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Grant Colip

Graduate Teaching Asst

Jordan Hall 1125


Growing up near the beach in Wilmington, NC, I developed an appreciation for environmental awareness and earth science at a young age.  During my high school years in Roanoke, VA, I led a multi-year study comparing the effects of organic compost tea and synthetic fertilizers on the microbial and macroinvertebrate communities in the soil.  I earned my B.S. in Geology, with a double major in Spanish, from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 2019, where my Honors thesis focused on fluvial stream geomorphology and sedimentology.

Since 2018, I’ve been employed with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) based out of Reston, Virginia, and have worked with Dr. Christopher Swezey and other USGS scientists on an investigation of Quaternary sediments preserved within karst sinkholes in the Valley and Ridge province of western Virginia.  In Fall 2020, I will begin work on my M.S. in Earth Science at North Carolina State University.

Research Description

My research interests are focused around geomorphology, fluvial sedimentology, and Holocene paleoclimate and paleovegetation. I enjoy working in both the field and the laboratory. My M.S. work at NCSU is co-advised by Dr. Karl Wegmann and Dr. Lonnie Leithold, 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." This societally important work, which involves analysis of the geomorphology, sedimentology, and event stratigraphy of the lake, aims to construct a complete Holocene sedimentary sequence dating back to the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary. Using this, the project aims to improve understanding of the history of seismic activity on the Olympic Peninsula and to enhance regional seismic hazard probability estimates.


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Bachelor of Science, Geology, James Madison University (2019)
Bachelor of Arts, Modern Foreign Languages (Spanish), James Madison University (2019)