Tamulonis, Simon join geology department

Trevor Day, Contributing Writer

The geology department added two new professors this fall, Assistant Professor Kathryn Tamulonis and Visiting Assistant Professor Sharane Simon.

Kathryn Tamulonis, assistant professor of geology.
Contributed by SHARANE SIMON
Sharane Simon, visiting assistant professor of geology.

The process of hiring a new professor took over six months, involved a nationwide search, campus wide committees, a student committee, Skype interviews and involvement from the administration.

Rachel O’Brien, associate professor and geology department chair, was part of the search process.

“In addition to their interests in geology, they bring very broad interests and an understanding of the whole student and I think that is very important, and that is something we want in our faculty,” O’Brien said.

Prior to working at Allegheny, Tamulonis worked at Slippery Rock University as a visiting instructor in the geology department.

Before teaching at Slippery Rock, Tamulonis worked as an oil and gas geologist. Her job was to detect the presence of natural gases or oil, which indicates an ideal drilling or fracking site.

Tamulonis attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA for her undergraduate studies, followed by two years at an environmental consulting firm in the Hudson Valley of New York. The firm mostly participated in cleaning up contaminated sites. Then, she attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York for graduate school.

“I have a background in petroleum geology, sedimentary geology, looking at sedimentary rocks and understanding the variations in where they are deposited and what they mean,” Tamulonis said. “Then, ground water with my background in environmental consulting and I dabble in landslides a little bit.”

Tamulonis said she chose to work at Allegheny because of her time at Dickinson.

“When I graduated from Dickinson I thought I would like to be a professor,” Tamulonis said. “I don’t think looking at rocks is a boring thing. There are a lot of economic reasons for things, geologists are the people who are tasked with finding resources and why they are there.”

Simon said she looks forward to working with students.

“I am a strong believer in education and what education can do for you,” Simon said.

Simon received her bachelor’s degree in petroleum geoscience from the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. After her undergraduate work, she worked as a geologist at Trinity Exploration and Production Limited in Trinidad and Tobago. She then went on to complete her dissertation and received her doctorate in Earth sciences from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.

Simon has several years of experience in research and conducted a study which advanced the limited understanding of ancient river systems. She also has experience investigating the significance of seismic aptitudes in an offshore gas field.

Simon said she believes in the continued importance of geology in the world and encourages students to go into the field.

“In geology, you get to do so many things, it is very broad,” Simon said. “You can find anything to do.”