By Amanda Cairo
Long flight hours will get you to the Galápagos Islands from Idaho, but for University of Idaho students, that trip can be as quick as a walk across campus -- if they’re signed up for a Dennis Geist geology class.
The recently named President of the Charles Darwin Foundation has devoted most of his volcanology and petrology research to the study of the Galápagos Islands, and because the islands are so well recognized and versatile, Geist uses his research in the classroom.
“It was a great opportunity to work with a top notch researcher who has so much experience in an amazing landscape,” says alum Marques Miller (’12). “He’s a great professor to work with and learn from.”
Miller’s experience in the classroom led him to a research expedition in the Galápagos Islands in 2010. Geist invited Miller on a Scripps’s Institute of Oceanography ship to study how magma generated in the Northern Galápagos Province is formed.
“The experience I gained in the Galápagos and the resulting presentations I gave were far more than I could ever hope to gain out of a traditional classroom,” says Miller, who also had the opportunity to present a poster at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting. [Continue Reading...]
The Galápagos Islands are mostly known for being the site where Charles Darwin visited before he penned his seminal work, “On the Origin of Species,” which explains the process of natural selection and established the science of evolutionary biology. Beyond that though, Geist says so much of the island’s geology is undiscovered and relatively little is known of this unique archipelago.