News & Events



Pedro Val,

Assistant Professor Tectonic Geomorphology of School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Queens College, CUNY

At least 43 aftershocks have been reported since the 4.8 magnitude earthquake

Pedro Val, assistant professor at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Queens College, was on Drive Time with Michael Wallace to discuss the earthquake aftershocks.

Listen to the full interview below.

Interview at WCBSAM: On-Demand

Pedro Val – School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

April 2024


Dax Soul,

Assistant Professor Seismologist of School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Queens College, CUNY

provides expert commentary for CBSNewYork on aftershocks from Friday’s Northeast earthquake



“While aftershocks are a concern for this first 24, 36, 72-hour period out to about a week, the entire East Coast is a seismically active area. But most of the earthquakes are relatively small,” said Dax Soule, a seismologist and assistant professor at Queens College.

Full report on CBSnews :
Mentioned in :

Dax Soule – School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (

April 2024



Samantha Tramontano

A  CUNY Graduate Center alumna who conducted her PhD research with SEES’ professor Marc-Antoine Longpré
featured in the March 2024 edition of
CUNY TV’s Urban U show, in which she recounts her close encounter with an active volcano in 2021. 

Dr. Tramontano, who grew up in Staten Island, received a BS at the University of Rochester, a MS from Vanderbilt University and a PhD from CUNY. She is now a post-doctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History, where she continues studying magma and volcanoes.

“One of the main directions is determining how magmatic systems evolve over time,” Tramontano said, “and why certain volcanic systems reactivate after ‘taking a nap.’”

This Urban U: a GC alum and a QC prof lend their scientific expertise from collecting the lava from an erupting volcano.

March 2024




Geology Bachelor of Science designated as
Licensure-Qualifying Program for New York State Geology License at Queens College.


The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Queens College is proud to announce that the Geology Bachelor of Science degree has been added as a licensure-qualifying designation and is now listed as a registered program for obtaining the New York State Geology License.


Queens College is currently the only institution in New York City to offer this to students.


This will permit students who graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Geology at Queens College to be eligible to take the exam for the New York State Geology License. Many consulting and governmental jobs in both geology and environmental science now ask prospective employees to have the New York State Professional Geologist title. Contact the geology undergraduate advisors, for more information about this exciting opportunity for Queens College students :
Dr. Pekar ( and
Dr. Laczniak (

March 2024

ConEd Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to our ConEdison Spring 2024 Scholarship Winners

  • Carol Calle
  • Kimberly Lutchman
  • Emily Albines
 For questions please email SEES advising use subject header : CONED
March 2024

Climate Change Summit is
part of ENSI 99 and ENSI 100
(watch the video below for more info)


SEES faculty selected to lead NSF Facility Board

Dax Soule

Assistant Professor Seismologist of School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Queens College, CUNY

The OOI is an NSF Facility and comprises 89 scientific platforms with approximately 830 instruments, and provides nearly 5 TB of data each month for the study of the ocean-atmosphere system from the continental margins to the mid-ocean ridges. The Ocean Observatories Initiative Facility Board (OOIFB) provides independent input and guidance to the National Science Foundation (NSF) regarding the management and operation of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI)
Dax Soule : “As the Chair, I lead the facility board as we endeavor to be the prime scientific and technical conduit between the oceanographic community and NSF regarding OOI. I work to develop and implement strategies to expand scientific and public awareness of the OOI, and ensure that the oceanographic community is kept informed of developments in the OOI. As Chair, I represents OOIFB throughout the oceanographic community, calls, and presides over OOIFB meetings. I also work with and provide direction to the OOIFB Administrative Support Office.”

Ocean Observatories Initiative Facility Board – OOIFBOcean Observatories Initiative

Ocean Observatories Initiative Facility Board – OOIFB

Ocean Observatories Initiative

NSF – National Science Foundation

Dax Soule – School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (

November 2023


SEES faculty latest publication

Alia Lesnek

Assistant Professor Quaternary Geology of School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Queens College, CUNY

Windows of opportunity for the peopling of the Americas


“Cedar Lake, a 50-foot-deep lake just outside of Juneau, Alaska. A team of archeologists and I visited this lake in summer 2023 to collect sediment cores for paleoclimate analysis. The sediment cores from this lake will be used to better understand how past climate change influence glaciers and humans in Southeast Alaska.” Photo credit: Alia Lesnek

“Paddling out to the core site on our lightweight coring platform. The platform consists of two packrafts (~15 lbs each and inflated in the field) strapped together with PVC pipe. The corer and core tube are fastened to the boat on the right side.”
Photo credit: Nick Schmuck



“Collecting a core from Cedar Lake. To collect a core, we lower the core tube and corer to the bottom of the lake, then drive the tube into the sediments using a hammer. Once the tube is full, we pull the entire device up by hand, which allows us to gather an intact sequence of sediments from the lake bottom.”
Photo credit: Nick Schmuck


“After we finished coring, the core tubes and all of the equipment had to be carried through the forest for three miles to reach our vehicle. Our backpacks weighed between 30 and 55 lbs each!”
Photo credit: Nick Schmuck




“Collecting a rock sample for cosmogenic surface exposure dating. By measuring the amount of certain rare elements (called “cosmogenic nuclides”) present in rocks that were once covered by glaciers, we can precisely determine when the glacier retreated from a particular location. This technique has helped us figure out when the Pacific coast became ice-free at the end of the last Ice Age, and therefore when humans may have been able to expand into the Americas from northeastern Asia.”Photo credit: Jim Baichtal

“A rock sample for cosmogenic dating, with a snowfield and our helicopter in the background. After collecting the samples, we bring them back to the lab to extract the cosmogenic nuclides and determine how long ago the glacier retreated from that location.”
Photo credit: Jim Baichtal


Article Link

Website :

Alia Lesnek

November 2023


Pedro Val


Assistant Professor Tectonic Geomorphology of School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Queens College, CUNY


Pedro Val : “In the Science paper, we gathered our learnings from the Amazon Report and compared the rates of human activities to those of Amazon ecosystems. We found that humans are clearing forests and altering the ecosystem and landscapes 100s to 1,000s of times faster than the natural rates of forest recovery, biodiversity accumulation, and other ecosystem rates.


Read the full article here : Human impacts outpace natural processes in the Amazon | Science

Sandbox.gpotest - NielsMayer
Vol 379Issue 6630

January 2023

ConEd Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to our ConEdison Fall 2023 Scholarship Winners

  • Jaegi Lissade
  • Devina Kalika
 For questions please email SEES advising use subject header : CONED
November 2023


SEES held its yearly BBQ cookout event.

Our department’s much-anticipated BBQ cookout event brought together a delightful crowd of around 80 students, faculty and staff members. It was a great afternoon opportunity for sizzling grilled burgers, hot dogs and chicken (with Kosher and Vegetarian Food Options also available).
See you at our next cookout event !

Highlights YouTube Link

September 2023


Dr. Cecilia M. McHugh


Distinguished Professor School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Queens College, CUNY and The Graduate Center, CUNY


Good news, the Geological Society of America has named Cecilia M. McHugh, the 2023 recipient of the International Distinguished Career Award.This award is given in recognition of your numerous, distinguished, and significant contributions that have clearly advanced the international geological sciences through service
and or scientific activities.

“Queens College has a lot to offer to its faculty and students so that they can thrive in whatever their dreams are, and I am grateful for this. I often tell students that they can achieve their dreams if the try hard and persevere.


The Geological Society of America

June 2023



SEES 2023 Graduation Ceremony



Congratulations to our graduates for completing their degree.


Awards Snapshot Clip :
Honors and Awards :



June 2023


Jessica VielmanA woman with dark hair wearing a blue shirt, light green pants and a green baseball cap stands in a grassy field next to a green cement box with a grey bucket and yellow case on top


Recent Graduate Student, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Queens College


Congratulations to Jessica Vielman on her internship at Hot Springs National Park.
Our 2023 Master of Science in Environmental Geosciences graduate, was featured in an instagram post by Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas.

Below is a highlight from that post.

“Jessica recently graduated from Queens College with a Master of Science in Environmental Geosciences. Since May, she has worked in our Natural Resources Department as a Scientists in Parks intern. She monitors and collects data from over two dozen thermal springs weekly!
For Jessica, this internship serves as more than just a way to expand her knowledge and experience in resource management. “Growing up, every time I pictured a scientist, I would always think about individuals who did not resemble me or come from backgrounds like mine,” Jessica said. “As a Latina in conservation, I strive to challenge those traditional notions of what a scientist looks like. Being a Latina in conservation means being a trailblazer, challenging stereotypes, and inspiring others. It means advocating for diversity and inclusivity and changing the standards and expanding the definition of a scientist. I am proud of my heritage and proud of my love for science and the environment, and I hope to make a lasting impact in my community and beyond!”

If you’re visiting Hot Springs National Park and happen to see Jessica, be sure to say hello! Our park couldn’t preserve and protect our most famous resource without her 💦”

Hot Springs National Park Arkansas

 July 2023


Justin Kersh


Graduate Student, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Queens College


In recognition of Justin Kersh’s outstanding work, the AGU has selected Justin for the second cohort of our Local Science Partners program.
As a Local Science Partners Ambassador, Justin was selected from a highly competitive applicant pool based on demonstrated leadership and the potential to positively impact the local science policy landscape. The program is designed to cement the place of science in decision-making by empowering Ambassadors to build trusting, sustained partnerships with their local policymakers. Justin and fellow Ambassadors will leverage scientific expertise and communication skills to personalize science policy issues for their policymakers’ constituents.
Lawmakers need to hear about critical issues both directly from scientists and from their constituents, and Justin’s efforts to reach out to legislators on Capitol Hill can and will make a difference. Collectively, Local Science Partners Ambassadors will help to amplify science and its worth and help both policymakers and the broader community see that our nation continues to support and benefit from our scientific enterprise. With the help of their community of peers and AGU’s resources, our Ambassadors will be able to successfully leverage their expertise to support legislation that will benefit humanity and the environment.


AGU Trademark logo

 March 2023



Dr. Cecilia M. McHugh


SEES Distinguished Professor, Dr. Cecilia McHugh’s research on the the IODP Expedition 386 Japan for Trench Paleoseismology.

Dr. Mchugh collabotates with international researchers to study ocean sedimentation processes to date past earthquake activity.

IODP Expedition 386 Japan Trench Paleoseismology


Research Blogs: Sedimentation processes

December 2022