Terry Pavlis joined the UTEP faculty in fall of 2006 after more than 20 years at the University of New Orleans and 5 years at Lehigh University. He is interested in many aspects of structural geology and tectonics, and his work has ranged from neotectonic studies, typically in collaboration with geophysicists and Quaternary geologists, to studies of complex, ductilely-deformed metamorphic terranes, typically in collaboration with metamorphic petrologists and geochemists. His work is primarily field based structural geology, but also includes working with remote sensing, geophysical data, and geochronology. His research has taken him to many parts of the world but much of his effort has centered on the tectonics of the North American Cordillera with particular focus on the northern Cordillera (Alaska and northern Canada) as well as Cenozoic extensional tectonics of the southwestern Cordillera. Recent focus areas have included:
1) attempted better understanding of the 3D mid-crustal architecture of strike-slip systems through studies of exhumed mid-crustal rocks in Alaska and working with geophysicists on young strike-slip systems;
2) developing new understandings of the interactions between erosion and tectonics (an interest initiated by work in central Asia, now continuing through the ST. Elias Erosion and tectonics Project—STEEP);
3) developing improved models that reconstruct the extensional/transtensional tectonics of the Death Valley/Walker lane region of eastern California and western Nevada; and
4) understanding effects of triple junction interactions at convergent plate margins. Within recent years he has developed a strong interest in adapting GIS systems as field data acquisition tools for geology and has experimented with a range of hardware and software solutions which are now being implemented in teaching and research here at UTEP.
Future work will continue these general efforts, but with plans to extend interests in extensional tectonics to the Rio Grande Rift system as well as renewing an old interest in the tectonics of Mexico.