Welcome to the official page for RUGS.

Check here for information about what’s happening in the world of the undergrads within Rice’s Earth, Environmental, & Planetary Sciences department.


Our Mission:

  • Enrich the experience of undergraduate Earth Science students at Rice University
  • Provide a structured organization to engage with and support those in the community
  • Strengthen the undergraduate Earth Science community
  • Give undergraduates a stronger voice in the Earth Sciences department
  • Help undergaduates find different opportunities by encouraging engagement with graduate students, faculty, and alumni.
  • Provide programming to help with post-graduation plans
Meet the 2019-2020 RUGS officers!
Jackson Stiles

Jackson Stiles


Hi, my name is Jackson Stiles, I‘m a senior at Duncan. If you ever have a comment, question or concern about RUGS or even the EEPS department, please feel free to email me at jjs10@rice.edu or find me in person. If you ever want to talk about things not RUGS related, I’m always down to talk about sustainability, traveling, food adventures and whatever the latest show to hit Netflix is.

Naod Araya

Naod Araya

External Vice President

Hello, I’m a senior at Jones College studying Earth Science with a minor in Environmental Studies. I joined RUGS in order to play a more active role in our department and community. I hope to utilize my geological background to help countries sustainably develop. Beyond my academic and career interests, I enjoy traveling internationally, camping, and gardening. Contact me at nya1@rice.edu if you have any questions or if you are an alum who wants to connect!

Christina Stoner

Christina Stoner


I‘m a junior at Martel College majoring in Earth Science with a specialization in Geochemistry and serve as treasurer of RUGS. I am originally from Dallas, TX and moved to Houston 9 years ago. Growing up, I tagged along on many of my dad’s field trips since he went back to school to get a master‘s degree in geology, so I found my love for the geosciences at a young age. Now I work in Dr. Melodie French’s lab, studying sheet silicates like micas with a nanoindenter. If you would like to get in contact, please reach out at cas24@rice.edu!

Jackie Richards

Jackie Richards

Socials Manager

Hi, I’m Jackie, a senior at Martel studying Earth Science and Visual Art. Right now, I’m broadly interested in climate migration, geoscience policy, science communication, and paleoclimate studies. Feel free to reach out to me (jar24@rice.edu) about anything or if you have any ideas for bonding events!!

Martina Faciane

Martina Faciane

Web Manager

HI! Nice to meet you. I am this year’s Web Manager for RUGS. I have been interested in the natural world for as long as I can remember, and my time in the EEPS department has only strengthened this passion. My Earth Science interests include oceanography, nutrient cycling, and sustainability! Outside of my major I also enjoy making music, playing tennis, and spending time in the outdoors.
Contact me at mcf5@rice.edu if you have any questions about me or suggestions concerning our website.

ESCI 321: Earth Systems and Cycles

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Fall 2019

ESCI 323: Earth Chemistry and Materials

Southern California

Fall 2019

ESCI 344: Earth Systems and Cycles

New Mexico

Spring 2019

Undergraduate Research Spotlight

Madison Morris

Geochemisty Junior from Sid Rich

Madison works under Dr. Kirsten Siebach in the Rice Earth Science Department. She will be analyzing the Stimson sandstones on Mars for changes in the chemical composition between unaltered and altered drill sites. Her samples were drilled by the Mars rover! ⁣

The Stimson sandstone formation is a lithified basaltic aeolian sandstone with a composition similar to the average Mars crust, that is unconformably draped above the mound-forming units in Gale Crater. ⁣

Research indicates that Gale Crater was once a large lake, and the sediments there chronicle Mars’ environmental history. The more we learn about the Mars rock record, the closer we can get to answering questions about potential life beyond planet Earth!

All You Need to Know About Field Camp!

All B.S. Earth Science undergrad majors must complete a field camp as a graduation requirement.

A Few Field Camp Options

South Dakota School of Mines

University of South Florida

  • This is a hydrogeolgy field camp which may be interesting to someone pursuing a related field.

Frontiers Abroad

  • This course is not associated with a university, and provides options for an abroad field camp experience.

Florida State Univserity

  • A geology camp in the Rocky Mountains that focuses on using GIS and graphics software to complete projects.

Clemson State University

  • A hydrogeology field camp based in South Carolina.

Colorado State University

  • A field camp with CSU’s Soil Institute. This camp focuses on soil ecology and biogeochemisty in the Rocky Mountains.


How Do I Find Funding For Field Camp?

Apply for the The Devlin-Schnable Memorial Award though the EEPS department. The application can be found here. Please send application to Lee Wilson at shiree@rice.edu with your field camp information and you will recieve further information concerning funding.

Credit Hours?

To receive department credit for field camp, the program must be a specfic number of credit hours. Camps will range from 2-6 credit hours, however, to get transfer credit the camp must be 3 or more hours.

How long will field camp take?

Field camps will range from a fast-track 10 day course to an international one month course. Please look at multiple camps to find something that works best for your schedule.