Associate Professor, Sedimentary Petrology, Stratigraphy, and Petroleum Geology

Research Associate, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

BS, Denison University, 1981
MS, University of Cincinnati, 1985
PhD, University of Cincinnati, 1989
Post-Doc, Smithsonian Institution, 1994-1995

Member of the Development Committee for the Advanced Placement Environmental Science Exam

Smithsonian Samples

Geology Faculty Earn Smithsonian Appointments


GEOL 110L:  Physical Geology Lab
GEOL 211: Oceanography
GEOL 230L: Evolution of the Earth Lab
GEOL 301: Earth Science for Teachers
GEOL 302: Sedimentary Petrology
GEOL 399: Field Geology in Ireland (Sedimentary Systems & Petroleum Geology Option)
GEOL 401: Oceanography for Teachers
ISAT 480 & IDLS 391: Sustainable Societies/Summer Study Abroad in Malta

Consulting Work

I provide sedimentary petrography expertise to the oil and gas industry, principally reports and detailed sample descriptions that are based on analyses of thin sections and core samples using the petrographic microscope, CL, and SEM.

Research Interests

I am a field-oriented sedimentary geologist, and my research interests are focused on the Lower Paleozoic of the central and southern Appalachians. I have been using various lithostratigraphic, chronostratigraphic, and petrographic methods in the field and lab to investigate the early Paleozoic history of the central and southern Appalachians, in particular the origin and significance of (1) altered volcanic ash beds (K-bentonites) and associated quartz arenites and conglomerates of Ordovician age that are found from Virginia to Alabama, (2), chemical trends in shales and mudstones of the Appalachian basin (both of these have been in collaboration with researchers at the Smithsonian), and (3) the geology of certain karst features in the region. Much of my lab research here will be based around sedimentary petrography, specifically the use of thin sections in geologic investigations. Students thinking of working with me – and who may be interested in pursuing a job in petroleum geology – can expect to receive a thorough introduction to the study of sedimentary rocks in thin section, knowledge that is now in much demand by the oil and gas industry, as well as an introduction to the use of analytical equipment (including XRD and SEM) in sedimentary petrology research.

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