Ronald Cole

Title: Professor (Chair 2014-15)
Department: Geology
Degrees: B.S., Allegheny College; M.S., Ph. D., University of Rochester

Contact Info

Phone: (814) 332-2876
Office Location: Alden Hall 209

Office Hours:

“How many years can a mountain exist before it’s washed away to the sea?”
Bob Dylan, Blowin’ In the Wind, 1962

” … in nature there is a wisdom, system, and consistency.”
James Hutton, Theory of the Earth, 1785.

The answer to Bob Dylan’s question lies in our ability to recognize the natural systems of the Earth as alluded to by James Hutton, one of the founders of modern geology. Discovery and exploration of Earth processes are what motivate me in my teaching and research. I am especially interested in links between volcanoes, magmatism, basins, and plate tectonic processes.  Another area of interest to me is the interplay between geologic processes and humanity and so I also enjoy teaching in the field of Environmental Geology. The areas of tectonics and environmental geology are often entwined – earthquakes and volcanic eruptions can be violent reminders to humanity of tectonic processes. Geology allows us to explore the dynamics of our planet and to learn the wisdom of natural processes.