Dr. Robert B. Cook, Professor

Teaching Responsibilities

Robert B. Cook teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Economic Geology, Igneous Petrology, and the Geology of Organic Matter. Emphasis is placed on the exploration, evaluation and development of metallic, industrial mineral and non-petroleum fuel resources and related environmental considerations.

Research Interest and Current Projects

Dr. Cook's research interests include the development of geochemical exploration parameters for base and precious metals in deeply weathered terranes, mineral deposit evaluation, ore mineralogy, environmental geochemistry, and aggregate resources issues.  His work has led to several discoveries of new, potentially economic metallic mineral occurrences in the southeastern United States. Dr. Cook currently is involved with the development of a state-wide geochemical database, the description of several Piedmont base- and precious-metal deposits,  and the characterization of fluorite-rich pegmatite swarms in central Georgia. He works with the aggregate industry in petrographically related  quality-control issues and the integration of geologic models into mine planning.  Other on-going projects deal with  specific problems related to industrial contamination of shallow groundwater.

Other Professional Activities

Dr. Cook is the past representative of higher education on the Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Geologists and is an Executive Editor of Rocks and Minerals magazine. Dr. Cook is interested in the environmental aspects of hydrogeology, having served on teams evaluating the effects of past disposal of potentially hazardous materials for NASA and the Department of Defense. This and similar work for industry has contributed to the design and establishment of groundwater monitoring systems at sites throughout the southeast.

Selected References

Sterling, J. W., Steltenpohl, M. G., and Cook, R. B., 2005, Geology of the southern exposures of the Bervard zone in the Red Hill
              Quadrangle near Martin dam, Alabama in Steltenpohl, M. G. (ed), Southernmost Appalachian Terranes, Alabama and Georgia,
              Field Guidebook for the Geological Society of America Southeastern Section 2005 Annual Meeting, p. 70-97.

Leicht, W. C., and Cook, R., 2004, The Eagles Nest Mine, Placer County, California. Mineralogical Record, vol 35, p. 65-72.

Cook, R. B., and Pohwat, P., 2003, Llallagua, Bolivia: Mineral associations and habits exhibited by  micromounts in the collection of the
              National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution). Mineralogical Record, v. 34, p. 115. 

Turner, J.P., Saunders, J.A., and Cook, R.B., 2002, Petrographic evidence for amorphous silica precursors and geomicrobiologic
              processes in silicified and pyritized Holocene wood:  Geological Society of  America Annual Meeting Programs with Abstracts,
              p. 493.

Cook, R.B., Nicolson, B.E., and Bruce, I.R., 2002, Reopening of the Tsumeb Mine, Namibia.  Mineralogical Record, v. 33, p. 78.

Cook, R.B., and Nicolson, B.E., 2002, The occurrence of dioptase in African mineral deposits. Mineralogical Record, v. 33, p. 77-78.

Kelley, J.K., Wu, K.K., Ward, B.A., and Cook, R.B., 2002, Highwall Stability in an open pit stone operation:  Proceedings, 21st International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, Morgantown, W.V., p. 228-235.



Dr. Willis E. Hames, Associate Professor

Teaching Responsibilities

'Bill' Hames joined the faculty in 1994 for teaching and research in mineralogy, petrology, and radiogenic isotope geochemistry.  Dr. Hames received his Ph.D. in 1990 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and came to AU via a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Hames teaches undergraduate courses in Physical Geology, Mineralogy, and Petrology, as well as advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in Metamorphic Petrology and Geochronology.

Dr. Hames uses an integrated approach to geologic work that combines several tools of study (field mapping, petrography, the electron microprobe, fluid inclusion techniques, geochronology, and numerical modeling) that allow him to bring a variety of research experiences into classroom instruction and to design projects that match the interests of individual students.

Research Interests and Current Projects

A principal interest of Dr. Hames is the interpretation of Earth's tectonic history as recorded in igneous and metamorphic rocks and minerals.  The general approach to this work is first to study the regional tectonic history of terrains through field mapping and petrology, and then to proceed with more detailed research into the processes that form or change the chemical and isotopic composition of minerals.

For example, Dr. Hames' work in the Appalachians and Caledonides utilizes field relationships and petrology to study the conditions and relationships of the major mountain-building events.  Dr. Hames works to enhance the techniques for this type of research by, for example, investigating the processes that can form and modify garnet composition (commonly used as a basis for temperature and pressure estimates), and by developing new methods and applications for isotopic dating.  Such work has been supported by NSF funding to Dr. Hames and his colleagues, including Dr. Mark Steltenpohl of Auburn University and Dr. Robert Tracy of Virginia Tech.

Much of the current research by Dr. Hames and his students focuses on the evolution of the Early Jurassic 'Central Atlantic Magmatic Province' or CAMP.  Graduate students Daniel Morris and William Branton of Auburn University are studying the petrology of basalt dikes in the southeastern USA and buried flows of the South Georgia Rift basin in an effort to characterize the mechanisms of early Pangean rifting and generation of this large igneous province.  This NSF-sponsored research is in collaboration with Dr. Carolyn Ruppel of Virginia Tech, with scientists at Florida State University (Dr. Vincent Salters and Dr. Paul Ragland) and the University of California at Berkeley (Dr. Paul Renne).

Dr. Hames has worked extensively to enhance and extend the applications of 40Ar/39Ar dating.  Technical innovations in mass spectrometry and 40Ar/39Ar analysis over the past decade, such as micro-sampling with a laser, allow us to address new and increasingly detailed questions about Earth's history.   Much of Dr. Hames' initial work with laser 40Ar/39Ar techniques dealt with laser dating of muscovite from complexly metamorphosed or slowly cooled plutonic rocks.  This work has mainly been pursued with colleagues at MIT (Dr. Kip Hodges and Sam Bowring), the Open University (Dr. Simon Kelley), and Amherst College (Dr. Jack Cheney).  Recently, Dr. Hames geochronologic studies have greatly expanded in scope, and he is currently working to date meteorite impact events (through projects with Dr. David King of Auburn University and Dr. Peter Schultz of Brown University), hominid evolution in Indonesia (with Dr. Andy Kramer of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville), and global climate change in the Carboniferous (with Dr. Hermann Pfefferkorn of the University of Pennsylvania).

This is an exciting time for geochronologic research, as new technical advances facilitate research collaborations and pose new research questions.  Dr. Hames is currently building an automated laser 40Ar/39Ar microanalytical facility at Auburn University, with funding provided by Auburn University.  The new geochronologic facility is scheduled to be commissioned in the fall of 2001.

Selected References

Hames, W.E., Renne, P.R., and Ruppel, C., 2000, New evidence for geologically-instantaneous emplacement of earliest Jurassic Central Atlantic magmatic province basalts on the North American margin. Geology, v. 28, no. 9, p. 859-862.

Klein, A.C., Steltenpohl, M.G., Hames, W.E., and Andresen, A., 1999, Ductile and brittle extension in the Lofoten archipelago, north Norway: implications for differences in tectonic style along an ancient collisional orogen. American Journal of Science, v. 299, p. 69-89.

Schultz, P.H., Zarate, W. Hames, M., Camilion, C., and King, J., 1998, A 3.3-Ma Impact in Argentina and Possible Consequences. Science, v. 282, p. 2061-2063.

Hames, W.E., and Cheney, J.T., 1997, On the retention of 40Ar* in polymetamorphic muscovite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 61, no. 18, p. 3863-3872.

Hames, W.E., and Andresen, A., 1996, The timing of late Paleozoic extension between Norway and Greenland as indicated by laser 40Ar/39Ar muscovite dating. Geology, v. 24, p. 1005-1008.

Dinter, D.A., Macfarlane, A., Hames, W., Isachsen, C., Bowring, S., and Royden, L., 1995, U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology of the Symvolon Granodiorite: Implications for the thermal and structural evolution of the Rhodope metamorphic core complex, northeastern Greece. Tectonics, v. 16, no. 4, p. 886-908.

Hames, W.E., and Bowring, S.A., 1994, An empirical study of the argon diffusion geometry in muscovite. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 124, p. 161-169.



Dr. David T. King, Jr., Professor

Teaching Responsibilities

At the undergraduate level, Dr. King regularly teaches introductory-level Physical Geology, junior-level Lunar and Planetary Geology, and senior-level Stratigraphy.  He is one of several faculty members who offer team-taught graduate courses in sedimentary geology and stratigraphy, including Facies Analysis and Sequence Stratigraphy and Cycles through Earth History. Dr. King also teaches a geology elective course for undergraduates titled Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs. He is a former instructor in the Human Odyssey Program (1997-1999), and now teaches annually in the Concepts of Science Program. From 1980 to 2000, he taught many sections of Historical Geology, Engineering Geology, Advanced Stratigraphy, and other courses under the now-ended quarter system. In addition to teaching, he is an academic advisor for undergraduate students and directs graduate-student research in his specialty areas.

Research Interests and Current Projects  

Dr. King's current research interest is the effect of asteroid and comet impact upon Earth history and the stratigraphic record. His current research projects include studies of (1) Wetumpka impact crater in Elmore County, Alabama; (2) Cretaceous-Tertiary impact-boundary stratigraphy in the Gulf Coastal plain and in Belize and adjacent Mexico; and (3) late Eocene impact-boundary stratigraphy in Italy. From 1980-1995, most of his work focused on facies analysis, sequence stratigraphy, sea-level dynamics, and clastic aquifer properties of Alabama’s Upper Cretaceous stratigraphic section.  He maintains an interest in basic stratigraphic research, particularly in the Gulf Coastal plain and in Belize. In the past, Dr. King has studied Jurassic Smackover Limestone of south Alabama hydrocarbon basins, Waulsortian (Early Mississippian) buildups and reefs in the North American mid-continent and globally, Late Cretaceous dinosaur biogeography, lunar regolith grain sizes, chert petrology and metamorphism, and the petrology and diagenesis of limestone, chalk, and marl. He maintains a strong interest in the history of stratigraphy and is a former Commissioner of the North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature (1997-2000). In 1982, while doing field studies in Montgomery County, Alabama, he discovered the most complete eastern North American tyrannosaurid dinosaur, which is now part of the collection at the McWane Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Since 1980, Dr. King has supervised 15 geology graduate-student (MS) thesis projects.

Dr. King's recent research has been funded by a Dean’s Research Initiative (Wetumpka impact crater), the National Geographic Society (clastic aquifers), Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (Smackover Limestone), and Vulcan Materials Company (Wetumpka impact crater). In the past, his research has been funded by Chevron USA, ARCO, Inc., American Chemical Society, USDA/CSRS/Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, USGS/Water Resources Research Institute, General Crude Oil Minerals, Inc., the National Science Foundation, and Auburn University Grants-in-Aid.

Professional Awards

Dr. King has been honored as the outstanding science/math faculty member in the former School of Arts and Sciences (1985) and as an Auburn Alumni Association outstanding teacher (1989).  

Dr. King received a 2004 Grover C. Murray Award for the outstanding paper in the Transactions of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies.

Selected References  

King, D.T., Jr., L. W. Petruny, and T. L. Neathery, Paleobiologic effects of the Late Cretaceous Wetumpka marine impact, a 7.6-km diameter impact structure, Gulf Coastal Plain, USA: in Cockell, C., I. Gilmour, and C. Koeberl, eds., Biological processes associated with impact events (Impact Studies): Berlin, Springer-Verlag, (in press). 

Pope, K.O., A.C. Ocampo, A.G. Fischer, F.J. Vega, D.E. Ames , D.T. King, Jr., B.W. Fouke, R.J. Wachtman, and G. Kletetschka, Chicxulub impact ejecta deposits in southern Quintana Roo, México, and Belize: in Kenkman, T., F.P. Hörz, and A. Deutsch, eds., Large Meteorite Impacts: Geological Society of America Special Publication (in press).

King, D.T., Jr., K.O. Pope, and L.W. Petruny, 2004, Stratigraphy of Belize, north of the 17th parallel: Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions, v. 54, p. 289-304. 

King, D.T., Jr., and L.W. Petruny, 2003c, Trans-Alabama superbolide of 5 December 1999: EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v. 84, no. 27, p. 253 and 257. 

King, D.T., Jr., L.W. Petruny, and K.O. Pope, 2003, Shallow-marine facies of the Orange Walk group, Miocene-Pliocene, northern Belize (Central America): Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions, v. 53, p. 384-397. 

King, D.T., Jr., T. L. Neathery, and L. W. Petruny, 2003, Crater-filling sediments of the Wetumpka marine-target impact crater (Alabama, USA), in Dypvik, H., M.J. Burchell, and P. Claeys, eds., Cratering in marine environments and on ice (Impact Studies): Berlin, Springer-Verlag, p. 97-113.   

King, D. T., Jr., and L. W. Petruny, 2003b, Stratigraphy and sedimentology of Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary breccia deposits at Albion Island, Belize, in Koeberl, C., and F. Martinez-Ruiz, eds., Impact markers in the stratigraphic record (Impact Studies): Berlin, Springer-Verlag, p. 203-228.

King, D. T., Jr., and L. W. Petruny, 2003a, Application of stratigraphic nomenclature to terrestrial impact-derived and impact-related materials, in Koeberl, C., and F. Martinez-Ruiz, eds., Impact markers in the stratigraphic record (Impact Studies): Berlin, Springer-Verlag, p. 41-64.

King, D. T., Jr., T. L. Neathery, L. W. Petruny, C. Koeberl, and W. E. Hames, 2002, Shallow marine-impact origin for the Wetumpka structure (Alabama, USA): Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 202, p. 41-549. 

Huber, H., C. Koeberl, D. T. King, Jr., L. W. Petruny, and A. Montanari, 2001, Effects of bioturbation through the late Eocene impactoclastic layer near Massignano, Italy, in Buffetaut, E., and C. Koeberl, eds., Geological and biological effects of impact events (Impact Studies): Berlin,  Springer-Verlag, p. 197-216.



Dr. Ming-Kuo Lee,  Associate Professor

Teaching Responsibilities

Ming-Kuo Lee teaches undergraduate courses in Physical Geology and Environmental Geology. At the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels, he teaches courses in Hydrogeology and Groundwater Modeling, both of which emphasize computer modeling techniques.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Lee's research emphasizes numerical modeling of fluid flow, heat transfer, and water-rock interaction in sedimentary basins. Research interests also include sediment diagenesis, stable-isotope geochemistry, groundwater/environmental geochemistry, hydroseismicity, and GIS modeling. Current research involves a variety of projects related to hydrology and geochemistry of fluid migration in the subsurface, including: (1) computer simulation and field investigation of saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifer systems; (2) hydrology and geochemistry of bioremediation; (3) development and preservation of overpressures in various geologic settings; (4) modeling induced seismic activities by hydrologic disturbance (i.e., water table fluctuation) at the land surface; (5) groundwater geochemistry and microbiology of coast plain aquifers; and (6) geochemical modeling with application to deep-well injection, steam flooding, diagenetic alteration, and water quality assessment.

Selected References

Penny, E., Lee, M.-K., and Morton, C., 2003, Groundwater and microbial processes of the Alabama coastal plain aquifers: Water Resources Research, v. 39(11), 1320, doi:10.1029/2003WR001963. 

Lee, M.-K., and Saunders, J. A., 2003, Effects of pH on metals precipitation and sorption: Field bioremediation and geochemical modeling approaches: Vadose Zone Journal, v. 2, 177-185. 

Lee, M.-K., Saunders, J. A., and Wolf, L. W., 2000, Effects of geologic heterogeneities on pump-and-treat and in-situ bioremediation: A stochastic analysis: Environmental Engineering Science, 17, 183-189. 

Lee, M.-K., and Williams, D. D., 2000, Paleohydrology of the Delaware basin, western Texas: Overpressure development, hydrocarbon migration, and ore genesis: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 84, 961-974. 

Williams, D. D., and Lee, M.-K., Crawford, J., Tyree, P., 1999, Analysis of convective heat transfer in deformed and stratified aquifers associated with Frasch thermal mining: Ground Water, v. 37, p. 517-522.



Dr. Ronald D. Lewis, Associate Professor

Teaching Responsibilities

At the undergraduate level, Dr. Lewis teaches Historical Geology and Principles of Paleontology, an introductory course in paleobiology.  He also teaches Invertebrate Paleontology at the advanced-undergraduate and graduate level. This course emphasizes fossil preservation (taphonomy) and includes laboratory experiments. At the graduate level, Dr. Lewis and Dr. Wolf teach a professional development course called Geocommunication, a required course focusing on the journal article and research proposal.  He also teaches the carbonate portion of  Facies Analysis and Sequence Stratigraphy, and along with Dr. Savrda, he teaches a graduate seminar known as Issues in Paleontology.  Directed Studies courses taught by Dr. Lewis include a course in Actualistic Paleontology, the study of modern-day organisms to better interpret life of the geologic past, and a field course in Carbonate Depositional Systems at San Salvador Bahamas.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Lewis' research deals primarily with the taphonomy of echinoderms and other invertebrates.  Dr. Lewis is a strong advocate of the actualistic approach in paleontology, so present-day invertebrates are studied in their natural habitat and are often the subjects of field experiments.  Currently, Dr. Lewis and his graduate students are studying the ecology and taphonomy of modern-day large benthic foraminifera at the outer islands of the Bahamas. The echinoid (sea urchin) fauna of the Bahamas is another current research interest of Dr. Lewis. Cretaceous and tertiary echinoid taphonomy are closely related research interests.

Since coming to Auburn University, Dr. Lewis has established a program of teaching and research at the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas, applying the principles of actualistic paleontology to Recent and Pleistocene deposits there.  To date, four M.S. theses have been completed based on student research done there, and three more are in progress. This program has been funded by Auburn University, the National Science Foundation, AAPG, and GSA.  Dr. Lewis and Dr. Bruce Panuska of Mississippi State University recently edited and published the proceedings volume from the 11th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and Other Carbonate Regions, which includes a good sampling of the varied research done at San Salvador by researchers from across the country.

Dr. Lewis is also pursuing his interest in the history of actualistic research. Recently the focus has been on the life and contributions of Rudolf Richter.

Other Professional Activities

Dr. Lewis is the co-author of a well-received laboratory manual for Historical Geology (Deciphering Earth History: Exercises in Historical Geology), with R.A. Gastaldo and C.E. Savrda, now in its third edition).

Selected References                                                                      FORAMINIFERA

Lewis, R.D., 2004, Foraminiferal assemblages and reef-sediment petrographic criteria as evidence for relative distance from shore for Pleistocene reefs, San Salvador, Bahamas: Preliminary Results, in Lewis, R.D., and Panusca, B.C., eds.,  Proceedings of the 11th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and Other Carbonate Regions, June 6-10, 2002: Gerace Research Center, San Salvador, Bahamas, p. 83-94.  

Peebles, M. W., and R.D. Lewis, 1991, Surface textures of benthic foraminifera from San Salvador, Bahamas: Journal of Foraminiferal Research, v. 21, p. 285-292.

Lewis, R. D., C. R. Chambers, and M. W. Peebles, 1990, Grain morphology and surface textures of Recent and Pleistocene crinoid plates, San Salvador, Bahamas: PALAIOS, v. 5, p. 570-579.

Peebles, M. W., and Lewis, R. D., 1988, Differential infestation of shallow-water benthic foraminifera by microboring organisms: Potential taxonomic biases in preservation potential: PALAIOS, v. 3, p. 345-351.


Schein, J.P., and R.D. Lewis, 2001, The relationship between living echinoid populations and their skeletal remains in the sea-floor sediment, San Salvador, Bahamas, in Greenstein, J.G., and Carney, C.K., Proceedings of the 10th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and Other Carbonate Regions, June 8-12, 2000: Gerace Research Center, San Salvador, Bahamas, p. 163-174.

Lewis, R.D., J.P. Schein, and M.T. Sadler, 2000.  Echinoid skeletal fragments in sea-floor sediment, San Salvador, Bahamas: Fidelity studies using sand-sized material: Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting, Reno, Nevada, November 2000. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 32, n. 7, p. A446.

Lewis, R.D., and M. Sadler, 1997, Meoma ventricosa (Echinodermata): A case study in classical actuopaleontology: Geological Society of America 46th Annual Southeastern Section, March 27-28, 1997. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 29, n. 3, p. 31-32.


Lewis, R.D., 2004, Why was Rudolf Richter's Aktuopaläontologie not embraced by U.S. paleontologists? Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 36, no. 5, p. 245.

Lewis, R.D., 2003, Rudolf Richter and today's actualistic paleontology: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, no. 6, p. 206 



Dr. James A. Saunders, Professor

Teaching Responsibilities

Jim Saunders teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in aqueous and environmental geochemistry, general geochemistry, and economic geology.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Saunders' research involves the geochemistry of metals in shallow crustal fluids, including groundwater, sedimentary brines, geothermal systems, and volcanic epithermal systems. Consequently, an integrated approach of rock petrography, isotopic and trace-element geochemical analyses, and numerical computer models are used to investigate these systems. Results have shed new light on the genesis of hydrothermal mineral deposits and the origin of naturally occurring trace metals in groundwater systems.

Dr. Saunders' current research interests lie in the interaction of natural bacteria with dissolved metals and organic compounds in groundwater and aquifer minerals. In particular, Dr. Saunders is interested in stimulating naturally occurring sulfate-reducing bacteria under anaerobic conditions to remediate groundwaters contaminated by heavy metals and possibly organic compounds as well. His group has been able to raise the pH, and remove these chalcophile metals as metal-sulfide solid phases, particularly as the (Zn,Cd)S sphalerite and apparently as PbS (galena? or amorphous PbS).

Along with Drs. Lee and Uddin, he is currently working on geologic/biogeochemical causes of natural arsenic contamination in groundwater in young sedimentary aquifers in the USA and Bangladesh. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Saunders is also looking at bacterial involvement in certain sediment-hosted ore deposits, such as the Carboniferous carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb-Ag-Ba deposits of Ireland (supported by PRF-ACS).

Other Professional Activities

Dr. Saunders has been an associate editor of Elsevier's Ore Geology Reviews since 1996.

Selected References

Southam, G., Saunders, J.A., 2005, Geomicrobiology of metals and implications for ore deposits: Economic Geology 100th Anniverary Issue (in press).

Saunders, J.A, Lee, M.-K., and Mohammad, S., 2004, Geochemistry and geomicrobiology of arsenic in Holocene alluvial flood-plain aquifers, USA: Implications for universal causative mechanisms and possible bioremediation, in P. Bhattacharya and  J. Bundschuh (eds.) Natural Arsenic in Groundwater, Chapter 25, Taylor and Francis (in press).

Saunders, J.A, Lee, M.K., Mohammad, S., Uddin, A., Wilkin, R.T., Fayek, M., Geologic, biologic and hydrologic processes controlling arsenic mobility in Holocene alluvial aquifers: G-Cubed, (in review).

Lee, M.-K., Saunders, J.A., Mohammad, S., Wilkin, R.T., Harrington, J.,  and Lutes, C., 2004, Strategy for bioremediation of arsenic in groundwater: Book chapter, Remediation of Recalcitrant Contaminants, Battelle Press, Columbus, OH, (in press).

Saunders, J.A., Mohammad, S., Korte, N.E., Lee, M.-K., Fayek, M., Castle, D., and Barnett, M.O., 2004, Groundwater geochemistry, microbiology, and mineralogy of two arsenic-bearing Holocene alluvial aquifers from the USA: Special Publication of the American Chemical Society (in press).

Lee, M.-K., Saunders, J.A., Wilkin, R.T., and Shahnewaz, M., 2004, Geochemical modeling of arsenic speciation and mobilization: Implications for bioremediation:  Special Publication of the American Chemical Society (in press).

Saunders, J.A, Lee, M-K., Wolf. L.A., Geomicrobiology and geophysics of in situ bioremediation using sulfate-reducing bacteria:  Bioremediation Journal (in press)

Lee, M.-K.,Saunders, J.A.,Uddin, A., 2003, Geochemical and hydrologic considerations on evolution of groundwaters in a portion of the Mississippi Embayment: Southeastern Geology, v. 42, p. 83-98.

Lee, M.-K. And Saunders, J.A., 2003, Effects of pH on metals precipitation and sorption: Field Bioremediation and geochemical modeling approaches: Vadose Zone Journal, v. 2, p. 177-185.


Dr. Charles E. Savrda, Professor

Teaching Responsibilities

Chuck Savrda, a recent recipient of an AU Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, teaches undergraduate courses in Historical Geology and Sedimentary Petrology. On the graduate level, he co-teaches Petrology, Geology of Organic Matter, Facies Analysis and Sequence Stratigraphy, Cycles Through Earth History, and Issues in Paleontology.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Savrda’s research emphasizes trace fossils (ichnofossils or biogenic sedimentary structures) and their use in stratigraphic, paleoenvironmental, and paleoceanographic analyses. Interests include: (1) organic-rich mudrocks and benthic oxygenation histories of Phanerozoic marine basins; (2) orbital-climate forcing and rhythmic bedding in North American Cretaceous chalk/marl sequences; (3) Recent and Cretaceous marginal marine facies; and (4) Cretaceous and Tertiary sequence stratigraphy and the ichno-sedimentologic record of sea-level dynamics in marine strata.

Current research funding derives from both USSSP and ACS-PRF. Via participation on ODP Leg 174A (New Jersey margin) and subsequent post-cruise research, Dr. Savrda is helping to understand the sedimentologic and ichnologic record of Tertiary and Quaternary climate and sea-level changes in continental slope settings. With PRF support, he and a team of undergraduate assistants are exploring ichnofabrics in fair-weather and storm-related facies in Cretaceous passive-margin estuaries of the Gulf coast region.

Other Professional Activities

Dr. Savrda serves as co-editor of PALAIOS and Council Member for SEPM, as associate editor of the journal Ichnos, and as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Paleontological Society. He is the co-author of a well-received laboratory manual for Historical Geology (Deciphering Earth History: A Laboratory Manual with Internet Exercises, with R.A. Gastaldo and R.D. Lewis).

Selected Recent References

Savrda, C.E., Browning, J.V., Krawinkel, H., and Hesselbo, S.P., 2001, Firmground ichnofabrics in deep-water sequence stratigraphy, Tertiary clinoform-toe deposits, New Jersey slope. PALAIOS, v. 16, in press.

Savrda, C.E., *Blanton-Hooks, A.D., *Collier, J.W., *Drake, R.A., *Graves, R.L., *Hall, A.G., *Nelson, A.I., *Slone, J.C., *Williams, D.D., and *Wood, H.A., 2000, Taenidium and associated ichnofossils in fluvial deposits, Cretaceous Tuscaloosa Formation, eastern Alabama, southeastern U.S.A.:  Ichnos, v. 7, p. 227-242.

*Locklair, R.E., and Savrda, C.E., 1998, Ichnology of rhythmically bedded Demopolis Chalk (Upper Cretaceous, Alabama): Implications for paleoenvironment, depositional cycle origins, and tracemaker behavior: PALAIOS, v. 13, p. 423-438.

*Locklair, R.E., and Savrda, C.E., 1998, Ichnofossil tiering analysis of a rhythmically bedded chalk-marl sequence in the Upper Cretaceous of Alabama: Lethaia, v. 31, p. 311-322.

Savrda, C.E., *Locklair, R.E., *Hall, J.K., *Sadler, M.T., *Smith, M.W., and *Warren, J.D., 1998, Ichnofabrics, ichnocoenoses, and ichnofacies implications of an Upper Cretaceous tidal-inlet sequence (Eutaw Formation, central Alabama): Ichnos, v. 6, p. 53-74.

Savrda, C.E., 1998, Ichnology of the Bridge Creek Limestone: Evidence for temporal and spatial variations in paleo-oxygenation in the Western Interior seaway, in Dean, W.E., and Arthur, M.A., eds., Stratigraphy and paleoenvironments of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, USA: SEPM Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology No. 6, p. 127-136.

Savrda, C.E., 1995, Ichnological applications in paleoceanographic, paleoclimatologic, and sea-level studies: PALAIOS, v. 10, p. 556-577.

*designates graduate student co-authors



Dr. Mark G. Steltenpohl, Professor

Teaching Responsibilities

Professor Steltenpohl teaches undergraduate courses in Physical Geology, Structural Geology, Independent Field Mapping and Field Methods. On the advanced level and graduate level he teaches courses in Advanced Structural Analysis, Tectonics, and Geodynamics.  Emphasis is place on field studies, geometric analyses, petrofabrics, phase petrology, and 40Ar-39Ar thermochronology.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Steltenpohl's primary research interest lie in the tectonic evolution of continental crust within collisional mountain systems, particularly the Appalachian-Caledonian chain. He maintains active research in the southernmost Appalachians, U.S.A., and in the northernmost Caledonides of arctic Norway.

With continued support from the Norwegian petroleum industry (Basin Thermochronology Project - BAT), Dr. Steltenpohl and his students are actively engaged in field and petrologic studies aimed at deducing the extensional history of the north-central Norwegian margin.  Last summer (2000) funding was switched to the "other side" of the Caledonian mountain belt in East Greenland where the oil companies have renewed interest. Work in the Lofoten Islands of Arctic Norway is on slate for the summer of 2001.  Dr. Steltenpohl also has maintained Department of Interior grants (USGS-EDMAP Program) to map bedrock and analyze structures in the Alabama foreland-fold-and-thrust belt (Valley and Ridge Province), Talladega slate belt, and the high-grade Piedmont Province.  This work is in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Alabama (USGS-STATEMAP Project) and is aimed at characterizing small- and large-scale structures in the area to characterize the geological history, delineating possible contamination of ground water, and supplying data to planners coping with rapid urban expansion.

Other Professional Activities

Professional Steltenpohl has cooperative projects that involve workers and facilities at the following institutions: The Alabama Geological Survey; The U.S. Geological Survey; the Norwegian Geological Survey; the Polish Geological Survey; the University of Wroclaw, Poland; the University of Oslo, Norway; the University of Tromso, Norway; the University or North Carolina; University of Florida; Florida State University; and Sandia National Labs, Albuquerque, N.M.

Selected References

Coker, J.E., Steltenpohl, M.G., Andresen, A., 2000, The geology of western Ullsfjord, north Norway, with emphasis on the development of an inverted metamorphic gradient at the top of the Lyngen nappe complex: Norsk geologisk tidsskrift, v. 80, p. 111-128.

Klein, A., Steltenpohl, M.G., Hames, W.E., and Andresen, A., 1999, Ductile and brittle extension in the southern Lofoten archipelago, north Norway: Implications for differences in tectonic style along an ancient collisional margin: American Journal of Science, v. 299, p. 69-89.

Hanley, T., and Steltenpohl, M.G., 1998, Mylonites and other fault-related rocks of the Pine Mountain and Uchee belts of western Georgia and eastern Alabama: Atlanta Geol. Society Field Trip Guidebook, 33 p.

Hanley, T.B., Chalokwu, C.I., and Steltenpohl, M.G., 1997, Constraints on the location of the Carolina/ Avalon terrane boundary in the southernmost exposed Appalachians, western Georgia and eastern Alabama, in Glover, L., III, and Gates, A.E., Central and Southern Appalachian Sutures: Results of the EDGE Project and Related Studies, Boulder, Colorado: Geological Society of America Special Paper 314, p. 15-24.

Coker, J.E., Steltenpohl, M.G., Andresen, A., and Kunk, M.J., 1995, An 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology of the Ofoten-Troms region: Implications for terrane amalgamation and extensional collapse of the northern Scandinavian Caledonides: Tectonics, v. 14, p. 435-447.



Dr. Ashraf Uddin, Associate Professor

Ashraf Uddin joined the department in 1999. Dr. Uddin received his Masters degree from the University of Hawaii, and Ph.D. from the Florida State University. He completed post-doctoral research and teaching training at the Geology Department and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at FSU. He maintains affiliations as a Research Associate with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the Department of Geology at FSU.

Teaching Responsibilities

Since joining the faculty at Auburn, he has taught undergraduate courses in Physical Geology and coordinated the Physical Geology laboratories. Beginning Fall 2000, he will be teaching Historical Geology and will design upper level and graduate courses in Sedimentary Basin Analysis, Petroleum Geology, and a field- and laboratory-based course on Advanced Sedimentary Petrology.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Uddin's research interests lie mainly in Sedimentary Geology, including clastic sedimentology, sedimentary petrology, tectonics and stratigraphy, basin analysis and provenance studies of sequences deposited in orogenic systems. His work so far has focused on onland sequences of the Himalayan-Assam-Bengal system, including both exposed sections and subsurface geology.

Dr. Uddin's principal ongoing and future research interests are to evaluate the unroofing history of the eastern Himalayas and the Indo-Burman ranges by incorporating detailed sedimentary petrology, fission-track dating and mineral chemistry of selected dense-mineral grains, stable and radiogenic isotopes, and magnetostratigraphy on the sediments from the eastern foredeeps of the Himalayas (Bengal and Assam basins). Other research projects Dr. Uddin has been involved with include: 1) the clastic wedges and provenance history of sediments from various basins (collisional and rift) of the southern Appalachians, with Bill Hames, Chuck Savrda and Mark Steltenpohl; and 2) in-situ bioremediation of arsenic contaminated groundwater in Bangladesh, with Jim Saunders and Ming-Kuo Lee.

Dr. Uddin is also interested in sediment characteristics from the perspective of hydrocarbon generation, migration and accumulation in reservoirs. He is currently beginning projects with petroleum companies to generate and interpret data for a basin-wide correlation for hydrocarbon exploration in Bangladesh.

Selected Publications/Presentations

Uddin, A., Stracke, A., and Odom, A.L., 2000, Isotopic constraints on provenance of Miocene sediments from the Bengal basin, Bangladesh [abs.]: Geol. Soc. Amer. Ann. Proc. Abs. with Programs, v. 32, p. A-311.

Uddin, A., and Lundberg, N., 1999, A paleo-Brahmaputra? subsurface lithofacies analysis of Miocene deltaic sediments in the Himalayan-Bengal system, Bangladesh: Sedimentary Geology, v. 123, p. 227-242.

Uddin, A., Sarma, J.N., Kher, S., Lundberg, N., and Odom, L.A., 1999, Pre-Miocene orogenic history of the eastern Himalayas: Compositional studies of sandstones from Assam, India [Invited abs.]: Eos Trans. AGU, v. 80, n. 17, Spring Meet. Suppl., p. S 313.

Uddin, A., Tull, J., Lundberg, N., Odom, L., and Kish, S., 1999, Collisional unroofing: Clastic wedges of the Paleozoic Appalachians and the Cenozoic Himalayas [abs.]: Geol. Soc. Amer. Ann. Proc. Abs. with Programs, v. 31, p. A73.

Uddin, A., and Lundberg, N., 1998, Cenozoic history of the Himalayan-Bengal system: Sand composition in the Bengal basin, Bangladesh: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 110, p. 497-511.

Uddin, A., and Lundberg, N., 1998, Unroofing history of the Eastern Himalaya and the Indo-Burman ranges: Heavy-mineral study of Cenozoic sediments from the Bengal basin, Bangladesh: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 68, p. 465-472.

Uddin, A., and Lundberg, N., 1996, Detrital record of the eastern Himalaya and the Indo-Burman ranges: Preliminary results from sandstones of the Bengal basin, Bangladesh [Invited abs.]: 11th Himalayan-Karakorum-Tibet Workshop, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, p. 159-160.

Uddin, A., 1990, Shift in depositional patterns during Miocene time in the Bengal basin, Bangladesh [abs.]: Geol. Soc. Amer. Ann. Proc. Abs. with Programs, v. 22, p. A-366.

Uddin, A., 1989, The importance of selecting proper sample suites: An example from Little St. George Island, Florida, in Tanner, W.F., Ed., Proc. 8th Symp. Coastal Sedimentology, Department of Geology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, p. 287-294.

Huque, M.A., and Uddin, A., 1984, A brief palynological study of the recently deposited sediments of the Ganges (Padma) river in the Rajshahi district: Dhaka University Studies, v. 32, p. 91-98.



Dr. Lorraine W. Wolf, Professor

Teaching Responsibilities

Lorraine W. Wolf teaches undergraduate courses in Physical Geology, Engineering Geology, and Applied Geophysics. On the graduate level, she teaches courses in Geophysics and Tectonics. The Applied Geophysics course places special emphasis on practical approaches to environmental and geotechnical problems. The laboratory component of the course offers geology and engineering students hands-on experience with modern geophysical equipment.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Professor Wolf's research interests are in earthquake and controlled-source seismology and in the use of geophysical methods in engineering and environmental assessments. She and her students have engaged in a number of geophysical investigations: 1) crustal structure and evolution of western Alaska and eastern Siberia using seismic data collected in the Bering Strait (supported by the ACS Petroleum Research Fund and collaborative with Stanford, the USGS, the Univ. of Alaska, and Michigan State Univ.);  2) earthquake-induced liquefaction in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (collaborative with Tuttle & Associates and Univ. of Memphis);  3) geophysical evidence of sulfate-reducing bacteria in Coastal Plain aquifers; 4) geophysical mapping of chemical pollutants at landfill sites; and 5) hydrologically-triggered seismicity.

Other Professional Activities

Dr. Wolf has participated in high school teacher training workshops organized by Georgia Tech and co-sponsored by the NSF, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), Princeton University, and the Eisenhower Foundation. Workshops provided Alabama and Georgia teachers with basic information in seismology and familiarized them with tools, software and techniques for use in their classrooms. Wolf has served on an NSF review panel for the Undergraduate Education Instrument and Laboratory Improvement Program. This program funded the purchase of the state-of-the-art geophysical equipment now being used for student research at Auburn.  Prof. Wolf continues as the AU representative to the IRIS Board of Directors.

Selected References  

Wolf, L.W., McCaleb, R.C., Stone, D.B.,  Brocher, T.M.,  Fujita, K., and Klemperer, S., Crustal structure across the Bering Strait: Onshore recordings of a marine multichannel seismic survey, in Miller, E. L.,  and A. Grantz, eds., Tectonic Evolution of the Bering Shelf-Chukchi Sea-Arctic Margin and Adjacent Landmasses, Geological Society of America Special Paper, in press.

Gomberg, J., and L. Wolf, 1999, A possible cause for an improbable earthquake: The 1997 Mw 4.9 southern Alabama earthquake and hydrocarbon recovery: Geology, v. 27, p. 367-370.

Tuttle, M. P., J. Collier, L. W. Wolf, and R. H. Lafferty, 1999, New evidence for a large earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone between A.D. 1400 and 1670: Geology, v. 27, p. 7771-7774.

Wolf, L., J. Collier, P. Bodin, and M. Tuttle, 1998, Geophysical reconnaissance of earthquake-induced liquefaction features in the New Madrid seismic zone:  Journal of Applied Geophysics, v. 39, p. 121-129.

Lee, M-K., and L. W. Wolf, 1998, Analysis of fluid pressure propagation in heterogeneous rocks: Implications for hydrologically-induced earthquakes: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 25, p. 2329-2332.

Wolf, L. W., C. A. Rowe, and R. B. Horner, 1997, Periodic seismicity near Mt. Ogden on the Alaska-British Columbia border: A case for hydrologically-triggered earthquakes? Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 87, p. 1473-1483.

Wolf, L. W., M. G. Steltenpohl, and J. Plescia, 1997, Geophysical investigation of a "suspect" impact crater in Wetumpka, Alabama, 1997, in Neathery, T. L., D. T. King, Jr., and L. W. Wolf, The Wetumpka Impact Structure and Related Features, Southeastern Section of the Geological Society of America Field Trip Guidebook, p. 57-68.

Saunders, J. A., R. C. Thomas, M-K. Lee, and L. W. Wolf, 1997, Geologic evidence for the utility of sulfate-reducing bacteria for in situ anaerobic bioremediation of heavy metal contaminated groundwater, in Proceedings of the Fourth International On Site and In Situ Bioremediation Symposium, New Orleans, LA, v. 3, p. 379-384.



Dr. Jack Carrington, Professor Emeritus

Dr. Jack Carrington retired at the end of winter quarter 1994. He organized the present Department of Geology in 1967 and served as Head of the department from August 1967 through September 1983. There was a hiatus in the offering of a geology curriculum at Auburn University from approximately 1921 to 1967. For the two years prior to his retirement, Dr. Carrington was COSAM's acting associate dean for Academic Affairs. Dr. Carrington was awarded professor emeritus status in April 1994.

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