Paula Messina


Ph.D., City University of New York, Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences; February, 1998.

Master of Philosophy in Earth and Environmental Sciences, 1997. City University of New York Graduate School and University Center.

Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling, 1984. Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York. G.P.A. 4.0.

Bachelor of Science in Geology, with minor concentration in mathematics, summa cum laude, 1976. G.P.A. 3.94. Hunter College, New York, New York.


Chrysalis Scholarship, 1997. Association of Women Geoscientists, Boulder, CO. This award is granted to one recipient in her last year of doctoral study, annually.

EDMAP Program Grant, 1997. United States Geological Survey. This $6000 grant was awarded for a GPS/GIS geological mapping project conducted in Badlands National Park, South Dakota in July 1997. Matching funds were provided by the City University of New York.

City University of New York Research Foundation Grant, 1997. The maximum stipend of $5900 was awarded to me and my professor at Hunter College for climatological field work in Death Valley CA, summer 1997.

University Scholarship, Research Assistantship, 1994 - 1995. City University of New York doctoral program in Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Tandy Technology Scholars Award for Teaching Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Computer Science, 1995. Tandy Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas. One of 100 teachers honored nationally for this $2500 scholarship.

NASA Global Change Workshop Fellow, 1995. Jet Propulsion Lab/California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.

Bright Lights Award for Distinguished Teaching in Science and Mathematics, 1995. New York City Board of Education: Office of the Chancellor. One of five teachers honored, I was awarded a personal honorarium, and a $2000 grant for my school.

Outstanding Earth Science Teacher of New York State Award, 1994. National Association of Geology Teachers.

Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching, 1994. Geological Society of America.

NEWMAST Scholarship (NASA Educational Workshop for Math and Science Teachers), 1993. Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama. Jointly sponsored by NASA and NSTA.


Earth Science Teacher: Lafayette High School; Brooklyn, New York: 1978 - present.

Instructor: "Geology for Teachers" - a three-credit graduate level field course taught in Northwestern Wyoming offered by Miami University, Oxford, Ohio: summers of 1987 - 1988.

Instructor: "Natural History of the Colorado Plateau" - a three-credit field course taught in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah offered by Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island: summer of 1987.

Project SPICA Agent: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 1994. Having been selected to participate in this NSF-funded three-week summer institute, I conduct astronomy education workshops for teachers for the CfA.

Curriculum Writer: Title VII-Funded"Effective Transitions" ESL Science Project: 1991 - 1995. Responsibilities included curriculum development, consultation with content area specialists, translators and teachers of ESL in the construction of student-centered science lessons.

Curriculum Writer: Independent Study in Earth Science; Lafayette High School: 1991 - 1994.


P. Messina and P. Stoffer. "Spatial Analyses of Sliding Rock Trails on the Racetrack Playa (Death Valley, California): Implications for Basin Geometry-Related Wind Dynamics."GSA Abstracts with Programs, 29:6 (1997). The use of Global Positioning System (GPS) data in a Geographic Information System (GIS) has allowed for the first quantitative analyses of patterns inscribed by sliding rocks on the Racetrack Playa.

P. Stoffer, P. Messina and J. A. Chamberlain, Jr. "Buried slumps in the Upper Pierre Shale and Fox Hills formations (Maastrichtian, Late Cretaceous) in Badlands National Park, South Dakota." GSA Abstracts with Programs, 29:6 (1997).

P. Messina. "Valley of Wayward Rocks." GPS World Showcase, 8:8 (August, 1997).

P. Messina, P. Stoffer and K. C. Clarke. From the XY Files: Mapping Death Valley's Wandering Rocks." GPS World, 8:4 (April, 1997), pp. 34 - 44.

P. Messina, P. Stoffer and Keith C. Clarke. "Sliding Rock Phenomena on Playas of Death Valley, California as a Record of Aeolian Processes: Implications for Topographic Wind Forcing." GSA Abstracts with Programs, 28:7 (1996). A sub-meter DGPS map of the rocks and trails on Racetrack Playa produced in July 1996 is used in conjunction with Digital Elevation Models of the surrounding topography to show the influence of terrain on the atmospheric boundary layer.

P. Stoffer, P. Messina and J.A. Chamberlain, Jr. "Fossils from Beaches in Gateway National Recreation Area: Implications for the Geologic History of the New York Bight."GSA Abstracts with Programs, 28:7 (1996). The historical geology of the New York City region is interpreted by the types of fossils and earth material washing up on area beaches. Detailed descriptions may be obtained by accessing the accompanying WWW Site, the New York Bight Home Page

P. Messina. "The Wayward Rocks of Racetrack Playa." GeoNews, Hunter College, v. 8:4 (1996).

P. Messina. Terrain Analysis Home Page, (December, 1995). This Internet Web Site includes a variety of information on the use of current technology for analysis of the topography of Earth surfaces. A May 26, 1997 New York Times column reviewed the site, calling it: "A good place to pick up mapping jargon, where lucid explanations of digital mapping techniques are illustrated with still and animated examples. It is a refreshingly accessible site, even for novices." It is currently linked to several college's cartography course home pages.

P. Messina. Radar Mapping Home Page, (December, 1995). This Internet Web Site focuses on the use of microwaves as tools for the observation of the Earth's surface topography. There are many links to related sites, including NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Magellan Venus Mapping Home Page.

P Messina. "Project E.T. (Effective Transitions) Science Modules." New York City Board of Education, volume 1 (1992), volume 2 (1993), volume 3 (1994), volume 4 (1995). This collection of nearly two hundred student-centered activities was the basis of a Title VII grant. Each volume was translated into Spanish and Chinese for use with ESL students on the high school and middle school levels.

P. Stoffer and P. Messina. "Bibliography and Index to the Geology, Natural Resources and Physical Environment of Kentucky." Kentucky Geological Survey. An exhaustive index to information published about the physical environment of Kentucky.

S. S. Beus, J. Coffin, P. Messina, A. Doty and D. Mail. "Changes in Selected Beach Profiles Along the Colorado River, Grand Canyon." Colorado River Investigations IV, (1986). The results of a field investigation which studied the erosional-depositional changes along a 220-mile stretch of Arizona's Grand Canyon.


Peer Reviewer, "Web Resources For Terrain Modeling" by Richard J. Pike (United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA). Expected date of publication in Eos, late 1997.

Volunteered Contributor, "Women Who Walk Through Time." (1997) An NSF-funded project designed to encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in the Earth Sciences.; NSF Grant #HRD9625566.

Additional information and references will be furnished upon request