James Mauch

College of Science

James Mauch grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado, and fell in love with the landscapes of the western US from an early age. A passion for understanding the ground beneath his feet led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Earth Science from Montana State University, where he graduated in 2014. After taking a year off to hike the Continental Divide Trail and instruct for the Wild Rockies Field Institute, he returned to school for a master’s in Geology at Utah State University. Under the guidance of Dr. Joel Pederson, his research at USU has focused on understanding the processes and rates of active salt tectonism beneath the city of Moab. He has found that valley subsidence from salt-dissolution has accelerated geologically-recently and appears to be controlled by the downcutting of the nearby Colorado River. As part of this research he made a geologic map of a 7.5′ quadrangle east of Moab, which he is preparing to publish with the Utah Geological Survey. After graduating this spring, James is excited to apply his passion for Earth-surface processes and geologic hazards as he pursues a career with a geological survey or land management agency.