Dr. Steve Anderson is a Professor of Geology at the University of Northern Colorado, and has spent the last 30 years researching active volcanoes in some of the most amazing places on the planet. He specializes in understanding what the surfaces of active lava flows can tell us about an eruption, and has applied his findings to volcanoes on Mars and Venus through grants from NASA. Born in Wisconsin, he is an outdoorsman at heart, struggling to find balance between a job he loves and his many other outdoor pursuits that include fishing, hunting, camping, running and cycling.
Steve just returned from a 4 month trip around the world on a ship as part of the Semester at Sea (www.semesteratsea.org) program where he taught environmental and engineering courses to college students as they traveled to and through 12 countries. His travels through the bush of South Africa and Namibia were among the most amazing of his career, compelling him think more deeply about effectively educating the next generation of students to become thoughtful stewards of our environment. Although his research takes him to places few others are able to experience, educating and mentoring students is what he is most passionate about. He is a believer in involving aspiring geoscientists in field research as a way to inspire and motivate students to contribute to an understanding of our planet. His students have accompanied him to spectacular settings including active lava lakes in Hawaii and Chile, and some have made notable contributions to our understanding of the environment. His former graduate student, Adam Lewinter, was featured in the award-winning documentary Chasing Ice, which chronicles the effects of climate change on our sensitive polar regions (see www.chasingice.com).