• Professor, Geology & Geophysics



  • BS, Geology, University of California - Davis
  • PhD, Geology, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Honors & Awards

  • Highlighted Researcher, Sedimentary Geology, Time, Environment Paleoclimatology, Paleontology, Energy). STEPPE , 02/2015
  • 2014 GSA Distinguished International Lecturer (54 lectures in 6 countries). Geological Society of America (GSA), 01/01/2014
  • Honorable Mention . Who's Who in Academia, 05/2013
  • GSA Bulletin Exceptional Reviewer . Geological Society of America, 10/2011
  • Most Cited Article 2005 to 2010, Godsey, H.S., Currey, D. R. and Chan, M.A., 2005. Quaternary Research Journal , 12/2010
  • Distinguished Alumni Award. University of Wisconsin Department of Geosciences , 05/2010
  • John Park Teaching Fellowship. University of Utah, 05/2010
  • Outstanding Achievement Award, Salt Lake City, UT. YMCA, 09/2009
  • Elected Fellow. Geological Society of America, 10/1995
  • Society for Sedimentary Geology- SEPM Excellence of Presentation Award . Society for Sedimentary Geology, 12/1991
  • 1983 recognition. Outstanding Young Women of America Award, 12/1983
  • Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists Excellence of Presentation Award . Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists , 04/1981


Over her career of three decades at the University of Utah, Chan has had an active research program spanning some of Earth’s oldest sedimentary rocks (Precambrian) to some of its youngest (Pleistocene).  Her recent research has applied terrestrial geology examples to better understand Martian geology.  She has published 117 peer-reviewed publications and has been featured in National Geographic and Discovery Channel documentary films.  Recently she was the 2014 Geological Society of America’s Distinguished International Lecturer where she gave 53 lectures in 6 countries spanning India, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, and S. Korea. 

Dr. Chan was department chair for seven years (2002-2009).  During this time she oversaw all the departmental programming for new construction of the LEED-certified, award-winning Geology & Geophysics building (Frederick Albert Sutton building), with educational, high-impact visual displays.  Many hail this as the most spectacular Earth science building in the country.

In the Media