Researchers

Dr. Tiffany Rivera, co-PI

Tiffany is an Associate Professor of Geology at Westminster College. Her research has focused on magmatic evolution of silicic systems using zircon trace element chemistry, and improving the eruptive history of effusive and explosive rhyolites via high-precision 40Ar/39Ar dating within the Yellowstone Volcanic Field. This research will broaden her interests by investigating the petrologic relationships of small-volume bimodal volcanic fields. You can learn more about her work by visiting her website.

Dr. Brian Jicha, co-PI

Brian Jicha is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He manages the day to day operations of the WiscAr Laboratory, which specializes in high precision 40Ar/39Ar geochronology. His research primarily focuses on various timescales of magmatic processes in active volcanic arcs. This research project will expand his interests into small volume volcanism in central Utah.

Megan Fairchild (Geology ’20)

Megan has accepted a PhD opportunity at Cornell University working with Dr. Megan Holycross. Megan graduated from the Geology program and the Honors College in August 2020. She is continuing research on the BRD volcanoes as a Staff Scientist at Westminster in preparation for graduate school, working in both geoscience education and geochemical modeling. Magma evolution and planetary volcanism are particularly interesting to Megan and she plans to focus on these intensively for the remainder of her career.

Taylor McCombs (Chemistry ’21)

Taylor has focused her studies within the field of inorganic chemistry. This research will expand her interests in zircon trace element geochemistry and argon dating. Taylor is a 2021 On To the Future awardee, sponsored by the Geological Society of America and received a Ginger Gore Giovale travel grant through Westminster College.

Mariana Espinoza (Geology ’22)

Mariana is a junior at Westminster College, majoring in geology with a minor in outdoor education. As her first research experience, she is excited to contribute to the project and expand here knowledge on volcanism in Utah. Mariana is a 2021 On To the Future awardee, sponsored by the Geological Society of America and received a Ginger Gore Giovale travel grant through Westminster College.

McKenna Holliday (Geology ’20)

McKenna has begun a PhD program (advisor: Dr. Courtney Sprain) at the University of Florida.

Gus Pyle (Geology ’21)

Gus is excited to expand his knowledge on magmatic processes and make his first contribution to research.

Tristan Palmer (Geology ’21)

Tristan is excited to be a senior studying geology with a minor in chemistry. He should be graduating Westminster and it’s Honors College in 2021. He is planning on continuing to study Geochronology in graduate school.

Sully Swearingen (Geology ’21)

Sully is excited to contribute to the BRD research while gaining experience in the lab and in the field.

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