Erin Birsic

Title:  Visiting Instructor of Geology
Department:  Geology
Degrees:  B.S., Allegheny College, M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Geosciences

Contact Infoerin

Phone:  (814) 332-2872


Office Hours – Fall 2015
Office Location:  Alden Hall, Room 201
Monday 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Tuesday 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Wednesday 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 11:00 am


Research Interests

I am an igneous petrologist/geochemist by training with varying interests within the field. My research focuses on the origins of magmas and the development and evolution of magmatic systems as it pertains to plate tectonics. My most recent work addresses the origins, evolution, and genetic links between two geochemically similar ignimbrites (1.5-0.9 Ma) in the Laguna del Maule volcanic field, Chile and how those ignimbrites relate genetically to >25 ka high-SiO2 rhyolites. Other work includes a petrogenetic study of a geochemically unique granitic pluton emplaced in the Wrangellia composite terrane suture zone in the Northern Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska and how it pertains to a unique tectonic setting and collisional magmatism. As an igneous petrologist and geochemist, my work relies heavily on the integration of both field and laboratory components of research, including geologic mapping, sample collection, field observations, geochronology (e.g. 40Ar/39Ar and U-Pb dating), mineral and whole rock geochemistry (e.g. plagioclase zoning profiles and mineral thermometers/barometers using EPMA/SEM, major and trace element analyses), geochemical modeling (e.g. Rayleigh Fractionation and MELTs), and rock/mineral characterizations (e.g. hand sample and thin section).