Kevin Theissen

Geology

University of St. Thomas (MN)

 I am an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, MN.  I teach courses in paleoclimatology (GEOL 162 and 462:  The Earth's Record of Climate), oceanography (GEOL 220), field geology (GEOL 260:  Regional Geology and Field Methods in the Southwestern U.S.), and geochemistry (GEOL 310: Environmental Geochemistry).  All of my teaching has a strong emphasis on the Anthropocene and addressing environmental problems. 

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (5)

Exploring El Niño part of Cutting Edge:Sedimentary Geology:Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and Paleontology 2014:Activities
In this introductory-level lab activity, students first view a 20-minute portion of an informative video to learn about the operation of an array of moored buoys that is used to detect changes in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (El Niño, "normal", and La Niña conditions)in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Students then directly access, display, and work with recent and present data collected from the buoy system using the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean project website. Finally, students examine data from a coral geochemical record to infer past ENSO events.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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An abrupt global climate change event in Earth history- Evidence from the ocean part of Cutting Edge:Sedimentary Geology:Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and Paleontology 2014:Activities
Students work in pairs to explore and synthesize key paleoceanographic evidence for the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)as found in marine sediment cores collected and analyzed during Ocean Drilling Program Leg 208 (Walvis Ridge). Students produce a poster in which they neatly organize the data (calcium carbonate, carbon isotopic values, core log information) and core imagery and share their interpretation of what happened during this major event.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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How Effective is a Remediation System at a Regional Landfill? part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
In this activity, students begin exploring the effectiveness of a remediation system installed at a closed landfill system. Students learn the importance of redox chemistry in a real-world context and build field sampling skills.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Role-Play Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
When the science is so clear, why is it so difficult to make agreements that will reduce our impact on climate change? This exercise is designed to help students explore that important question in an active and engaging way. Students are cast into the roles of various important players in the climate change issue, including politicians, scientists, environmentalists, and industry representatives. Working in these roles, students must take a position, debate with others, and then vote on legislation designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

Exploring oil spills part of Cutting Edge:Oceanography:Ocean System:Activities
This activity combines a hands-on demonstration and a follow-up homework assignment designed for students to investigate oil spill clean-up.

Courses (2)

Environmental Geochemistry part of Cutting Edge:Course Design:Goals Database
This course focuses on geochemical processes that occur at or near the surface which are of particular importance to environmental quality and therefore to humans. During the first few weeks of the course students explore some important principles that serve as the foundations of geochemistry. The next several weeks of the course explore the application of geochemical tools in sediments, soils, and waters. In the final part of the course students work on applying these tools to answer a question of interest as part of a course research project.

The Earth's Record of Climate part of Cutting Edge:Course Design:Goals Database
In this course students explore the Earth's climate system and the climatic changes that have occurred during the history of the planet. Students get a hands-on introduction to the collection, analysis,and interpretation of climate data in laboratory sessions and in-class activities.

Other Contribution

The Earth's Record of Climate part of Cutting Edge:Sedimentary Geology:Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and Paleontology 2014:Courses
In this course students explore the Earth's climate system and the climatic changes that have occurred during the history of the planet. Students get a hands-on introduction to the collection, analysis,and interpretation of climate data in laboratory sessions and in-class activities.


Events and Communities

Climate Communication 2012: Presenter

Early Career '04 Participants

Ocean System 2005 Participants

Course Design Workshop 2003 Participants

CE Climate Workshop 2012

Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and Paleontology 2014: Leader