Professor Emeritus, Geology
Most of Jeffrey Tepper’s research projects involve geochemistry, particularly as applied to the study of igneous rocks in the Pacific Northwest and to the study of lake sediments as recorders of environmental history. His igneous research projects utilize U-Pb dating and geochemistry to study the “birth” and evolution of the Cascade Mountains. His work on local lakes seeks to understand the behavior of lead, arsenic, and other heavy metals that were emitted from the now-closed ASARCO smelter in Tacoma, Wash., as well as the cycling of nutrients, particularly phosphorus, that may contribute to toxic algal blooms. Tepper has published numerous articles in publications including the Geological Society of America Bulletin, Journal of Geology, and American Mineralogist, among others. He also is interested in the connections between geology and mythology, whereby ancient myths appear to have been linked to geological events such as volcanos, floods, and earthquakes. Tepper teaches courses in Physical Geology, Geomythology of Ancient Catastrophes, Mineralogy and Petrology, Igneous Petrology and Volcanology, Environmental Geochemistry, and GIS and Field Methods.