I am Matt Joeckel, research geologist, State Geologist and Director for the Conservation and Survey Division in the School of Natural Resources. I am also the Senior Associate Director of 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 and 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.
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.
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.
Master of Applied Science
Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciencesincluding specializations in
Doctorate of Philosophy in Natural Resource Sciencesincluding specializations in