Colby College
Department of Geology
Faculty and Staff

Academic Year 2014-2015

Dr. Tasha L. Dunn

Clare Booth Luce Assistant Professor of Geology
Ph.D., University of Tennessee
Staff Directory Web Page

Dr. Dunn joined the Colby faculty in the spring semester of the 2013-2014 academic year. A mineralogist and petrologist with broad interests, her research has focused on Martian geology and primitive meteorites. She has also pioneered the use of new analytical tools in the study of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. She is teaching Earth and Environment (GE141) and Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (GE 332) in the fall, and will be teaching Mineralogy (GE225) in the spring term.

Dr. Robert A. Gastaldo

Whipple-Coddington Professor of Geology
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Staff Directory Web Page

Dr. Gastaldo joined the Colby faculty as the inaugural Whipple-Coddington Professor of Geology and Department Chair in 1999. Dr. Gastaldo came to Colby with an international reputation in paleobotany, sedimentology and taphonomy, and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. He stepped down after thirteen years as Chair at the end of June, 2012.
In 2014-2015, he is teaching "The Record of Life on Earth" (GE251) in the fall term, and will be teaching Deep Time Planet Earth (GE 142) and a 300-level writing course in the Geosciences (unnumbered as of yet) in the spring.

Dr. Robert E. Nelson
Professor of Geology
Ph.D., University of Washington (Seattle)
Staff Directory Web Page

Dr. Nelson is teaching Earth and Environment (GE141) and Problems in Geosciences: Applied Research (GE493) in the fall semester, Introduction to Volcanoes and Volcanology (GE151) in JanPlan, and Principles of Geomorphology (GE254) in the spring semester. He will also be coordinating the spring Geology Seminar program. The senior member of the Department, he joined the Colby faculty in 1982, and was Chair from 1990-1999.

Dr. Bruce F. Rueger
Visiting Assistant Professor of Geology
Ph.D., University of Colorado
Staff Directory Web Page

Dr. Rueger is teaching the "Earth and the Environment" (GE141) and 4 of the 6 laboratory sections for the course in the fall semester. A plan for a JanPlan in Mexico de-materialized when the U.S. State Department declared Mexico as an "unsafe country" for U.S. tourists in August, 2014. In the spring, he'll be instructing both lecture and labs for "Earth and the Environment." He has been with the Department since 1984, and has been Visiting Assistant Professor since 2003, prior to which he was Senior Teaching Associate.

Dr. Walter A. ("Bill") Sullivan

Associate Professor of Geology
Ph.D., University of Wyoming

Staff Directory Web Page

Dr. Sullivan will be teaching Structural Geology in the fall term, and both "Earth and the Environment" (GE141) and "Plate Tectonics" (GE331) in the spring. Prof. Sullivan is now beginning his seventh year at Colby, his sixth as a continuing member of the Colby faculty.

Dr. W. Herbert Wilson, Chair

Leslie B. Arey Professor of the Biosciences
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

Staff Directory Web Page

Dr. Wilson's teaching assignments are entirely within the Department of Biology, though his particular expertise includes ecology and evolution. Formerly both Chair of the Department of Biology and of the Natural Sciences Division, he joined the Colby faculty in 1990.

Mr. Mel Croft
Teaching Associate in Geology
M.S., Florida State University
Staff Directory Web Page [Deactivated in spring, 2014]

Mr. Croft is responsible for 2 of 6 labs in Earth and Environment (GE141) in the fall semester. A retired petroleum geologist with Chevron, Inc., he has been a valued and regular contributor to Departmental programs since the spring of 2008.

Ms. Alice M. Ridky
Administrative Secretary Extraordinaire
Staff Directory Web Page

Alice Ridky keeps the Department of Geology (as well as the Department of Physics and Astronomy) on a steady keel, maintaining and ordering supplies and equipment, coordinating student workers, typing exams and specialized documents, keeping track of Departmental budgets and records, answering student questions, guarding the Departmental supply of M&Ms, and handling unexpected emergencies with aplomb and expertise. She joined the Department in 1983.


Dr. Donald B. Allen
Professor of Geology, Emeritus
Ph. D., University of Illinois

Dr. Allen formally retired at the end of the 2006-2007 academic year, having joined the Colby faculty in the fall of 1967 and serving as Chair from 1982-1990. An economic geologist, mineralogist and petrologist, he has been the principle architect in the Department of analytical links with the Department of Chemistry. He remains a regular presence in the department and continues to assist students working on independent research projects.

Dr. Harold R. Pestana

Professor of Geology, Emeritus
Ph.D., University of Iowa

Dr. Pestana joined the Colby faculty in 1959 and retired in 1996, establishing the Bermuda program which is continued by Bruce Rueger - the first foreign-study program in the sciences at Colby. He remains active in his retirement, and lives in Waterville. (Photo taken on one of the first Bermuda programs.)

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[ Last modified October 24th, 2014. ]