Department Head and Professor of Geology, Washington and Lee University
BA, The Colorado College
PhD, University of Miami
I grew up in the flatlands of Oklahoma but spent my summers rock-hunting on the shores of Lake Michigan, where my interest in the origin of earth materials began. I fell in love with the Rockies on a 23-day Outward Bound experience at age 16 and wondered how I could craft a career that would take me back to places and experiences like my first trip to the American Southwest. I spent my undergraduate years at Colorado College, where the Block Plan (like the W&L Spring Term) allowed total immersion and learning outside the traditional classroom. After a year off I got my PhD in Marine Geology at the University of Miami and taught for 2 years at Penn State University. Both were formative experiences but when the opportunity to teach at Washington and Lee arrived I knew I had found my home. I love my job. I am constantly learning from my colleagues, the literature, and in preparation for classes. I get to interact with bright and interesting students in the classroom and the lab. I frequently get to spend time teaching and learning outside the classroom and away from Lexington. I am able to conduct research in areas I choose in an interdisciplinary and collaborative way, and my field research takes me to places I could never have guessed I would be fortunate enough to visit. My career path is but one of many in in the geosciences. I encourage you to give geology a try. If you like what you learn I am here to help you think about your next step.