Geology Faculty

Phi Beta Rock at Denali (2007)

Our faculty include:

JAY VAN TASSELL:

Jay grew up on Lake Waccabuc in South Salem, New York, and went to Bowdoin College in Maine for his undergraduate geology and physics degrees he moved on to Wisconsin, where he studied coastal erosion on the Keweenaw Peninsula of Lake Superior for his M.S. in Oceanography and Limnology.   Jay received his Ph.D. in Geological Oceanography in 1979 from Duke University, where he studied erosion on the North Carolina coast and turbidity current deposition on the ocean floor offshore of the Bahamas.  He moved on to Guilford College in North Carolina, where he taught for seven years and studied the Devonian sediments of Virginia and West Virginia.  Jay arrived at Eastern in 1988.  He met his wife, April, in his 1989 Physical Geology class and they were engaged by the end of the quarter!  Jay has studied the geologic history of the Grande Ronde Valley, the sediments and bathymetry of Wallowa Lake,  the fossils and sediments of the Baker City and Keating areas, including the 4.5 million year old Always Welcome Inn fossils, and  the mammoth, bear, bison, and squirrel fossils that were found near the La Grande airport in January 2010.  Jay is editor of Eastern Oregon Geology and advises the EOU Geology Club, Phi Beta Rock.  He will be teaching only introductory courses on-campus and weekend college courses off-campus starting in the Fall of 2014 due to the elimination of EOU’s Geology minor.   Jay’s e-mail is:  jvantass@eou.edu.

 

HENRIETTA LAUSTSEN:

Henrietta came to La Grande from Boulder, Colorado, where she was on the faculty of the University of Colorado in the Department of Geological Sciences for seven years.  She is currently offering an Introduction to GIS course and SCI 100-level classes on-campus and a Distance Ed course that focuses on GIS and Geoforensics.  Henrietta’s husband, Gary, is a professor with the OHSU Nursing program at EOU.   Henrietta is very interested in Science Education.  The guy in the photo on the left is Bill Nye the Science Guy!  Henrietta’s e-mail is:  hlaustsen@eou.edu.

 

MARK FERNS:

Mark retired in 2011 from the Oregon State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries in Baker City and is now adjunct professor of geology at EOU.  Mark’s knowledge of the geology of Eastern Oregon has proven invaluable!  Mark has been busy  students and faculty from the University of Nevada-Reno, Boise State University, Portland State University, the University of Texas- Houston, and Whitman College study the geology of northeast Oregon, including projects focusing on Neal Hot Springs, the North Fork of the Burnt River, the Three Fingers area, the Dinner Creek tuff near Baker City, and the Grande Ronde Valley. Mark also helped to identify a gold nugget used in a mining swindle in Baker City in the late 1800′s as a possible fraud made by chemically precipitating gold onto another specimen!  He’s out looking for gold and making trips to Hawaii when he’s not busy teaching Gold Mining of Eastern Oregon and our Earthquakes and Volcanoes weekend college courses.  Mark’s e-mail is:  mferns@eou.edu.