Online Graduate Programs Affiliated Faculty

The Earth Science and Environmental Change Department at the University of Illinois has been a home for pioneering research and excellent teaching for well over a century, with our graduates becoming leaders in both academia and industry. As one of the nation’s top public research universities, we have extensive resources, enabling our students to learn the skills needed to solve today’s problems. We are using those resources to expand that reach with the Online Master’s and Certificate programs in Environmental Geology.

Cory Pettijohn

Cory Pettijohn

Teaching Assistant Professor, Faculty Program Director of Environmental Geology Online M.S. and Certificate Programs

Cory Pettijohn is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Pettijohn is Faculty Program Coordinator of the new Environmental Geology online M.S. degree and graduate-level certificate programs, building upon his background as a Geological Engineering consultant with Weaver Consultants Group (Chicago) and Burns and McDonnell Engineering (Kansas City) and academic research in big geoscience data modeling and assimilation used in a variety of nonlinear Earth systems, including, most recently, volcanic system and eruption forecast models.

Dr. Pettijohn brings his experience as an Academic Advisor at Illinois to the new online Environmental Geology M.S., in which he will advise and partner students in their innovative capstone research project with advisors at Illinois, in private industry, and at state water and geological surveys housed in the Prairie Research Institute. Dr. Pettijohn holds a B.S. in Geological Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla (2000) and a Ph.D. in Hydrology from Boston University (’08). Before starting at Illinois, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Oregon State University from 2008 to 2012.

Heather Miller

Heather A. Miller

SESE Online Program Coordinator
and ESE Instructor

Heather Miller is the Online Program Coordinator for the School of Earth, Society and Environment (SESE) and an instructor for the ESE program within the School. Her role is to support all the certificate and degree programs within SESE including implementing recruitment activities, facilitating the student educational experience, marketing and communications, and provide overall program operational guidance.

Ms. Miller applies her expertise from 20+ years of industry experience, and as an Illinois specialized faculty member and former student adviser, in a collaborative role with the Faculty Program Coordinator, Cory Pettijohn, to provide students a robust network of support during their online experience at the University of Illinois. She has more than 15 years of experience working with students of all levels in formal and non-formal educational settings, as well as teaching experience in science communications, natural resources, agricultural and environmental sciences in both face-to-face and online settings.

Ms. Miller holds a B.S. in Agricultural and Environmental Communications, and an M.S. in Crop Sciences both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Daniel Abrams

Associate Research Scientist
Groundwater Flow Modeler
Illinois State Water Survey

Alison M Anders

Associate Professor

Riley James Balikian

Senior Scientific Specialist
Hydrogeology and Geophysics
Illinois State Geological Survey

Mitchell Barklage

Assistant Research Geophysicist, Hydrogeology and Geophysics
Illinois State Geological Survey

Patricia Gregg

Associate Professor

Tom Johnson


Robert A Sanford

Research Associate Professor

Michael Stewart

Clinical Associate Professor

Jason Thomason

Principal Research Scientist, Geologist Section Head, Hydrogeology and Geophysics
Illinois State Geological Survey

Tiffany Vlahopoulos

Senior Scientific Specialist
Environmental Site Assessments
Illinois State Geological Survey


Anand Padmanabhan

Research Associate Professor and Faculty Adviser of the Online CyberGIS and Geospatial Data Science Programs
Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science


Alicia Klees

Teaching Assistant Professor and Faculty Program Coordinator of the Online Weather and Climate Risk and Data Analytics M.S. and Certificate Programs
Department of Climate, Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences


Nooreen Meghani