Mines geology professor to direct NSF Division of Earth Sciences

GOLDEN, Colo., July 17, 2012 – Wendy Harrison, Colorado School of Mines professor of geology and geological engineering, has been named division director for the National Science Foundation’s Division of Earth Sciences in the Directorate for Geosciences, effective Aug. 27, 2012.

The NSF states the Division of Earth Sciences “supports basic research and education into the structure, composition, and evolution of the Earth, and the life it supports, and the processes that govern the formation and behavior of the Earth's materials. The Division has programs in geobiology and low-temperature geochemistry, geomorphology, sedimentary geology and paleobiology, continental dynamics, hydrology, geophysics, tectonics, petrology and geochemistry, instrumentation and facilities and education. The results of this research will create a better understanding of the Earth's changing environments, and the natural distribution of its mineral, water, biota, and energy resources and provide methods for predicting and mitigating the effects of geologic hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, landslides.”

Harrison, who formerly served as associate provost and dean of undergraduate studies and faculty at Mines, joined the university in 1988 as an assistant professor after eight years as a senior research geologist at Exxon Production Research Company and two years as a National Research Council Fellow at NASA-Johnson Space Center. 

She received bachelors and doctoral degrees in geology from Manchester University, U.K. and was awarded a predoctoral fellowship at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory.

Harrison’s research interests lie broadly in geochemistry and she is lauded for her important contributions in geoscience education. 



David Tauchen, Public Relations Specialist / 303-273-3088 / DTauchen@mines.edu
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations / 303-273-3541 / KGilbert@mines.edu