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Allan Ludman

Professor, GLOBE NY Metro Director
Field Geology/ Petrology

Science Building, Room E206
Phone: 718-997-3324

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Research Interests

I have studied the tectonic evolution of the Northern Appalachians for the past 40+ years through field and laboratory in central and eastern Maine with the goal of developing a comprehensive model for the accretion history of the orogen.This research combines several geoscience disciplines – field mapping, stratigraphy, structural geology, volcanic geochemistry, rock mechanics, igneous and metamorphic petrology.

My students and I are usually the first geologists to see the bedrock exposures that we find in the woods, streams, and on lakeshores -- a rarity in New England where geologists have trod the same ground for almost 200 years. Because eastern Maine is one of the last areas of the northeast to receive geologic attention, much of the work involves basic mapping, but topical projects abound for Masters and Ph.D. theses. Previous students have studied detailed stratigraphic transects; volcanic stratigraphy and geochemistry; diagenetic processes that created a banded ironstone; multiple deformation of Cambro-Ordovician rocks; contact metamorphic melting near large gabbroic plutons; evolution of a small layered gabbro complex, and strain distribution and fault history of a regional-scale strike-slip fault. Many more await.

Wearing a different hat, I am also Director of GLOBE NY Metro, the GLOBE Program partnership for southern New York State. The GLOBE® Program is an ambitious international effort to improve K-12 science teaching and learning by enrolling teachers and their students in authentic research in global change. Students collect data following rigorous scientific protocols in five environmental areas: atmosphere, hydrology, soil, seasonal change, and land use. They send their data via the Internet to GLOBE scientists at national laboratories, federal agencies, and universities and can, in return, access data from more than 17,000 schools in 112 countries. As of June, 2007, GLOBE NY Metro has trained 1,600 teachers in 550 schools in the NYC metropolitan area.

Teaching Philosophy and Interests

My job as a professor is to impart to my students not only the content of the courses I teach, bit also the scientific excitement that has kept me active as a researcher for more than four decades. From my experience, I believe that the enjoyment and excitement of geology comes after students actually work as geologists, not just read textbooks. Geology is the most tangible of sciences; it has abstract concepts like any other discipline, but we can see, touch, smell, and taste what we study. My classes therefore create situations in which students can experience the joys (and frustrations) of research, ask and answer geologic questions for themselves, and learn how geoscientists study the Earth in the field and laboratory. Even my introductory courses use an inquiry-based approach in which the class explores possible answers to significant geologic questions. Advanced and graduate courses feature individual or group research projects, written and oral reports. And as much hands-on work in the field as possible.

Courses taught

  • GEOL 12 Natural Disasters
  • GEOL 16 Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Moving Continents
  • GEOL 25 Natural Resources and the Environment
  • GEOL 101 Physical Geology
  • GEOL 59 (now GEOL 261) Methods of Field Geology
  • GEOL 60 (old number) Field Geology
  • GEOL 201 Earth Materials I
  • GEOL 202 Earth Materials II
  • GEOL 373 Geological Reasoning
  • GEOL 399.3 Special Topics
  • GEOL 501 Earth Materials and Earth Processes
  • GEOL 551 GLOBE Program for Elementary Teachers
  • GEOL 552 GLOBE Program Research for Secondary teachers
  • GEOL 717 Field Methods
  • GEOL 718 Field Geology
  • GEOL 720 Mineralogy
  • GEOL 763 Geographic Information Systems and Geologic Mapping
  • GEOL 799 Variable topics courses including
    • Metamorphic Petrology
    • Tectonics of the Northern Appalachians
    • Application of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology to Tectonic Problems Strain history of metamorphic rocks

Wang, C., and Ludman, A, 2004, Deformation conditions, kinematics, and displacement history of shallow crustal ductile shearing in the Norumbega fault system in the Northern Appalachians, eastern Maine; Tectonophysics, v. 384, p. 129-148.

Ludman, Allan, and West, David P. Jr. editors, 1999, Norumbega fault system of the Northern Appalachians; Geological Society of America Special Paper 331, 202 p.

Ludman, Allan, 1998, Evolution of a transcurrent fault zone in shallow crustal metasedimentary rocks: the Norumbega fault system of the Northern Appalachians; Journal of Structural Geology v. 20, p. 93-107.

Ludman, Allan, J. Hopeck, and P.C. Brock, 1993, Nature of the Acadian orogeny in eastern Maine; in Roy, D.C. and Skehan, J.W., editors, The Acadian Orogeny: Recent Studies in New England, Maritime Canada, and the Autochthonous Foreland; Geological Society of America Special Paper 275, p. 67-84

Ludman, Allan, editor, 1991, Geology of the Coastal Lithotectonic Block and neighboring terranes; New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference Guidebook, 400 pp.


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