Professor Niemi

During August and early September 2014, Professor Tina Niemi from the Department of Geosciences will travel to India on a Senior Fulbright Specialist Award (#5595) to Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India. She will be teaching tectonics and paleoseismology seminars, interacting with scholars and faculty, and helping with a curriculum audit. During her stay at Kurukshetra University, Niemi hopes to develop new research directions and collaborations on the earthquake hazards and tectonic geomorphology of the Himalayan Mountain frontal system. She will also be visiting the India Institute of Technology in Roorkee, the Institute of Seismological Research near Ahmedabad, and the Wadi Institute of Himalayan Geology.



Qasr et-Tilah archaeological site

Dr. Niemi and students

Dr. Tina Niemi led six UMKC students on a three-week expedition to the archaeological site of Qasr et-Tilah located directly on the Wadi ‘Arabah fault south of the Dead Sea in Jordan. Three UMKC undergraduate students, Robyn Daniels, Tori Rosi, and Darren Wilson, were pursuing SEARCH (Student’s Engaged in Artistic and Academic Research) projects funded by UMKC. Interdisciplinary Ph.D. student, John Rucker, helped lead the team to collect environmental, climatic, and paleoearthquake data from the archaeologically stratified material at the site. Precision GPS data were collected by doctoral candidate Sean Polun from MU and Abd Abueladas (IPhD, UMKC) using Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS equipment from MU. This cooperative and collaborative project, a continuation of Dr. Niemi’s long-running Wadi ‘Arabah Earthquake Project, focused this year on exploring the pre-6th century earthquakes and the environmental data found within the water management systems at this ancient site which was likely founded in the 1st century AD. Students will present their findings at the North-Central sectional meeting of the Geological Society of America and at the SEARCH symposium in April. The research was funded in part through a Senior Fellows for Byzantine Studies to the Trustees for Harvard University grant from the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library.


APRIL - 2011

Invention to Extract Atmospheric Water

Undergraduate Environmental Science majors James Mitchell and Cheryl Immethuen present Phase I of their national award winning invention to extract atmospheric water for drinking at the national EPA Earth Week celebration on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Please include the attached photo.

Powershift Workshops

Undergraduate Environmental Studies majors lead group of UMKC students to attend Powershift in Washington, DC. The students attend numerous workshops to learn about the post-carbon future, grass-roots organizing, and alternative energy.

The Geological Society of America honors UMKC professor - Syed Hasan receives 2009 Meritorious Service Award

The Boulder, Colo.-based Geological Society of America’s Engineering Geology Division recently honored University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Department of Geosciences Professor Syed Hasan with its 2009 Meritorious Service Award. Established in 1982, the award recognizes outstanding efforts of deserving Geological Society of America members. Selection criteria are rigorous and only those who have a distinguished record of accomplishment and service to the profession are considered for this prestigious award.

“Having received this meritorious service award is not only a great personal honor,” Hasan said. “More importantly, it brings visibility to the UMKC for its faculty caliber at the national and international levels.”

Having taught at UMKC for 30 years, Hasan serves as director of UMKC’s Center for Applied Environmental Research and regularly publishes articles in national and international journals. He authored a college textbook titled “Geology and Hazardous Waste Management” (Prentice Hall, 1996), which received the Claire P. Holdredge Award from the Association of Engineering Geologists. In 2002, he received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Educator for Missouri award.

In addition to his career as a highly-reputed academic, Hasan has served as a professional engineering and environmental geologist. From 1968 to 1973, he conducted engineering geologic investigations for large dams, tunnels, and power plants in the northwestern Himalayan region of India. A fellow of the Geological Society of America, Hasan provides ongoing service to the Geological Society of America as second vice chair of its Geology and Health Division. He served as chair of the Kansas City-Omaha Section of the Association of Engineering Geologists from 1989-91 and chair of the Engineering Geology Division from 2006-07. He has spoken on environmental issues at international meetings sponsored by the Government of India-United Nations and the Kuwait Government, and has appeared on National Public Radio’s “Science Friday” program as an expert in underground space development. Hasan received a Master of Science degree from Roorkee University in India and a PhD. in engineering and environmental geology from Purdue University.

Established in 1888, The Geological Society of America offers support to the professional growth of earth scientists at all levels of expertise and from all sectors: academic, government, business, and industry. The Geological Society of America is an expanding global membership society with more than 22,000 members in 97 countries, across the globe in a common purpose to study the mysteries of our planet and share scientific findings.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.


May - 2009

New Minor in Sustainability Launched

With President Barack Obama planning to create 5 million green jobs and the Federal government funding a Kansas City Climate Sustainability Center, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is searching for additional ways to prepare students for green-collar jobs. Adding to UMKC’s green arsenal of sustainability-focused courses, 80-plus member Sustainability Team, Clean Commute bicycle program, LEED-certified construction projects and an energy savings plan that will save about $1.6 million each year – students from all areas of study can declare a Sustainability Minor as of May 26, 2009. The 18-hour minor integrates a wide range of fields, including geosciences, engineering, ethics, urban planning and design, economics, history, philosophy, political science and public administration. Through in-class lectures and a local environmental sustainability internship, the minor will teach students about the planning and policies involved in creating sustainable changes in an urban setting. “Sustainability is not just a buzz word,” said Molly Davies, Associate Professor of Geosciences and Director of UMKC’s Environmental Studies Program. “It is a perspective and academic area critical to our future, and it is an area that unifies the natural and social sciences. There is significant growth and demand for employment in this field worldwide.” To complete the minor, a student must complete an applied project or internship and take one three-hour course in each of the following areas: Earth Systems and Resources, Sustainable Thinking, Sustainable Planning and Policy, Sustainable Design and Analytical Tools.continue...


May - 2009

Geosciences Museum Renamed

Thanks to Dr. Richard L. Sutton, Jr., the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Department of Geosciences – under the guidance of then-department chair Eldon J. Parizek – was able to open the UMKC Geosciences Museum in 1973, hire student curators to maintain the museum and thus encourage more people to study science. In honor of the late Dr. Sutton’s generous contributions of time and financial support, the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Geosciences is changing the museum’s name to the Richard L. Sutton, Jr., M.D. Museum of Geosciences. The renaming ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 2 at Richard L. Sutton, Jr., M.D. Museum of Geosciences, 271 Robert H. Flarsheim Hall, 5110 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, Mo. Anyone is welcome to attend. Dr. Sutton – a distinguished dermatologist and adjunct geology faculty member – donated more than half the museum’s fine specimens of minerals, gems and fossils and all the museum’s double-level display cases. The museum’s Richard L. Sutton, Jr., M.D. Collection includes a giant ammonite fossil shell, which measures 30 inches across and is estimated to be about 80 million years old and a spectacular fossil clam composed of precious opal from Australia. The collection’s 3,000+ specimens come from around the world with representatives from all continents. Dr. Sutton’s cephalopod collection has been called a Missouri state treasure. continue...


March - 2009

GIS Program

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited last month’s national unemployment rate at 8.1 percent, the Bureau predicts geographic information systems-related jobs to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016. By offering an Advanced Certificate Program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – which has enrolled recently-unemployed professionals – and hosting a Geographic Information Systems Business Forum, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is preparing students for what the U.S. Department of Labor cites as one of the three most important evolving fields. The forum is set to take place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 at UMKC’s Royall Hall, Room 104, 800 E. 52nd St. GIS users from local companies and agencies, as well as university faculty and students will attend the forum. The forum is free and open to the public. continue...


May - 2008

Geography student (Dustin Jensen) named Student Affair Honor Recipient

University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management has named Dustin Grey Jensen a 2008 Honor Award recipient, one of 10 graduating seniors to be commended for both academic achievements and participation in programs outside the classroom. The honor award program was established in 1975 to recognize graduating seniors who excelled in academic achievement, involvement in university programs and service to the campus and surrounding community. Jensen will graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography. After graduation, Jensen would like to enter a rigorous graduate program. He is currently an employee of the Metropolitan Energy Center, a nonprofit organization that works to create resource efficiency, environmental health and economic vitality in the Kansas City region. He will receive a promotion to associate executive director of the MEC upon graduation. In addition to these duties, Jensen has been actively involved in campus committees including UMKC Campus Facilities Sustainability Team and UMKC Facilities Steering Committees for Oak Street West Residence Hall Development. continue...


April - 2007

Geography student (Dustin Jensen) lands prestigious Udall Scholarship for a second time

The Morris K. Udall Scholarship is one of the most coveted honors sought by the nation’s highest achieving college and university students. University of Missouri-Kansas City junior Dustin Jensen not only has the honor of accepting the $5,000 scholarship but the prestige of having accomplished that feat for a second year in a row. Jensen is among only 80 students nationwide to be named a 2007 Udall Scholar. More than 430 candidates were nominated for the honor by 221 colleges and universities. The students were selected on the basis of their academic achievements, leadership potential and commitment to pursuing careers in the fields of environment or tribal health care and public policy. At UMKC, Jensen is ambitiously pursuing three degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in Geography and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs. Upon graduation, he plans to seek a master’s degree in public administration with the aim of pursuing a career in the non-profit sector promoting energy and waste conservation. Jensen is particularly interested in environmentally friendly residential and commercial building sciences and urban planning. He’s already a veteran in the field, having invested thousands of hours in community non-profit agencies including the Metropolitan Energy Center, Habitat Humanity Restore and the Missouri Waste Control Coalition. continue...


March - 2007

Geosciences begins new NSF funded partnership with the Kansas City Missouri School District

Kansas City Missouri School District (KCMSD) Superintendent Anthony Amato will kickoff a new partnership with the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) College of Arts & Science and School of Education. The kickoff takes place at 3 p.m. March 8 at the Southwest High School Planetarium at 6512 Wornall Road. Amato is expected to speak briefly at the event, which will include an information session about GEOPATHS, as well as a tour of the Planetarium. "This kind of program enhances the goals that we have set forth to increase academic standards in science and mathematics," said Amato. "We are looking forward to this partnership with UMKC and its faculty."

GEOPATHS (Geoscience Education Opportunities: Partnerships to Advance Teaching and Scholarship) is a four-year program funded by the National Science Foundation and will accomplish four main goals:

- Increase KCMSD middle and high school teachers’ knowledge content of geosciences.

 - Lead to greater student success on statewide science exams.

 - Enhance student awareness of careers in the geo and environmental sciences.

- Boost the number of underrepresented minorities entering geosciences fields at the undergraduate college level. continue...

October - 2006

Geosciences begins new NSF funded partnership with the Kansas City Missouri School District

Four University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) researchers will be presenting their work at the 118th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) Oct. 22 – Oct. 25 in Philadelphia. Each professor is a member of the Department of Geosciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.  The research that will be presented is as follows: Late Holocene Climatic Crisis and Warfare in Coastal Southern California. Mark Raab, Ph.D., will lecture on his findings that challenge the traditional belief that California was exempt from the effects of Medieval Warm Period. Raab first became interested in this subject when he discovered that the age of prehistoric Chumash Indian cemeteries correlated with extreme climate changes. Through archeological digs at these sites, Raab found significant increases in the rates of disease and war-inflicted wounds that occurred during the Warm Period. In 2004 Raab, along with Cal-Poly professor Terry Jones, Ph.D., published a book on this research, “Prehistoric California: Archaeology and the Myth of Paradise.” Raab also teaches in the English Department. continue...


July - 2006

Environmental Studies major (Chris Green) receives prestigious EPA Fellowship

 Chris Green, a junior Environmental Studies major at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), has been named one of 15 students in the country to receive a prestigious fellowship with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The 21-month fellowship pays for Green’s tuition, fees, books and living expenses for the remaining two years of his undergraduate education at UMKC. The grant also provides Green with a paid internship at any EPA facility of his choosing next year. Green has already made a name for himself in the area of environmental science, working closely with UMKC Geosciences Assistant Professor Dr. Jimmy Adegoke on a number of ozone-related air quality projects, most notably an air quality study for downtown Kansas City, Mo. The study’s results, gathered in spring and summer 2005 and released in January, showed that ozone levels in urban Kansas City were the highest in the Kansas City metropolitan region. Green’s work on the study involved installing ozone monitors, collecting filters from the monitors and interacting with volunteers. Also last year Green completed a two-month internship in the air quality program at the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). While at MARC Green supported an ongoing project that reaches out to local businesses whose activities could contribute to raising ozone levels in the area, such as truck stops, car lots and lawn care companies. continue..

Contact Us

Department of Geosciences
University of Missouri-Kansas City

Administrative Assistant
Megan Medley
Tel: 816.235.6081

Dr. Wei Ji

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, Missouri  64110

Tel:   816.235.1334
Fax:  816.235.5535


Directions: (click here)