Teaching Activities

  1. Teaching encourages me to think broadly about processes and methods. I find it both challenging and rewarding to help people discover that geology is for everyone. We all have something to gain by understanding the forces and processes that shape this planet, whether that is a greater sense of place, an appreciation for feedbacks between seemingly disparate phenomena, or the next scientific breakthrough in continental tectonics. My goal as an instructor is to get students excited about and engaged in the science, equip them with a variety of tools and experiences to interpret rocks, and then encourage them to get their hands dirty doing their own science.


            Structural Geology (UU: F2014, F2015, F2016)

            Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins (UU: S2015, S2017); co-taught with Cari Johnson

            Field Methods in Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins (UU: S2017); co-taught with Cari Johnson

            The Magnetic Earth (UU: S2016)

            Tectonics Reading Group (UU: F2015, S2016)


            Field Geology & GIS (UCSC: 2010); co-taught with Noah Finnegan

    Course Instructor:

            Field Geology & GIS (UCSC: 2009); co-taught with Casey Moore

    Course Development:

            Field Geology & GIS; Structural Geology Lab (UCSC)

Advising Activities

  1. The best way to learn geology is to do geology. That’s how I got hooked. I try to extend this opportunity to interested students when I can. Since 2008, I have supervised seven undergraduate students, all at UC Santa Cruz. Three of these students expanded their research projects into senior theses and each earned honors in the major for their great work:

    Graduate Students

    Grant Rea-Downing (UU PhD, anticipated Sept. 2019) — Polyphase intraplate deformation of the

       Yabrai Shan, Northwest China.

    Courtney Wagner (UU PhD, anticipated Sept. 2020) — The biodiversity and ecology of magnetotactic

        bacteria in modern and ancient extreme environments.

    Tim van Peer (NOC Southampton PhD, anticipated June 2017, co-supervised with Chuang

       Xuan & Paul Wilson) — Oligocene-Miocene Paleomagnetic and Environmental Magnetic Change

       at IODP Site U1405 and U1406, and Astronomical Calibration of the Geomagnetic Polarity Time


    Gwen Owen Jones (NOC Southampton PhD, anticipated June 2019, external supervisor with Steven

       Bohaty (primary), Paul Wilson (co-), and Dennis Terry (external) — North American Climate History

       of the Early Icehouse.

   Vicki Taylor (NOC Southampton MSci, 2016, co-supervised with Paul Wilson,

        Steven Bohaty, and Chuang Xuan) — A high-resolution rock magnetic and elemental abundance

        record of precursor and response events to Oi-1 at IODP Site U1411, Newfoundland Ridge, North


    Wentao Huang (Utrecht PhD April 2015, co-supervised with Guillaume Dupont-Nivet and

        Douwe van Hinsbergen) — Paleomagnetic constraints on tectonic reconstructions of the India-Asia    

        collision zone.

    Undergraduate Students

Lauren Shumaker (UCSC 2010) — Paleomagnetism of the Lower Cretaceous Xinminpu Group, Western Hei Shan, Northwest China: Implications for the Long Term Slip History of the Altyn Tagh Fault.

        Lauren presented her work at the 2010 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union

Stephanie Woirol (UCSC 2008) — A Paleomagnetic Study of Mid-Cretaceous Volcanic and Volcanoclastic Rocks from the Nima Basin, Qiangtang, Central Tibet.

Philip Lee (UCSC 2008) — A Paleomagnetic Study of Oligocene Redbeds from the Northern Nima Basin, Central Tibet.

        Phil’s thesis included 4 weeks of field work in Central Tibet!

Four other students at UC Santa Cruz on mini projects that did not develop into theses.

Four students at UU.