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Department of Earth
and Space Sciences

ESS News and Photos

November 8, 2016 - ESS graduate student Kerstin Motsch wins big at the Gregory Domin Graduate Conference

Kerstin Motsch

Kerstin Motsch is the winner of the 3 Minute Talk (3MT) competition and People's Choice award for her presentation, "Going Green: A Look at Water Quality in Cape Coral Florida", at the Gregory Domin Graduate Conference. The Gregory Domin Graduate Conference was held on CSU's main campus November 2nd and 3rd and attracted graduate students from universities around the state of Georgia. Other winners were highlighted in the Graduate School's November 7th newsletter.


October 25, 2016 - New additions to the Anthropology department for important research opportunity

ESS is excited to have a new addition to our archaeological collection! Anthropology instructor Danielle Cook, with help from anthropology student Jessica Parks, has arranged for ESS to house materials from the Abercrombie site in Phenix City, AL. Located on the Chattahoochee River, the Abercrombie Mound was occupied between AD 900 and 1650. Originally described in 1907, the site has undergone a number of excavations, including one conducted in 1967 by Frank Schnell with the Columbus Museum in Columbus, Georgia. Since Schnell's excavations, the collection was stored at the Columbus Museum and has mostly gone untouched by researchers. Danielle Cook will be working with ESS anthropology students to restore and curate the collection - which contains, close to a million Hitchiti, Lower-Creek, and European artifacts. The addition of the Abercrombie collection from the Columbus Museum will provide ESS faculty and students opportunities to work on a collection rivaling those curated by large research institutions.

October 5, 2016 - SRACE Grant awardees

Congratulations to Chloe Chambers, Brandon Furnish, Kerstin Motsch, and Kristin Younquist for being awarded the Student Research and Creative Endeavors Grant from the CSU office of academic affairs. The RACE grant provides minor funding for students to pursue research projects with faculty or help pay for students to present the results of their research projects with faculty or help pay for students to present the results of their research at conferences.

high school students at ccssc

September 19, 2016 - CCSSC awarded $1.25M NASA grant

"Columbus State University's Coca-Cola Space Science Center is one of four sites in a partnership that has been awarded a $1.25 million NASA Museum Alliance Grant to teach high school students how to design and manufacture vehicles that could explore mars." This opportunity will provide outreach to students and allow them to become exposed to the space sciences at a higher level. Not only does this help the students, but it helps the community and Columbus State University.


September 15, 2016 - Congratulations to Dr. Warren Church on having a publication in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Dr. Church's article "Exploring imperial expansion using an isotopic analysis of paleodietary and paleomobility indicators in Chachapoyas, Peru." was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Dr. Church and his coauthors used chemical analysis of bone and teeth to examine the diets and mobility patterns of members of the Chachapoya culture during a period of Inca domination (AD 1470-1535). You can read more about this article and the work of Dr. Church and his associates. here.

Dr Saifu

May 9, 2016 - Congratulations to Dr. Abiye Seifu, ESS Professor of Engineering, who recently celebrated 25 years at Columbus State University!

Dr. Seifu joined CSU as Assistant Professor of Engineering in 1991, taking sole responsibility for managing CSU's Regents Engineering Transfer Program in 1993. In 1997, Dr. Seifu was promoted to Associate Professor, and in 2009 to Professor of Engineering in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences. Starting with only 7 students his first semester, Dr. Seifu has developed one of the most respected and productive pre-engineering programs in the University System of Georgia. Over the past 25 years he has advised more than 1000 students working to complete fundamental math, physics and engineering courses at CSU in order to transfer to Georgia Tech or another four-year engineering programs. Dr. Seifu has developed and taught over a dozen different engineering courses since joining CSU, worked with engineering faculty at Southern Polytechnic University to develop the electronics technology curriculum used by the university system, has collaborated with numerous students on research projects and presentations, and has seen countless students become successful engineers as a result of the guidance they received from him.

excellence award

April 25, 2016 - The Department of Earth and Space Sciences is now an official "award winning program" after receiving the CSU Regents Teaching Excellence Award for a Department or Program at the 2016 Honors Convocation Ceremony!

This award is based on collective ESS faculty-student accomplishments that demonstrate the incredible commitment our faculty have to undergraduate-graduate education, and the successes our students have had during and following their time in ESS.

These are just a few of the things that made our department stand out during the selection process: Four ESS faculty have received teaching awards, ESS faculty have been at the forefront of advances in teaching and improving student learning outcomes, ESS is one of the most productive physical science programs in the University System of Georgia, awarding more baccalaureate degrees in Geosciences over the past 3 years than any other State University in the University System of Georgia, Over the past 2 years, one-third of all BS Earth and Space Sciences students graduated with honors, Over the past 2 years, nearly half of graduating ESS students have co-authored one or more publications with departmental faculty, ESS alumni have gone on to some of the most competitive graduate programs in the country.

In the fall, ESS will represent CSU as it competes for the Regents Teaching Excellence Award for a Department or Program at the system level. Keep up the good work! Thank you to all the students and faculty that made this award possible!

joel roop eckart

April 22, 2016 - Congratulations to ESS Geology senior Joel Roop-Eckart!

Joel received numerous awards at CSU's 2016 Honors Convocation Ceremony. In addition to being one of 6 student nominees for CSU's Faculty Cup, Joel received two major university awards, including CSU's Phi Kappa Phi Senior Award. Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective multidisciplinary collegiate honor society. As CSU's awardee, Joel will now compete for the National Phi Kappa Phi award!

In addition, Joel was honored with CSU's Academic Recognition Award. This award goes to a single CSU student who has a near perfect GPA and outstanding scholastic achievements. As CSU's awardee, Joel received a commendatory letter from the Chancellor of the University System, as well as signed resolution from the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives!

Excellent work Joel! We are excited to see what you accomplish in your future at Penn State!

Award Winners

April 22, 2016 - Congratulations to our student departmental award winners at CSU's 2016 Honors Convocation!

  • Geology Award: Mark Allen Bair
  • Physics Award: Casey T. Brown
  • Engineering Award: Kayla A. Parsons
  • Environmental Science Award: Winston Walker
  • Astronomy Award: Austin Caughey
  • Who's Who Among Students in American Universities: Katie Grego
  • UTeach Science Education Undergraduate Award: Chloe Chambers
  • M.S. Natural Sciences, Environmental Science Track Award: Kayla Smith Coble
  • M.S. Natural Sciences, Geosciences Track Award: Jeremy Miller

Tower Day

April 13, 2016 - Hats off to a number of ESS students who won awards at the 2016 Tower Day!

  • Best Poster Award: Brendon O'Keeffe and Ryan Hutto, mentored by Dr. Rosa Williams, "Losing the Night: A Survey of Light Pollution in Columbus, GA"
  • Best Poster Award: Austin Caughey, mentored by Dr. Andy Puckett, "Rapid Orbit Refinement of Potential Near-  Earth Objects and Recovery of Nearly Lost Asteroids"
  • Best Presentation Award: Amanda Hall, mentored by Dr. Troy Keller and Dr. Brad Huff, "Exceedance Probability of E. coli in Weracoba Creek's Watersheds"

ESS students with tyson  gram   Cam NASA Internship   mead scope   graves mtn tea pond