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Thomas Hickson


Data Analytics
Earth, Environment, & Society

  • Education
  • PhD, Standford University, Department of Geology and Environmental Science, 1999
    MA, University of Texas, Austin, Department of Geography, 1990
    BS, Cal State University, East Bay, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, 1987

  • Expertise
  • Sediment transport and Earth surface processes, Environmental geoscience, Interpretation of sedimentary rocks and strata, Petroleum geology, Physical modeling in the geoscience

  • Research Interests
  • Microbialites: rocks formed under the influence of microbes as evidence for life on other planets and the early Earth

    Applications of low-cost, open-source computing in environmental monitoring

    Low-cost method for detecting lead in drinking water

    Tectonics and sedimentation of the Lake Mead, Nevada, region


  • GEOL 115: Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 260: Regional Geology and Geological Field Methods
  • GEOL 320: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • GEOL 430: Advanced Earth History
  • GEOL 460: Advanced Field Geology
  • ESCI 390: Senior Research Seminar
  • THEO 459: Theology and the Environment

Recent publications (undergraduate co-authors in bold):

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

Lamb, M., Beard, L. S., Hickson, T., Umhoefer, P., Dunbar, N., Schleicher, J. and McIntosh, W., 2015, 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, July 2015, v. 127, no. 7-8, p. 899-925, doi:10.1130/B31144.1

Cantero, M.I., Cantelli, A., Pirmez, C., Balachandar, S., Mohrig, D., Hickson, T., Yeh, Tzu-hao, Naruse, H., and Parker, G., 2011, Emplacement of massive turbidites linked to extinction of turbulence in turbidity currents. Nature Geoscience, Vol. 5, pp. 42–45, doi:10.1038/ngeo1320.

Hickson, T., Umhoefer, P., and Anderson, Z., 2012, Terrestrial Microbial Limestones in the Miocene Horse Spring Formation of the Lake Mead area, southern Nevada Basin and Range, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) and Pacific Section SEPM Field Trip Guide #14, American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Society for Sedimentary Geology National Meeting, May 22-26, 34.pp.

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. Miocene Tectonics of the Lake Mead Region Geology Society of America Special Volume

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. Miocene Tectonics of the Lake Mead Region Geology Society of America Special Volume.