Portrait of Megan Elwood Madden.
JULY 6, 2023 | BY VICTORIA STEPHENS
Megan Elwood Madden, Ph.D., a professor at Mewbourne College’s School of Geosciences, has been elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. This honor recognizes her exceptional contributions to geosciences and higher education. Elwood Madden's expertise is in planetary geochemistry. She is highly regarded for her research and teaching in various disciplines, including scientific communication, physical geology, geochemistry, and gender and identity in STEM.
Elwood Madden and her students conduct laboratory experiments, field studies and modeling techniques to unravel the formation processes of rocks and minerals throughout our solar system. Their current projects investigate the geochemistry of near-surface water and weathering products on Earth and Mars. They utilize innovative analytical techniques, such as Raman spectroscopy, to measure brine chemistry accurately. Their research delves into the intricate gas hydrate formation and decomposition processes in permafrost and planetary environments.
“Megan is an outstanding planetary geochemist. She is a dedicated educator, mentor and champion of a diverse geoscience workforce,” said Gerilyn Soreghan, Ph.D., director of the School of Geosciences.
In addition to her groundbreaking research, Elwood Madden developed a course within the Department of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Oklahoma exploring the complex intersection between gender and other forms of identity in contemporary STEM. By investigating the impact of cultural expectations associated with gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, Elwood Madden fosters a deeper understanding of how these factors shape professional identity and student engagement.
“I’m excited about research, teaching and making the university a better place. Those things don't necessarily happen independently,” Elwood Madden said. “And one of the things that I think is really exciting about the School of Geosciences is that our faculty are committed to supporting our students and providing unique learning opportunities through our active research projects.”
Elwood Madden's election as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America is a testament to her exceptional contributions to geosciences and higher education. Her pioneering research in planetary geochemistry and commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in STEM make her an outstanding scholar and mentor. We congratulate her on this well-deserved honor and look forward to her continued impact on the scientific community and the education of future geoscientists.
The Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy improves people’s lives through research, education and service by studying Earth’s past and present, developing new energy tools and resources, and creating geoscientists and engineers who work across disciplines to address some of society’s most critical challenges.