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Jean M Self-Trail, Ph.D.

Jean M Self-Trail is a Research Geologist, USGS Florence Bascom Geoscience Center. 

I conduct basic research on calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy, paleoclimate, lithostratigraphy, and sequence stratigraphy.  This work is focused primarily on the U.S. Atlantic Coastal Plain, for the purpose of understanding the geologic framework, the effect that changing climate had on shallow marine systems and coastal regions, and for characterizing strata that are major aquifers for water resources. 



  • 2001-Present:  Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Eastern Geology & Paleoclimate Science Center, Reston, Virginia.
    • Project Chief (2021-present), Atlantic Subsurface Stratigraphic Initiative
    • Staff Geologist (2018-present), Gulf Coast Project
    • Staff Geologist (2017-2018) Eastern Coastal Plain Geologic Mapping Project
    • Staff Geologist (2017-2018) Eocene Hyperthermals Project
    • Staff Geologist (2015-2017), Eastern Coastal Plain Studies Project.
    • Co-Project Chief (2008-2015), Atlantic Watersheds Project.
    • Co-Project Chief (1999-2008), Carolina Conitnental Margin Project.
    • Staff Geologist (1999-2008), Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater Project.
  • 2007-2016:  Adjunct Professor, Northern Virginia Community College, Sterling, VA, (Historical Geology, Physical Geology, Microfossil Laboratory Techniques).
  • 2007-2013:  Graduate Faculty Appointment, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC.
  • 1994-2001:  Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Eastern Earth Surface Processes Team, Reston, Virginia.
    • Staff Geologist (1995-2000), Southeastern Coastal Plain Project.
  • 1997:  Research Assistant, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.
  • 1991-1993:  Teaching Assistant, University of Delaware, Newark, DE (Physical Geology, Historical Geology, Paleontology).
  • 1988-1995:  Physical Science Technician, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Branch of Paleontology and Stratigraphy, Reston, Virginia.

Other Activities

  • 2017-Present:  Board of Directors, Micropaleontology Press (journals Stratigraphy and Micropaleontology). 
  • 2016-Present:  Editor for the journal Stratigraphy.
  • 2014-Present:  Board of Trustees, Katharina von Salis Endowment, International Nannoplankton Association Foundation.  We provide a yearly grant to one graduate student for research on any subject pertaining to fossil calcareous nannoplankton.

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government