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New Department of Geological Sciences Chair


Dean Gus Hart of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences appointed Dr. Michael J. Dorais as chair of the Department of Geological Sciences starting on July 1, 2019. Dorais replaced John H. McBride, who has served as department chair since 2013.

“Dr. Dorais brings a wonderful dynamic to the department, and his passion for geology is contagious,” said Gus Hart, Dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. “We know he will do great things for the department.”

Much of Dr. Dorais’s current research focuses on rocks in the New England area. He is studying the origin of the garnet found in the Cardigan Pluton in New Hampshire, as well as the igneous rocks along the Laurentian and peri-Gondwanan boundary, which spans the New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts region. He has also participated in the National Science Foundation’s deep-sea drilling program and is studying basaltic rocks from the South Pacific and the South China Sea.

Speaking of his goals moving forward as the department chair, Dr. Dorais said, “The Department of Geological Sciences has an excellent record of teaching, mentoring and research. With several of our senior faculty about to retire, our major task is to replace these scientists with some of the outstanding candidates that have obtained PhDs from some of the best universities in the country. My goal is to shepherd that process, and at the same time, assist our faculty in maintaining and enhancing the tradition of excellent teaching and research in our department.”

After 12 years on the faculty at Indiana University, Dr. Dorais began his teaching career at BYU in 2000 and has since served on the University Professional Rank and Status Council, as the department associate chair, and as the department graduate coordinator. During his time at BYU, he has received his department’s J. Keith Rigby Research Award twice and the Myron G. Best Teaching Award. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and is the author and co-author of over 80 peer-reviewed articles.