Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:35 PM
MEANDERING WITH DUSTY: FROM GLACIOFLUVIAL SEDIMENTS TO TWO-YEAR COLLEGE GEOSCIENCE TEACHING - PROCESS GEOMORPHOLOGY AND THE LEGACY OF DALE F. RITTER
To say that Dusty Ritter influenced my geology career is an understatement. Working with Dusty in graduate school helped me transition to a process approach to geologic landscape analysis, as well as to embrace a process approach to building a career and life. We used his textbook, “Process Geomorphology” in my geomorphology class junior year at F & M College and I was ‘reading ahead,’ because I realized the book’s approach was the geologic link I was looking for to understand both the Appalachian rivers and valleys where I was born in Pennsylvania and also the coastal plain rivers where I grew up in Delaware. “Process Geomorphology,” led me to search for ways to integrate sedimentology and my fascination with landscapes. F & M sedimentology professor Dr. Marv Kauffman suggested I apply to work with Dusty in grad school. So, on my first solo trip west of Pennsylvania, I interviewed at SIU at Carbondale and met Dusty and Dr. Russ Dutcher. While fielding questions from Dr. Dutcher, I learned that Dusty had been a high school and college athlete and had first gotten a teaching degree before going back to study geology. I also learned that F & M geomorphologist Dr. John Moss, who had passed away before I arrived at F & M, had been a great influence on Dusty. As my thesis advisor at SIU – C, Dusty created an opportunity for me to investigate changes in sediment characteristics in terrace deposits in southern Montana along the East Rosebud, Stillwater, and Yellowstone rivers. The chance to do research in Montana began my interest in glaciofluvial landscapes and sediments. Several years later, as part of an interdisciplinary graduate student team studying Cedar Creek Alluvial Fan, I began thinking in earnest about the roles climate and tectonics play in landscape evolution, and clues the sediments may hold. And a comment by Dusty after observing me teach lab classes my last semester at SIU, “You really have a way with students … not everyone does. Have you considered being a teacher?”- which I had not, stopped me in my tracks, and started me on the meandering path that brings me here.