Department of Geosciences

Geosciences Faculty & Staff

Dr. Gary L. Gianniny, Professor and Chair
Office: 304 BH
Phone: 970-247-7254

Dr. Gary L. Gianniny, ProfessorDr. Gianniny earned his B.A. in Geology from Colorado College in 1983.  In 1990 he received his M.S. in Geology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with an emphasis on Paleobiology, and in 1995 he received his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Dr. Gianniny's doctoral research focused on the facies and sequence stratigraphic evolution of the mixed carbonate-siliciclastic stratafrom the Lower Desmoinesian of the southwestern Paradox basin, Utah.  After his graduate work he joined the Wisconsin Geologic and Natural History Survey as a carbonate sedimentologist and worked with a team of scientists investigating the stratigraphic control on dissolution in the karst aquifer of  Silurian carbonates of Door County Wisconsin.  Dr. Gianniny then taught at Beloit College as a visiting assistant professor for a semester before moving to a postdoctoral research and teaching position at Idaho State University in 1996.   His collaborative research  on the Snake River Plain has combined sedimentological characterization of the aquifer with a fascinating record of Pleistocene climate change from lacustrine sediments. From 1997 to the spring of 1999 he was an assistant Professor of Geology at Bucknell University, in the heart of the Appalachian fold belt.  Dr. Gianniny is a member of Geological Society of America, the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT), Sigma Xi, and the Four Corners Geological Society. Currently he is teaching stratigraphy and sedimentology, paleontology, natural resources and the environment, hydrogeology, geologic methods, historical geology, and geology of the Southwest.

Dr. David A. Gonzales, Professor
Office: 302 BH
Phone: 970-247-7378

Dr. David A. Gonzales, Professor and ChairDr. Gonzales received his B.S. in geology from Fort Lewis College in 1982, his M.S. in geology from Northern Arizona University in 1988, and his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1997, with an emphasis on geochronology and isotope geochemistry.  For his graduate research, he focused on the formation and evolution of Proterozoic continental crust in southwestern Colorado.  From 1984 to 1995 he was a research scientist with the Branch of Western Mineral Resources of the USGS, working on projects dealing with the metallogenesis and crustal evolution of Precambrian rocks in the southwestern United States. Dr. Gonzales' principal research interests are the application of petrology, geochronology, geochemistry, and structural geology problems to tectonics, metallogeny, and environmental studies.  His main courses of instruction include: introductory-level geology courses, mineralogy, optical mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, structural geology, and geology field camp.

Dr. Kimberly A. Hannula, Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences
Office: 301 BH
Phone: 970-247-7463

Dr. Kimberly A. Hannula, Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Natural and Behavioral SciencesDr. Hannula received her B.A. in geology from Carleton College in 1989, and her PhD. from Stanford University in 1993. Her graduate research focused on the exhumational history of high-pressure metamorphic rocks in northwestern Alaska, using structural analysis, metamorphic petrology, and Ar/Ar geochronology as her primary analytical tools. While teaching at Middlebury College from 1993-2000, she studied contractional deformation contemporaneous with Devonian pluton intrusion in northeastern Vermont. Her current research interests are Precambrian contact metamorphism and structural geology. She was a co-PI with Dr. Gonzales on the NSF-CCLI grant that acquired the department’s ICP-OES, and is currently working on developing research projects on local water quality to incorporate into introductory courses. She is a member of Sigma Xi, the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT), and the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), and is currently President of the Four Corners Geological Society. Her teaching responsibilities include structural geology, advanced structural geology, plate tectonics, technical writing in geology, geologic methods, Earth systems science, and interdisciplinary general education courses.

Dr. Jonathan Harvey, Assistant Professor 
Office: 305 BH
Phone: 970-247-7129

Dr. Jonathan Harvey, Assistant Professor Fort Lewis College GeosciencesDr. Harvey received a B.S. in Geography-Meteorology from Ohio University in 2007. At that point his westward drift began, receiving a M.S. in Geology from Utah State University, where his thesis work focused on the fluvial geomorphology of ephemeral streams in southern Utah. Afterwards he spent six months mapping and dating Quaternary deposits in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska, as part of the GSA Geocorps program. He then found himself on the coast at UC Santa Barbara, where he completed a PhD in Earth Science. His doctoral research explored the processes of mountain building in the Nepalese Himalaya. This work involved a combination of topographic analysis, fieldwork, thermochronology, cosmogenic radionuclide dating, and modeling; and it led to the recognition of a more northerly trend of mountain building and seismic hazard in western Nepal than had been previously recognized. While a graduate student at UCSB he taught GIS (x2) and Structural Geology. At Fort Lewis he is teaching Earth and the Environment, Weather and Climate, Introduction to GIS, and Computer Programming and Web Mapping. Dr. Harvey is a member of the Geological Society of America (GSA), American Geophysical Union (AGU), and National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). Among other things, he is a weather geek, photographer, skier, mountain biker, gardener, and hot springs enthusiast.

Dr. Ray Kenny, Professor
Office: 306 BH
Phone: 970-247-7462

Dr. Ray Kenny, Professor Dr. Kenny received his B.S. in Earth Science from Northeastern Illinois University in 1983.  He received his M.S. (1986) and Ph.D. (1991) in Geology from Arizona State University.  Dr. Kenny’s graduate work focused on: (1) environmental geologic mapping, geomorphology, and groundwater issues, at the Master’s level; and (2) karst geomorphology and geochemistry (stable isotopes in chert and carbonate), at the Doctoral level.  Dr. Kenny also worked for the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado – Boulder until 1993.  His research at INSTAAR focused on climate change in southern South America.  Dr. Kenny also taught at New Mexico Highlands University for eight years receiving tenure in 1997 and professor of the year in 2001.  He has also taught at both Rio Salado and Santa Fe Community Colleges.  Dr. Kenny is a professionally registered geologist, a geologic consultant, and an elected member of Alpha Chi (national honor society) and Sigma Xi (scientific honor society).  Dr. Kenny has numerous peer-reviewed publications, including research that has been published in Nature, Geology, GSA Bulletin, Quaternary Research, Modern Geology, Sedimentary Geology, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology, and Geoderma (among others).  Dr. Kenny’s primary interests and current research include issues related to: (1) slope stability; (2) low-temperature geochemistry and environmental Geology; (3) gamma-ray spectrometry (uranium breccia pipes in Grand Canyon); (4) Holocene climate studies. Current teaching responsibilities include: (1) Geomorphology; (2) Groundwater hydrology; (3) Engineering Geology; and, (4) Introductory Geology courses, including Geology of the Southwest.

Dr. W. Scott White, Associate Professor
Office: 303 BH
Phone: 970-247-7475

Dr. W. Scott White, Associate ProfessorDr. White received his B.S. degree in geology from Tennessee Technological University in 1987.  In 1991, he received an M.S. degree in geology from Texas Christian University where he specialized in remote sensing and structural geology.  He subsequently worked as an environmental geologist and a consulting geologist in Houston, and then as an environmental chemist in Indianapolis for two years.  In 1993, he began work on a Ph.D. degree in geography from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, specializing in cartographic, GIS, and remote sensing applications in surface hydrologic modeling. He was awarded a USGS grant to study the use of GIS and visualization methodologies in the modeling of the 1993 Mississippi River floods, and this study developed into Scott's dissertation project.  Scott successfully defended his dissertation in August, 2000. During the 1998-99 academic year, Scott was an instructor in the Department of Geography at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.  His primary research interests are in the use of geographic visualization and map representation in the earth sciences, and his main courses of instruction at Fort Lewis College are introductory-level geography and geology courses, and the GIS program in the Department of Geosciences.  He is a member of the Association of American Geographers, the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, the American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing, and the National Council for Geographic Education.

Instructors and Staff

Lauren Heerschap, Instructor
Office: 394 BH
Phone: 970-247-7620

Lauren Heerschap, Instructor Fort Lewis GeosciencesLauren grew up in the mountains of northern New Mexico and has always enjoyed her natural surroundings. She received a B.S. in geology from Wheaton College in 2000 and a M.S. in geology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2003. Her master's research took her to Taiwan, where she investigated the relationships between erosion and fault reactivation in the actively-growing and earthquake-prone central mountain belt. She has also participated in geo-archeology field work in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt and paleoseismic trenching along several faults in Colorado. Prior to working at Ft. Lewis, Lauren investigated earthquake hazards with the Colorado Geological Survey in Denver, taught geology at a boarding school in Zermatt, Switzerland, and worked for Oso Energy Resources in Durango. Lauren regularly teaches Earth and the Environment, Introduction to Computer Mapping & GIS, Earth Shock, Field Methods, and a portion of our Summer Field Camp. When not in the classroom or office, Lauren is probably out rock climbing, biking, or skiing somewhere.

Dr. Jon Powell, Visiting Instructor
Office: 394 BH
Phone: 970-247-7593

Dr. Jon Powell, Visiting Instructor

Dr. Powell received his B.S. in Geosciences in 1970 and his M.S. in Geology in 1972 from the University of Arizona.  He received an M.S. in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1981 and his Ph.D. in Geobiology from George Washington University in 2000.  He served in senior government positions including Commander of the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) Office Europe, Inspector General for the DMA Hydrographic-Topographic Center, and Director of Services for the Defense Intelligence Agency.  While in government service, he was an adjunct faculty member teaching introductory geology and paleontology classes for Troy State University and Northern Virginia Community College.  He also was a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution.  After moving to Durango, Dr. Powell taught introductory geology courses and introductory and intermediate courses in anatomy & physiology and microbiology for Southwest Colorado Community College.  His research included Triassic paleontology and stratigraphy of the Transantarctic Mountains, stratigraphy and sedimentation of the uppermost Cretaceous and lowest Paleocene formations of the San Juan Basin, and osteological indicators of sexual dimorphism in archosaurs.  He is a member of the Geological Society of America, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, the Four Corners Geological Society, the New Mexico Geological Society, and the Air Force Association.  His current teaching responsibilities include Earth Shock and Control of Nature.  When not looking at rocks, he can be found hiking with his wife, skiing, river rafting, or dog sled mushing with his three-dog team.

J. Andrew Gleason, Visiting Instructor
Office: 371 BH
Phone: 970-247-7593

Andy received his B.S. in geology in 1987 from the University of Vermont and his M.S. in Earth science in 1996 from Montana State University.  He is currently conducting snow studies in pursuit of his doctoral degree from the University of Wyoming.  Andy has worked for Trautner Geotech in Durango since 2006 as a consultant on geological and geotechnical hazards associated with snow avalanches, rockfalls, landslides, and debris flows. He has worked as a Research Scientist since 2006 for the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) University of Colorado at Boulder, conducting research on snow hydrology and snow avalanches using Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radar to correlate manual field data with radar data and remotely sensed data in high alpine basins.  He worked for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center as the lead highway avalanche forecaster on red Mountain Pass from 1995-2006 at the Silverton Forecast Office in Silverton, Colorado and in the Boulder, Colorado office. He also worked for the Colorado Geological Survey from 2004 to 2006 as a geologist in Denver and in SW Colorado in the summers from 1997-2004. Andy has worked in Montana and Chile as an avalanche forecaster. He has taught at avalanche schools around the country since the early 1990’s and is a Certified Master Instructor with the American Avalanche Association. He was a former secretary and executive board member of the American Avalanche Association. Andy has conducted research on snow avalanches since the early 1990’s. Andy served as the Paper’s Chair for the International Snow Science Workshop in 2006. He continues to conduct snow research for his doctoral studies and with scientists from around the world through various institutions.  Andy is married and is father to two children ages 9 and 5 who keep him busy building tree houses in the summer.

Adjunct Faculty and Associates of the Department

Dr. Daphne White, Adjunct Faculty
Dr. Daphne White, Adjunct FacultyDr. White received a B.S. in Earth Science from the University of Montana in 1993, an M.A. in Geography from the University of Oregon in 1996, and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Utah in 2006. Her research in natural and technological hazards focuses on individual and community hazard perception and mitigation. Dr. White is currently teaching Earth Shock, a natural hazards course at Fort Lewis College. She also holds an Adjunct appointment at San Juan College, NM where she teaches, Human Geography, Physical Geography, and Map Use, Interpretation and Design.




Dr. Charles W. Burnham , FLC Professional Associate

Dr. Burnham's educational background includes a B.S. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954 and 1961, respectively. He also received an honorary degree from Harvard University in 1966. Dr. Burnham joined the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington following graduate school as a post-doctoral fellow (1961-63) and staff scientist (1963-66). In 1966 he joined the Department of Geological Sciences at Harvard University as Professor of Mineralogy. During his 30 years at Harvard he taught courses in mineralogy, crystallography, environmental geology, and field geology; and led freshman seminars on glaciers and ice ages. He was departmental adviser to under­graduate concentrators in geological sciences for 20 years, advised a number of undergraduate honors theses, and was a principal adviser to some 25 graduate students, many of whom now hold significant positions in major American universities. He has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is a member of AAAS, and the American Geophysical Union. He is a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America and has served on its board of directors (1981-84), and as its president (1989). In 1996 Charlie retired from Harvard, and moved from New England to Durango. Since then he and his wife have traveled extensively, lecturing to Harvard alumni and Museum of Natural History groups on plate tectonics, glaciers and ice ages, volcanology, paleoclimate and global warming. These travels have taken them to Alaska, Arctic Canada, Patagonia, Antarctica, and most recently to Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, and Kamchatka. Dr. Burnham currently serves as a professional associate at Fort Lewis College and assists with mineralogy courses.

Dr. Mary Gillam, Geosciences Associate

Dr. Gillam is interested in a wide range of topics that involve Quaternary sediments, geomorphology, soil profiles, geologic hazards, and geoarchaeology.  She earned her B.S. and M.S. in geology from Stanford University in 1974 and 1975, respectively, and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 1998.  She became an adjunct at Fort Lewis in 2005 and also began teaching physical geology at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico.  Between and during these activities, Mary has worked on research and consulting projects in many western states (independently or for several firms and the Colorado Geological Survey).  Her dissertation focused on glacial moraines and alluvial terraces of the Animas River valley in the Durango-Farmington area.  Some applied projects have dealt with post-fire geologic hazards, neotectonics, radioactive waste disposal, and land conservation.  Her current research addresses the geomorphology of Mesa Verde and the Four Corners region, landslides flanking the Chuska Mountains in New Mexico, in-stream gravel mining and geoarchaeology of the Durango area; and applications of GIS and satellite imagery.  While Mary is a member of several organizations, she is most active in the Geological Society of America and the Association for Women Geoscientists (former President, now Director of AWG Foundation). 

Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Collier received his B.A. in geology from Carleton College in 1976. In 1982 he received his Ph.D. in geology from the Colorado School of Mines. During his years in school, he worked for the Colorado Geological Survey, from 1977-78, and the USGS, from 1978-83. Dr. Collier first began working at FLC in 1982. In 1990 he began working as a radon mitigation contractor, and in 1993 he became the owner and operator of Durango Divers. His main areas of research are: Precambrian metallogenesis, granites, high temperature geochemistry, geostatistics, and computer modeling. Dr. Collier is the author of 6 publications. He is currently teaching physical geology, petrology, geochemistry, computer data analysis and modeling, geological methods, and scuba diving. The organizations he is currently involved with are Sigma Xi, GSA, and SME.

Dr. Robert (Rob) W. Blair, Jr., Emeritus Professor

Dr. Blair received his B.S. in Geology from the University of New Mexico in 1966, and his Ph.D. in geology in 1975 from the Colorado School of Mines. Prior to coming to Fort Lewis he worked as a uranium exploration geologist, mapping and oil shale geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, and as a consulting geologist mapping hazards, hydrology, and landforms. During his tenure at Fort Lewis, Dr. Blair's research included rock glacier dynamics, geomorphology of the Animas Valley, and repeat photography of historic photos. He is currently involved with a number of organizations including: Geological Society of America,  American Geophysical Union, National Association of Geology Teachers, Friends of the Pleistocene, and the Four Corners Geological Society.  Dr. Blair is currently on the Board of Directors of the Mountain Studies Institute based in Silverton and Durango.

Dr. Frank O. Bowman, Jr., Emeritus Professor

Dr. Bowman received his A.B. degree Williams College in 1941, and his B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in 1942 and 1954, respectively.  Dr. Bowman was one of the founding members of the Fort Lewis College Department of Geology, which graduated its first B.S. students in 1971.  He began teaching at FLC in 1959, and retired in 1985, after devoting many years to the growth and development of our Department.

Dr. Douglas (Doug) C. Brew, Emeritus Professor

Dr. Brew received his A.B. in geology from Dartmouth College in 1957. He then attended Cornell University, where he received his M.S. in stratigraphy-paleontology in 1963. He continued his studies at Cornell in stratigraphy-paleontology, graduating with his Ph.D. in 1965. Dr. Brew worked as an assistant professor at New York University from 1965-1970. He was an associate professor in geology at Prescott College, Arizona from 1970 to 1975. Since then he has taught at the University of Minnesota and the University of Arizona. He's now an emeritus professor of geology at Fort Lewis College. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, and has eight publications. Dr. Brew most recently taught earth science, ancient life, geology of the southwest, introductory paleontology, structural geology, and geology field camp. He is involved with The Four Corners Geological Society, The Geological Society of America, The History of Earth Sciences Society, The Society for Sedimentary Geology, The Paleontological Society, and The Paleontological Research Institution.

Dr. John (Jack) A. Campbell, Emeritus Professor

Dr. Campbell received his B.G. in geology from the University of Tulsa in 1955, his M.S. at the University of Colorado in 1957, and his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado in 1966. Dr. Campbell worked in industry and government as an exploration geologist, geophysicist, mineralogist and hydrologist. His first teaching position was at Colorado State University as a geology professor where he taught from 1957-1974. He started teaching at Fort Lewis College in 1981 and retired in 1999. He most recently taught earth science, physical geology, historical geology, groundwater geology, natural resources and the environment, depositional systems, and sedimentary petrology. Dr. Campbell is currently involved with quite a few organizations, these include: A.A.P.G., G.S.A., S.E.P.M., the International Association of Sedimentologists, The Four Corners Geological Society, and Sigma Xi. He was appointed to the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission of Colorado by the Governor of Colorado from 1990-1994 and also appointed by the Governor of Colorado to the Minerals and Geology Advisory Board for Colorado.

Dr. Jack A. Ellingson, Emeritus Professor

Dr. Ellingson received his B.S. and M.S. in geology from the University of Washington in 1958 and 1959, respectively. He then attended Washington State University where he received his Ph.D. in 1968. He came to FLC in 1970 as a geology professor to teach mineralogy and hard-rock courses. Here he held the title of Dean of Arts and Sciences from 1988-1990. Dr. Ellingson's areas of expertise and research are igneous petrology and petrography, metamorphic petrology and petrography, and volcanic geology. He is the author of eleven publications. Although Dr. Ellingson retired from the Department in 1997, he was asked to be Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences during the 1999-2000 academic year.  Dr. Ellingson most recently taught earth science, physical geology, geology of the southwest, mineralogy, optical mineralogy, igneous/metamorphic petrology, and geology field camp. He is currently involved with the following organizations:  The Four Corners Geological Society, The Geological Society of America, and Sigma Xi.

Dr. Thomas (Tom) N. Westervelt, Emeritus Associate Professor

Dr. Westervelt received his B.A. in geology from Middlebury College in 1967. In 1979 he received his Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming. Before he received his Ph.D., 1975 to be exact, he started teaching at Fort Lewis College. He has had numerous consulting projects for the mining industry. Dr. Westervelt specializes in ore deposits, structural geology, tectonics, plate tectonics, and structural controls of ore deposits. He is the author of 2 publications and numerous mining company reports. Dr. Westervelt most recently taught earth science, physical geology, geologic methods, structural geology, plate tectonics, and ore deposits. He is involved with many organizations at this time including: The Four Corners Geological Society, The Geological Society of America, The American Geophysical Union, The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum; The Atlantic Geoscience Society, and The Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration which is part of The American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers. Dr. Westervelt was awarded an N.S.F. grant for student study of a convergent plate margin in the Canadian Maritimes and Newfoundland.