Julie BartleyEnvironment Geography and Earth, Geology, Environmental Studies, Geography
Posted on May 10th, 2024 by

“I try to give students the opportunity to do both individual and team assignments and strive to foster an inclusive, active classroom in which students have choices about how they engage with their work.”

What are your areas of research and teaching expertise?Julie Bartley stands in front of white background.

My research examines the interactions between early life and its environment. I study the structures that microbial communities built in the ancient oceans and the ways these communities become preserved as fossils.

The courses I teach include introductory courses in geology and environmental earth sciences. I also teach upper level courses in sedimentary geology, geologic history, and paleontology that can be taken by students interested in geology and environmental studies.

What is your teaching style?
Most courses have a blend of in-class explorations, discussions, projects, and lectures. I try to give students the opportunity to do both individual and team assignments and strive to foster an inclusive, active classroom in which students have choices about how they engage with their work. We go outside for fieldwork as often as we can – seeing geology “in the wild” is one of the best ways to learn!

Describe your “lightbulb moment.”

I started out with a degree in Chemistry and went on to graduate school in organic chemistry. I kept asking questions that brought me back to thinking about the history of life on the planet, rather than to more traditional questions of organic chemistry. One evening, I attended a seminar in the Geology department that connected chemistry and life’s history in a way that just made sense. All at once, I realized that I could bring my chemistry experience to questions of early life on earth, studying geochemistry and paleontology. So I did!

What tips do you have for student success?

Be brave! Ask a question. Venture an answer, even if you don’t think you’ve got it right just yet. Take a course that looks interesting and that doesn’t satisfy any requirements. Say to yourself “I don’t know that yet, but I might be able to learn it!” If you bring that perspective to every class, you’ll find that the work is more interesting and you remember it better than if you focused only on getting it “right”.

Where is your favorite place on campus/in St Peter?

There’s a little rock garden at the Arboretum. It’s a little out of the way, so it’s usually quiet and peaceful. When the weather’s nice, it’s a great place to read a book or just chill.

 

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