Montana Research

Professor Bob Schwartz has long recognized the rich and exciting nature of Montana geology. His ongoing research program with students in Montana includes investigations of ancient river and ocean systems and their links with mountain building and other tectonic events. Recently Professor Schwartz and his students have unraveled evidence for a previously unrecognized seaway that inundated the northern Rocky Mountain region during the “age of dinosaurs” and are now working on reconstructing ancient mountain and intervening river-basin systems that developed in the Rockies during the last 30 million years. Students involved in this research need to make detailed sedimentologic, stratigraphic, and petrologic observations, both in the field and in the lab, which builds important critical analysis skills. The results of this research are important for reconstructing the tectonic evolution of Montana and also for delineating natural resources including hydrocarbon and groundwater reservoirs.

Examples of Recent Student Participants and Research Projects