Geology and Geological Engineering

Dr. Sarah W. Keenan
Geobiology in Modern and Ancient Systems
Research Teaching People News & Links Publications CV

Meet the Team

My research group uses geochemistry, microbial ecology, paleontology, and soil biogeochemistry to address a variety of questions relevant to element cycling in modern (and ancient) ecosystems, the composition and structure of modern and fossil bone, and the role that microorganisms play in bone alteration (or preservation). Our work combines observations of biogeochemical processes occurring in modern environments to unravel if similar processes occurred in the geologic past. Some environments of particular interest include terrestrial forests, wetlands, and caves.

Graduate Students

  • Michael Cyrier (MS Paleo, Aug. 2020-present)
  • Jessica O'Neall (MS Paleo, Aug. 2020-present)
  • Colleen Sullivan (MS Paleo, Aug. 2020-present)
  • Grace DeVault (MS Paleo, Aug. 2019-present): Vertebrate paleoecology and geochemistry, Badlands National Park, SD

    Undergraduate Students

  • Aynsley Melancon (Aug. 2020 to present): Effect of seasonal CO2 concentration on calcite growth rate in Rushmore Cave, Keystone, SD
  • Michael Nieland (Aug. 2020 to present): Estimating MAT values of the Hell Creek Formation in eastern Montana and northwestern South Dakota using CLAMP

    Former Students

  • Michael Cyrier (Aug. 2019 to May 2020): Seasonal dynamics of Rushmore Cave, SD
  • Zakary Jewell (Aug. 2019 to May 2020): Carbon cycling in soils, Hermosa, SD
  • Seth Vandenberg (Aug. 2018 to May 2019): Taphonomy of vertebrate fossils from the Pierre Shale, SD

    For Prospective Students

    I am currently looking for motivated, curious, and qualified students to join my research group (Graduate students for Fall, 2021). This research is interdisciplinary, and students with a strong background in geology, geochemistry, microbial ecology, and/or biogeochemistry are encouraged to contact me for more information.

  • Contact: Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering, 501 E. Saint Joseph St., SDSMT, Rapid City, SD 57701
    Phone: (605)394-2461 / Fax: (605)394-6703 / Email: / Updated: 20 April 2021