Senior Projects

The Department of Geology & Physics at Georgia Southwestern State University requires all graduating geology majors to complete a Senior Project. These projects allow students to pursue original research that will contribute to the general body of knowledge in the geosciences.

Besides pursuing research, students completing the Senior Project develop skills necessary for writing a formal report. Past projects have been presented at professional meetings and published in journals. Completion of the Senior Project involves selection of a project, acquisition of data, preparation of the final report, and oral presentation of the project results.

List of Senior Projects Completed at GSW


1. PROJECT SELECTION may begin early in your career at GSW. You should talk with several faculty in the Department of Geology & Physics regarding our research interests. You will select a research area in conjunction with one of us as your project advisor. Once you have selected a topic, you will prepare a Senior Project Proposal before the end of the first week of your senior year. The accepted proposal will include the following items:

  • Proposed title
  • Literature review
  • Description of topic to be investigated
  • Explanation of importance of selected topic
  • Description of specific research plan
  • Reference list

2. DATA ACQUISITION is completed during the first semester of your senior year. Here, you carry out the specific research plan described in your proposal. Depending on your topic, your research may be field- or lab-based. Some projects may incorporate both field and lab components. Completion of this phase is necessary for a passing grade in GEOL4941.

3. REPORT PREPARATION is completed during the second semester of your senior year. Expect to submit a detailed outline and several drafts (probably 2 or 3) before your report is polished and in acceptable form. The first complete draft of your report must be submitted by the end of midterm break. The final, polished manuscript must be complete by the last day of classes (before final exams). All Senior Project reports are bound and placed in our library (Roney 204). Completion of the final report is one requirement for a passing grade in GEOL 4942.

4. RESULTS PRESENTATION allows faculty and students to learn about your research. This helps us broaden our knowledge, and it allows underclass geology majors to generate ideas and expectations regarding their own future Senior Projects. Your presentation may be made at a regional or national meeting (such as Georgia Academy of Science, Southeastern Geological Society of America). Alternatively, your presentation may be made at a GSW event (such as a Math/Science Colloquium, a special meeting of an upper-level geology class, or a specially-arranged presentation of departmental Senior Projects). Depending on the format, your presentation will range from 10 to 30 minutes and incorporate illustrations from your project via slides, overheads, or digital images. This presentation will be arranged by your project advisor, and its completion is one requirement to receive a passing grade in GEOL 4942. Geology majors should see their advisor for a printout of the SENIOR PROJECT GUIDELINES & CHECKLIST.

Anthony, David, 1998, Use of X-Ray Diffraction to 
Determine Spinel Percentages in Corundum-Spinel
Standards (advisor: D. Askren).

Askew, Greg, 1997, Surface and Well Water 
Characteristics in the Area Surrounding the Sumter 
County Landfill (advisor: T. Weiland).

Astle, David, 1997, Using GIS to Create an Interactive
Database of the Structural Geology of Oak Mountain 
State Park, Alabama (advisor: T. Weiland).

Aultman, Priscilla, 1999, Study of Cold Surface Currents
and Plumes in the Gulf of Mexico (advisor: P. Manker).

Beck, Patricia, 1997, The Origin of Feldspar Alignment
in the Corbin Gneiss of the Bartow Quarry, Georgia 
(advisor: D. Askren).

Branch, William, 1984, The Paleoautecology of Ocala 
Limestone Echinoids in Lee County, Georgia 
(advisor: B. Carter).

Burrows, Marty, 1995, Composition gradients in 
tonalites of the Wawa Subprovince, Superior Province, 
Canada (advisor: D. Askren).

Carter, Doug, 1998, Foram Diversity and Distributional
Patterns in the Gulf Coast of Mexico 
(advisor: B. Carter).

Coleman, Gordon, 1997, Water Quality around 
Taylor County Landfill, Charing, Georgia 
(advisor: T. Weiland).

Finley, J. Ben, 1998, Biodegradation of Marble 
Headstones at Andersonville National Cemetery, 
Georgia (advisor: D. Askren).

Fox, Peter E., 2008, precambrian Basement Rocks in 
Georgia's Pine Mountain Window 
(advisor: T. Weiland).

Godfrey, Dale, 2002, Soil and Water Quality of the Buck Creek Watershed, Marion, Schley and Macon Counties, Georgia (advisors: M. Khalequzzaman and S. Peavy).

Hammack, Connie, 1999, Temporal and Spatial 
Variability in Water Quality Around Taylor County 
(Allied) Landfill, Georgia (advisor: T. Weiland).

Hammack, Robert, 1987, Stratigraphic Distribution of 
Jacksonian Echinoids in Georgia (advisor: B. Carter).

Hart, Jeremy, 2008, Depositional Environments of the
Silurian McKenzie Formation of western Virginia
(advisor: B. Carter).

Harty, Lance, 1995, Life Habits and Extinctions in the
Bivalvia (advisor: B. Carter).

Henderson, Kelly, 2000, Weathering Processes of 
Feldspar in the Granite of Shady Dale Quarry #2, 
Jasper County, Georgia (advisor: D. Askren).

Henson, Scott, 1992, Grain Shape, Size, Sorting and 
Heavy Mineral Content of the Altamaha River System 
(advisor: P. Manker).

Herman, Steve, 1993, Paleoecology of Two 
Clypeasteriod Echinoids from Southwestern 
France (advisor: B. Carter).

Hutton, Johnny, 1996, Short-term impact of Hurricane 
Opal on Deposition of Sediments along Cape San Blas 
(advisor: P. Manker).

Jarrett, Matt, 2005, Diversity-Based Classification of 
Taxa from Sepkoski's Modern Evolutionary Fauna 
(advisor: B. Carter).

Johnson, Katryn, 1995, Effects of the 1994 Flood on 
Sediment Loads and Toxic Metal Influx in Apalachicola
Bay, FLorida (advisor: P. Manker).

Johnson, Matt, 1999, Planetary x-ray diffractometry
design using a low-level radiation source 
(advisors: W. Anderson & P. Manker).

Jordan, Mike, 1995, Rhynchlampas gouldii (Bouve) in 
the Oligocene of the Gulf Coast, and a comparison 
with Pygorhynchus alabamensis Twitchell 
(advisor: B. Carter).

Jordan, Natalie, 1999, The Geographic Distribution of
Eocene and Oligocene Echinoids, Southern Pakistan 
(advisor: B. Carter).

Keene, Denise, 1998, Foram Diversity and Distributional
Patterns on the North American Atlantic Coast 
(advisor: B. Carter).

Kitchens, Angela, 1991, Substrate preference of 
Eocene Echinoids of Egypt (advisor: B. Carter).

Miller, Justin, 2006, Morphology and Evolutionary Relationships 
among Cassiduloid Echinoids from the Ocala Limestone 
(advisor: B. Carter).

Minchew, Dustin, 2007, Analysis of the Sinuosity and Fluvial
Terraces of the Satilla River of Georgia (advisor: B. Carter).

Morrison, Shaunna M., 2011, The Clay Mineralogy of Selected Cretaceous  
and Tertiary Deposits of Southwest Georgia (advisor T. Weiland)

Norton, Lori, 2002, A geophysical investigation
of a Karst Area near Leslie, Georgia
(advisor: S. Peavy).

O'Bara, Carina, 2001, Water Quality of the Upper Muckalee Creek Watershed, Sumter County, Georgia advisors: M. Khalequzzaman and T. Weiland)

Park, T. Mack, 1998, Surface Water Contamination in 
Sumter County, Georgia (advisor: D. Askren).

Payne, Brooke, 2005, The Gravity Signature of the South
Georgia Triassic Rift Basin.
(advisor: S. Peavy).

Peavy, Tara, 2006, A water quality survey of Whitewater 
Creek Watershed, Macon and Taylor Counties, Georgia
(advisor: T. Weiland).

Powell, Matthew, 1999, The Nature of a Contact Between
precambrian Basement and Paleozoic Metasediments 
in Bartow and Cherokee Counties, Georgia 
(advisor: D. Askren).

Puckett, Norman, 1991, A Grain Size Analysis of the
Sand Dunes at Albany, Georgia (advisor: P. Manker).

Raines, Daniel, 2003, Using Mineralogic Variations to 
Recognize Stratigraphic and Fault Relationships in 
and near the Cartersville Fault Zone, Georgia
(advisor: D. Askren).

Richardson, Maureen, 1996, Sumter County Landfill
GIS Project (advisor: T. Weiland).

Roney, Ryan O., 2011, Food preferences and Evolutionary Transitions in 
Oligopygoid Echinoids (advisor B. Carter)

Scheller, Monica, 2000, Petrographic Study of the
Coarse-Grained Ocoee Metasediments of the Cohutta,
North Georgia (advisor: T. Weiland).

Slater, Samantha, 2005, Electrical Resistivity Measurements 
and their Relationship to Rainfall and Temperature Variations 
(advisor: S. Peavy).

Smith, Mitchell, 2004, Using Geographic Information Systems
and Soil Data to Increase Small Farm Productivity: The
Across-the-Creek Farm Project, Sumter County, Georgia.
(advisor: T. Weiland).

Summers, John, 1996, Effects of Winter Cold Front 
Passage on Sea Surface Temperature in the Gulf of 
Mexico (advisor: P. Manker).

Summers, Tom, 1995, Quantitative Phase Analysis of 
Production Refractory Materials (advisor: T. Weiland).

Vaughn, Elizabeth, 2005, Determining Potential Provenance for the 
Conglomeratic Units of the Ocoee Series in the Cohutta Wildlife 
Management Area, Murray County, Georgia (advisor: T. Weiland).

Veal, Brian, 2002, Petrology and Chemistry of Clasts
in Coarse-Grained Ocoee Metasediments of the 
Cohutta Area, Georgia (advisor: T. Weiland).

Walgamuth, Justin, 1997, A Geographic Information 
System Database for Water Quality Projects of 
Southwestern Georgia (advisor: T. Weiland).

Willard, Ricky, 1994, X-ray Diffraction Analysis
and the Effects of Different Packing Techniques 
for Mullite-Cristobalite Mixtures 
(advisor: P. Manker).

Willett, Alan, 1996, Construction of an Interactive
Geographic Database for Double Oak Mountain Area,
Alabama (advisor: T. Weiland).

Wilson, Rob, 1996, Chemical Evidence for Shearing of 
Tonalites from the Wawa Subprovince of the Superior 
Province, Canada (advisor: D. Askren).


Alumni Note: If your project is not listed, please contact Sam Peavy and provide me with your name, project title, year of completion, and project advisor. Thanks!