Officers

Laura.jpg

Chair - Laura Ruhl
lruhl.geo@gmail.com
US Geological Survey; Lower Mississippi Gulf - Water Science Center 

I have been interested in Medical Geology since I was an undergraduate student and bought myself a copy of The Essentials of Medical Geology (first edition). I’d always been interested in the natural world around me and that of human health, so medical geology was a natural fit. I continued pursuing this interest throughout school and my academic career. While I enjoy learning about all things Medical Geology related, my research while a professor focused on water chemistry associated with energy resources and mining, development and application of environmental isotopic tracers, urban geochemistry and hydrology, health issues related to water chemistry, and medical geology issues related to human stone growth. 
I received my BS and MS degrees in Geological Sciences from the University of Florida in 2006 and 2008, respectively. In 2012, I completed my PhD at Duke University in Earth and Ocean Sciences. I taught for ten years at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in the Earth Sciences Department. I taught a variety of classes including hydrogeology, geochemistry, environmental geology, geology and ecology of the Bahamas, physical geology, medical geology, and field geology to undergraduate and graduate students. I recently joined the US Geological Survey in the Lower Mississippi Gulf- Water Science Center as the Hydrogeologic Studies Section Chief. My section investigates water availability, both quantity and quality, understanding it through chemical, geophysical, and geologic methods. 

Description of Duties: The chair shall preside at the annual meetings of the Geology and Health Scientific Division and meetings of the Management Board. The chair shall submit a report to the Management Board of the activities of the Geology and Health Scientific Division during his/her term of office and on future plans.

First Vice-Chair - Harshad Vijay Kulkarni
Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, India
I study key environmental processes in natural and engineered systems using a combined approach of field investigation, laboratory experiments, and modeling. Three distinct directions of his research are, (R1) cycling of elements of human health concern and emerging contaminants in natural and manmade aquatic systems, (R2) environmental engineering applications for advanced water-wastewater purification, desalination and sustainable water reuse, and (R3) applications of environmental science in investigating terrestrial analog sites of astrobiological significance. I have been associated with Geological Society of America, and Geology and Health Division since 2013. My research, teaching and outreach activities are aligned with the goals and vision of the G&H Division. Since my doctoral studies, my research has focused on mobility of geogenic and anthropogenic contaminants, and their mobility in various geochemical systems affecting water resources and thereby human health. Being trained as an Environmental Engineer, my research and teaching efforts have been towards bridging geosciences with their applications in environmental or public health engineering. I hope to bring researchers from these two disciplines for addressing health related problems in the society.

Description of Duties: The first vice-chair shall assume the powers and duties of the chair in the event of the absence or disability of the chair. Such absence or disability is to be determined by a majority vote of the Management Board. The first vice-chair chairs the Program Committee for the annual meeting and, as such, serves as the senior Geology and Health Scientific Division representative on the Joint Technical Program Committee (JTPC) for the annual meeting. The first vice-chair shall supervise planning for the Geology and Health Scientific Division technical sessions or symposia to be held at the annual meeting of the succeeding year. The first vice-chair will coordinate the work of any section representatives and will appoint representatives to organize technical sessions for section meetings.

Second Vice-Chair - Sabrina Lanker

sllanker@umich.edu

University of Michigan

Sabrina is a first-generation transfer student with a bachelors in Earth & Environmental Sciences from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has multiple years of experience in both geological and biomedical research. She participated in an NSF REU in 2021 which she presented at GSA that year. Her work was also featured at GSA and the Michigan Geophysical Union in 2022. She has been doing research at the University of Michigan in the biomedical sciences since 2021 and is now working in the research department at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor and recently publish her first paper (2024). She was a Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Scholar, GeoClub Social Chair, and President of the Ladies in Science and Technologies (CataLIST) Club in undergrad. She became a member of the Geohealth Division in 2022 because of her passion for helping people, especially those whose health is affected by earth & environmental processes. She hopes to bring her expertise in event planning, community engagement, inclusivity, and advocacy, as well as her geological and medical knowledge.

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Secretary/Treasurer - Abhishek RoyChowdhury 
aroychowdhury@navajotech.edu 
Navajo Technical University

I am an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Natural Resources at Navajo Technical University (NTU), New Mexico. I received my BS in Biology, and MS in Environmental Science both from the University of Calcutta, India. I earned my PhD in Environmental Management from Montclair State University, New Jersey. I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey. My research expertise lies in the field of environmental clean-up and remediation with special emphasis on abandoned mine site remediation, water and wastewater treatment, and development of environmental-friendly “green” approaches for treatment of heavy metals from contaminated soil and water. My ongoing research projects are funded by USDA, NSF, NASA, U.S. Department of Interior- Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement, U.S. Department of Interior- Bureau of Indian Affairs, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and First Americans Land-Grant Consortium. 

Often compared in size to the state of West Virginia, the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American Tribe of the U.S., has an area of over 27,000 square miles. Navajo Nation has a long history of mining activities, including gold, copper, lead, silver, uranium, and coal, resulting in large areas of abandoned mine sites with soil, water, and air pollution issues. Despite some cleanup efforts, more than 500 contaminated abandoned uranium mines exist across the Navajo Nation, exposing the population to serious health problems. Homes built in areas close to uranium mines also have high indoor levels of radon. My geology and health research are related to clean up of abandoned mines in the Navajo Nation and New Mexico to reduce the human health risk potentials.

Description of Duties: The secretary/treasurer shall act as secretary of the Management Board and shall keep and archive the records of the Geology and Health Scientific Division. The secretary shall notify the officers and the members of the committees of their election or appointment and shall arrange for issuance of notices of all Geology and Health Scientific Division and Management Board meetings and of election results. He/she shall maintain liaison with Geological Society of America headquarters and shall serve, ex officio, as a member of all committees. He/she shall collect and disburse all funds of the Geology and Health Scientific Division and shall keep records of all receipts and disbursements and other financial transactions of the Geology and Health Scientific Division. The treasurer shall account to the Geological Society of America Council for all funds advanced by the Geological Society of America.

Member at Large - Rachel M. Coyte

rachel.coyte@nmt.edu

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Description of Duties: The member-at-large shall sit on at least one standing committee of the Management Board and will provide assistance to the other officers as needed.

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Past Chair - Malcolm Siegel
 
msiegel51@yahoo.com
  LJS Consulting, Inc.

Throughout my career, I have specialized in the geochemistry, treatment, and public health assessment of water resources.  However, it wasn't until I was in my mid-50's that I discovered that I wanted to be a Medical Geologist when I grew up.  I hold a BA in Chemistry from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences/Geochemistry from Harvard University and in 2004, I received a Master of Public Health/Epidemiology degree from the School of Medicine at the University of New Mexico.  During a 30-year career at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1981-2011), I led research teams involved in studies of environmental geochemistry, groundwater remediation, and drinking water treatment for the US Department of Energy.  My work also included studies of environmental impacts of uranium mining and experimental studies of treatment of groundwaters with high radionuclide and arsenic levels in rural New Mexico. I retired from Sandia Labs in December 2011 and served on the adjunct faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico. Over the past 20 years, I have taught courses in geochemical modeling, environmental surface chemistry and environmental health at UNM and I was part of a School of Medicine team that examined the relationship between skin cancer and the combined exposures to sunlight and arsenic in drinking water in New Mexico.  As Co-owner of LJS Consulting, my projects have included evaluation of environmental impacts of a uranium processing plant for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and treatment studies for a new uranium sorbent for private industry.  I am an editor of the book Practical Applications of Medical Geology, which was published by Springer International Publishing in 2021.

Description of Duties: The past chair shall serve as an advisor to the chair, forms some of the corporate memory of the Geology and Health Scientific Division and chairs the Nominations Committee.

Student Representative - Steven Hollan

University of Texas San Antonio

Description of Duties: The student representative is an ex-officio non-voting member of the Geology and Health Scientific Division Management Board. The student can be an undergraduate or graduate student. The student representative shall advise on matters concerning GSA student and early career issues, as well as Geology and Health Scientific Division outreach to a young audience including social media. The student representative shall serve a one-year term and can appointed for a second term with approval of the Management Board.

Past Officers

Tom Varner
  University of Texas San Antonio

Karina Galinskaya
  karina.galinskaya@gmail.com
  Kansas State University 

Andrew Hunt
  hunt@uta.edu
  University of Texas Arlington

Kevin E. Nick
  knick@llu.edu
  Loma Linda University 

Michelle Berube 
  berubem@ksu.edu
  Kansas State University 

Arden Wells
  arden.wells@utdallas.edu
  Kansas State University 

Tom Darrah 

  darrah.24@osu.edu
  Ohio State University

Saugata Datta 
  sdatta@ksu.edu
  Kansas State University

Robert B. Finkelman 
  bobf@utdallas.edu
  University of Texas at Dallas

Syed Hasan
  hasans@umkc.edu
  University of Missouri

Catherine Skinner
  catherine.skinner@yale.edu
  Yale University


Monica E. Gowan
  gowan.monica@mayo.edu
  University of Canterbury


Geoffrey S.Plumlee
  gplumlee@usgs.gov
  US Geological Survey


Gabriel Filippelli
  gfilippe@iupui.edu
  Indiana University - Purdue University


E. Lynn Savage
  savage@brooklyn.cuny.edu
  City University, Brooklyn College