Melissa A Lamb portrait

Melissa A Lamb

Professor
Degree
Ph.D., Stanford University
Office
OWS 118
Phone
(651) 962-5242
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-5242
Mail
OWS 153

Professional Interests:

I love to work with a range of data sets to solve complex puzzles, from continental deformation to interdisciplinary environmental science problems.  My main area of research focuses on sedimentary basins and the structural evolution of continental extension. My students and I work in the central Basin and Range, east of Las Vegas, and use a variety of tools to examine the tectonic and geomorphic evolution of the area.

I am also leading a research project for The Nature Conservancy at The John E. Williams Preserve in North Dakota.  We are trying to understand why the endangered Piping Plover habitat is being lost to vegetation encroachment.  We are studying lake cores, groundwater, water chemistry, soil chemistry, topography and vegetation to understand how human activities and global climate change may be affecting habitat loss. 

I love to engage undergraduate students in research. My current grant is to develop and implement a project-based introductory environmental geology class centered on a real research project.

Ph.D.: Stanford University, 1998

Research Interests:

  • Tectonics and sedimentation in the Lake Mead region, Southern Nevada
  • Ancient and modern alkaline lake systems
  • Geoscience education: developing research-based and service-learning based courses
  • Tectonics of southern Mongolia

Courses:

  • GEOL 110: Geology of the National Parks
  • GEOL 111: Introductory Physical Geology
  • GEOL 115: Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 130: Earth History
  • GEOL 211: Earth Materials
  • GEOL 260: Regional Geology and Geological Field Methods
  • GEOL 340 and 360: Fundamentals of the Lithosphere I and II (Petrology, Tectonics and Structural Geology)
  • GEOL 460: Advanced Geological Field Methods
  • ESCI 430: Environmental Science Capstone

Note: Dr. Lamb will be on sabbatical Spring semester 2017.

Recent Publications:

Hickson, T.A., Theissen, K.M., Lamb, M.A., Frahm, J., 2016, Lower Pahranagat Lake: modern analogue for extensive carbonate deposition in paleolakes of the Miocene Rainbow Gardens and Horse Spring Formations, Journal of Paleolimnology, doi 10.1007/s10933-016-9923-1.

Lamb, Melissa, Beard, L. Sue, Hickson, Tom, Umhoefer, Paul, Dunbar, Nelia, Schleicher, Jillian and McIntosh, William, Late Oligocene–early Miocene landscape evolution of the Lake Mead region during the transition from Sevier contraction to Basin and Range extension, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 2015, v. 127, no. 7-8, p. 899-925, doi:10.1130/B31144.1

Umhoefer, P., Lamb, M., and Beard, L.S. (Eds), 2010, Miocene Tectonics of the Lake Mead Region, Geology Society of America Special Volume 463, 441 p.

Lamb, M., Martin, L., Hickson, T., Umhoefer, P. & Eaton, L., 2010, Deposition and age of the lower Horse Spring Formation in the Longwell Ridges Area, southern Nevada, In Umhoefer, P., Lamb, M., and Beard, L.S. (Eds), Miocene Tectonics of the Lake Mead Region Geology Society of America Special Volume 463, p. 171-202 .  

Hickson, T., Ness, A., & Lamb, M., 2010, Deposition and age of the Bitter Ridge Limestone member of the Horse Spring Formation, Bitter Ridge to Gale Hills, Lake Mead, Nevada, In Umhoefer, P., Lamb, M., and Beard, L.S. (Eds), Miocene Tectonics of the Lake Mead Region Geology Society of America Special Volume 463, p 121-146.

 

Abstracts:

Sciamanda, Marianne, Kellner, Jack R., Lamb, Melissa, Clotts, Rebecca, Pastika, Daniel W., Welter, Dylan J., Brown, Jessica M., Schuweiler, Taylor K., Mohanty, Rani B., Vang, Kaja M., Nichols, Kathryn S., Lorah, Paul A., and Robinson, Derek O., 2016, Piping Plover Habitat Loss at the Nature Conservancy’s John E. Williams Preserve, Central North Dakota: an Interdisciplinary Study of Alkaline Prairie Pothole Glacial Lakes, Groundwater, Gravel Beaches and Vegetation Encroachment, American Geophysical Union National Meeting, December 2016.

Brundrett, Chelsea, Lamb, Melissa and Beard, L. Sue, 2014, Determining the Location and Magnitude of Basin and Range and Laramide Faulting, Southern Nevada, American Geophysical Union National Meeting, December 2014.

Lamb, Melissa, Cashman, Sue, Dorsey, Rebecca, Bennett, Scott, Loveless, John Goodliffe, Andrew, 2014, Incorporating Cutting Edge Scientific Results from the Margins-Geoprisms Program into the Undergraduate Curriculum, Rupturing Continental Lithosphere Part I: Introducing Seismic Interpretation and Isostasy Principles Using Gulf of California Examples, American Geophysical Union National Meeting, December 2014.

Loveless, John, Bennett, Scott, Cashman, Sue, Dorsey, Rebecca, Goodliffe, Andrew, and Lamb, Melissa, 2014, Incorporating Cutting Edge Scientific Results from the Margins-Geoprisms Program into the Undergraduate Curriculum, Rupturing Continental Lithosphere Part II: Introducing Euler Poles Using Baja-North America Relative Plate Motion Across the Gulf of California, American Geophysical Union National Meeting, December 2014.

Lamb, M.A., Anderson, Z.W., Pomerleau, Crystal, Umhoefer, P.J., Dunbar, N., and McIntosh, W., 2014, Determining styles of hanging-wall deformation in continental extension, the Lovell Wash Member of the Horse Spring Formation, Lake Mead area, Nevada, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 46, No. 5, p. 97.

Bernardi, Francesca, Brundrett, Chelsea, Moe, Connor, Bramigk, Collin, and Lamb, Melissa, 2014, Researching Basin and Range extension: discovering growth faults in an advanced undergraduate field course in the Lake Mead area, southern Nevada, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 46, No. 5, p. 36.

Umhoefer, P.J., Lamb, M.A., Hickson, T.A., Cains, A., Winston, J., Borer, D., Dunbar, N., McIntosh, W., and Beard, L.S., 2014, Paleogeography of the Horse Spring Formation in the Lake Mead domain (Nevada) from 18 to 12 Ma: did a river flow into or through it?  Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 46, No. 5, p.97

Pomerleau, C., Lamb, M., and Hickson, T.A., 2014, Climatic and tectonic controls on lacustrine isotopic variability within the Miocene Horse Spring Formation, southern Nevada, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 46, No. 5, p.97.

Dunbar, N. W., McIntosh, W.C., Umhoefer, P.J., Lamb, M.A., and Hickson, T.A., 2013, Tephra Deposits in Lake Mead Miocene Sediments: Characteristics, Chronology, and Sources: American Geophysical Union National Meeting, Fall 2013.

Pomerleau, Crystal, Hickson, Thomas, and Lamb, Melissa A., 2013, Large Isotopic Database on Lacustrine Carbonates of the Horse Spring Formation Characterizes the Extreme Variability of Continental Rift Lakes, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 45, No. 7, p. 818.

Anderson, Z.W., Lamb, Melissa A., Umhoefer, P.J., and Hickson, Thomas, 2013, Structural and Basin Evolution of the Upper Horse Spring Formation Along the Eastern Terminus of the Las Vegas Valley Shear Zone, Lake Mead Domain, Nevada, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 45, No. 7, p. 171. 

Hickson, Thomas, Theissen, Kevin, Lamb, Melissa A., Frahm, Jacob, Pomerleau, Crystal, Edwards, Conor, and Chatmas, Emily, 2013, Lower Pahranagat Lake: Modern Analogue for Lacustrine Carbonate Microbial Facies of the Horse Spring Formation?, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 45, No. 7, p. 674. 

Lamb, Melissa A., Beard, L. Sue, Foster, Malia, Pomerleau, Crystal, Dunbar, Nelia, McIntosh, William, Hickson, Thomas, and Umhoefer, Paul J., 2013, Pushing Back the Onset of Extension in the East-Central Basin and Range: a previously unrecognized unconformity in the Lower Horse Spring Formation, Lake Mead Area Southern Nevada, Provides Evidence of Regional Uplift, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 45, No. 7, p. 56.

Foster, Malia, Lamb, Melissa A., Beard, L. Sue, Pomerleau, Crystal, Dunbar, Nelia, McIntosh, William, Hickson, Thomas, and Umhoefer, Paul J., 2013, Sandstone Provenance of the Rainbow Gardens Member, Miocene Horse Spring Formation, Southern Nevada, Provides Evidence of Regional Uplift, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 45, No. 7, p. 562.

Hickson, Thomas, Lamb, Melissa A., De Lambert, Jane, and Kennedy-Harper, Anna, 2012, Facies Architecture and Mineralogy of Miocene Microbially-dominated Carbonate Lakes of the Horse Spring Formation, Southern Nevada, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 44, No. 7, p. 438.

Schanzenbach, Ana Maria, Lamb, Melissa A, Tobin, Brett J. and Hickson, Thomas A., 2011, Late Miocene fossil lakes of the Lake Mead Region: implications for paleogeography and transtentional faulting during Basin and Range extension, Geological Society of America National Meeting, , Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 276.

Lamb, Melissa, Beard, Sue, Hickson, Thomas, Umhoefer, Paul, Schliecher, Jillian, Kopp, Jessie, and Sitton, Mark, 2011, Oligocene-Miocene paleogeograpy of the Lake Mead region: The Rainbow Gardens Member of the Horse Spring Formation records pre-extensional tectonics of the central Basin and Range, Rocky Mountain (63rd Annual) and Cordilleran (107th Annual) Joint Meeting, Logan, Utah (18–20 May 2011), Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 4, p. 70.

Hickson, Thomas, Umhoefer, Paul and Lamb, Melissa, 2011, Status of research on climate, tectonics, and landscape evolution in Cenozoic basins of the central and northern Basin and Range, Rocky Mountain (63rd Annual) and Cordilleran (107th Annual) Joint Meeting Logan, Utah (18–20 May 2011), Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 4, p. 70.

Jenzen, Erynn, Hickson, Thomas, and Lamb, Melissa, 2011, Paleosols of the Rainbow Gardens Member of the Miocence Horse Spring Formation, Lake Mead region, Nevada:  paleoenvironments, tectonics and landscape evolution, Rocky Mountain (63rd Annual) and Cordilleran (107th Annual) Joint Meeting (18–20 May 2011), Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 4, p. 13.

Umhoefer, Paul, Hickson, Thomas, and Lamb, Melissa, 2011, Climatic versus tectonic controls on sedimentary facies in the Oligocene-Miocene Horse Spring Formation, Lake Mead Domain, Nevada, Rocky Mountain (63rd Annual) and Cordilleran (107th Annual) Joint Meeting (18–20 May 2011), Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 4, p. 70.

Hickson, Thomas, Lamb, Melissa, Umhoefer, Paul and Beard, Sue, 2010, Using basin analysis to test models of transtensional faulting and the inception of extension in the Lake Mead region, 2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October –3 November 2010), Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 366.

Kopp, Jessie, Hickson, Thomas, and Lamb, Melissa, 2010, Novel approach to isotope stratigraphy: using lateral variation in stable δ13C isotopes to determine basin position, 2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October –3 November 2010), Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 304.

Lamb, Melissa, Hickson, Thomas, Umhoefer, Paul, and Beard, Sue, 2010, Understanding upper-plate deformation through basin analysis and structural studies in a large-offset extensional system, Lake Mead region, Nevada, presented at the National 2010 Structural Geology and Tectonics Forum, Structural Geology and Tectonics Division, Geological Society of America, Madison, WI, May 19-22, 2010.

Umhoefer, P., Lamb, M., and Beard, L.S., 2010, Updates on the tectonics and paleogeography of the Lake Mead region from ~25 to ~8 Ma: lakes and local drainages in an extending orogen, but no through-going river?, presented at the Colorado River Evolution 2 Conference, Flagstaff, AZ, May 24-25, 2010.  

Fall 2016 Courses

Fall 2016 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
GEOL 115 - 51 Environmental Geology/Lab - - W - - - - 1500 - 1700 OSS 124
CRN: 40695 0 Credit Hours Instructor: Melissa A. Lamb This course emphasizes the interactions between humans and their environment, focusing on those processes and issues that are fundamentally geological in nature. Early in the course, students will be introduced to basic geoscience concepts and principals, the scientific method, plate tectonics, and earth materials (rocks and minerals). The remainder of the course will focus on specific topics at the interface between humans and their environment, including volcanic and earthquake hazards, human impacts on the hydrological cycle, surface and groundwater contamination, climate and the carbon cycle, nuclear waste storage, soil erosion, non-renewable resources, and slope stability. NOTE: Students who receive credit for GEOL 115 may not receive credit for GEOL 102, 110, 111, or 114.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
GEOL 115 - 52 Environmental Geology/Lab - - - R - - - 1000 - 1200 OSS 124
CRN: 40696 0 Credit Hours Instructor: Melissa A. Lamb This course emphasizes the interactions between humans and their environment, focusing on those processes and issues that are fundamentally geological in nature. Early in the course, students will be introduced to basic geoscience concepts and principals, the scientific method, plate tectonics, and earth materials (rocks and minerals). The remainder of the course will focus on specific topics at the interface between humans and their environment, including volcanic and earthquake hazards, human impacts on the hydrological cycle, surface and groundwater contamination, climate and the carbon cycle, nuclear waste storage, soil erosion, non-renewable resources, and slope stability. NOTE: Students who receive credit for GEOL 115 may not receive credit for GEOL 102, 110, 111, or 114.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
GEOL 115 - P2 Environmental Geology M - W - F - - 1055 - 1200 OSS 124
CRN: 42872 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Melissa A. Lamb This course emphasizes the interactions between humans and their environment, focusing on those processes and issues that are fundamentally geological in nature. Early in the course, students will be introduced to basic geoscience concepts and principals, the scientific method, plate tectonics, and earth materials (rocks and minerals). The remainder of the course will focus on specific topics at the interface between humans and their environment, including volcanic and earthquake hazards, human impacts on the hydrological cycle, surface and groundwater contamination, climate and the carbon cycle, nuclear waste storage, soil erosion, non-renewable resources, and slope stability. NOTE: Students who receive credit for GEOL 115 may not receive credit for GEOL 102, 110, 111, or 114.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
GEOL 115 - P53 Environmental Geology M - - - - - - 1245 - 1445 OSS 124
CRN: 42873 0 Credit Hours Instructor: Melissa A. Lamb This course emphasizes the interactions between humans and their environment, focusing on those processes and issues that are fundamentally geological in nature. Early in the course, students will be introduced to basic geoscience concepts and principals, the scientific method, plate tectonics, and earth materials (rocks and minerals). The remainder of the course will focus on specific topics at the interface between humans and their environment, including volcanic and earthquake hazards, human impacts on the hydrological cycle, surface and groundwater contamination, climate and the carbon cycle, nuclear waste storage, soil erosion, non-renewable resources, and slope stability. NOTE: Students who receive credit for GEOL 115 may not receive credit for GEOL 102, 110, 111, or 114.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2017 Courses

J-Term 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2017 Courses

Spring 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location