R.M. (Matt) Joeckel

R.M. (Matt) Joeckel

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  • My Story
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Title State Geologist and Associate Director for Conservation and Survey
Address 615 Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
68583-0996
Phone 402-472-7520
FAX 402-472-2946
E-mail rjoeckel3@unl.edu
Vitae Download file

I am Matt Joeckel, research geologist, state geologist and associate director for the Conservation and Survey Division in the School of Natural Resources. I began working at UNL in 2000.

The majority of my university appointment is in the Conservation and Survey Division (CSD), Nebraska's geological, geographic, water and soil survey. I am pleased to hold a joint appointment in the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, where I teach (or have taught) GEOL 100 Introduction to Geology, GEOL 101 Physical Geology, GEOL 110 Geological Natural Hazards, and GEOL 450/850 Surficial Processes. In 2010, I became a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. In 2011, I was selected to serve as Curator of Geology in the University of Nebraska State Museum.

My main areas of expertise are sedimentology, the study of sediments and their environments of deposition; and stratigraphy, the study of rock and sediment layers; environmental geology (including groundwater); mineral resources; terrestrial paleoecology and paleoclimatology; and geomorphology. I am also interested in soil formation processes and soil-landscape-parent material relationships.

RMJ in southeasternmost Richardson County at the original boundary marker between the Kansas and Nebraska territories, established in 1854.  Pennsylvanian strata in the immediate area include fluvial-estuarine sediments with thin coals, in which early settlers had great (but misplaced) hopes for economic development
RMJ in southeasternmost Richardson County at the original boundary marker between the Kansas and Nebraska territories, established in 1854. Pennsylvanian strata in the immediate area include fluvial-estuarine sediments with thin coals, in which early settlers placed great (but unfounded) hopes for economic development.

In mapping and analyzing surficial geology, I promote an understanding of how Nebraska's current landscape originated and how people interact with that landscape and the geologic materials underneath it. My research on bedrock helps determine where mineral (e.g., clay and limestone) and groundwater resources can be found, and also illuminates the origins of those resources.

Much of my stratigraphic research has focused on Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks. Recent projects include studies of Pennsylvanian cyclothems in Midcontinent USA; geochemistry, mineralogy, and sequence stratigraphy of the Dakota Formation, a secondary aquifer in north-central and eastern Nebraska; stable-isotope chemostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy of the Cedar Mountain Formation (Cretaceous) in Utah, which yields important dinosaur fossils; and the examination ancient soils and land surfaces from the perspectives of stratigraphy and climate change.

I began research projects on Neogene strata in western Nebraska, particularly the Ash Hollow Member of the Ogallala Group, which is a major part of the High Plains Aquifer. With others, I am reconstructing the depositional history and paleoclimatic implications of stream and lake sediments in those strata. I cooperate with personnel from the Kansas Geological Survey, Iowa Geological Survey Bureau, the Utah Geological Survey, and others on projects that deal with region-wide stratigraphic problems, and the calibration of worldwide geologic events and time scales.

In the areas of geomorphology and environmental geology, I have also researched acid rock drainage and the neoformation of minerals in acid weathering environments. I and my co-authors have found several minerals hitherto undescribed from the state, and in some cases, the entire Great Plains region. I am involved in collaborative research on the origin and behavior of eolian dust, eolian erosion and its impact on landforms, loess stratigraphy, and loess pseudokarst. I have examined the historical evolution of channels and patterns of sedimentation in the eastern Platte River. I also have examined soil formation on modern landscapes, including the evolution of saline and alkaline wetlands.

I am currently a participant in the Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA), which has the long-term goal of an improved understanding of groundwater and groundwater-surface water interactions in eastern Nebraska. I have yearly geologic mapping projects funded through the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) STATEMAP geologic mapping program. I also compile a yearly inventory of mineral resource operations in Nebraska for USGS, as well as provide service to the mineral industry of Nebraska. This form of applied scholarship can range from helping producers locate economic quantities of minerals and environmentally sound ways of extracting them to helping them settle disagreements regarding the nature, quality and application of mineral products. My recent efforts have assisted the development of niobium, rare-earth, and limestone deposits in southeastern Nebraska. I also field questions from the public regarding groundwater, rocks, minerals, soils, earthquakes and geologic hazards.

Selected Publications

Joeckel, R. M., Tucker, S. T., McMullin, J. D. 2016. Morphosedimentary features from a major flood on a small, lower-sinuosity, single-thread river: The unknown quantity of overbank deposition, historical-change context, and comparisons with a multichannel river. Sedimentary Geology, 343, 18-37. Online
Korus, J. T., Joeckel, R. M., Divine, D. P., Abraham, J. D. 2016. Three-dimensional architecture and hydrostratigraphy of cross-cutting buried valleys using airborne electromagnetics, glaciated Central Lowlands, Nebraska, USA. Sedimentology. 64:553-581. Online
Sweeney, M. R., Zlotnik, V. A., Joeckel, R. M., Stout, J. E. 2016. Geomorphic and hydrologic controls of dust emissions during drought from Yellow Lake playa, West Texas, USA. Journal of Arid Environments. 133:37-46. Online
Burberry, C. M., Korus, J. T., Joeckel, R. M. 2015. Post-Mississippian tectonics of the Nemaha Tectonic Zone and Mid-Continent Rift System, SE Nebraska and N Kansas. The Mountain Geologist. 52: 47-73. Online
Korus, J.T., Joeckel, R.M., Hanson, P.R., Goeke, J.W., Lackey, S.O., and Burbach, M.B. 2011. Reference List For Describing Cuttings And Cores Of Sediments And Sedimentary Rocks In Nebraska. Lincoln, NE: Conservation and Survey Division, UNL. pp. 7.
Korus, J.T., and Joeckel, R.M., 2011, Generalized geologic and hydrostratigraphic framework of Nebraska 2011, ver. 2. Geologic Maps and Charts 38, Conservation and Survey Division, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Divine, D. P., R. M. Joeckel, J. T. Korus, P. R. Hanson and S. Lackey (2009). Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA): Introduction to a hydrogeological study, Conservation and Survey Division, University of Nebraska, Bulletin 1 (New Series), 31 p. Online
Divine, D.P., Joeckel, R.M., Korus, J.T., Hanson, P.R., Olafsen Lackey, S., 2009, Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment (ENWRA): Introduction to a Hydrogeologic Study, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Conservation and Survey Division Bulletin 1 (New Series), 32 p. Online
Hanson, P.R., Joeckel, R.M., Young, A.R., Horn, J. 2009. Late Holocene Dune Activity in the Eastern Platte River Valley, Nebraska, Geomorphology 103:555-561. Online
R.M. Joeckel, H.M. Loope, K.D. Wally, and J.E. Hellerich with 12 figures, 2007. Late Cenozoic geomorphology of a bedrock-dominated landscape adjacent to the Laurentide glacial limit: southeastern Nebraska, USA. Z. Geomorph. N. F. 51: 469-486.
R.M. Joeckel, K.D. Wally, S.A. Fischbein, and P.R. Hanson. 2007. Sulfate Mineral Paragenesis in Pennsylvanian Rocks and the Occurrence of Slavikite in Nebraska. Great Plains Research. 17: 17-33. Online
Carlson. M.P., R.M. Joeckel and B.L. Nicklen. 2007. Low-accommodation detrital apron alongside a basement uplift, Pennsylvanian of Midcontinent North America. Sedimentary Geology 197:165-187.
Burbach, M.E., and Joeckel, R.M. 2006. A delicate balance: Rainfall and groundwater in Nebraska during the 2000-2005 drought. Great Plains Research 16(1): 5-16. Online
Gosselin, D.C., L.M. Klawer, R. M. Joeckel, F.E. Harvey, A.R. Reade, and K. McVey. 2006. Arsenic in Rural Public Water Supplies, Nebraska, U.S.A., Great Plains Research. 16:137-148. Online
Joeckel, R. M., Diffendal, R. F. Jr., 2004 (RS-1070). Geomorphic and Environmental Change Around a Large, Aging Reservoir: Lake C. W. McConaughy, Western Nebraska, USA. Environmental and Engineering Geoscience, 10: 69-90. Online

Educational Background

  • BS - University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Geology (1985)
  • MS - University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Geology (1988)
  • PhD - University of Iowa, Geology (1993)

Awards

  • 2014 – John C. Frye Memorial Award awarded by Association of American State Geologists 

SNR Mission Area(s)

  • Environmental Science

Affiliations (index)

Notable Websites

Areas of Interest

  • Regional sedimentology and stratigraphy (particularly Paleozoic and Mesozoic)
  • Environmental geology, Mineral resources and identification
  • Clays and clay minerals
  • Weathering processes and products
  • Pedology (soil genesis) and paleopedology (ancient soils)
  • Geologic mapping
  • Vertebrate paleontology
  • Geomorphology and landscape evolution
  • Mineral resources,
  • Sedimentary petrology
  • Extension and outreach
  • Science education
  • Land use/land cover
  • Paleoenvironments
  • Rocks and Stones
  • Geographic Information Systems/GIS
  • Tectonics
  • Fossils
  • Mapping, Cartography
  • Petroleum Resources
  • Physical Geography

Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant Title Nebraska GeoCloud
Starting Date 3/3/2017
Principal Investigators
Jesse Korus
Co-PIs
Kathleen (Katie) Cameron
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Ending Date 6/30/2021
Funding Level $264,014.00
Funding Source Lower Platte South Natural Resource District

 
Grant Title Nebraska Basin CarbonSAFE
Starting Date 3/9/2017
Principal Investigators
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Co-PIs
Dana Divine
Jesse Korus
Ending Date 6/1/2018
Funding Level $116,237.00
Funding Source Battelle Memorial Institute

 
Grant Title Geologic Mapping Missouri NRR
Starting Date 9/15/2016
Principal Investigators
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Co-PIs
Dana Divine
Ending Date 12/31/2017
Funding Level $98,549.00
Funding Source National Parks Service

 
Grant Title Nebraska State Map 16-17 (Additional Funding)
Starting Date 9/15/2016
Principal Investigators
Paul Hanson
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Aaron Young
Ending Date 9/14/2017
Funding Level $44,140.00
Funding Source USGS

 
Grant Title CSD Participation as a Data Provider in the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network
Starting Date 8/15/2016
Principal Investigators
Mark Burbach
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Mark Mesarch
Aaron Young
Ending Date 8/14/2017
Funding Level $42,387.00
Funding Source USGS

 
Grant Title Nebraska Statemap FY 2015
Starting Date 9/15/2015
Principal Investigators
Paul Hanson
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Jesse Korus
Aaron Young
Ending Date 9/14/2016
Funding Level $86,366.00
Funding Source U. S. Geological Survey

 
Grant Title Nebraska FY2014 Statemap Project
Starting Date 9/15/2014
Principal Investigators
Paul Hanson
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Jesse Korus
Mark Kuzila
Aaron Young
Ending Date 9/14/2015
Funding Level $65,623.00
Funding Source US Department of the Interior - Geological Survey

 
Grant Title Lower Big Blue Well Monitoring Installation Supervision
Starting Date 11/1/2014
Principal Investigators
Dana Divine
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Ending Date 11/1/2015
Funding Level $3,300.00
Funding Source Lower Big Blue NRD

 
Grant Title Nebraska FY 2014 Statemap Project
Starting Date 9/15/2014
Principal Investigators
Paul Hanson
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Jesse Korus
Mark Kuzila
Aaron Young
Ending Date 9/14/2015
Funding Level $65,623.00
Funding Source US Department of the Interior - Geological Survey

 
Grant Title Water Leaders Academy (additional funding)
Starting Date 4/1/2012
Principal Investigators
Mark Burbach
Co-PIs
Lorrie Benson
Bruce Dvorak
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Jesse Korus
Connie Reimers-Hild
Phyllis Schoenholz
Ending Date 3/31/2015
Funding Level $21,302.00
Funding Source Nebraska State Irrigation Association

 
Grant Title 2013-2014 Statemap
Starting Date 9/15/2013
Principal Investigators
Paul Hanson
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Jesse Korus
Mark Kuzila
Aaron Young
Ending Date 9/14/2014
Funding Level $72,636.00
Funding Source US Department of the Interior

 
Grant Title Nebraska State Map 11-12 (Additional Funding)
Starting Date 7/1/2011
Principal Investigators
Paul Hanson
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Mark Kuzila
Ending Date 6/30/2012
Funding Level $71,017.00
Funding Source US Department of Agriculture

 
Grant Title The Effect of a Transition from Prairie to Forest Ecosystems
Starting Date 10/1/2010
Principal Investigators
Mark Kuzila
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Ending Date 9/30/2011
Funding Level $20,000.00
Funding Source US Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service

 
Grant Title Nebraska State Map 2010-11 (additional funding)
Starting Date 5/15/2010
Principal Investigators
Paul Hanson
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Mark Kuzila
Ending Date 5/14/2011
Funding Level $75,854.00
Funding Source US Department of the Interior - Geological Survey

 
Grant Title Mc-Stennis FY 09
Starting Date 1/1/2009
Principal Investigators
Mark Kuzila
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Ending Date 9/30/2009
Funding Level $6,904.00
Funding Source McIntire-Stennis

 
Grant Title Global Gateway Facility Association 2010
Starting Date 1/1/2010
Principal Investigators
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Ending Date 12/17/2010
Funding Level $5,800.00
Funding Source University of Nebraska-Lincoln Foundation

 
Grant Title Eastern Nebraska HEM Aquifier Mapping
Starting Date 7/15/2009
Principal Investigators
Paul Hanson
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Jesse Korus
Ending Date 7/1/2010
Funding Level $60,000.00
Funding Source Lower Platte South NRD

 
Grant Title Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment Study, Ashland, Firth, and Oakland Bulletins
Starting Date 7/1/2009
Principal Investigators
Paul Hanson
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Susan Lackey
Ending Date 7/1/2011
Funding Level $84,500.00
Funding Source Lower Platte North NRD

 
Grant Title Nebraska State Map 2009-10
Starting Date 5/1/2009
Principal Investigators
Paul Hanson
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Mark Kuzila
Ending Date 4/30/2010
Funding Level $82,156.00
Funding Source US Department of the Interior - Geological Survey

 
Grant Title Eastern Nebraska Water Resources Assessment
Starting Date 8/1/2008
Principal Investigators
Susan Lackey
Co-PIs
R.M. (Matt) Joeckel
Paul Hanson
Ending Date 7/1/2010
Funding Level $17,080.00
Funding Source Lower Platte North NRD

 

Graduate Program(s)

Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciences