Between field work in Scotland or Nepal, meetings in Denver or D.C., ushering in new students and celebrating their successes along the way, this page will keep you up to date with the recent happenings related to the UK Structure and Geodynamics Group.


Recent social updates:



Other UK Structure and Geodynamics news:


New student autumn Helfrich joins group

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Rachel hoar successfully defends m.s. thesis

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teton FIELD SEASON 2018

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European field season 2018

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new student brandon spencer joins group

Brandon joined our research group in January of 2018 after completing his B.S. in Petroleum Geology and M.S. in Geology at the University of Oklahoma.  His M.S. thesis analyzed paleoweathering processes using paleomagnetic and field structural relationships.  His Ph.D. work here at UK will focus on the mechanisms and rates of orogenic collapse and decay, using the Scottish and Scandinavian Caledonides as natural laboratories.  Brandon previously worked in the oil and gas industry prior to coming to UK, concentrating on petrophysics and structural geology.


new student meredith swallom joins group

Meredith became a part of the Structure and Geodynamics team in August 2017, after securing her B.S. in Geological Sciences from UK. Throughout her undergraduate career, she cultivated a fervent interest and research skill set in petroleum systems analysis and will be spending the summer as an intern at Pioneer Natural Resources in Dallas, Texas. She will be expanding upon our group’s tectonics work in the Teton Range. Using apatite thermochronology of incised drainage basins and seismic stratigraphy in glacial lakes, Meredith hopes to definitively link tectonic forcing to active surface processes.


teton field season 2017

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nepal field season 2017

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UK IBA TEAM places 3rd at eastern comp

The 2017 UK IBA team placed 3rd at Eastern US regional competition this weekend. Three students from the UK Structure and Geodynamics lab participated (Rachel Hoar, Stephanie Sparks, and Meredith Swallom) as well as two additional UK geology students (Steven Zotto and Alex Reis).


teton field season 2016

Prof. Ryan Thigpen and graduate students Stephanie Sparks, Rachel Hoar, and Patrick Whalen completed two weeks of fieldwork in Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding Bridger-Teton National Forest.


new student stephanie sparks joins group

Stephanie graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2013 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering. She comes to UK in July of 2016 from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science where she was involved with international science and technology policy. Her M.S. will focus on modeling the Himalayan collisional system.


New student Rachel Hoar joins group

Rachel Hoar joined our group in July 2016. For her master's research Rachel will utilize (U-Th)/He and fission track dating of apatite to continue our work on the Teton Range. These analyses will be used to test fault growth models at the crustal scale. Rachel graduated in May 2016 from James Madison University with a B.S. in Geology.