Professor Curt Peterson received his Ph.D. from Oregon State University in 1983. He is an oceanographer, sedimentologist and expert on coastal processes.
When geologically exploring coastal landscapes, which include estuaries, beaches, the continental shelf and the coastal plain, Professor Peterson moves beyond the present to imagine evolving prehistoric landscapes. He travels back through time using geologic evidence in order to visualize the response of coastal systems to changes in plate tectonics, climate, sea-level, sediment supply, and man-caused impacts.
Professor Peterson's current work aims to establish the emplacement times and mechanisms of the coastal dune sheets that occur along the west coast of North America. The results will have implications for many other fields from Sustainability to Archaeology to Engineering.
Recently Professor Peterson joined an international team of scientists in southeast India in response to the 2004 tsunami disaster to study the magnitude and the extent of tsunami flooding and to investigate flood dynamics.
Professor Peterson also excels in the classroom where he employs the Socratic method of teaching by asking rather than by telling. This successfully encourages students to become involved and excited about the material. By learning how to answer their own questions students develop professional confidence that leads to success in many fields. In addition to all of his teaching and field work Professor Peterson rows with the PSU Vikings Crew team.
Name: Curt D. Peterson
office: 17G CH
phone: (503) 725-3375
fax: (503) 725-3025