After switching from being a geologist to being a professor, my life’s work has been to profess what I know to be true: that knowing “how the earth works” will be essential for the future lives of my students. Teaching is what I do. This means the sharing of content is more important than the content itself. This is true whether I’m standing in front of the class, sitting in a seminar, writing course texts, running an online course, or publishing articles and books. The centrality of teaching was true in June 1973 when I was certified by the State of Minnesota to teach high-school science, and it remains true today as I chair the Geoscience curriculum committee at UConn, help oversee and teach UCONN’s Honors Core curriculum, and co-advise many graduate students.
Photo: Chalkboard in my old office. I took this photo after a student walked in and asked what it signified. I couldn’t remember. That episode helped me realize that my thinking was largely visual and abstract . The picture of Millard Fillmore involves a family story, though my students often ask: “Who’s the geologist?”