Gammons Selected as Stan and Joyce Lesar Professor


news/2016/10/100720161Gammons Selected as Stan and Joyce Lesar Professor Back row from left to right: Garrett Hill (M.S. student), Jon Szarkowski (B.S. student), Stan and Joyce Lesar Professor Chris Gammons, Kyle Eastman (M.S. student), and Sara Edinberg (former M.S. student now with MT-DEQ). Front row from left to right: Garrett Smith (ex-M.S. student now with MT-DEQ), Ardelion Cocergine (B.S. student), Jenna Kaplan (recent M.S. student grad).

Montana Tech has selected Dr. Christopher Gammons as the Stan and Joyce Lesar Professor for 2016-17. Gammons is a professor in the Geological Engineering Department at Montana Tech where he has been for 18 years.

The Stan & Joyce Lesar Professorship was established by Dave and Sherry Lesar in honor of Dave’s parents. The Professorship encourages innovation and excellence in teaching and research by providing an up to 3-year award to a Montana Tech faculty member(s). The professorship recipient(s) receive the award through a competitive process, with the final selection being made by Montana Tech’s Chancellor Don Blackketter. The award is based annually on a fixed percentage of the endowment’s value.

“Montana Tech is a perfect place to conduct research into the geologic, engineering, and environmental aspects of natural resource development,” noted Dr. Gammons. “But, being a small school, we often lack funds to take research projects to a high level. This endowment will have an immediate benefit for my research group. Also, I hope to use some of the funds to build new interdisciplinary partnerships with other academic departments and private industry.”

“Dr. Chris Gammons is a great selection as the inaugural Stan and Joyce Lesar Professor,” explained Dr. Doug Abbott, provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at Montana Tech. “Chris has been a prolific professor and researcher during his time at Montana Tech. He has been recognized by the campus in teaching with the Rose and Anna Busch Faculty Achievement Award and in research with the Montana Tech Distinguished Researcher Award twice.  Numerous Montana Tech students have worked with Chris in his contaminant transport research and this professorship will enable Chris and his students to continue research efforts in this area.”

The Stan & Joyce Lesar Professorship will be used to support programming and research designed to enhance our ability to develop, and responsibly use our natural resources, and to enhance and ensure an environment that is supportive of continued natural resource development. The professorship could be shared by more than one faculty member as a means of promoting collaboration among faculty members and across disciplines.

Gammons was selected out of an outstanding list of applications. He has a diverse list of publications and papers related to the development of natural resources, particularly mineral resources, and its associated effects on the environment. He has served as an advisor for over 50 master of science students at Montana Tech and mentored greater than 20 undergraduate research projects.

His current research interests are:

1.      Field and laboratory studies of economic geology of mineral deposits
2.      Field and laboratory studies of the environmental geochemistry of mine wastes
3.      Laboratory studies of hydrothermal phenomena
4.      Applications of stable isotopes to environmental geochemistry

Gammons intends to continue research in each of the four areas above in the next 3 year period and beyond.