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Joe Elkins

Joe Elkins

Associate Professor, Earth Science Education

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Natural and Health Sciences

Contact Information


Professional/Academic Experience

Dr. Elkins research interests span geoscience education and low temperature geochemistry.  His current projects focus on the geochemistry of terrains where distilled spirits were produced historically and the rapid esterification of distilled spirits.  He also has research interests in educational technology and learning in field environments.  He has completed a sabbatical at the Gerace Field Station in San Salvador, Bahamas, has been the co-editor of the Journal of Geoscience Education, and was awarded the Geological Society of America's Biggs Award for excellence in teaching geosciences. Dr. Elkins teaches courses in oceanography, geology, and science for K-12 educators. He has been certified as a professional river guide and wilderness EMT. His career has taken him to 47 states and five countries.  For fun, he has climbed the highest mountain in 39 states and has been underground (spelunking) in 11 states. 

Research/Areas of Interest

Dr. Elkins has dual interests in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences: He is a geologist by training, having studied carbon isotopes in organic matter and cave deposits (speleothems), but he is most notably interested in earth science education.  His real passion is interdisciplinary education and the development of field-based experiences for students who are new to the subject of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. He is a recipient of the Geological Society of America’s Biggs Award, GSA’ highest honor for excellence in Earth Science teaching.  Other interests of his include fluvial processes as they relate to gradient, volume, constriction and obstruction (whitewater) and emergency medicine.  [NEW STUFF??]

Publications/Creative Works

Elkins J. “Using Portable Media Players (iPod) to Support Electronic Course Materials During a Field-based Introductory Geology Course” Journal of Geoscience Education v. 57, n. 2, pp. 106-112, 2009.

Elkins, J., Elkins, N.M.L., and Hemmings, S.N.J. " GeoJourney: A nine-week  introductory field program with an interdisciplinary approach to  teaching geology, Native American cultures, and environmental  studies" Journal of College Science Teaching, v. 37,  n. 3,  pp.18-28, 2008.  

Elkins, J. and Elkins, N.M.L.  "Teaching Geology in the Field:  Significant geoscience concept gains in entirely field-based introductory geology courses " Journal of Geoscience Education  v. 55, n. 2, pp. 126-132, 2007.

Elkins, J., and Elkins, N.M. L., "Improving student learning during travel time on field trips using an innovative, portable audio/video system" Journal of Geoscience Education v. 54, n. 2, pp. 147-152, 2006.