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Joan Fryxell

Joan Fryxell



Geological Sciences
Office Phone(909) 537-5311
Office LocationCS-110


Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 1987-1989
National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate, USGS Flagstaff AZ, 1984-1986.
Ph.D. in Geology 1984, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
M.A. in Botany 1980, University of Texas at Austin
B.A. in Geology 1977, Earlham College


GEOL 3020 - Natural Disasters
GEOL 3100 - Introduction to Geologic Mapping
GEOL 3600 - Structural Geology
GEOL 3903 - Advanced Field Geology
GEOL 3990 - Geological Research Design
GEOL 4000 - Undergraduate Geological Research
GEOL 5000 - Advanced Topics in Geology: Geology of the Grand Canyon
GEOL 5200 - Tectonics
GEOL 5260 - Advanced Structural Geology
GEOL 4900 - Senior Seminar
GEOL 6900 - Graduate Seminar


Structural geology, field geology, tectonics, natural disasters

Research and Teaching Interests


My primary teaching strengths for geology students are basic and advanced structural geology, tectonics, regional geology, and field methods. I teach other courses as needed.  I feel strongly that all students, not just geology students, need to understand the integrative nature of most geologic questions.  I encourage them to relate specific geologic ideas and techniques to wider contexts, including everyday life, without sacrificing rigor in so doing. 

My motivation for general undergraduate education is my conviction that science must be made more accessible to the general public.  Geology is an effective avenue through which to pursue that goal, due to its tangibility and integrative nature.  In the past several years, this has expanded to include teaching about natural disasters, including preparation and evaluating information that includes uncertainty (such as climate change).  Moreover, these ideas are irrepressibly cool, although the puns are terrible.


My current research program is twofold:

1. Crustal extension in the central Basin and Range province, North America: mechanisms of crustal extension, including how normal faults initiate, evolve, change character as they cut upward through the crust, and affect overall crustal structure.

2. Volcanic history and eruptive hazard assessment of selected volcanoes in the Caribbean area, in collaboration with Alan L. Smith.

My general research interests include the timing and distribution of orogenic events, the mechanisms of deformation, from microscopic to regional scales, and synthesis of these studies into regional tectonic models.