Seven New Faculty Members Join Geosciences

Dec 11, 2014

The College of Geosciences welcomes seven new faculty members to Aggieland. Four are in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, two are in Oceanography, and one is in Atmospheric Sciences.

Atmospheric Sciences

Christopher Nowotarski is an assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. His research uses data from idealized simulations, forecast models, and observations to develop tools to help forecasters better predict severe weather threats in current and future climates and provide effective warning to the public. This goal includes assessments and improvements of warning communication strategies. Nowotarski says he is excited to join the faculty at Texas A&M, especially in mentoring and cultivating the immense enthusiasm for weather shared by the Atmospheric Sciences students.

His three degrees are in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University.

Geology and Geophysics

Ryan Ewing is an assistant professor with a specialty in sedimentology. He received his bachelor’s from Colorado College and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas. Ryan received a National Science Foundation Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship to study at Princeton University and California Institute of Technology.  His research interests include wind-blown landforms and sedimentary deposits on Earth, Mars and Titan, and he uses largely field methods and remote sensing to study these systems. He also likes running and making beer.

Peter Knappett is an assistant professor with research interests in field and experimental hydrology. His specific interest is in microbial and particle transport in groundwater— usually in the context of surface water-groundwater interactions. He has a B.Sc. in earth sciences, an M.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of Waterloo, and a Ph.D. in hydrogeology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He’s been to Bangladesh seven times where he has enjoyed seeing the ruins from the British Raj period, swimming in the Meghna River and hiking in the Himalayas.

John Pantano is a research professor whose research involves advancing concepts and technologies to better understand the geological history of sedimentary basins and the origin and distribution of unconventional and conventional petroleum resources.  He is interested in pursuing collaborative, multidisciplinary research projects with geoscientists and petroleum engineers from industry and academia that will significantly improve our understanding of petroleum systems and self-sourced petroleum reservoirs. He earned a B.S. in zoology from the University of Michigan and his M.S. and Ph.D. in geology from the University of South Carolina.

Bobby Reece is an assistant professor researching plate boundaries, processes associated with climate-tectonic interaction, continental margin deformation and high-resolution studies of marine hazards. His primary research tool is reflection seismology, but he utilizes multiple geophysical methods to piece together the big picture.  He has a B.A. in geology from Skidmore College and a Ph.D. in geosciences from the University of Texas at Austin. Before diving into geosciences, Bobby served eight years in the U.S. Navy submarine force, which included a stint on the Los Angeles class submarine USS Louisville in Pearl Harbor. Originally from Georgia, Bobby says he feels at home in College Station and looks forward to his wife Julia Reece joining the department later this summer.


Katie Shamberger, assistant professor of oceanography, focuses on the ocean carbon cycle, its alteration by anthropogenic ocean acidification, and the impacts of ocean acidification on calcifying organisms and ecosystems. She is particularly interested in coastal ocean-carbon cycling, especially within coral reef systems.  She has worked on coral reefs in the Caribbean, Hawaii, American Samoa, Palau, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Chrissy Wiederwohl, instructional assistant professor of Oceanography, studies currents and water mass structures of the Southern Ocean, the Southern Ocean’s role in climate change, decadal variability of water masses, and the Antarctic Slope Front variability and role in water mass formation. Her latest research investigates the Southern Ocean’s role in the accelerated melting of Antarctic glaciers.  She is a sea-going physical oceanographer with over 125 days logged at sea during four expeditions to the Southern Ocean. She has a B.S. in marine science from Coastal Carolina University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography from Texas A&M.

Jan. 31, 2014


Karen Riedel

Communications Manager

College of Geosciences

(979) 845-0971