Graduate Opportunities

Graduate opportunities  at Northern Arizona University.

USGS AstroGeology (Flagstaff) - NAU project:  Flynn Creek crater project

 ***  Two years of funding for fall 2015 to Spring/summer 2017


Flynn Creek crater is a 3.8 km diameter, 360 million year old impact structure located in north central Tennessee. The impactor that produced the crater likely struck a shallow sea, punching a flat hole into underlying Ordovician marine limestones, with the crater being filled with black Devonian muds that underwent lithification to become the Chattanooga Shale. Between 1967 and 1979, Dr. David Roddy of the USGS conducted a drilling program at Flynn Creek crater. The drilling program produced more than 3.8 km of nearly continuous core from 18 separate bore holes. These samples are now contained in 2,600 standard core storage boxes archived at the USGS in Flagstaff, Arizona. Using these cores, previous studies have laid the groundwork for understanding this unique impact structure. Since those initial studies, new techniques and technological advancements have made it possible to revisit this crater and the drill core collection such we can fill gaps in the knowledge base and further define the spectrum of marine impact craters. The overarching goal of this three year project is to first document and characterize the drill cores using a combination of bulk rock and microbeam analyses, which in turn will be used to inform and constrain numerical models of the impact event. This intentionally broad approach will use iterations between complementary techniques to address multiple, critical issues regarding the effects of carbonate melting, shock deformation, and impact-induced hydrothermal activity within a well-document marine impact crater. 


Contact for more information:  

Project details:  Dr. Justin J. Hagerty

U.S. Geological Survey

Office Phone: (928) 556-7173



Arctic Glacial Lakes, Catchments and Climate Linkages

We invite applications for graduate students to join a new three-year NSF-funded project focusing on glacial-lacustrine sedimentation to investigate past and future climate change. Three assistantships are available at the MS and PhD levels. Students will develop complementary projects aimed at understanding the major processes that govern sedimentation in Arctic lakes in glaciated catchments. New glacier, hydrology, limnology, and sediment modern-process studies will provide the input data to calibrate and test process-based earth system models. Students will be involved in Arctic fieldwork, where they will gain a more comprehensive understanding of how glaciers, hydrology, and lakes relate to the Arctic system. Please contact Darrell Kaufman or Nick McKay for more information, or visit the project website:

Degree options include:

               • MS Geology

               • MS Applied Geospatial Sciences

               • PhD Earth Sciences & Environmental Sustainability – Climate and Environmental Change emphasis



SESES Graduate School Program Inquiries, please contact Amy Wolkwinsky, Graduate Program Coordinator