Faculty Profile

Benjamin Edwards

Professor of Earth Sciences (2002)

Contact Information

edwardsb@dickinson.edu

Kaufman Building Room 142
717.254.8934

Bio

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.

Education

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

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

ERSC 305 Earth Materials
Completion of both ERSC 305 and 309 fulfills the WID Requirement.

ERSC 500 Independent Study

ERSC 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

ERSC 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch

Spring 2018

ERSC 141 Earth's Hazards
This course examines natural processes such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mass wasting events, and floods that have the potential to produce disastrous consequences for humans. All of these processes result from interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere directly or indirectly, which is the realm of earth sciences. Increasing global populations and increasingly interdependent national economies mean that few disasters are now only ‘local’. This course will use examples such as case studies of recent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to examine how natural processes can be hazardous, and whether or not humans can anticipate and mitigate these kinds of hazards to prevent future disasters. Laboratory work will include analog experiments, field trips, and video analysis of historic disasters. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week.

ERSC 141 Earth's Hazards
This course examines natural processes such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mass wasting events, and floods that have the potential to produce disastrous consequences for humans. All of these processes result from interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere and hydrosphere directly or indirectly, which is the realm of earth sciences. Increasing global populations and increasingly interdependent national economies mean that few disasters are now only ‘local’. This course will use examples such as case studies of recent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to examine how natural processes can be hazardous, and whether or not humans can anticipate and mitigate these kinds of hazards to prevent future disasters. Laboratory work will include analog experiments, field trips, and video analysis of historic disasters. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week.

ERSC 311 Intro Arctic/Alpine Climate Ch
Permission of Instructor Required. This course will prepare students to engage in discussions and data collection relevant to understanding how the Arctic and lower latitude alpine environments are responding to climate change. We will use a variety of remote sensing tools to examine changes in ice cover over the past two decades, as well as developing field-based skills related to GPS (global positioning systems), water chemistry, and soil characteristics. This is required for students selected for the 2018 DC Arctic and Alpine Climate Change Research Experience.