About Kevin Urbanczyk

Dr. Kevin Urbanczyk teaches a wide range of classes at Sul Ross State University.  He is also actively engaged in research topics with a primary focus on the geology and hydrology of the Big Bend region.

His current research interests include monitoring the geomorphology of sand and gravel bars in Boquillas canyon in Big Bend National Park, eco hydrology studies of the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic river (mostly in the Lower Canyons reach) and regional groundwater studies in western Texas.  He is also involved with spring surveys in Big Bend Ranch State Park, and continues to study the geochemistry of lavas of the Rawls Formation in the park.

The research is both field and lab based.  Kevin’s hydrology based field equipment include Teledyne StreamPro and RiverRay ADCP’s, a SontekFlow Tracker ADV and a Marsh McBirney current meter, all for river discharge and bathymetry measurements.  His list of survey equipment includes a Trimble R6 RTK GPS and a Focus 4 Total Station.  He is also experimenting with UAV imagery for photogrammetry.

Laboratory equipment for petrologic studies include a JEOL 6010 LA Scanning Electron microscope, a Thermo ARL Perform’x 2.5 kW XRF, and a Bruker D2 Phaser XRD.

But, Kevin is most proud of his river cache.  This started in the mid 90’s with an NSF grant to purchase rafts in order to introduce introductory geology students to the river canyons of the Big Bend.  It has evolved over the years to support Geology Field camp, and has recently been updated through the Adelante Tejas grant.  It is necessary equipment to support river studies, including:

  • 4 rafts and frames
  • 17 canoes (Wenonah Cascade and Old Town Trippers)
  • 2 double axle trailers with canoe racks (and a third smaller one in production)
  • Associated gear: too much to list it all, but we have life jackets, paddles, throw lines, straps, rescue gear, dry bags, dry boxes, camp kitchen with aluminum dutch ovens, stoves, water cans, and more…

Current course inventory:

  • GEOL 3401/ 5402 Interdisciplinary GIS
  • GEOL 4403 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  • GEOL 4402 / 5404 Hydrology
  • PHSC 4401 / GEOL 5404 Analytical Instrumentation
  • GEOL 5304 Advanced GIS
  • GEOL 5317 Aqueous Geochemistry

Other courses taught in the past include: Field Geology, Trace elements in magmatic systems, Geology of west Texas, Mineralogy, Lithology and Introductory Geology.