Geosciences Field Trip

ETSU geosciences students pose for a photo while on a field trip in Tennessee.

Students and professors in the Department of Geosciences at East Tennessee State University are earning prestigious awards and generating important research, a press release from ETSU said.

Dr. Ingrid Luffman, an associate professor in the department, won the Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring Award from the South Eastern Division of the American Association of Geography. Her deep commitment to undergraduate students’ mentoring and research is impressive, Department Chair Dr. Arpita Nandi noted, and was evident in student testimonies.

Graduate student Rachel Whiteman won several categories at the Tennessee Geographic Information Council Fall Forum, according to the release. Her storymap on elk habitation restoration in the eastern U.S. was granted best narrative and analysis award. Whiteman completed her undergraduate education in geosciences and is currently a graduate student in the department.

Melissa Magno, a recent graduate from the Honors-in-Discipline program, published two peer-reviewed research papers from her thesis on toxic metal mobility in abandoned mine sites. Her publication in Applied and Environmental Soil Science, which accepts only 22% of submitted articles, has already been downloaded nearly 800 times, the release said. Magno is currently a staff geologist in a private-sector industry.

“These honors and accolades reflect the phenomenal work happening in Geosciences at ETSU,” said Nandi. “Our faculty are engaged in exceptional mentoring, and our students are producing important contributions to the field.”

To learn more about the Geosciences Department, visit

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