Chairs & Professorships

Ryan Ewing, Debbie Thomas, Judy Chester, Hongbin Zhan

Endowed Chairs and Professorships are among the highest distinctions a university can bestow to further distinguish an exemplary faculty member. It is a recognition that not only honors the remarkable achievements of a faculty member, it is also an enduring tribute to the generous donor who established the endowment in perpetuity.

The College of Geosciences is very fortunate to have been the recipient of generous, passionate and committed benefactors who have directed their passion for making a difference in the world towards endowing meaningful scholarship for the greater good.

These Chairs and Professorships enable our most deserving faculty to push the frontiers of their scholarship, touch hundreds of lives through the courses they teach and service projects they lead, through the students they mentor, and to ultimately change the world.

Unequivocally, this generosity allows the college to continue to recruit and retain some of the world’s most brilliant scholars in the field of geosciences.

Read descriptions of the Chairs and Professorships.

The Robert R. Berg Professorship in Geology has been awarded to Dr. Ryan Ewing

Ryan Ewing

Dr. Ewing has been with the Department of Geology and Geophysics since 2013 and studies Earth and other Solar System bodies through the lens of wind-blown eolian systems. His current research themes include Biosignature formation and preservation in eolian systems, sedimentological applications of machine learning and autonomous terrain analysis in planetary exploration, and eolian bedform self-organization and the development of planetary landscape patterns.

The Mollie B. And Richard A. Williford Professorship in Petroleum Geology has been awarded to Dr. Judy Chester

Judy Chester

Dr. Judy Chester has been with the Department of Geology and Geophysics since 1992 and her research focuses on the deformation and alteration reactions during faulting, the importance to earthquake nucleation and rupture propagation in the continental crust, mechanisms of creep compaction of reservoir rock, and the mechanics of fold-fault interaction in anisotropic rock.

The Dudley J. Hughes Endowed Chair in Geology and Geophysics is awarded to Dr. Hongbin Zhan

Hongbin Zhan

Dr. Zhan has been with the Department of Geology and Geophysics since 1996 and specializes in research topics such as groundwater hydrology, flow and transport in geological formations, particularly flow and solute transport in low0permeability porous media, stream-aquifer interaction and vapor flow and transport in the surface.

The Earl F. Cook Professorship in Geosciences is awarded to Dr. Michael Bishop

Michael Bishop

Dr. Bishop joined the faculty in the Department of Geography in 2012. His areas of expertise are in remote sensing, geographic information science, geomorphometry, numerical modeling, mountain geomorphology and cryospheric science.

The William R. Bryant Chair in Oceanography is held by Dr. Lisa Campbell

Lisa Campbell

Dr. Campbell joined the faculty in the Department of Oceanography in 1996 and has achieved inspiring statistics with more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and more than 5,000 lifetime citations to her papers. Her research focuses on Pytoplankton ecology, Phytoplankton community structure and diversity, Harmful Algal Blooms, Flow cytometry and in-situ imaging. Her research seeks to understand the environmental factors that lead to harmful cell proliferation and why these organisms produce neurotoxins.

The Michel T. Halbouty Chair in Geology is shared by Drs. Ethan Grossman and Andreas Kronenberg

Ethan Grossman

Dr. Grossman has been with the Department of Geology and Geophysics since 1982 and is a stable isotope geochemist specializing in carbonate rocks and gaseous hydrocarbons. His research interests include diagenesis of carbonate sediments, use of clumped isotopes to study basin thermal history, and application of stable isotopes to track the source and fate of gaseous hydrocarbons in subsurface systems.

Andreas Kronenberg

Dr. Kronenberg joined the faculty of Geology and Geophysics in 1985 and has an exemplary record of outstanding performance in research, teaching, and service that exceeds national and international standards. His expertise spans topics in structural geology, tectonophysics, and mineral physics with emphasis on the mechanical properties of Earth materials and the deformation mechanisms that govern rheology. His research addresses the plasticity, creep, and failure of minerals and rocks, examining the roles of crystalline defects, grain boundaries, interfaces, and fluids in determining macroscopic behavior of the Earth's lithosphere.

The David Bullock Harris Chair in Geology is held by Dr. Fred Chester

Fred Chester

Dr. Fred Chester has been with the Department of Geology and Geophysics since 1997 and his research focuses on the mechanics of fracture and faulting, physics of the earthquake source, fault-rock fabrics, granular and poroplastic behaviors, fluid-flow properties of deformed rock, deformation assisted by fluid-rock reactions, and constitutive modeling through experimental rock deformation, field study, and theoretical modeling.

The David Bullock Harris Chair in Geosciences is held by Dr. Ping Yang

Ping Yang

Dr. Yang has been with the Department of Atmospheric Sciences since 2001. His research focuses on the single-scattering properties of particles in the atmosphere and the development of numerical algorithms to compute the optical properties of these particles, the transfer of solar radiation and terrestrial thermal emission in the atmosphere, remote sensing of cloud properties, and various theoretical topics in light scattering and radiative transfer.

The Harold J. Haynes Chair in Geosciences is held by Dr. Renyi Zhang

Renyi Zhang

Dr. Zhang holds joint positions in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and the Department of Chemistry in the College of Science. He has conducted research in many areas of atmospheric chemistry and physics and, in particular, impacts of air pollution on human health, ecosystems, and climate. His publications cover cloud microphysics, thunderstorm electrification, stratospheric heterogeneous chemistry, lightning chemistry, laboratory investigation of hydrocarbon oxidation chemistry and aerosol formation, growth, and properties, modeling of urban air pollution, instrument development, atmospheric measurements of gases and aerosols, and aerosol-cloud-climate interaction.

The Reta Haynes Chair in Geosciences is held by Dr. Andrew Dessler

Andrew Dessler

Dr. Dessler’s research focuses on climate change and water vapor, climate change policy, and atmospheric chemistry. The goal of his work is to improve the understanding of the physics of the atmosphere, and provide measurements to better test the validity and accuracy of global climate models. He has served as a Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and wrote a book on climate change politics based on his experiences.

The Dan A. Hughes ’51 Chair in Geosciences is held by Dr. Mukul Bhatia

Mukul Bhatia

Dr. Bhatia is the Director of the Berg-Hughes Center for Petroleum and Sedimentary Systems. Before coming to the College of Geosciences, he worked with BHP Billiton Petroleum for 27 years in Australia and the U.S. After consecutively moving to positions of increasing responsibility in BHP, he retired as the Senior Manager of Geoscience in the Production Division. A major part of Dr. Bhatia’s experience in the Oil and Gas Industry involved integration of geoscience and engineering functions for resource development.

The Louis Elizabeth Scherck Chair in Oceanography is held by Dr. Ping Chang

Ping Chang

Dr. Chang has been with the Department of Oceanography since 1998 and his expertise is in climate dynamics and climate prediction, ocean-atmosphere interaction, numerical modeling of ocean circulation, as well as global and regional climate modeling.

The James R. Whatley Chair in Geosciences is held by Dr. Tony Knap

Tony Knap

Since 2013, Dr. Knap has been with the Department of Oceanography and the Director of the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group. His primary research focuses include oceanography, organic geochemistry, environmental science, atmosphere/ocean interactions, oil pollution and desperate use, and effects of contaminants on the marine environment.

The Jane and R. Ken Williams ’45 Chair in Ocean Drilling Sciences, Technology and Education is held by Dr. Franco Marcantonio

Franco Marcantonio

Dr. Marcantonio has been with the Department of Geology & Geophysics since 2006. His areas of research, all of which involve isotope ratio variations in marine and terrestrial records, focus on how isotope and trace element tracers can be used to understand the relationship between past climate change (on Quaternary and even longer timescales) and past oceanic biological productivity, deep-ocean circulation, and patterns of continental aridity and hydrology based on past riverine discharge and eolian fluxes to the ocean.

The E.D. Brockett Professorship in Geosciences is held by Dr. Courtney Schumacher

Courtney Schumacher

Dr. Schumacher joined the faculty of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences in 2003 and is an internationally renowned expert in tropical meteorology, radar meteorology, and mesoscale meteorology. Her research includes Tropical Meteorology – from small cumulus to large mesoscale convective systems, Radar Meteorology – utilizing both ground-based and space-borne radars, and Mesoscale-climate interactions – with observations of precipitation and storm structure.

The EOG Teaching Professorship in Geosciences is held by Dr. Andrew Klein

Andrew Klein

Dr. Klein has been with the Department of Geography since 1998. His current research interests lie in the application of remote sensing and geographic information science (GIScience) techniques to study the cryosphere. He and his students are currently using remote sensing to monitor tropical glacier recession and he has been actively involved in the development of algorithms to measure snow extent and snow albedo from data collected by NASA's MODIS instrument. Dr. Klein uses GIScience techniques to study human impacts in Antarctica. Since 1999, he has been involved in a long-term environmental monitoring program at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and in 2014 he and his colleagues extended this monitoring program to Palmer Station. Dr. Klein also has considerable interest in how remote sensing/GIS can aid in improving geographic education and has been working with teachers on a number of educational projects.

The Francesco Paolo di Gangi/Heep Endowed Professorship is held by Dr. Ben Duan

Ben Duan

Dr. Duan has been with the Department of Geology and Geophysics since 2007 and specializes in research on topics such as seismology, geomechanics, tectonophysics and geophysics, particularly complex earthquake ruptures, physics of various slip behaviors on subduction interfaces, and mechanical analyses of microseismicity and fluid-injection induced earthquakes.

The David Bullock Harris Professorship in Geosciences is held by Dr. Ken Bowman

Ken Bowman

Dr. Bowman has been with the Department of Atmospheric Sciences since 1992. His research interests include atmospheric transport and mixing, dynamics and chemistry of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, climate dynamics, satellite meteorology and statistical climatology.

The Howard Karren Endowed Professorship in Geology and Geophysics is held by Dr. Mark Everett.

Mark Everett

Dr. Everett has been with the Department of Geology and Geophysics since 1995 and his research interests include near-surface applied geophysics, environmental site characterization, controlled-source electromagnetic induction, geomagnetic induction and mantle structure, ground penetrating radar, magnetics, marine electromagnetic, resistivity and induce polarization, archaeological prospecting, hydrogeophysics, nonlinear deterministic inverse problems, engineering geophysics, inductive reasoning, and time series analysis.