I regularly teach classes in mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry at UNL:
Geology 200. Mineralogy
Taught in the fall semester, this 2-credit class covers crystallography, optical mineralogy, and the properties of the most common rock-forming minerals. Conditions permitting, the course includes a mineral-focused field trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota, with spectacular stops at the Harney Peak granite near Mt. Rushmore, local caves, and, when possible, incredible local pegmatite mineral mines.
Geology 201. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Taught in the spring semester, this 2-credit class covers igneous petrology, metamorphic petrology, basic phase diagrams, microscopy and petrography studies, and the properties of the most common types of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Conditions permitting, the course includes a field trip to the ancient Precambrian gneisses of southern Minnesota.
Geology 110. Deadly Planet
This spring semester class for non-majors explores the science behind geologic natural hazards and catastrophic events, and how that science intersects with society's response and preparation in the face of a dynamic and hazardous world. Typically includes an in-class field trip to a local urban flood management project.
Geology 412/812. Volcanology and Igneous Petrology
This advanced undergraduate/graduate level course explores advanced igneous petrography and petrology, an introduction to igneous geochemistry, and an introduction to the study of volcanology. Typically offered in alternate years, depending on interest.
Geology 415/815. Geochemical Thermodynamics
This advanced course explores geochemical thermodynamics from first principles, an important study that is applicable to all geochemical and petrologic systems. This class is typically offered in alternate years, depending on interest.
Geology 499. Independent Study
Students who are interested in exploring igneous petrology or geochemistry and related research may request supervision for independent study credits. Note that I can only supervise a few independent research students per semester, and this is only open to upper level, high-caliber students and with my prior approval. Please request a meeting if you wish to discuss this opportunity.
(Geology 210. Earth Materials: Rocks and Minerals) [This course has been retired and is no longer normally offered.]
Taught in the fall semester, this class combined the traditional core geology major subjects of Mineralogy with Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, with units on crystallography, mineral optics, igneous petrology, and metamorphic petrology. The course usually included a petrology field trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota and incorporated a significant petrography component.
I supervise undergraduate and graduate students in my research group, either for independent study credit or as funded research students. This has included many independent study and UCARE undergraduate students at UNL, and a total of six undergraduates at Bryn Mawr College, four of whom completed a senior thesis under my supervision. I have also supervised a number of graduate students:
- Yitong Lyu (M.Sc., 2019)
- Kirby Hobbs (M.Sc., 2020)
- Juliet Messer (M.Sc., in progress)
- Nick Richard (Ph.D., in progress)
UNL undergraduates and prospective graduate students are encouraged to contact me if they think they would like to conduct research as part of my group. I particularly encourage minority and underrepresented students to contact me if they are interested!
For undergraduates, please be mindful of UCARE funding deadlines if you think you would like to apply for that research funding program: summer research deadlines are at the very beginning of the spring semester, and the deadline for academic year research is only slightly later in the spring semester.
Prior Teaching Experience
I also taught a wide range of classes in my previous faculty appointment in the Geology Department at Bryn Mawr College (2008-2015):
EMLY002. Volcanoes and Society (a freshman writing seminar)
GEOL101. Physical Geology Lecture and Labs
GEOL102. Earth History Labs
GEOL103. Earth Systems & Environment Labs
GEOL109. Quantitative Problems in Geoscience (a quantitative skills class)
GEOL110. Molten Rock: The Evolution of Planet Earth (a 7-week short course)
GEOL115. Living With Volcanoes (a 7-week short course)
GEOL202. Mineralogy and Crystal Chemistry
GEOL209. Natural Hazards and Human Populations (a quantitative skills class)
GEOL305. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
GEOL350. High-Temperature Geochemistry
GEOL399. Senior Thesis Seminar
Department Field Trip to Costa Rica (led 8-day department field trip to explore convergent margin environments, 23 participants)