Initial Publication Date: June 5, 2019

Team and Institutional Context

Kristie Bradford

Kristie is the faculty lead for geology and a 2014 and 2018 recipient of Lone Star College's Teaching Excellence Award. In addition to teaching geology, Kristie is also a taekwondo master instructor. Teaching taekwondo often gives her ideas about how to present information or draw in her geology students.


Kristie teaches Physical Geology and Historical Geology.

Bryn Benford

Bryn is the department chair for chemistry, geology, and physics. She is passionate about developing high quality online physical geology classes. Bryn recently completed the construction of a three-story geology rock wall. The wall is meant to mimic the field experience that students from other parts of the country might experience.


Bryn teaches Physical Geology and Historical Geology.

Administration Involvement

Tomball Campus

  • Scott Stallman, Vice President of Instruction, Lone Star College - Tomball (2017-2019)
  • Quentin Wright, Vice President of Instruction, Lone Star College - Tomball (2016-2017)

University Park Campus

  • Kathy Cecil-Sanchez, Vice President of Instruction, Lone Star College - University Park (2016-2019)

Institutional Context

Lone Star College

Institution: Lone Star College is one of 2 large community colleges serving the Houston area. With 6 major campuses, it serves nearly 100,000 students per year, 17% of whom are African American, 34% are Hispanic or Latino, and 59% are women. Seventy one percent of the students at Lone Star attend part-time. Each campus has its own geology program, which is part of a Division on each campus that includes various other science and/or mathematics departments.

Lone Star College - Tomball

Campus: The Tomboll campus serves about 9,000 students from a campus northwest of Houston. Campus demographics are similar to the College as a whole with a student population that is 13% African American, 28% Hispanic, and 61% women.

Geoscience program: The geoscience program at Lone Star College - Tomball Campus offers courses in Physical Geology and Historical Geology serving between 150 and 180 students per year, most of whom are taking geology to fulfill a science requirement which may or may not be specific to their degree plan. There are no majors. The program has one permanent faculty member. Geology is part of a Natural Sciences Department on the Tomball campus.

Lone Star College - University Park Campus

Campus: The University Park Campus has about 11,000 students, and has the highest percentage of Asian students (12%) of the LSC campuses.

Geoscience program: Dr. Benford is one of two full-time geoscience faculty at the Lone Star College - University Park Campus and there are 6 adjuncts who teach 1 or 2 classes each. There is also one lab-science coordinator that is shared with the chemistry program. The geoscience program is part of the Math & Sciences Division which covers all of the natural sciences, mathematics and the social sciences. Within the Division, a department includes biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, environmental science and geology and offers courses in Physical Geology, Historical Geology, Oceanography, and Environmental Science. GIS is taught at the CyFair campus.

Most geoscience courses have a maximum of 32 students. These students take physical geology so that they can meet the science class requirement for their Associates degree. Those who take historical geology tend to be students who want to transfer to 4 year schools, and about 1/3 want to major in geology.

Institutional demographic data is from IPEDS, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, U.S. Department of Education, typically for the 2014-15 year as available.