After switching from being a geologist to being a professor, my life’s work has been to help my students grow into more effective planetary citizens. Teaching is what I do. More important than my sharing of content is to help them think about it. This is true whether I’m standing in front of the class, guiding a field trip, sitting in a seminar, writing course texts, supervising an online course, or publishing articles and books. The centrality of teaching was manifest in June 1973 when I was certified by the State of Minnesota to teach high-school science. It remains true today as I help teach UCONN’s Honors Core curriculum, and co-advise 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?”