I cover the structural geology, tectonics, and geophysical end of our curriculum in
addition to a variety of introductory courses and January field excursions (Costa Rica,
Mojave Desert, etc.). This includes Structural and Field Geology (GEOL 255), Geophysics
(GEOL 301), Dynamic Earth and Global Change (GEOL 150), and Oceanography (GEOL 100).
My research interests include using microstructural techniques to analyze rock fabrics
and interpret geologic structures.
Kristi Curry Rogers - Assistant Professor (Sabbatical Fall 2011) Vertebrate Paleontology
I'm a vertebrate paleontologist most interested in studying dinosaur evolution and paleobiology. My current research focuses on the evolutionary history of Titanosauria - the latest surviving and perhaps most diverse lineage of long-necked sauropod dinosaurs. Titanosauria includes over 40 species that had a near-global distribution during the Late Cretaceous. They are of particular interest to me and my students because of the incredible array of adult body sizes attained within the group. Titanosauria includes the largest land-living animals of all time, as well as species thought to be dwarfs. Among dinosaurs, titanosaurs may be one of the only groups to experience a body size reduction during their evolutionary history. With regard to paleobiology, I am most interested in understanding dinosaur life history, and utilize bone histology to explore and reconstruct growth patterns in extinct dinosaurs, living birds, and other vertebrates. To these ends, I also conduct field research in Montana, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe. I am jointly appointed in the Biology Department at Macalester, and teach a selection of courses that relate to my research interests, including: (1) Dinosaurs (GEOL 101), (2) Biodiversity and Evolution (BIOL 270), (3) Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BIOL 394), and (4) Vertebrate Paleobiology (GEOL 394).
Kelly R. MacGregor - Associate Professor and Chair Glacial Geomorphology
As a geomorphologist, I study the forces that shape the physical surface of
our planet. I measure active processes in the field (such as glacier motion,
subglacial erosion, water velocity, and sediment transport), and use these
data to constrain numerical models of landscape evolution over geologic
timescales. My current research focuses on understanding the role of
glaciers in shaping alpine landscapes. I use tools such as GPS to
understand how glaciers behave over daily to annual timescales, and
numerical models to examine their role in creating the fantastic mountainous
landscapes we see today. In addition to my work on glaciers, I am interested
in the effects of dams on sediment and water transport in river systems. By
looking at historical data and making measurements of current river dynamics,
we can quantify changes in sediment transport, which has important implications
for riparian habitats over time. I teach a wide range of classes, including
Geomorphology (Geol 260), Rivers and the Environment (Geol 194), Environmental
Geology (Geol 120/Envi 194), History and Evolution of the Earth (Geol 155),
and Glaciers and Climate (Geol 394).
Raymond R. Rogers - Professor (Sabbatical 2011-2012) Stratigraphy and Paleontology/Taphonomy
My research is focused on sedimentary geology and vertebrate taphonomy.
With regard to the rocks, I am most interested in terrestrial depositional
systems. My work (click here to see my research page) to date has focused
on the reconstruction of nonmarine depositional systems and the application
of sequence stratigraphic methods in nonmarine records. With regard to the
fossils, I have spent most of my time exploring the taphonomy of dinosaur-bearing
rocks. My work on rocks and dinosaurs (and dinosaur precursors) has taken me to
the Cretaceous foreland basin of Montana, the Triassic Ischigualasto Basin of
Argentina, the Triassic-Jurassic Karoo-equivalent rocks of southern Zimbabwe,
and the Mahajanga Basin of Madagascar. I am fortunate to teach a selection
of courses that relate to my research interests, including: (1) History and
Evolution of Earth (GEOL 155), (2) Paleobiology (of both Vertebrates and
Invertebrates), and (3) Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (GEOL 265).
Karl R. Wirth - Associate Professor Mineralogy/Petrology/Planetary Geology
My research utilizes geochemistry to study the origins of igneous rocks and
the evolution of continental and oceanic crust. I teach Mineralogy (GEOL 250)
and Petrology (GEOL 302), as well as several introductory courses including
Exploring the Solar System (GEOL 102) and Dynamic Earth and Global Change (GEOL 150).
I regularly lead students on field excursions during the January intersession
to Hawaii, Costa Rica, or the Galápagos Islands, and I teach Geologic Field
Methods during summer. Recent research with students has focused on rocks in
the Bering Sea region, southern Ontario and northern Minnesota, the Galápagos
Islands, Tanzania, and Cozumel.
Jeff Thole - Laboratory Supervisor and Instructor Igneous Petrology/Hydrogeology
I teach the laboratory sections of both of our introductory courses (GEOL 150 and 155)
and have taught Mineralogy (GEOL 250) on a number of occasions. I came to Macalester
after 5 years of doing hydrogeology with two different environmental consulting
firms here in the Twin Cities. My other duties include maintaining, running, and
user instruction for the instrumentation housed in the Macalester Scienc
e Division's Keck Laboratory (see our Department Resources page). I also
manage our student work study force, maintain departmental computer facilities,
maintain our web content, and do a plethora of other tasks.
I am an isotope geochemist and paleoclimatologist/paleoceanographer interested
in the ocean's role in climate change over glacial-interglacial timescales. My recent research
includes the use of uranium-series isotopes in the reconstruction of glacial ocean circulation
rates, and in the characterization of those same isotopes in modern seawater and sediments. I am
also involved in ongoing research into ocean biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling, with
a focus on the transfer of carbon between the ocean and atmosphere during periods of past
climate change. I started at Macalester in Fall 2009.
Visiting Assistant Professor - Geology Colin Robins
My research is a product of personal interests in soil genesis,
geomorphology, arid system processes, and the relationships between
landscape change and human activity. My main research focus at present
seeks to identify soil-geomorphologic controls on the distribution of
a restricted-habitat, gypsophilic plant species in Clark County, NV. I
am also continuing research on the genesis, mineralogy, and chemistry
of carbonate-cemented soils as relevant to new applications of isotope
geochronology to desert landforms and/or paleosols. Whenever possible,
I also enjoy using GIS to assess spatial aspects of
I will be teaching four Geology courses during the 2010-2011 academic
year: Dynamic Earth & Global Change (GEOL 150) and Geomorphology (GEOL
260) in the Fall, and Geological Hazards (GEOL 194) and Soil
Properties & Genesis (GEOL 294-01) in the Spring.
Barb joined the Chemistry Department in September, 1988, as Administrative
Assistant. In 1997, her role expanded to become the Department Coordinator
for both the Physics and Geology Departments. In her position, she provides
secretarial support for all three departments in addition to other duties in
the Chemistry Department. She enjoys getting to know the students each year.
For relaxation, she likes tennis, gardening, traveling and watching professional