Richard F. Yuretich,
B.A., New York, 1971; M.A., Princeton, 1973; Ph.D., 1976.

Professor, Co-Director of Environmental Science

Earth-Surface Geochemistry, Clay Minerals, General Geology

Richard Yuretich has multiple interests in lake sediments, clay minerals, environmental geochemistry , sedimentology and education research. He dabbled in the sciences while pursuing an undergraduate major in German and then did his graduate work in geology at Princeton University, where he studied the modern environment of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked for Gulf Oil Corporation, investigating the mechanisms of petroleum generation in shales. He then taught at the SUNY College in Oneonta before coming to the University of Massachusetts in 1980.

His research on lake sediments and their significance for paleoenvironmental interpretation has taken him and his students to various corners of the globe, including Lake Baikal in Siberia, East Africa, Venezuela, the Mojave Desert, and Ellesmere Island in Arctic Canada. A major part of his research involves the geochemistry of natural waters. The interaction of minerals with waters in saline and alkaline lakes is one manifestation of this interest; another is his involvement in many projects investigating the controls on the chemical composition of streams and groundwaters in local Massachusetts communities. He was the Principal Investigator of a large interdisciplinary project studying the natural remediation of acid mine-drainage (AMD) at Davis Mine, a local abandoned sulfide mine: (Biogeochemistry of FeIII and Sulfate Reduction in Extreme Acidic Environments). He has also been involved in efforts to improve the teaching of undergraduate courses and provide better science preparation for prospective K12 teachers. These efforts have been carried out with the support of the National Science Foundation (such as STEMTEC, Science Education Online) and NASA (STEM Earth Central). He STILL like rocks, and enjoys unraveling the paleoenvironment of stratigraphic sequences. Projects along these lines have included a study to constrain the depositional conditions of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway of the Rocky Mountain region (in collaboration with Mark Leckie) and examination of Tertiary non-marine environments in the Bighorn Basin of Montana and Wyoming.

He has recently served as Program Director for Geomorphology & Land-Use Dynamics at the National Science Foundation, and since returning to campus, he has been a co-director for the undergraduate Environmental Science program.

Courses Taught:

GEO-SCI 103 Introductory Oceanography

GEO-SCI 231 Geological Field Methods

GEO-SCI 415 Introduction to Geochemistry

GEO-SCI 519 Aqueous and Environmental Geochemistry

GEO-SCI 627 Clay Petrology

Some Representative Publications:

Coggon. M., Becerra, C.A., Nüsslein, K., Miller, K., Yuretich, R., and Ergas, S. (2012), Bioavailability of jarosite for stimulating acid mine drainage attenuation. Geochmica et Cosmoschimica Acta, vol. 78, p. 65-76.

Leckie, R.M., and Yuretich, R.F. (2011), Investigating the Ocean: Illustrated Concepts & Classroom Inquiry, McGraw-Hill, 304 p.

Bloom, J.E., Yuretich, R.F., and Gal, N.E., (2007), Environmental consequences of acid mine-drainage from Davis Pyrite Mine, Rowe, Massachusetts. Northeastern Geology & Environmental Sciences, vol. 29, p. 107-120.

Ergas, S.J., Harrison, J., Bloom, J., Forloney, K., Ahlfeld, D.P., Nüsslein, K., Yuretich, R.F. (2005). Natural Attenuation of Acid Mine Drainage by Acidophilic and Acidotolerant Fe(III)- and Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria. In C. Clark II and A. Lindner (eds.), Innovative Approaches for the Remediation of Subsurface-Contaminated Hazardous Waste Sites: Bridging Flask and Field Studies, American Chemical Society Symposium Series No. 240, American Chemical Society, Washington DC.

Shelobolina, E.S., Anderson, R.T., Vodyanitskii, Y.N., Sivstov, A.V., Yuretich, R.F., and Lovley, D.R., (2004) Importance of clay-size minerals for Fe(III) respiration in a petroleum-contaminated aquifer. Geobiology vol 2, p. 67-76.

Yuretich, R.F., (2003) Encouraging critical thinking. Journal of College Science Teaching vol. 33, No. 3, p. 40-46.

Yuretich, R.F. and Ervin, C.R., (2002) Clay minerals as paleoenvironmental indicators in two large lakes of the African Rift Valleys: Lake Malawi and Lake Turkana, in Renaut, R.W. and Ashley, G.M. (eds.) , Sedimentation in Continental Rifts, SEPM Special Publication No. 73, p. 221-232.Leckie, R.M. and Yuretich, R., (2002)

Yuretich, R.F., Khan, S.A., Leckie, R.M., and Clement, J.J., (2001) Active-learning methods to improve student performance and scientific interest in a large introductory oceanography course: Journal of Geoscience Education, vol. 49, No. 2, p. 111-119.

Yuretich, R., Melles, M., Sarata, B. and Grobe, H., (1999) Clay minerals in the sediments of Lake Baikal: a useful climate proxy.: Journal of Sedimentary Research, vol. 69, No. 3. p. 588-596.

Leckie, R.M., Yuretich, R.F., West, O.L., Finkelstein, D., and Schmidt, M., (1998), Paleoceanography of the Southwestern Greenhorn Sea during the time of the Late Cenomanian/Turonian boundary (late Cretaceous) in Dean W.E. and Arthur, M.A. (eds.), Stratigraphy and Paleoenvironments of the Western Interior Seaway along the Kansas-Colorado-Utah Drilling Transect, SEPM Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology No. 6, p.101-126

Yuretich, R., Knapp, E., Irvine, V., Batchelder, G., MacManamon, A. and Schantz, S. (1996) Influences upon the rates and mechanisms of chemical weathering and denudation as determined from watershed studies in Massachusetts; Geological Society of America Bulletin, vol. 108, p.1314-1327.


Last revised 28 December 
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