Utah State University Geology faculty members Carol Dehler and Tammy Rittenour have been named Fellows of the Geological Society of America, a global professional society of more than 24,000 Earth scientists in 115 countries. Two of 89 honorees this year, Dehler and Rittenour will be formally recognized during the GSA’s annual meeting Nov. 4-7, 2018, in Indianapolis.
GSA Fellows are nominated by the society’s existing fellows in recognition of distinguished contributions to the geosciences through peer-reviewed publications, research, teaching, administration and outreach.
“It’s remarkable for USU to have not one, but two scientists selected for this prestigious recognition,” says Maura Hagan, dean of USU’s College of Science. “Carol Dehler and Tammy Rittenour are outstanding scientists, who excel in their respective research endeavors and serve as exceptional research mentors to our students. In addition, both of these faculty members are outstanding teachers and generously share their expertise with the public by engaging in outreach efforts.”
An associate professor in USU’s Department of Geology, Dehler’s research interests include early Earth systems and the “Snowball Earth” hypothesis. Her teaching interests include physical and historical geology, stratigraphy and sedimentology.
Named the College of Science’s 2018 Faculty Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year, Dehler employs a number of undergraduate and graduate students in her lab and their research has taken them to field sites in the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, the Uinta Mountains, Namibia and Sweden.
Dehler is a featured speaker for Science Unwrapped’s upcoming “Powers of 10” series, which celebrates the College of Science outreach program’s 10th anniversary. She presents “Planetary” Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the Eccles Science Learning Center on campus.
“Carol is what a geologist should be – an author of more than 20 (high) quality papers, 14 geologic maps and seven book chapters,” says Linda Kah, who nominated Dehler. “(She’s a) quality colleague, a passionate teacher of both undergraduate and graduate students, and an enthusiastic leader of field trips for the profession and the public.”
Dehler says she’s “very grateful” to be named a GSA Fellow.
“It’s a tremendous honor to know people care about the science I do,” she says. “Nothing is more rewarding.”
Rittenour, also an associate professor in USU’s Department of Geology, serves as director of the USU Luminescence Lab. Her research and teaching interests include paleoclimatology and Quaternary geology.
“A leading expert in luminescence dating, Quaternary geology and sedimentology, Tammy has shown broad expertise in tackling diverse problems,” says Grant Meyer, who nominated Rittenour. “She is exceedingly generous in sharing knowledge through workshops and short courses, and displays outstanding leadership as an enthusiastic chair of (the society’s) Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division.”
The recipient of a 2011 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation, Rittenour’s research has taken her and the students she’s mentored to field sites and research collaborations throughout the world. In addition to conducting studies in the American Southwest, Rittenour has pursued research ventures with partners in Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica. She’s currently part of a USU delegation assisting Taiwan’s National Central University in curriculum development and establishing a dual-degree program with Utah State.
Rittenour is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. A previous Science Unwrapped presenter, she’s a sought-after speaker for Earth and water science groups throughout the nation.
“I’m very humbled to be named a Fellow,” Rittenour says. “It’s an honor to know colleagues feel I’m making significant scientific contributions to our field.”