentary basins, with a particular focus on hydrocarbon migration. The most direct evidence is in the form of blow out pipes- structures formed from venting of highly overpressured pore fluids from deep overpressured compartments. The seismic expression of these pipes is reviewed from a range of basin settings, and a model is presented for their formation that involves hydraulic fracturing and self-organisation of fluid flow into cylindrical conduits. He concludes with a discussion of the implications of these examples of extreme overpressure venting for petroleum systems and for geologic sequestration of CO2. To register:

Monday, Feb 8, 7:00pm: Webinar with Catherine Coleman Flowers, Ms. Flowers is an environmental activist, writer and the founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice. Her recently published book, Waste: One Woman's Fight Against America's Dirty Secret, explores the environmental justice movement in rural America. In 2020 she was selected as a MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient and was also appointed by Joe Biden to be on his Unity Task Force on Climate Change. Register at This event is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program.

Thursday, Feb 4, 7:00pm: Environmental Consulting: Life in a Service Industry, a presentation by Neth Walker '04 (BS Geology and ENV) and Travis McGuire, P.E. with GSI Environmental Inc. in Houston, TX. Ever wanted to know how to best apply your geology or environmental studies degree? Ever wanted to know what a consulting geologist or engineer actually does with their life? Ever wanted to sample for gasoline in groundwater at 3 am in sub-freezing temperatures while next-generation fighter planes keep you awake? If so, then come hear from Neth and Travis in a fascinating tell-all about environmental consulting, the many different aspects of this career field, and how to land a coveted job with fellow like-minded nerds. A brief presentation will be followed by ample Q&A. Register here. This will be recorded so if you can't make it live, write to Sarah Wilson to access the recording. This event is sponsored by the Geology Department.

Neth is a hydrogeologist, registered Professional Geologist (P.G.) and registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) with GSI Environmental Inc. He has over nine years professional experience in the environmental field, which includes site investigation, risk assessment, litigation support, remediation engineering, and application of storm water best management practices to projects involving contaminants in soil, groundwater, soil gas, and air. He has been involved with numerous regulatory projects under both state and federal (e.g., Superfund) oversight.

Mr. McGuire is a Vice President and Principal Engineer with GSI Environmental Inc. Since joining GSI in 2002, he has provided consulting expertise on a broad range of projects including environmental due diligence, site investigation, risk assessment, chemical fate and transport, remediation, cost allocation, property redevelopment, vapor intrusion, and litigation matters. His project experience has included evaluation, design, and costing related to treatment of chlorinated solvents, metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, and oilfield materials, investigation and treatment of non‐aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) source zones, innovative approaches to monitored natural attenuation (MNA), and chemical fate and transport modeling. Mr. McGuire has designed and implemented remediation systems at sites located throughout the United States and internationally and he has successfully worked with environmental regulators at the local, state, and federal level.

Appalachian Trail Becomes Interdisciplinary Classroom

On March 2, 2019, a group of about 40 students, faculty, and staff went out to Brown Mountain Creek to learn about a freedmen community and the geology of the area -- and to hike and meet new people. It was a great success. Photos and story by Shelby Mack, April 12, 2019. (Chrome may not work for this slideshow.)