Teaching

As a geoscience educator I emphasize geologic principles, scientific reasoning, and the societal utility of geoscience research. I commonly integrate drawing and visualization activities to reinforce key concepts. I am a proponent of field-based teaching through mapping and outcrop interpretation exercises–the best geologists are those that have seen the most rocks.

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Illustrating the strike and dip of foliation using a field book, Qoomalangma Detachment, southern Tibet

Assistant Professor at Montana State University

Field Methods: I developed Field Methods at Montana State University as an upper-level course that is specifically designed to prepare students for Field Camp. I focus on experiential learning to reinforce concepts from Structural Geology, Sedimentology/Stratigraphy, and Paleontology, as well as other subject areas. Students are exposed to geologic mapping for the first time in this course, taking advantage of local field areas around Bozeman. This year (2018), I’m integrating digital geologic mapping techniques using tablet computers and a new module on geologic hazards, including slope failure prediction calculations and mapping volcanic hazards on the Big Island of Hawaii in GIS.

Field Camp I co-instructed Field Camp at Montana State University for the first time in May and June, 2018. Our crew of two faculty and 22 students traversed across the Colorado Plateau, western Utah, the Uinta Mountains in Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, and southwest Montana. Field Camp consisted mainly of self-guided mapping and sedimentology exercises to piece together the geologic history of each region. Students gained understanding of Cordilleran orogenic belts by visiting some of the more important components, including the Sevier Belt, Laramide Province, and foreland basin system.

Introduction to GIS and Cartography: I enjoy teaching principles of map making and spatial analysis to a diverse crop of students in Intro to GIS and Cartography. I take a broad approach, utilizing examples from census data, politics, urban planning, natural resource conservation, and geology to illustratate fundamental concepts. In the laboratory, I strive to teach students how to create highly effective maps and function autonomously as a map-maker.

Teaching Assistant at the University of Arizona, Department of Geosciences:

Structural Geology (Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2016): As a teaching assistant for Structural Geology laboratory, I led two, four-hour laboratory classes per week with 20-30 students per class. Laboratory exercises focused on the principles of structural geology, including stress and strain, three-point problems, orthographic projection, geologic mapping, cross section construction and interpretation, and fabric analysis. I developed a laboratory exercise on stress and strain, a computer lab based exercise on research methods for a term paper, and led day-long field trips focused on geologic mapping in the Tucson and Catalina Mountains.

Physical Geology (Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2015): As a teaching assistant for physical geology I led 2-3, three-hour laboratory classes per week with 20-30 students per class. Laboratory exercises focused on the basic principles of geology, rock and mineral identification, geologic map interpretation, and geologic history reconstruction. In addition, I led in-class and weekend field trips to the Tucson, Catalina, and Whetstone Mountains to reinforce concepts and teach field methods.

Oceanography (Spring 2012): As a teaching assistant for oceanography I led weekly study sessions to reinforce geographic, geologic, and oceanographic concepts, conduct map interpretation exercises, and help with homework and projects. I also served as a guest lecturer. Study sessions typically numbered 30 students and the lecture numbered more than 300.