Faculty Profile

Benjamin Edwards

Associate Professor of Earth Sciences (2002)

Contact Information


Kaufman Building Room 139


His research foci are glaciovolcanism (interactions between volcanoes and ice, including the formation of pillow lava and cooling joints), petrological imaging of lithospheric stratigraphy (using xenoliths from Neogene to Recent volcanoes in the North American Cordillera), and applications of theoretical models for understanding the transport and crystallization of silicate melts. His other interests include mineralogy, environmental hazards, the history of science, and the influence of plate tectonics on almost everything. His current research involves taking students to places like Monterrat (West Indies) to study xenoliths and volcanic stratigraphy, Iceland to study volcano-ice interactions, and northern British Columbia to map and collect samples of volcanic deposits, especially from volcanoes that erupted beneath or against ice.


  • B.A., Carleton College, 1989
  • M.S., University of Wyoming, 1993
  • Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 1997

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

ERSC 311 Introduction to Soils
This course is an introduction to the description, classification and formation processes of soils with a lecture and a lab. It will integrate local field work with laboratory work, including projects at the College Farm. The aim of the course is to give students the basic vocabulary and skills necessary to characterize soils, and understand they importance for agriculture, forensic science, and planet habitability.