Program of Study: Earth Science
Academic Division: Engineering, Math & Physical Sciences
Meet the Instructors
Meet the Earth Science Instructors:
- Barry Crawford
- Ryan Cumpston
- Kelda Hutson
- Hope May
- Jason McGraw
- Michael Mieszala
- Halle Morrison
- Eric Priest
- Ron Riepe
- Raymond Wiggers
- Xiaoming Zhai
B.S., Eastern Michigan University
M.S., University of Alabama
Barry Crawford teaches Environmental Geology here at CLC and has a passion for teaching at the collegiate level. Barry has spent more than 10-years working as an environmental geologist working on projects ranging from the typical contamination source identification and groundwater remediation projects to the atypical emergency response activities of the World Trade Center response and Anthrax cleanup in Washington DC. Currently, Barry is working "Green," providing vegetated rooftops (aka "Green Roofs") for the greater Chicagoland area helping to reduce stormwater runoff and help reduce the urban heat island effect within the concrete jungle of the city. In the classroom, Barry utilizes his years of field experience to add real-world experiences to the concepts presented which really brings lectures to life.
B.S., Cum Laude, Northern Illinois University
M.S., Northern Illinois University
Ryan has been teaching courses at CLC since Fall 2009. He teaches physical geology, environmental geology, oceanography, and has lead students on trips into the field to do geology first hand. Ryan has conducted field work in a variety of geologic settings including: the arctic (Ny Alesund, Svalbard), desert (Death Valley, California), mountains (Black Hills, South Dakota), jungle (Izamal, Yucatan Peninsula), and rainforest (Belize and Guatemala). Ryan has conducted research on glacial sedimentology, the impact of drilling fluids on underground microbial communities under the Antarctic Ice Sheet, and climate reconstruction to determine the impact of climate change on the fall of the Mayan Civilization by using cave formations. When asked, Ryan will tell you his greatest accomplishment is inspiring students to become a geologist; just as he was inspired by a professor he had while attending school at a community college.
B.A., Colgate University
M.A.T., Colgate University
M.S., Mississippi State University
Kelda's passion for the Earth Sciences was sparked during a minerals classification lab in 8th grade. Summers are spent participating in science conferences, field camps, and workshops across the USA. Her current research focuses on forelimb range-of-motion in extant archosaurs. She has presented on this topic to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
M.S., University of Illinois
"And some run up hill and down dale, knapping the chucky stones to pieces with hammers, like so many road makers run daft. They say it is to see how the world was made." -Sir Walter Scott
Hope May teaches Physical Geology at CLC. Her field of concentration was igneous petrology and clay mineralogy. She has worked in a variety of earth science-related fields, including for Sohio (now British Petroleum) Production Research, hazardous waste management and environmental planning. In 2000, she obtained her teaching certificate in middle and high school science, and since then has taught 8th and 9th grade science in Texas and Illinois.
B.S., Eastern Illinois University
M.S., Mississippi State University
Jason has taught earth science in high schools and community colleges since 2000. Currently, he is working toward a doctorate from Northern Illinois University in instructional technology. Also, he is working with Boston College to test an Urban Ecology course in Chicagoland high schools.
B.S., University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
M.S.E., Northern Illinois University
Mike has been a member of the earth sciences department for over 15 years. He has taught earth science and oceanography for CLC. His geological interests focus on Midwestern and glacial geology. Mike feels that learning in the field about geology is the best way "to get your feet dirty." Mike has been involved with the CLC Outreach program from its inception.
B.A., College of Wooster
M.S., San Jose State University
Halle Morrison received a bachelor's degree in 1999 from the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH, with a major in Geology and a heavy concentration of Chemistry. After college she decided to move to San Jose, California, to attend graduate school at San Jose State University. There she received a master's degree in Geology, with a heavy concentration in Tectonics, Geomorphology and Geophysics. Halle has worked as a high school teacher, college professor and geologic consultant, among other jobs.
B.S., Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Creighton University
Upon college graduation, Eric spent four years as an Air Force weather officer with tours of duty in Kentucky and Nebraska. After his time in the Air Force, Eric worked for over twenty years as an aviation meteorologist in the Chicago area. In this position, he provided worldwide weather support to one of the largest airlines in the United States. He currently teaches meteorology and earth science at CLC. Eric's passion is most definitely weather, but he has long had an interest in astronomy and geology as well and you will find him to be an enthusiastic instructor. As a professor of meteorology, his main goal is to help students become better consumers of the weather information that bombards them daily.
B.S., University of Georgia
M.S., Indiana University
"It's a great planet, I recommend it." Riepe reminds us that "Geology is Outdoors!"
Ron has taught geology and oceanography since 1972. He is currently a CLC emeritus professor and licensed Illinois Professional Geologist. He has visited the "seven seas" from Arctic to Antarctic waters and has traveled widely, including Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Antarctica. In fact, he experienced a minor injury onboard ship when the tsunami from the 2004 Christmas Earthquake in Southeast Asia arrived in Antarctic waters. He has lead about 700 participants on over three-dozen field courses, such as Nova Scotia Newfoundland, Alaska, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Hawaii, Everglades and Keys, Appalachians, Lake Superior region, Missouri Ozarks, So. ILL's Shawnee Hills, locally, etc. Ron has also hiked to the 19,340 foot high summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, "the most strenuous activity ever undertaken".
B.S., Purdue University
A native of northeastern Illinois, Raymond Wiggers is a graduate of New Trier East High School in Winnetka and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Following his return from Europe and military service, Mr. Wiggers worked in fields that demonstrate his continuing interest in and professional commitment to a wide range of subjects, including earth science, botany, teaching, leadership and management, and nonfiction writing. His positions have included those of geologist and field inspector for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, open-space advocate and park-improvement program director, chief horticulturist for a New York City landmark garden, horticultural company owner, Illinois State Museum curator, National Park Service ranger, noted public lecturer and tour guide, and professor on the faculties of Barat College of DePaul University and Lake Forest College.
B.S., M.S., Jilin University, China
M.S., Ph.D., University of California
Xiaoming Zhai is a passionate geologist. He loves teaching as much as he loves geology and has taught various courses in geology and earth science at college level since 1982. He is the coordinator of CLC's science outreach program and has worked with many K-12 school science teachers on various projects to promote earth science education. Dr. Zhai is enthusiastic about field study courses/programs and has led many field study trips in the US and China. Please visit his personal Web site if you are interested in knowing more about him.