Grant offers opportunities to Mercyhurst geology students

Beginning in December, Mercyhurst University will offer research opportunities for a group of 10 to 12 students in the geology program.

Earlier this month, MU’s Geology Department announced that it had been awarded a $354,000 joint grant from the National Science Foundation, to study an extinct super-volcano in Arizona.

Partnering with Vanderbilt University, the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) initiative targets students from diverse cultural backgrounds.

“We are looking for talented students, with a particular emphasis on returning veterans, first-generation college students and minorities who will do original research and contribute to the large body of work on supervolcanoes,” assistant professor of geology Nick Lang, Ph.D., said.

The 3-year project will take a group of students each year to Northwest Arizona to study the Silver Creek caldera to hone their geology skills through investigation and inquiry.

Students will select their own vein of inquiry, follow up with lab work at either of the two universities, and, ultimately, present their findings at a national conference.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us, “ Lang said.

“These grants (from the National Science Foundation) are hard to obtain.”

Research will begin in either late December or early January in Arizona followed by another field session in summer.

Applications are currently being accepted by the geology department. For more information, contact Nick Lang at