Student Research at the Field Station

In addition to using the Field Station as a base for courses, the Field Station and surrounding region have been the home for a wide range of research projects by students at all levels as well as professionals. Examples of some of the recent and ongoing research projects can be found in the "Student Research" section below.


The establishment of the Willow Creek Demonstration Watershed marked a major increase in the range of projects that could be addressed. Funding for student research is available through the Professor Charles Vitaliano Grant-In-Aid for Research.

Outreach efforts aimed at students in K-16 along with teachers and local individuals are being developed. For more information on these efforts please follow the links when they are available.

Graduate student research

research at the WC watershed

Andrew Gustin

Title: The distribution, morphology, and temporal signature of rock glaciers in the Tobacco Root Mountains, Montana 2010-2011.

research in the Tobacco Root Mountains

Patrick Kane

Title: Applications of zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronology to determine exhumation histories and constrain the transition from compressional to extensional tectonic regimes in southwest Montana. November, 2015

North Boulder Valley

Donald Tripp

Title: North Boulder Valley: effects of extensional tectonics on stream evolution and stream capture. October, 2015

James Wallace

Title: Structural evolution of the J-fold; a multi-scalar approach to modeling kinematic fold evolution in the Cordilleran fold-thrust belt, southwestern Montana 2015-2016.

Ciara Mills

Title: Characterizing deformation in Precambrian gneisses along the Carmichael Fault, SW Montana: implications for fault cross section models and laramide lithospheric fault behavior. 2015-2016

Undergraduate student research

senior research project

Jade Marks

BSES presentation, 2011.
Title: Sulfur Content and Isotopic Composition of Lichen Species. Bullion Mine, Basin, MT.

area of senior research project

Kassia Groszewski

BSES presentation, 2011.
Title: Watershed interactions and water quality assessment of previously mined mineralized areas. Willow Creek Demonstration Watershed, Madison County MT, 2006-2011.

senior research project

Matthew Wenzel

Senior thesis project, April 2015. Title: Copper and zinc phytoremediation by native herbaceous and grass species colonized on remediated soils at the Bullion Mine, Montana.

Funding for student research

A major donation to the Department in 2000 was used to establish a new Charles J. Vitaliano Research Grants-in-Aid program. We are offering $2000 to support student research on the geology and geophysics of western Montana and adjacent areas.  This Grant-In-Aid is in honor of Dr. Charles J. Vitaliano, a former member of the Indiana University Department of Geological Sciences and the Judson Mead Geologic Field Station.  It is meant to recognize his important contributions to the creation of the teaching and research programs at the Field Station as well as his undying love for field Geology. The grants will be awarded as part of a nationwide competition among students who intend to do research in Montana, part of which will be based at the Judson Mead Geologic Field Station of Indiana University.

Professor Vitaliano, who died in April, 2000, had a career-long passion and enthusiasm for Montana geology, as well as strong ties to the Field Station, which he developed during the many years in which he used the Field Station as a base for his teaching and research. Dr. Vitaliano was the instructor for the first field course taught at the Field Station in 1949, and he continued to teach most years until his retirement in 1974. The Lecture Hall at the Field Station was named in his honor during the 50th Anniversary celebration in 1999, which the entire Vitaliano family attended. Mrs. Vitaliano will be informed of all contributions made in memory of her late husband.

Apply for this grant

contact information

department of earth and atmospheric sciences
indiana university
1001 e. 10th st. bloomington in 47405

phone: 812-855-1475


field station address:
633 s. boulder road, cardwell, montana 59721
phone: 406-287-3528