March 21, 2006
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Michelle Stoklosa Biography

I currently teach most of the introductory geology courses at Boise State University. These courses include Fundamentals of Geology, Environmental Geology, Historical Geology, and occasionally an upper level course on Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, and a seminar on Women and Science. I also help to organize the teaching assistant roles for the BSU Geosciences graduate students.

I didn’t grow up knowing I wanted to be a geologist, but I was always interested in science. I grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a B.A. in biology, and a minor in Geosciences. My roommates at school brought it to my attention that all I talked about was my geology classes and field trips, and suggested I consider shifting my focus to geology. So I decided to go to graduate school. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I received both a masters and doctoral degree in geology. My primary area of research was carbonate sedimentology, otherwise known as “the study of limestone”. This research took me to West Texas, where I studied reefs over 200 million years old, which were composed mostly of algae and single-celled organisms. Later I studied some younger (only 24 million year old!) reefs that are exposed along the white cliffs of southeastern Spain. I was looking at those reefs to tell me something about the past climate of the Earth.

During graduate school, I found that I really enjoyed teaching and seeing students get excited about geology. Although my research had been fun, and gave me some great experiences, I decided to turn my attention to education. I now interact with many students each semester, and am always looking for ways to get people interested in the Earth around them. This is not too difficult a task in a state as geologically diverse as Idaho!

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