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February 17, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Geological Sciences Celebrates Dr. Dina López on her Retirement

Dr. Dina López, portrait

Dr. Dina López

Dr. Dina López, Professor Emerita of Geological Sciences, retired in December 2020 after nearly 26 years of service at Ohio University. Her contributions to the university and global community are many.

“Dina is a wonderful, supportive, and energetic colleague who has worked tirelessly to improve many facets of our institution, our region, and global communities,” notes Dr. Alycia Stigall, chair of Geological Sciences.

  • Those who know and admire Dr. Dina López are invited to send well wishes and memories via this form via this form by March 15.

López is an internationally renowned researcher in environmental geochemistry and geochemistry of hydrothermal systems, and much of her research career has been spent focused on environmental issues (and related human health problems) in Latin America and Ohio. Much of her research has focused on understanding impacts and mitigation strategies of acid mine drainage in Southeastern Ohio. López has led her students and collaborators in projects ranging from baseline assessment of water quality, documenting pollution levels and sources, to implementing remediation strategies for improving water quality in regional watersheds.

“I have been blessed to have Dina as an adviser, mentor, colleague, and friend throughout my life,” says Jen Bowman ’97, ’00M, director of Environmental Programs at Ohio University’s Voinovich School and alumnus with two geology degrees. “As a graduate student (2000), Dina taught me many invaluable skills I continue to use today. She shaped me into being an unbiased scientist, always questioning, and never shying away from fieldwork. I cherished the contemplations about data and various types of analysis until a breakthrough moment would arrive and we would have ‘beautiful data.’ I have had the pleasure to continue working with Dina throughout my career here at Ohio University bringing the experience full circle. I will miss working with Dina and wish her the best in her retirement.”

Another key facet of López’s work has been to characterize water geochemistry in volcanic systems in Latin America and Spain. This work has led her to collaborate with local health experts to work toward solutions to pollution-based health problems.  Throughout her entire research program, there is a strong theme of conducting research on water pollution and quality to improve environmental and human health. Her impact has been immense.

Together with colleagues at Ohio University, López received more than $2 million in external funding to support her research and that of her students. She has published more than 90 journal articles and book chapters. Although now retired, López continues an active research program, and she was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to Argentina for Teaching Geochemistry of Hydrothermal Systems in 2022.

Among her many contributions to Ohio University, López served as Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences and as a member of the Advisory board of the Master of Environmental Studies. She was appointed to the Ohio Geology Advisory Council for the governor of Ohio and as a member to National Committees and Panels for the National Academy of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and U.S. EPA.

López is a highly effective, engaging, and caring instructor and mentor. In the classroom, she trained students in analysis and applications of water geochemistry principles and methods and pollution and contaminants.  During her career, she was thesis adviser to 38 M.S. and seven undergraduate students. Her students uniformly regard her as an incredible mentor and teacher.

“I had the honor of meeting Dina as a science fair student in high school. She and Mary Stoertz acted as my mentors through high school and my undergraduate. I have the unique experience of returning to Ohio University where I got to become a close colleague of Dina’s. She brings a passion to research and the classroom that is unparalleled. Working with Dina has helped me learn and grow, challenge my assumptions, and become a better researcher. Dina has left a true impact on Appalachian Ohio,” says Dr. Natalie Kruse, professor and director of the Environmental Studies Program.

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