Eriks Puris

Portland Community College

Eriks Puris is a SAGE 2YC local workshop leader and an instructor at Portland Community College. He co-convened the 2015 workshop Connections: Building a Geoscience Community that Engages and Supports Students at Linn-Benton Community College and the 2014 workshop Using Engaging Experiences to Craft Student Success in the Earth Sciences at Portland Community College.

Puris's essay Steps towards Creating an Engaging Earth Science Curriculum describes how he captures student attention by putting "phenomena first" and "observations before explanations."


Eriks Puris teaches Physical Geology (lecture/lab), Historical Geology (lecture/lab), Astronomy, Oceanography, Meteorology, Geology Field Studies, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes and their Activity.

Professional Interests

Puris's educational interests include designing introductory Earth science learning experiences that develop student understanding of basic scientific principles and then demonstrating that those principles can be used to explain how the Earth operates as well as incorporating research experience into the community college Earth science curriculum. He also is interested in developing a Historical Geology course that meets the needs of the 21st century. His geologic interests include regional geology of the Portland Basin and the Pacific Northwest, Quaternary studies, and Cenozoic cooling.


Portland Community College is a two-year college and the largest institution of higher education in Oregon. Portland Community College has four campuses and seven centers to serve the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. It serves about 90,000 students (57,000 in credit courses) with an average age of 32, although 38% are under 25 years of age.