8/88 to 4/89, 8/91 to 8/94 BS Geology, Magna Cum Laude, Brigham Young University 8/94 to 12/99 Ph.D. Geological Sciences, specializing in mineral surface geochemistry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Ph.D. advisor – Michael F. Hochella. Dissertation title: “Atomic Force Microscopy Study of Clay Mineral Dissolution”.
Physical Science 110B: Earth Science for El. Ed. Geology 351: Mineralogy Geology 445: Geochemistry Geology 550: Environmental Soil Chemistry Geology 446: Applied Geochemistry
I have focused my research in two areas: low temperature geochemistry and geoscience education. Low Temperature Geochemistry: Chemical reactions between minerals and aqueous solutions happen at the mineral-fluid interface, a tiny region where solution properties are quite different than in the bulk fluid, and solid properties are quite different than in the bulk mineral structure. However, although this interface is where all the action is, chemically speaking, prior to the last two decades the tools to study such surface processes were comparatively primitive. In most cases chemists were limited to examining changes in solution chemistry and explaining these changes in terms of some assumed surface process (e.g. adsorption, precipitation, etc.) Recent advances in theory and instrumentation are now allowing researchers to more directly probe mineral surfaces, allowing us to gain a more complete and accurate picture of mineral-fluid interactions. In my case, I am interested in studying how mineral surface atomic structure and composition affect reactivity. I use Atomic Force Microscopy, Force Spectroscopy, and other surface sensitive techniques to achieve this goal, as well as more traditional wet-chemical methods. I also use ab initio molecular structure calculations to help explain experimental results. Geoscience Education: I teach an Earth Science class for Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education majors, and I feel it is imperative that these students learn to love and have an adequate knowledge of science, so that they can pass these on to young children. So far my research has focused on accomplishing these goals using innovative methods such as service-learning and creative writing projects, as well as experimenting with methods for teaching the nature of science.
1991-1999 Various Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant jobs in the Geology, Chemistry, and Honors departments of Brigham Young University and the Geological Sciences department of Virginia Tech. 1/00 to 7/01 Postdoctoral Research Associate for Prof. Kathryn L. Nagy, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder. 8/01 to present Assistant Professor, Department of Geology, Brigham Young University.
National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1994-1999 American Federation of Mineralogical Societies Scholarship, 1996-1998 Outstanding Dissertation Award, Virginia Tech, 2001 (one of two awarded per year in the University) J. Keith Rigby Research Award, BYU Department of Geological Sciences, 2005-2006.
Associate Editor, American Mineralogist Associate Editor, Journal of Geoscience Education
National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Geochemical Society, Mineralogical Society of America, Clay Minerals Society, American Chemical Society