Teaching

I enjoy teaching field-based geoscience courses, where students can simultaneously develop their spatial and temporal thinking skills. I believe in giving students opportunities to make  independent observations of natural earth systems, which lets them embrace their natural sense of curiosity and develop their own methods for scientific investigation.

Courses taught:

  • A systems Approach to Earth Science (for political science students), University of Potsdam, Spring 2018
  • Structural Geology, UNM, Spring 2016
  • Advanced Field Geology, UNM Summer 2015, 2016
  • New Mexico Field Geology, UNM, Fall 2015
  • Introduction to Earth Sciences, Spring 2015
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Students of the 2015 New Mexico Field Geology class search for evidence of dinosaurs in the Jurassic Entrada sandstone, which overlies the Petrified Forest member of the Chinle Formation, which forms the colorful slopes in the background. These rocks are exposed on the east limb of the famous anticline near San Ysidro, NM. Cabezon volcanic neck can be seen in the distance in the upper left corner of the photo.
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Students in New Mexico Field Geology learning about the depositional processes of ash-flow tuffs at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, a spectacular natural laboratory for studying volcanic rocks. Here, students are looking at depositional layering within the 6.7 Ma Peralta Tuff, which erupted from the Valles Caldera in north-central New Mexico.

 

Advising

I also like to work closely with students who demonstrate a natural curiosity and have interest in scientific research. I highly encourage all students to do bachelor thesis research, regardless of their career plans. In addition to learning how to carry out the scientific method, they develop transferable skills like project management, technical writing, and data ethics.

Student theses advised:

  • Denise Postler, B.Sc. thesis, University of Potsdam, “Geomorphic and climatic controls on river discharge in the Rio Bermejo, Argentina”
    • Denise performed statistical analyses on 46-year discharge and precipitation records from a mountain-lowland river in Argentina that contributes up to 80% of the suspended load in the Rio Parana-Rio de la Plata system. She found no significant correlation between the ENSO cycle and extreme events in this river, but she discovered a consistent downstream decrease in discharge caused by overbank spillover during high discharge events. The spillover does not re-enter the river, suggesting that groundwater flow is away from the river in the upstream reaches. We attribute this phenomenon to differential uplift and subsidence in the Andean foreland basin, which exerts a second-order control on the morphology and hydrology of the river. First order controls on morphology include erosional fluxes from denudation of the Andes and annual monsoonal precipitation.
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