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Dr. Thomas E. Gill
Associate Professor and Geological Sciences Graduate Advisor
(Joint appointment: Department of Geological Sciences, and Environmental Science & Engineering Ph.D. Program)

Aeolian Processes: Geomorphology, Atmospheric Science, Geochemistry





Tel.: (915) 747-5168

Fax: (Geological Sciences Dept.) (915) 747-5073

Mailing Address: Department of Geological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso

500 W. University Ave., El Paso TX 79968-0555 USA


Dr. Gill joined the faculty in Fall 2004 after six years at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.  He is affiliated with the Department of Geological Sciences, the Environmental Science and Engineering Ph.D. program, and the Environmental Science M.S. program at UTEP. His primary research interests are in atmosphere-lithosphere interaction -particularly aeolian (wind-related) processes (wind erosion, blowing sand and dust storms) and atmospheric aerosols of geological origin; and their roles in biogeochemical cycling and environmental change. Gill's research uses aspects of geomorphology, sedimentology, geochemistry, remote sensing, wind engineering and meteorology to study the generation, transport, deposition, and management of aeolian sediments and aerosols, as well as to investigate the interactions and cycling of materials between the atmosphere, lithosphere and biosphere, at all spatial scales. He has a particular interest in how the generation and transport, composition, and characteristics of mineral aerosols and aeolian sediments is influenced by land use- land cover, the hydrologic cycle, landforms, and ecosystems. Tom Gill is the co-author of the Bibliography of Aeolian Research on the Internet. 

Dr. Gill's research interests also include the environmental geochemistry, source appointment and biogeochemistry of trace elements; the geomorphology, sedimentology, and geochemistry of saline lakes and playas; evaporite mineralogy; earth system science, especially the relationship between landforms, climate/weather, and ecosystems; mesoscale meteorology and air pollution meteorology;  the application of X-ray spectrometric techniques in earth science; natural resource management in arid and semiarid lands; and applications of meteorology to homeland security.


GEOL 1311- Principles of Earth Sciences

GEOG 3107- Weather and Climate Laboratory

GEOG 3306- Weather and Climate

GEOG 3308- Climate Science

GEOP 4306- Meteorology

GEOG 4307- Geography of Arid Lands

GEOP 5306- Atmospheric Processes

ESE 6405- Environmental Geoscience



    • Carley, Shane, 2012 (M.S., Geophysics, UTEP)- Seismic Reflection Study of the East Potrillo Fault, Southwestern Dona Ana County, New Mexico.
    • Jones, Slade, 2012 (M.S., Geology, UTEP)- Correlation of Dune Geomorphology with Grain Size and Distribution, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.
    • Rivera Rivera, Nancy I., 2012 (Chair, Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)- Analysis and Modeling of Dust Event Data from El Paso, Texas.
    • Becerra, Fernando , 2012 (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)- Ozone Studies in the El Paso- Juarez Airshed.
    • Odonmbaku, Abdul, 2012 (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)- Use of Environmental Isotope Tracers and GIS to Estimate Mimbres Basin Recharge.
    • Shekhter, Eugenia, 2012 (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)- Lead Pollution: Historical Reconstruction and Source Interpretation in Paso del Norte Region.
    • Guereque, Mariana, 2012 (Co-Chair, M.S., Geological Sciences, UTEP, with Rosa Fitzgerald)- Aerosol Particle Size Distributions Observed During AEROSE V Campaign.
    • Gonzalez, Libia, 2011 (M.S., Environmental Science, UTEP)- Development of a Low-Cost Network of Webcams for Monitoring Plant Phenology in a Chihuahuan Desert Shrubland.
    • Alkhatib, Mohammed, 2011 (M.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering, UTEP)- Automated Detection of Dust Clouds, Sources and Direction from NOAA-AVHRR Satellite Imagery.
    • De La Cerda, Fernanda, 2011 (M.S., Environmental Science, UTEP)- Influence of Orography on the Weather Patterns and Water Availability In A Topographically Complex Chihuahuan Desert Region.
    • Velarde, Roberto, 2011 (Co-Chair, Ph.D., Geophysics, UTEP, with Philip Goodell)- Evaluating Suspended Dust Particulate Matter From Anthropogenically-Altered Lands.
    • Emmert, Sonny, 2010 (Chair, M.S.., Environmental Science, UTEP)- The Composition of Wet Deposition in El Paso, Texas.
    • Yamaguchi, Chika, 2010 (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)- Using Soil-Borne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Organic Carbon in Soil for Projecting Pollution States of PAHs in Ambient Air.
    • Rojo, Lila, 2010 (Chair, Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)- Granulometry and Geochemistry of Dust Emission from Owens (Dry) Lake, California.
    • Gaytan, Monika, 2009 (M.P.H., UTEP)- The Association of Dust Events With Asthma Exacerbation in U.S.- Mexico Border Children.
    • Dominguez Acosta, Miguel, 2009 (Chair, Ph.D., Geology, UTEP)- The Pluvial Lake Palomas/ Samalayuca Dunes System.
    • Janugani, Swapna, 2009 (M.S., Electrical Engineering, UTEP)- Directional Filtering and Classification Techniques for Dust Storm Detection in NOAA-AVHRR Imagery.
    • Langman, Jeff, 2008 (Ph.D., Geology, UTEP)- A Multi- Tracer Study of Saltwater Origin, Cross-Formational Flow and the Geochemical Evolution of Groundwater in the Southern High Plains Aquifer Along the Western Caprock Escarpment, East-Central New Mexico.
    • Perez, Adriana, 2008 (Co-Chair, Ph.D., Geology, UTEP, with Nick Pingitore)- Application of Integrated Remote Sensing and GIS Technologies to Geo-Environmental Issues in Far West Texas and Southern New Mexico.
    • Villegas, Yvette, 2007 (Chair, M.S., Geology, UTEP)- The Characterization and Examination of the Geologic Factors Influencing the Geomorphic Development of Playas Within Fort Bliss, Texas and New Mexico.
    • Nzewunwah, Chima, 2007 (Ph.D., Geology, UTEP)- Channel Dynamics and Controls on Planform Changes Along the Colorado and Pecos Rivers.
    • Rivera, Nancy, 2006 (Chair, M.S., Environmental Science, UTEP)- Detection and Characterization of Dust Source Areas in the Chihuahuan Desert, Southwestern North America (Awarded Best Master's Thesis in Science or Engineering at UTEP for 2006) .
    • Shi, Ye, 2006 (Ph.D., Environmental Science & Engineering, UTEP)- Characterization and Comparison of Speciated Atmospheric Carbonaceous (Soot) Particulates and Their Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contents in the Context of the Paso Del Norte Airshed Along the U.S.- Mexico Border.
    • Adams, Luqman, 2006 (Ph.D., Geology, UTEP)- Sequence and Mechanical Stratigraphy: An Integrated Reservoir Characterization of the Weber Sandstone, Western Colorado.
    • Rose, Jessica, 2006 (M.S., Geology, UTEP), Differences in Dune Morphology Related To Changes in Groundwater Geochemistry, White Sands National Monument, NM.
    • Crabtree, Greg, 2005 (Co-Chair, M.S., Atmospheric Science, Texas Tech, with Richard Peterson), Dustfall in the Southern High Plains.
    • Rothman, Gabriel, 2004 (Chair, M.S., Atmospheric Science, Texas Tech), Saharan Air Layer Interaction with Hurricane Claudette (2003).
    • Evans, Felecia, 2004 (M.S., Atmospheric Science, Texas Tech), Visualization of Tornado Track Prediction with GIS-Based Computer Software.
    • Winn, Russell, 2003 (Chair, M.S., Geology, Texas Tech), Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Aeolian Dust from Owens Lake, California.
    • Vancuren, Richard (Tony), 2002 (Ph.D., Geography, UC Davis), Asian Aerosols in North America: Frequency and Intensity of Transpacific Transport, Chemical Composition, and Mass Concentrations.





    • Peinado, Porfirio (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP) - Geochemical Characterization of Mineral Dust Sources in the Chihuahuan Desert and Southern High Plains Regions



    • Gilbert, Joel (M.S., Environmental Science, UTEP) - The "Milky Rain" in New Mexico of January 2008

    • Undergraduate Research Students:
      Camacho, Jessica




      • Armour-Finch, Linda, (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Bell, Jennifer (Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Alaska- Fairbanks)
      • De La O Fernandez, Olienka (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)
      • Foster, Ann (M.S., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Gomez, Eduardo (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)
      • Hahnenberger, Maura (Ph.D., Atmospheric Science, University of Utah)
      • Jaimes, Aline (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)
      • Kappus, Eric (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Laney, Christine (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)
      • Lynne, Douglas (M.S., Geophysics, UTEP)
      • Neu, Roene (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Nyachoti, Syprose (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Palsole, Sunay (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Rivas, Jose (Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UTEP)
      • Ruiz, Alfredo (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Villarreal, Sandra (Ph.D., Biological Science, UTEP)
      • Wolff, James (M.S., Environmental Science, UTEP)




    • Co-Investigator (NASA): The Impact of the Saharan Air Layer on Tropical Cyclone Genesis and Intensification
    • Co-Investigator (NOAA): NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences
    • Principal Investigator (US Army Corps of Engineers): Wind Erosion Patterns in the Future Combat Systems Maneuver-to-Test Area
    • Principal Investigator (Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program): Database Development of Wind Erosion Source Areas in the Southern High Plains and Chihuahuan Desert
    • Principal Investigator (US Army Corps of Engineers): Wind Erosion Patterns in Coppice Dune Maneuver Areas
    • Principal Investigator (NIH ARCH Program on Border Asthma Pilot Project): Asthma, Dust, and El Paso: Innovative Analysis of Airborne Particulates
    • Co-Principal Investigator (SCERP via US EPA): Investigating the Health Effects of Dust Storms in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua
    • Principal Investigator (SCERP via US EPA): Investigation of Dust Emission Hotspots in Chihuahuan Desert Playa Basins
    • Principal Investigator (US Dept. of Energy): Potential  Fractionation of Heavy Metals in Wind Resuspension of Contaminated Soils
    • Principal Investigator (US Dept. of Defense): Modeling Airborne Transport of Hazards Using Advanced Atmospheric Monitoring Systems and Numerical Techniques
    • Co- Principal Investigator (US Dept. of Commerce): Windstorm Mitigation Initiative
    • Principal Investigator (Texas Advanced Research Projects): Geochemical Fractionation of Dust at the Surface of a Wind-Eroding Playa
    • Project Manager (California Air Resources Board): Generation, Characterization and Transport of Owens (Dry) Lake Dusts
    • Project Manager (California State Lands Commission): Mitigation of Windblown Dusts and Reclamation of Public Trust Values, Owens Lake, California: Partial Mitigation of PM10 Episodes Through Control of Saltating Particles and Reduction of Wind Shear
    • Project Manager (California Department of Health): Particulate Transport at Toxic Waste Facilities in California.







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This page last updated on 28 March, 2013.