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Current Graduate Students

 Cory 2

Cory Johnson (MS in progress)

Cory graduated from the University of Maine with a B.S. degree in Earth Sciences and a minor in German. He plans to take on an outcrop based modeling project in the Kaiparowits Plateau to aid in the differentiation between tidal and fluvial in the subsurface. Hailing from the Northeast, Cory is very excited to be in Utah and to experience the world class geology found here. In his spare time he enjoys skiing, snowboarding, exercising, sports, spending time with friends and family, being outdoors, and hanging with his dog.  

 Casey Meirovitz

Casey Meirovitz (PhD in progress)

Caseyis a PhD student at the University of Utah. He completed a B.S. in Geology from Brigham Young University, and a M.S. in Hydrologic Sciences from University of California, Davis.  He is studying tidal bars in the incised valley fill (IVF) of Main Canyon.  His work is focusing on characterizing the tidal bars with statistical metrics that can be fed into reservoir modeling and flow simulations studies to understand the potential for hydrocarbon production from this type of IVF deposit.


 Gabby St. Pierre (PhD in progress)

Gabby is a PhD student at the University of Utah. She completed a B.S. in Geology at New Mexico State University studying stratigraphy and geochronology. While at the U, Gabby will be doing sequence stratigraphic analysis of the Straight Cliffs Formation beginning in Alvey Wash. Through field mapping, measured sections, and regional correlations, she hopes to understand the transition from fluvial to marginal marine in the Western Interior Seaway. When she isn’t doing geology, Gabby enjoys backpacking, reading epic tales, yoga, and bellydancing - and she is super stoked to try some back country skiing and snowshoeing this winter!

 Alex Koch

Alex Koch (MS in progress)

Alex voyaged across the country to join us from the east coast, where he received his BS in Geology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. His Master's research will involve an outcrop-based assessment of sedimentological and architectural variability in fluvial strata of the Straight Cliffs Formation. southern Utah. He will be utilizing new methods of producing and analyzing 3D outcrop representations to aid in his research. In his free time, Alex enjoys exploring new music, playing guitar, reading, and ambling through the natural wonders of Utah.



Recent Graduate Students


 Luke Pettinga (Fall 2012 MS)  

Luke Pettinga received a B.S. degree in Geology and Environmental Studies from Calvin College before moving to Utah.  His master's research at the University of Utah focused on alluvial architecture in the John Henry Member of the Cretaceous Straight Cliffs Formation in south-central Utah. Luke is now in the Ph.D. program at Colorado School of Mines. In addition to geology, Luke enjoys activities that allow him to get outside and explore nature (skiing, cycling, canoeing, sailing, etc.).

Pat dog

Patrick Dooling (Fall 2012 MS)

Patrick Dooling worked in the John Henry Member of the Straight Cliffs formation at Left Hand Collet Canyon along Fifty Mile Mountain. His work focused on characterizing the stratigraphic architecture of the marginal marine strata, which can be classified into distinct Regressive-Transgressive (R-T) cycles. He also developed facies models for tide-influenced successions and constructed regional correlations with the marginal marine strata to the south at Rogers Canyon. Patrick defended his thesis in the fall of 2012 and currently lives in Colorado.



Tyler Szwarc (Fall 2013 MS)

Tyler Szwarc received a B.A. degree from Bucknell University in Geology and Physics. His master's research at the University of Utah focused on the sedimentary provenance of the Cretaceous Straight Cliffs Formation using detrital zircon geochronology. Tyler is now working for Chevron in Houston, Texas. In his spare time, Tyler enjoys stargazing, sailing, cycling, and playing guitar.





Alexandre Turner Spring (Spring 2014 MS)

Alexandre Turner worked on clastic stratigraphy and reservoir modeling of Bull Canyon in the Kaiparowits Plateau while at the University of Utah Utah. He received his B.A. degree in economics and geology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During his time in Salt Lake City, Alex enjoyed skiing and riding his mountain bike. He is now working for Chevron in Houston, Texas.

 tetons me

Brenton Chentnik (Fall 2014 MS)

Brenton is a 2012 graduate of Purdue University. His interest in geology comes from a great love of the outdoors and Earth processes. While at the U, Brenton spent his time working on stratigraphic analysis of the Straight Cliffs Formation exposed along Main Canyon in Southern Utah. His work entailed creating detailed measured sections, geologic mapping, GPS tracking of key surfaces, and a computer based model of depositional systems. Brenton loves a good joke and when he has free time likes to hike, fish, and kayak. While in Utah he enjoyed his time on the powdery slopes of the Wasatch Mountains. He is now working for ConocoPhillips in Houston, Texas.




Evan Allred (research staff)

Evan received an associate’s degree from Brigham Young University Idaho and a bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Utah. As a staff scientist at the University of Utah, he is recently worked on identifying transgressive/regressive cycles in the John Henry Member of the Straight Cliffs Formation, Kaiparowits Plateau, Utah. In his free time, Evan enjoys backpacking, fishing and reading.

 Karenth   Karenth Dworsky (Spring 2015 MS) 

Karenth holds a B.S in Mathmatics and Geology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She will be using her quantitative background and interest in reservoir modeling and seismic acquistion to work towards her Master's here at the U. Karenth has been reconized with many awards, including: USGS/NAGT field camp excellence award for 2011, the Small firms Merit Award for Research and Technology (SMART) grant, and the Department of Defense scholarship for women in science and mathematics. Her research focused on rock properties and forward seismic modeling of tidal facies in core from the Straight Cliffs Formation. In her spare time Karenth enjoys cooking, yoga, running, scrapbooking, magic the gathering, and ant farms. 

 Wassim  Wassim Benhallam (Spring 2015 MS)

With a B.S. in Computer Science from Al Akhawayn University, Morocco; Wassim is not your typical geologist. His background in C.S. and interest in geology allowed him to apply methodologies to analyze channel belt clustering in the Rock House Cove and Bull Canyon outcrops and to address whether the nature of clustering could be linked to allogenic or autogenic controls. When he isn't coding Wassim enjoys playing tennis, ping pong, soccer, swimming, biking, hiking, travelling, and reading Japanese manga. Wassim works for Quantum Reservoir Impact in Houston.


Ryan Purcell (Summer 2015 MS)

Ryan came all the way from the great state of Ohio to pursue his Master's here at the U. He graduated with a B.S. in Geology from Miami University in 2012. Ryan studied the fluvial architecture of the Cretaceous Straight Cliffs Formation exposed in Tibbet Canyon, Southern Utah. His project focused on a bayhead delta interval in Tibbet Canyon. Backpacking, hiking, canoeing, climbing, skiing, biking, swimming, snorkeling, and backyard pickup sports are some of his favorite pastimes. He obviously enjoys the outdoors, but also likes to kick back and read a good book, watch a movie, or hear some live music or comedian. Ryan now works with Anadarko in Houston.



Julia Mulhern (Summer 2016 PhD)

Julia completed a B.A. in Earth and Environmental Science at Wesleyan University, studying planetary and structural geology. She defended her UofU PhD dissertation in August 2016, working on modern and ancient barrier island systems, including prime examples from the Kaiparowits Plateau.  Julia enjoys playing ice hockey, crossfit, skiing, hiking and spending time outside. She is heading to New Orleans for a position with Shell.


Jonathan Primm (Summer 2016 MS)

Jonathan graduated with a B.S. in geology from the University of Georgia in 2011. Between graduating and starting at the U, Jon took advantage of several fieldwork opportunities, increasing his knowledge of and love for geology, as well as developing a love for the West. Jon tudied the origin and evolution of the braided fluvial sheet deposits of the Calico bed across the Kaiparowits Plateau. When not hunched over his computer, diligently working hard, Jon enjoys "researching" random things on Wikipedia, discovering new music, trying new foods, and getting outside.

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