Skip to main content

Dr. Sarah N. Heinlein

Dr. Sarah N. Heinlein

Dr. Sarah N. Heinlein

Assistant ProfessorNatural Sciences


I study structural geology and geomorphology utilizing drones, remote sensing, and field mapping. One-study foci include identifying and assessing geohazards that can affect the construction of oil and gas platforms and pipeline routes, roads, and residences. Moreover, my research centers on evaluating structure kinematics to understand how tectonics drives the evolution of the Earth's crust. Although I collect data in the field, analysis is almost entirely software driven. As Assistant Professor, I have research students pursuing geomorphic and structural geology projects in Lake Mead, Nevada; Death Valley, California; Katalla, Alaska; Petrified Forest, Arizona; Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas; and offshore Gulf of Mexico regions. The data I collect include drones, fault scarp profiles, satellite and other types of photographic images, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) along with GIS to provide Application-Based-Training (ABT) to UHD Geosciences students in data processing and analysis, mapping, modeling, and interpretation of geologic environments that will prepare them for the real world.

Degrees Earned

B.S., University of Texas at El Paso

M.S., University of Texas at El Paso
Ph.D., University of Texas at El Paso

Courses Taught

  • Physical Geology and lab GEOL1305 and GEOL1105
  • Structural Geology and lab GEOL3312 and GEOL 3112

  • Undergraduate Research GEOL 3300

  • Special Topics GEOL 3390: Remote Sensing - GIS

  • Geologic Field Methods GEOL 4303

  • Field Geology GEOL4304

Experience Qualifications

Current/Previous Grants:

  • UHD CTLE Teaching Circle (2018-2019)
  • UHD Faculty Development Projects grant (2018-2019)
  • UHD CTLE Teaching Circle (2022-2023)

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  1. Heinlein, S. N., (2013) Application of Various Remote Sensing and Aerial Photography data Sets to Resolve Surface Structure in Areas of Poor Exposure: Examples from Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia and Katalla Area, Alaska USA, ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. Paper AAI3566541.
  2. Cervera Heinlein, S. N., (2013) Spatial patterns of geomorphic surface features and fault morphology based on diffusion equation modeling of the Kumroch Fault Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Elsevier. Vol. 263. Pages 209 - 223.
  3. Condon, Peter C., Willi Hermann, Lillian M. Ponce, Javier Vasquez, Seth Sampson, Grant D. Smith, Sarah N. Cervera, and Luis Sierra, (2008). Assessing Organizational Strategies during the Late Mesilla Phase (ad 600 to 1100): A Data Recovery of Four Prehistoric Sites along the Organ Mountain Alluvial Fans, Dona Ana Firing Complex, Range 48, Fort Bliss Military Installation, Doan Ana County, New Mexico, Historic and Natural Resources Report No. 03-04 TRC Report No.103874-0100. Submitted to the United States Army Fort Bliss Directorate of Public Works, Environmental Division, Conservation Branch Fort Bliss Texas Prepared by TRC Environmental, Inc., El Paso, Texas.
  4. Perez, E., Lukowski, P., Husby, M. B., and Cervera, S. N., (2007) Archeological Survey of 8,000 Acres in Training Area 26, McGregor Guided Missile Range Fort Bliss, Otero County, New Mexico. Fort Bliss Cultural Resources Report No. 0629.
  5. Cervera, S. N., (2006) The Quaternary Deformational History of the East Potrillo Mountains, Dona Ana County, New Mexico, ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. Paper AAI1439389.


ORCA Award funding research in Death Valley, California.

More Information

In the past five years at UHD, I served on several committees, including the High Impact Projects (HIPs), Library committees, and UHD Academic Technology Committee (ATC). I currently serve as a member of the Natural Sciences (NS) Department Curriculum Committee, NS Online Curriculum Committee, CTLE Online Subcommittee, and Geosciences Advisory broad.