Lawford Anderson is a professor of Earth Sciences.
What kind of research
do you conduct?
My research is on the origin of the earth’s continental crust, including changes of crustal evolution over the past 2 billion years. Recent projects have been on granites exposed in the Washington Cascades and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
a typical semester, how many undergraduates do you work
with? What kind of research activities do the undergraduate
My undergraduate classes can have over 200 students, but on a research level the number is generally less than ten.
Five undergraduate students (notably, not all were science majors or had prior camping experience) joined our larger group that also included several graduate students, a post-doctoral fellow, and visiting international scientists. The project was to map the geology of a region in the deep interior of Yosemite National Park.
With pack mule support, the students admirably backpacked 21 miles the first day to our research area and over the next two weeks mapped a sizeable region. The students also collected rock samples and made structural measurements, which were located by GPS (Global Positioning System).
During the Fall 2006 semester, the number of undergraduates in this program increased to 10 and worked on collecting whole rock geochemistry, microscopic study of thin sections, and electron microprobe analysis. In the current Spring 2007 semester, the students are preparing to present their work at a national meeting of the Geological Society of America meeting and the USC Undergraduate Research Symposium. By the end of the academic year, the students will have authored four meeting abstracts. Their work will also be published in a major refereed journal.
What are some
of your recent undergraduate projects?
Geologic mapping in the field including sample collection and measurement of rock structures.
Microscope investigations of minerals and fabrics in rocks.
Sample preparation for geochemistry and analysis of geochemical data and computer modeling.
Electron microprobe analysis of minerals to determine temperature and pressure of granite magma crystallization.
out more about Dr. Anderson and his research, please