Michael Meyer, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Earth Systems Science
I started my journey through academia at the community college near where I lived in the Chicago suburbs, William Rainey Harper Community College. I had wanted to be a Paleontologist since I was little, but Harper only had one geology course and a world class Anthropology Department so I started out as an Anthropology major (with a focus on Meso-America and North American archeology). After getting my A.A. I then transferred to Beloit College in Beloit, WI where I got my B.Sc with a double major in Geology and Anthropology. After doing my bachelor’s thesis on a project in southern Florida I then went to the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL; getting my M.Sc in Geology. I expanded by analytical background while a worked on Ph.D at Virginia Tech. There I got into Earth Systems, material science, and the beginning of the statistical techniques that have led to my interest in ‘Big Data Geosciences’.
Teaching and Research Interests:
My early work focused on the earliest multicellular fossils in the rock record from the Ediacaran Period (635–541 million years ago). During that time period the Earth was like an alien planet compared to now! The atmosphere and ocean looked nothing like we know them today and nothing lived on land. So understanding Earth Systems back then is very important for understanding the development of life in such an environment. That work led to my broadening of my interests to include in material science, geochemistry, and ‘Big Data’ analysis. Since coming to HU I have published on a new fossil (from Hummelstown!) and possible asteroid impact debris in southern Florida. I am also working on bringing virtual reality field trips to HU and investigating the hydrological systems of the Susquehanna River Basin.
Earth Systems are interesting to me because they encompass so much, both in scope (the entire planet!) and in our everyday lives. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the soil we farm are all part of inter-related systems that span from hours to tens of thousands of years. Alterations to any part along these systems causes changes that can, and do, affect us.
Ph.D. –Geosciences, Virginia Tech, VA, 2013
Dissertation: “Contributions to late Ediacaran geobiology in South China and southern Namibia”
M.Sc. –Geology, University of South Florida, FL, 2010
Thesis: “How Synthetic is Vendobionta Morphology? A Geometric Morphometric Study of Pteridinium from the Latest Neoproterozoic”
B.Sc. –Geology and Anthropology, Beloit College, WI, 2007
Thesis: “Reconstructing the depositional environment of a late Pliocene shell bed in Florida: Insights from benthic foraminifers”
A.A. – Anthropology (emphasis), William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, IL, 2004
HU Professor explains PFAS in Central PA waterways – ABC27
Harrisburg University assistant professor Michael Meyer discussed the recently released United States Geological Survey map using data collected in 2019....
Environmental Science professors appears on WITF’s The Spark to Discuss Exploring Pennsylvania Caves Underground Virtually
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology’s Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Mike Meyer, made a a special appearance on WITF’s...
Professor Discusses Critical Fire Danger Risk in Pennsylvania in Interview with FOX 43
In an interview with FOX 43, Mike Meyer, a faculty member at Harrisburg University, delved into the critical fire danger...
Digital ‘CaVRNs’ project to take viewers to Pa.’s deepest, darkest reaches
A pilot study underway at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology will allow cave lovers to travel into the furthest...
Central Pa. should not be worried about toxic chemicals from the Ohio Train Derailment
The Norfolk Southern train that derailed on Feb. 3 in eastern Ohio is continuing to cause concern over the toxic...
HU launches new virtual 3-D campus tour
Prospective students can visit Harrisburg University (HU) of Science and Technology without leaving the comfort of their own homes thanks...
Aviation exam project helps ready students for geospatial tech careers and more
To prepare students for rewarding careers, Harrisburg University’s Center for Applied Environmental and Geospatial Technology provides undergraduates with hands-on experience...
HU receives Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence
Harrisburg, Pa. – Harrisburg University of Science and Technology has been awarded the 2021 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for...
HU professor discusses fossil dating with Gizmodo
Harrisburg University Earth Systems Science Professor Michael Meyer recently was featured in the Gizmodo article, “How Do We Know How...