Teaching

I feel strongly that a critical aspect of my job as a faculty member at Boston College is to educate students of all levels with the goal of  making them more effective critical thinkers and better citizens, and to help train future scientists so that they can better serve society. As an educator, I seek to create learning environments and opportunities for students in which they can see the world, and their unique place in it, in an entirely different way. I want all students to understand the importance of observation and inquiry, and to understand that science is a unique and powerful approach that allows us to address fundamental questions and challenges facing the Earth, its environments, and humanity as a whole.

I teach a variety of courses within the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, ranging from introductory undergraduate courses in Earth Materials to advanced graduate-level courses in Tectonics and Microstructures. Details on my most recent course offerings are listed below.

  • Fall 2018EESC 3385

    Structural Geology

    The goal of this course is the development of skills in the structural analysis of rock bodies as seen in outcrops, or small areas, to gain an understanding of the geometries, sequencing, and kinematics of deformational features. Structures such as folds, faults, foliations, lineations, and shear zones will be considered at various scales, as visible in the field, or in thin section. We also discuss inter- and intra- granular deformation mechanisms. The 3-hour laboratory consists of in-class problems and some field-based problems.

  • Fall 2018EESC 6691

    Earth System Seminar

    An advanced seminar on topics in the Geosciences requiring integration of many subspecialities. Topics vary from year to year. Students will be expected to read and report on papers from the recent literature and prepare one or more talks similar to those presented at scientific meetings and a term paper integrating data from various areas of Geosciences. Required for all incoming graduate students.

  • Spring 2018EESC 6685

    Advanced Structural Geology

    This course builds upon concepts from Structural Geology (EESC3385) wherein deformation features such as folds, faults, foliations, lineations, and shear zones are considered in much greater detail than in EESC3385. This course further explores stress-strain theory, strain analysis, and microstructural methods as tools for quantifying deformation geometries, the conditions of deformation and rheology of the lithosphere, and for unraveling complex tectonic histories.

  • Fall 2017EESC 1132

    Exploring the Earth

    The Earth is a dynamic planet that our species is clearly changing. A great challenge of the twenty-first century is to maintain the Earth's ability to support its growing human population. This course discusses the origin and materials of the Earth and the processes by which it has evolved. It is a first course for Geological Sciences majors and also provides a background for departmental majors and minors. EESC1132 is appropriate as a natural science core course for students interested in the Earth Sciences. The laboratory consists of in-class exercises, analysis of rocks, and a weekend field trip.

  • Fall 2017EESC 5543

    Tectonics

    Plate Tectonics, the idea that the surface of the Earth moves and reshapes itself through time, has revolutionized geology. While a great deal has been learned about the movements and evolution of the Earth's lithospheric plates through time, the full implications of this theory remain an area of active research and debate. Modern studies increasingly document important feedbacks between patterns of climate, deposition, metamorphism, magmatism, seismicity and deformation that can be understood in the context of the past and present motions of the Earth's plates. This course will focus on understanding the linkages between these dynamic processes through time.