The Lithospheric Geophysics group is frequently seeking to recruit new undergraduates, M.S., and Ph.D. students to join the group! Please feel welcome to email Dr. Karplus for more information. We have had students in the group who are interested in careers in research (universities, national labs), the energy industry, teaching, and more. 

The graduate program in geology and geophysics at the University of Texas at El Paso is moderate in size (30-35 M.S. level students, 25-30 Ph.D. level students, 21 tenured/tenure-track faculty, and 4 research faculty), which provides an opportunity for personalized, high quality graduate education. The University has an enrollment of 25,000 and is the largest institution within the continental United States having a Hispanic student body majority (80%). The Lithospheric Geophysics group is committed to UTEP's mission of Access & Excellence


The Department of Geological Sciences at UTEP has a wide variety of on-hand computing facilities.  These include licenses for all major GIS and remote sensing software packages (ArcGIS, ENVI, ERDAS, etc.) and a cluster of Windows PCs, all of which are part of the NASA-funded Pan American Center for Earth and Environmental Studies (PACES).  The department has several Linux servers with numerous workstations for seismic and geophysical data processing and mass data storage. 

Field Geophysics

UTEP's current geophysics equipment includes an EM-31 ground conductivity meter, a DC resistivity meter, La Coste Romberg and Worden land gravity meters, two proton precession magnetometers, a Pulse-Ekko ground penetrating radar unit with 110 MHz, 225 MHz, 450 MHz, 900 MHz and 1.1 GHz antennas, a Geometrics 24-channel portable seismograph unit, about 350 Texan single-channel portable seismic recorders, 10 broadband or short-period passive source instruments, slimhole logging tools (downhole seismic, resistivity, induction, natural gamma, heat-pulse flowmeter, magnetic susceptibility, caliper), and surveying equipment (theodolites, levels, total station, GPS receivers). UTEP has a 51-node Fairfield Z-Land Generation 2, 3-component, 5-Hz seismic geophone system, and we plan to purchase 54 additional nodes during 2019. UTEP also has several real time kinematic (RTK) GPS units for surveying. Instrumentation for the test, calibration, repair and maintenance of the equipment is also available.  We own one ground conductivity meter (EM31) that has a penetrating depth of 3 and 6 meters (depending on antenna mode).

UTEP is also home to the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Seismic Source Facility, led by Galen Kaip.

UTEP’s connection with Bhutan and Bhutanese architecture

UTEP's campus is known for its striking architecture, inspired by the Himalayan mountain-top fortresses of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Nearly all of the buildings on campus incorporate Bhutanese architectural elements—massive sloping walls, high inset windows, overhanging roofs, and darks bands of brick inset with mosaic-tiled mandalas. The style has been a part of the campus design since 1917. In the late 1960’s, an official relationship began between UTEP and the Kingdom of Bhutan, precipitated by a letter from a UTEP faculty member to the Bhutanese royal family. In 2014, for UTEP’s Centennial celebration, the Kingdom of Bhutan issued UTEP and Bhutan friendship commemorative postage stamps, and a number of cultural exchange events between UTEP and Bhutan were organized. In 2019, UTEP holds a Bhutan Day celebration every year and enrolls ~25-30 Bhutanese undergraduate students. The UTEP Geological Sciences Department has also trained several Bhutanese graduate students over the past 20 years.