Please find Dr. Aird’s Teaching Philosophy here.


Examining the cross-cutting relationships int he northern Sierra Nevada


Getting the bigger picture

Classes taught at CSU Chico:
– General Geology (GEOS 101)
– Physical Geology (GEOS 102)
– Optical Mineralogy (GEOS 402)
– Petrology (GEOS 403)
– Economic Geology (GEOS 549)

The intersection between teaching and research at CSU Chico:
Petrology of the northern Sierra Nevada
Every spring, students in my GEOS 402/403 Petrology class take part in a class research project in which they sample and describe (lithologically and petrographically) chosen aspects of the rocks comprising granitic plutons in the nearby Feather River Valley. Although these plutons comprise the northern portion of the Sierra Nevada, famous for the dramatic granitic landscapes of Yosemite, little work has been carried out since the widespread acceptance of plate tectonic theory in the 1970s, so there is much potential for more detailed characterization and reinterpretation of the local geology, and extension of the current understanding of the geologic history of the Sierra Nevada.


Examining alteration of the primary lithology in the northern Sierra Nevada

GEOS 402/403 students integrate their own observations with the little available published geochemical data from the local plutons to interpret the tectonic setting and magmatic history of the area. Over the coming years, successive classes of students will add to the body of research on these rocks, which will contribute towards an overarching project on the detailed petrology of the plutons of the northern Sierra Nevada.

Classes taught at University of Puget Sound:
– Igneous Petrology
– Physical Geology
– Mineralogy and Petrology
– Mineral Resources

Classes TAed at Duke University:
– Solid Earth
– Dynamic Earth
– Evolution of the Earth
– Volcanology: Geology of Hawaii