New Epoch for UConn Earth Sciences!

This summer, two distinguished full professors will be traveling east from Lincoln, Nebraska to usher in a new epoch for UConn earth science.

On August 23, Tracy Frank will become the new head of the Department of Earth Sciences within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Her husband, Chris Fielding, will become one of our earth science colleagues in Beach Hall. Their double-barreled arrival will raise our program strength to 15 full-time faculty and 3 jointly appointed faculty. Their fully funded graduate students will bring our total count to a record high. And as a special bonus, Tracy and Chris's scholarly teaching and research portfolios complement our existing strengths -- discussions for collaborative proposals are already in the works. Without doubt, the 2021-2022 academic year will be our most exciting year ever!

Tracy Frank and Chris Fielding are both internationally recognized geologists whose primary research and teaching interests involve reconstructing ancient environments during dramatic turnovers in the Earth System. Chief among their mutual interests are the ancient climate changes and extinctions that can serve as partial analogs for the changes we are experiencing in the Anthropocene Epoch. Both are well funded, highly cited, and professionally acclaimed scientists with active field research around the world.

Tracy is originally a Midwesterner born in Iowa who completed graduate work at the University of Michigan. Her research interests are carbonate sedimentology and petrography, low temperature geochemistry, paleoclimate, and paleoceanography with a special interest in mass extinctions. Chris is an Englishman born in Hong Kong who completed graduate work at the University of Durham. His research interests involve sedimentology and the stratigraphic architecture of modern and ancient continental, coastal and shallow marine systems with a special interest in ancient ice ages.

On behalf of all earthlings -- earth science undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, post-docs, staff, faculty, and administrators-- I heartily welcome Tracy and Chris to UConn Nation!

Robert M. Thorson

Department Head (Interim)