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Grant Colip

I am a Student Trainee (Physical Science) at the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center in Reston, Virginia, where I work on the USGS Glaciated Regions Geologic Mapping Project.  I also manage the Sediment Petrology Laboratory for the Bascom Center.


Graduate Teaching Assistant (2020 - present), North Carolina State University, Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, Raleigh, North Carolina.  I assist students in geology laboratory classes, including MEA 110 (Physical Geology Lab).  My M.S. work, co-advised by Dr. Karl Wegmann and Dr. Lonnie Leithold, is conducted in conjunction with the University of Minnesota's CSD (Continental Scientific Drilling - formerly LacCore) group, and is funded via a grant from the USGS National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program to investigate "Late Quaternary Earthquakes from Multiple Sources on the Olympic Peninsula — Using the Sedimentary Record from Lake Crescent, Washington to Improve Regional Seismic Hazard Probability Estimates."

Student Trainee (Physical Science) (2018 - Present), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Florence Bascom Geoscience Center, Reston, Virginia.  I work with Dr. Christopher Swezey and other USGS scientists on the Glaciated Regions Geologic Mapping Project, focusing on mapping of bedrock and surficial (Quaternary) deposits in the northern US.  I also manage the Sediment Petrology Laboratory for the Bascom Center, which includes pXRF, microscopy, and laser-diffraction (LD) grain size analysis equipment.

Undergraduate Laboratory Assistant (2017 - 2019), James Madison University (JMU), Department of Geology & Environmental Science, Harrisonburg, Virginia.  I assisted students in geology laboratory classes, including GEOL 110L (Physical Geology Lab) and GEOL 280 (Mineralogy).  I also completed grading, managed lab materials, and assisted with other miscellaneous duties in the GES department as needed.

Education and Certifications

  • M.S. (anticipated 2023) - Earth Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.

  • B.S. (2019) - Geology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.

    Honors Thesis: Grain Size and Vegetation as Controlling Variables for Stream Channel Morphology 

  • B.A. (2019) - Modern Foreign Languages - Spanish, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • Geological Society of America (GSA)

  • Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG)

  • Sigma Gamma Epsilon (SGE) - national earth science honor society

Honors and Awards

  • 2022 - CSD Facility Visiting Graduate Student Travel Grant, for carrying out ICD (initial core description) work at the CSD (Continental Scientific Drilling) facility at UMN, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • 2019 - Philip R. Cosminsky Award, for outstanding service to the Geology department and the University

  • 2018 - Spade Field Camp Scholarship, for the JMU Geology Field Course in Ireland

  • 2017 - Fred Schaefermeyer Scholarship, for excelling in the Mineralogy course & showing enthusiasm for mineral collecting

  • 2017 - Inducted into Sigma Gamma Epsilon, national earth science honor society

  • 2015 - Second Century Scholarship, 75% of in-state tuition cost for all four years of undergraduate study, for showing outstanding promise as an incoming STEM major with a GPA of over 3.5

Abstracts and Presentations

  • Colip, G., Leithold, E., Wegmann, K., Brothers, D., and Burr, R. (2023) Seismic reflection imagery aids late Quaternary earthquake reconstructions at Lake Crescent, Washington, USA. Geological Society of America Joint Northeast-Southeast Section Meeting in Reston, Virginia, March 17-19, 2023.

  • Swezey, C., Brent, E., Colip, G., and Mahan, S. (2021). Luminescence dating of sand in Butler Cave (Burnsville Cove, Bath and Highland Counties, Virginia) reveals a sedimentary record from the last glaciation. Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Meeting (Online), March 14-15, 2021.

  • Colip, G., Swezey, C., Rodysill, J., Toomey, M., and Hayslett, M. (2020). Holocene sediments at Browns Pond, a vernal pool located within a karst sinkhole in the Silurian Tonoloway Limestone in Bath County, Virginia. Geological Society of America Northeast-Southeast Join Section Meeting in Reston, Virginia, March 20-22, 2020.

Science and Products

*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