Teaching

I typically teach 6 different courses a year, each 3 credits. This normally works out to 6.0 credits of undergraduate courses, and 12.0 credits of graduate level courses. Since 2011, I’ve developed 9 different courses; Physical Geology, Integrative Physical Science, Earth through Time (Historical Geology), Natural History of Dinosaurs, Advanced Stratigraphy, Sedimentary Petrology, Invertebrate Paleontology and Vertebrate Paleontology, as well as leading exercises in the geology summer field camp. Most of my courses are available through all regional campuses of Utah State University, and can be taken from out of state learning centers across the United States. Many of my class lectures are available on my Youtube channel.

 

USU/GEO 1360 Physical Science

USU/GEO 1360—Integrated Physical Science A Breadth Physical Science (BPS) class.

USU/GEO 1360 is a broadcast college level science course that fulfills the Breadth Physical Science (BPS) requirement. The course serves as gateway for undeclared students to consider a degree in the physical sciences: geology, biology, physics and chemistry. Science degrees are in great demand across the globe, and scientists offer major contributions that improve the quality of life and solve problems, which humanity faces in our new century of understanding. The class uses an Earth Systems approach, which means that the class will look at the whole planet as a system of innumerable interacting parts and focuses on the changes within and among these parts. The class is divided in spheres and these spheres are major subdivisions of planetary forces that influence our world. Taught every Spring and Fall semester.

 

GEO 1110 Physical Geology

GEO 1110Physical Geology

GEO 1110 is a introductory physical geology course. The class examines plate tectonics and the Earth system including a more detailed look at the rock record, including the identification of common minerals and rocks. The course also looks at our current understanding dynamic process on Earth such as floods, Earthquakes, hurricanes, climate change, and soil erosion. Taught when needed.

 

GEO 3200 Earth Through Time

GEO 3200—Earth Through Time A Depth Physical Science (DPS) class.

GEO 3200 is a broadcast college level science course that fulfills the Depth Physical Science (DPS) requirement.  This class explores the history of Earth with a detailed overview of the 4,500 million years of Earth’s history. The course examines the major events in the planet’s history, and applies that knowledge to understanding Earth’s future. Each lecture will explore a time period in Earth’s history, examining first the evidence gathered from the rock record, and then the geological events reconstructed from that record.  Taught during the Spring semester.

 

GEO 3250 Natural History of Dinosaurs

GEO 3250 The Natural History of Dinosaurs A Depth Physical Science (DPS) class.

College courses on dinosaurs have become a popular way to teach the fundamentals of science, particularly to inquisitive students who are not necessarily interested in science as a career. In particular students will understand and learn the processes of acquiring knowledge and information on dinosaurs, and how to reason logically, critically, creatively, and independently on the topic. Students will be introduced on the nature of scientific inquire and discovery, as well as testing hypotheses and framing questions about the nature of dinosaurs.   Students will develop a capacity for lifelong learning and develop an interest in the evolution of dinosaurs, and science that will stay with them the rest of their lives. The study of dinosaurs fascinates children, but new breakthroughs in science has allowed greater insight into this extinct group of animals that will appeal to college students who still hold onto an interest of these ancient creatures. Furthermore, the class will offer a glimpse into the long history of our planet, and in reconstructing ancient worlds using scientific methods. Taught during the Spring Semester.

 

GEO 6350 Invertebrate Paleontology and Paleobotany

GEO 6350 Invertebrate Paleontology and Paleobotany

GEO 6350 is a graduate level course in paleontology, which covers the major groups of marine invertebrates, fossil plants, and the important techniques and tools used in the field of paleontology. It will cover ichnology, fossil preservation, taphonomy, ontogeny, cladistics, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, extinction and evolutionary rates, and many other tools used by professional paleontologists in the study of fossils and their importance in the field of geology. The class is an interactive (IVC) broadcast course with online lectures, quizzes and reading resources. The course concludes with a research paper on a specific paleontological fauna or flora. Taught every other year.

 

GEO 6350 Vertebrate Paleontology

GEO 6350—Vertebrate Paleontology

GEO 6400 is a broadcast graduate level science course. The course features a review of the fossil record of animals with backbones beginning with the origin of chordates, up through the origin of humans. The class covers fossil collection and preparation, uses of advanced imaging technology in reconstructing anatomy, uses of vertebrate fossils to study evolution, and the ability of vertebrate fossils for biostratigraphic dating of rock units. The class also covers the anatomical specializations of each group of vertebrates, from fish, amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals.  The course covers functional morphology and phylogenetic systematics as applied to vertebrate life. The course is intended for graduate students or advanced undergraduate students interested in the evolution of vertebrates, with some previous background in geology, anatomy, or biology. Taught every other year.

 

GEO 6400 Advance Stratigraphy

GEO 6400 Advanced Stratigraphy “Sequence Stratigraphy”

GEO 6400 examines the advanced concepts of stratigraphy, focusing on sequence stratigraphy and its applications in understanding petroleum and coal resources. The major focus of the course will be to better understand the correlation of both clastic and carbonate rock layers, and the complex interplay of depositional and erosional systems in both marine and continental sedimentary basins. Topics will include the application of chemostratigraphy, paleomagnetism, and biostratigraphy to build time-frameworks of depositional systems; sedimentary responses to changes in base level through accommodation and rates of sedimentation, and the influence of tectonic and climatic forces. The course will build upon student’s prior knowledge of cross-section information (stratigraphy), plan-view data (geomorphology) and sedimentation regimes (sedimentary processes) to develop a complex multi-dimensional view of stratigraphic relationships in the bedrock. Advanced stratigraphy techniques have tremendous potential to further decipher the geological record of both global and local changes, and improve the predictive aspects of energy exploration. Taught every other year.

 

GEO 6400 Sedimentary Petrology

GEO 6400 Sedimentary Petrology

Sedimentary Petrology is a graduate level course that examines sedimentary rocks in thin section under the microscope. It is a laboratory intensive class, and taught in the geology lab in Vernal Utah.  This class teaches students in the making thin sections, identification of mineralogy in samples, and the description of rocks at the microscopic level for research. The course is designed to aid students who have a component of sedimentary petrology within their own research. I work in mentoring the students in the class on working toward writing a scientific paper on a topic of their choice. Taught every other year.