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Photo: Mount Saint Helens, Washington


Teaching Statement


In my teaching, I strive to connect geologic concepts and phenomena to real world events and daily life.  One reason I am captivated by the field of geology is because of the direct impact the study of Earth Science has on society.  The forces of the Earth shape the continents and oceans, providing the space for which we all live, work, and play each day.  Opportunities to mitigate natural hazards, discover historical evolution of the landscape and the emergence of life, and extract valuable resources from the Earth all stem from our understanding of Geology.  Often the most exciting topics in geologic research encompasses aspects of broad interest to society.  Knowledge of the Earth, the place we live, is valuable to all people because we will all be impacted by its continuously changing surface.  My teaching mission is to bridge connections between geology and the outside world by integrating recent geologic events from the news or other examples from typical daily life with interactive laboratory activities.  Initiating connections between geology and life outside the laboratory facilitates a lasting impression of geologic concepts by providing an avenue for others to draw connections between their own experiences and geology.

"We can not teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves" - Galileo Galilei

Teaching Experience

University of Maryland, Department of Geology Teaching Assistant


Courses Taught

GEOL 110: Physical Geology Laboratory (Fall 2007 – Spring 2011, Spring 2012)

  • Course description:  Interactive physical geology laboratory that stresses familiarity with common rocks and minerals and introduces important topics in the Earth Sciences.  Personal interest in helping students connect geologic concepts to real world events and daily life. (Sections taught: 14, Semesters taught: 9, ~25 students/section)

GEOL 341: Structural Geology Laboratory (Fall 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)                  

  • Course description:  Course focuses on study of the deformation of the lithosphere. Interactive laboratories aim to develop three dimensional thinking, measuring geologic structure, constructing geologic maps and cross-sections, and stereographic and orthographic representation of structures.  Field trips to Great Falls and Western Maryland enhanced student experience in the field (Sections taught: 4, Semesters taught: 4, 15-20 students/section)


 GEOL110 Coordinating Teaching Assistant: Physical Geology Laboratory (Spring 2011, Spring 2012) 

  • Trained and mentored ~5 new GEOL110 teaching assistants each semester

  • Trained two coordinating teaching assistants appointed to cover this position in Fall 2011 and Fall 2012

  • Coordinated lab activities across all sections

  • Organized transportation, sign-up, laboratory worksheet, and communication with National Park Service for one-day field trip to Great Falls, MD

  • Ensured consistency for teaching and grading among all lab sections; maintained the teaching collections, state of the lab, course website, and ELMS blackboard website

  • Organized teaching collections and supplies for move in and move out of lab during refurbishing.


Teaching Resources


Contributor to Teaching Activity Collection, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College

Developed laboratory activity on topographic maps accepted and posted in the “On the Cutting Edge” Exemplary Teaching Activity Collection through the Science Education Resource Center. I shared this activity with other instructors at a Geological Society of America workshop (Link) (2010)