Dr. Richard E. Hanson
Research Interests and Background
I am a field-oriented hard-rock geologist, and much of my research has entailed extended periods of time carrying out field studies in diverse geological settings, in many cases in remote parts of the world. A significant portion of my life has been spent living in tents in mountains, deserts, and the African bush, and I enjoy working with undergraduate and graduate students in these endeavors. The research involves various combinations of field mapping, physical volcanology, petrology, geochemistry, structural analysis, paleomagnetism, and geochronology. Primary areas of current interest include the following: (1) Proterozoic tectonics of southern Africa in relation to global supercontinent configurations, (2) Neoproterozoic to Cambrian magmatism associated with development of the southern margin of Laurentia, and (3) Volcanic processes, with emphasis on detailed field studies of ancient volcanic terrains. Following graduate school, a long-term fascination with the African continent led me to take a position in the School of Mines, University of Zambia. Upon my return to the U.S., I was an adjunct faculty member at Ohio State University, which gave me the opportunity to participate in a number of ship-based expeditions to southernmost South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. I came to TCU in 1988, where I teach undergraduate courses in Mineralogy and Petrology and graduate courses in Volcanology, Optical Mineralogy and Petrography, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, and Geochemistry. Since coming to TCU my students and I have carried out research in southern Oklahoma, the West Texas desert, the Sierra Nevada in California, Antarctica, and various parts of Africa including Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. For a list of publications, student research, and representative field photos click here.