Dr. Kim Hannula

Dr. Kim Hannula
Emeritus Geology Faculty


  • Deformation and metamorphism
  • Faults
  • Structural geology
  • Tectonics


  • Ph.D., Geology, Stanford University, 1993
  • Bachelor of Arts, Geology, Carleton College, 1989 


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About Dr. Kim Hannula

Kim Hannula is a professor of Geology in the School of Arts and Sciences at Fort Lewis College. Dr. Hannula joined the college in 2000, served as Assistant Dean of the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences from 2010 to 2013, and Associate Dean/Director of Undergraduate Research from 2013 to 2017. Prior to Fort Lewis, Dr. Hannula was an assistant professor at Middlebury College.

Dr. Hannula’s current research interests include geometric and kinematic modeling of folding and faulting and development of spatial thinking skills. She frequently involves students in research projects and has received two NSF grants (NSF-STEP (FOCUSS), 2010-2016, which supported the retention of STEM students through peer tutor/mentors and recruitment of transfer students from San Juan College during summer research projects, and NSF-GEOPATHS, 2016-present, which supports incoming geology transfer students).

Dr. Hannula has been nominated for a number of awards, including the Association of Women Geoscientists Outstanding Educator Award and the FLC Alice Admire Teaching Award. She is a member of the Geological Society of America, the Association for Women Geoscientists, the National Association of Geoscience Educators and the Four Corners Geological Society. She is the outgoing chair of the Geological Society of America Education Committee, a member of the Geological Society of America Public Service Award Committee, and a former Geosciences Division councilor for the Council on Undergraduate Research. 


Dr. Hannula is the author/administrator of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP)/Four Corners Undergraduate STEM Success (FOCUSS) grant funded by the National Science Foundation. The grant aims to retain first-year students at Fort Lewis College and support the college’s Native American and Hispanic student population. The NSF STEP/FOCUSS grant funds recruiting programs between FLC and San Juan College, a tutoring and mentorship program for new transfer students/sophomores transitioning into upper-level courses, and a summer research program for underclassmen.

A dozen students are currently doing research projects on topics such as synthesizing ribonucleic acid for biochemical techniques, underwater robots and the correlation between football helmet impact optimization and on-field concussions.

Dr. Hannula Explains the Project

“There is a great deal of evidence that undergraduate research is great for students and that getting students into projects during the first years of their educational careers is something that helps retain them in the STEM disciplines. With this grant, we are focusing on at-risk students who haven’t had a multitude of opportunities and advantages throughout their lives.” 

In The Media

Closing the gap: STEM program aims to give girls a boost in science, math fields,” The Durango Herald, June 2, 2014 

Journal Articles

Quick-and-dirty sandbox models for teaching and learning structural geology," Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 2014

Evolution of the geology undergraduate research experience at Fort Lewis College," 1964 to present, co-authored with Fort Lewis College geoscience faculty, Geological Society of America proceedings, 2013 

The challenge of student ownership of research projects in introductory general education geoscience courses,Geological Society of America proceedings, 2013 

Geometric and kinematic modeling of the Rampart Range Fault,” co-authored with a Fort Lewis College student, Geological Society of America Abstracts proceedings, 2013