Department Research

Want to see what we’re up to?

Sure, the Earth is billions of years old, but there’s still so much left to discover.

Our department conducts research in a variety of areas, including: air quality, groundwater contamination and environmental water pollution, the effects of agricultural practices on groundwater quality; eclipses and comets; the influence of climate on human populations, and the influence of human populations on the climate; science education teaching methods; and more.

Want to learn more about what our faculty are doing? Check out the research areas below.


Dr. Alan Czarnetzki

Dr. Alan Czarnetzki explores:

  • Analysis and forecasting of middle latitude cyclones (dynamic and synoptic meteorology)
  • Thunderstorm phenomena (mesoscale dynamics)
  • Air quality
  • Meteorological decision support systems that can be used by decision makers, planners, and emergency managers charged with protecting communities in the path of potentially adverse weather

Dr. Kyle Gray

Dr. Kyle Gray explores:

  • Science education methods and pedagogy

Dr. Chad Heinzel

Dr. Chad Heinzel explores some of the primary environmental factors including:

  • holocene climatic variability
  • evolving fluvial landscapes
  • soil development
  • natural resource availability (i.e. soil quality, building materials stone/clay, potable water) that influence human populations

Dr. Thomas Hockey

Dr. Thomas Hockey explores:

  • the history of planetary astronomy in light of the modern search for planets orbiting other stars
  • the astronomy of solar eclipses and comets
  • the archeoastronomy of prehistoric peoples

Dr. Mohammad Iqbal

Dr. Mohammad Iqbal specializes in:

  • hydrogeological research including soil water and groundwater contamination
  • assessment of groundwater flow parameters in various hydrogeologic settings
  • groundwater modeling
  • subsurface contaminant transport mechanisms
  • environmental water pollution research

    He is also interested in the effects of agricultural practices on groundwater quality and nitrate degradation pathways in the Cedar River Watershed of north-east Iowa, nitrogen isotopic source evaluation, and development of multi-component mixing models of storm discharge in a watershed by using oxygen and deuterium isotopes.

Dr. Siobahn Morgan

Dr. Siobahn Morgan explores:

  • the behavior of pulsating stars found in our galaxy and others
  • the evolution of stars, particularly massive stars

    In addition, she provides on-line databases of pulsating star data for other researchers and WWW-based educational packages for K-12 and higher education astronomy courses.