Gene Rankey, Ph.D.

Hubert H. and Kathleen M. Hall Professor of Geology | Kansas Interdisciplinary Carbonates Consortium | Doctorate in geology 1996
Gene by Lindley Hall

What is your passion?

I strive to understand the way the world works. I study waves, tides and ocean currents and how they transport sediment, construct the seascape and influence life. I’m also interested in using modern systems to better interpret the history of the planet.

How does your professorship support you?

My professorship, established during Far Above, helps me do things quickly or that fall outside of available funding. I recently did an expedition in a new-to-me geographic area to test ideas that could lead to larger projects. I also was able to send two students to see a unique core in the Netherlands.

What brought you to KU?

KU has the best program in carbonate geology. When I was a doctoral student here, I had the pleasure to work with Hub Hall on the department’s alumni advisory committee. I also feel fortunate that I was able to personally express my appreciation to Kathleen Hall.

What makes KU a great place to teach and do research?

KU is a challenging, supportive atmosphere with opportunities to learn. As a teacher, I love seeing students begin to develop intellectually and become passionate about excelling.

What interests you outside of work?

Two of my kids were field assistants on a research trip to Kiribati, a low-lying Pacific island nation being affected by rising sea levels. My kids played soccer with the children and noticed that many of them were barefoot and used old jugs for balls. We started the nonprofit Goals for Good Foundation to send them soccer equipment.