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Faculty Profile

Ben Edwards

(he/him/his)Professor of Earth Sciences; Moraine Chair in Arctic Studies (2002)

Contact Information

edwardsb@dickinson.edu

Kaufman Hall Room 142
717.254.8934
http://blogs.dickinson.edu/edwardsb/

Bio

His research foci are interactions between volcanoes and glaciers (glaciovolcanism), Arctic and Alpine climate change (including directing the Dickinson College Arctic and Alpine Climate Change Research Experience AACCRE), UAV (a.k.a. drones) science, and the impacts of volcanic ash on plants. Volcano studies include the formation of pillow lava and cooling joints, large-scale lava-ice experiments at the Syracuse Lava Lab (http://lavaproject.syr.edu), petrological imaging of lithospheric stratigraphy (using xenoliths from Neogene to Recent volcanoes in the North American Cordillera), applications of theoretical models for understanding the formation of cooling fractures in lavas, and the formation of deposits during volcano-ice interactions. His other interests include soil-forming processes, mineralogy, environmental hazards, the history of science, the history of Arctic exploration, and the influence of plate tectonics on almost everything. His current research involves taking students to places like Alaska (Gates of the Arctic), Iceland (2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption), Greenland, the Canadian Arctic (Nunavut), British Columbia, Chile (2015 Villarrica eruption) and Peru to study volcanic stratigraphy, glaciers and climate change.

Curriculum Vitae

Education

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

2021-2022 Academic Year

Fall 2021

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

ERSC 550 Independent Research

MGCD 858 The Arctic
This course reviews the physical components of the Arctic, with a focus on physical geography, the cryosphere (glaciers, sea ice, permafrost), and potential economic resources, as well as the current strategic plans for Arctic Council member states, permanent members, and observer nations. Course participants will engage in exercises and discussions to increase their spatial awareness of these entities and will examine the consequences of likely changes based on predicted temperature and precipitation models. They will also discuss the intersections of ecological and physical change caused by global warming with strategic Arctic policies developed by Arctic Council members and other entities (various branches of U.S. Armed Forces).