Research Interests | Former Students | Current Students | Selected Research Funded Topics | Selected Publications








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

Aeolian and Dryland Geomorphology: Mineral Aerosols: Atmospheric Science: Trace-Element and Sedimentary 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 and the Environmental Science and Engineering Ph.D. 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 1211/1111- 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

GEOL 5315- Paleoclimatology



    • Spade, Daniela, 2015 (M.S., Environmental Science)- Using the WRF Model to Simulate the Playa Breeze Over Dugway Proving Ground.
    • Peinado, Porfirio, 2013 (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering)- Geochemical Characterization of Mineral Dust Sources in the Chihuahuan Desert and Southern High Plains Regions.
    • Rivera Rivera, Nancy I., 2012 (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering)- Analysis and Modeling of Dust Event Data from El Paso, Texas.
    • Guereque, Mariana, 2012 (Co-Chair, M.S., Geological Sciences, with Rosa Fitzgerald)- Aerosol Particle Size Distributions Observed During AEROSE V Campaign.
    • Velarde, Roberto, 2011 (Co-Chair, Ph.D., Geological Sciences, with Philip Goodell)- Evaluating Suspended Dust Particulate Matter From Anthropogenically-Altered Lands.
    • Emmert, Sonny, 2010 (M.S.., Environmental Science)- The Composition of Wet Deposition in El Paso, Texas.
    • Rojo, Lila, 2010 (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering)- Granulometry and Geochemistry of Dust Emission from Owens (Dry) Lake, California.
    • Dominguez Acosta, Miguel, 2009 (Ph.D., Geological Sciences)- The Pluvial Lake Palomas/ Samalayuca Dunes System.
    • Perez, Adriana, 2008 (Co-Chair, Ph.D., Geological Sciences, 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 (M.S., Geological Sciences)- The Characterization and Examination of the Geologic Factors Influencing the Geomorphic Development of Playas Within Fort Bliss, Texas and New Mexico.
    • Rivera, Nancy, 2006 (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) .
    • Crabtree, Greg, 2005 (Co-Chair, M.S., Atmospheric Science, Texas Tech University, with Richard Peterson), Dustfall in the Southern High Plains.
    • Rothman, Gabriel, 2004 (M.S., Atmospheric Science, Texas Tech University), Saharan Air Layer Interaction with Hurricane Claudette (2003).
    • Winn, Russell, 2003 (M.S., Geology, Texas Tech University), Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Aeolian Dust from Owens Lake, California.





§  Collins, Joe (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP) - Paleoenvironmental Investigations of the Harney Basin, Eastern Oregon

§  Rivas, Jose (with Elizabeth Walsh, UTEP Department of Biological Sciences, Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)- Dust storms and the dispersal of aquatic invertebrates in the Chihuahuan Desert Ecoregion


§  Everett, Andrea  (With Deanna Pennington, UTEP Department of Geological Sciences, M.S., Environmental Science) – Impacts of Environmental Change to the Middle Rio Grande Riparian Landscape on Ysleta del Sur Pueblo’s Cultural Identity and Indigenous Way of Life


Undergraduate Research Students:

·Ostwald, Amanda           

·Solis, Carolina           

·Villalobos, Brianna           


      • Almesleh, Najwah A.A. (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)
      • Cross, Byron (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)
      • Güereque, Mariana (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)
      • Kappus, Eric (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Martin, Maite (M.S., Biological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Nyachoti, Syprose (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Patlan, Ezer (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Ruiz, Alfredo (Ph.D., Geological Sciences, UTEP)
      • Salinas, Esther (Ph.D., Environmental Science and Engineering, UTEP)
      • Slank, Rachel (M.S., Geological Sciences, UTEP)



    • Co-Principal Investigator (NSF): EAGER Collaborative Research: Exploring dust impacts on terrestrial ecosystem processes using an innovative and integrated approach
    • Co-Principal Investigator (U.S. Department of Transportation): Impact of windblown dust on highway safety in the Southern Plains
    • Co-Investigator (NASA): Development and testing of dust activity indicators for the Western United States
    • Co-Investigator (UTEP Interdisciplinary Research Enhancement Program)- Assessment of Aridland Aquatic Biodiversity Using Second Generation Sequencing
    • 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
    • Co-Principal Investigator (SCERP via US EPA): Investigating the Health Effects of Dust Storms in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua
    • 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.







This space intentionally left blank








This page last updated in November, 2015.  Photo Credit: Laura Trejo, UTEP University Communications.