Councilor – Wes Dripps

GeoCUR Councilor Wes DrippsWes is an Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Furman University in South Carolina.  He began serving as a councilor in 2013.

“I am an avid supporter of undergraduate student research and have been very outspoken on the importance of research as part of the undergraduate academic experience. I see my research as really an extension of my teaching, and as such have committed large amounts of my time to working with students in the field and the lab on our collaborative projects. I bring to CUR ten years of experience conducting research with undergraduates, working with them first as mentor, than in essence as colleague from writing grants to submitting papers for peer reviewed publication and all of the steps in between. I bring youthful enthusiasm, a good track record of active and engaging undergraduate field research, an understanding of the importance of research in the undergraduate years, and experience teaching the research process to a wide array of geoscience and science undergrads.

I am trained as a physical hydrogeologist, although in addition to my ongoing interests in hydrology /hydrogeology, I have more recently developed a broader interest in a variety of different areas including campus sustainability and agro-ecosystems. The bulk of my hydrogeology research with undergraduates has focused on looking at the impacts of urbanization on small headwater streams across the Piedmont of South Carolina. I have had various cohorts of students looking at different components to the regional urban hydrology including temperature impacts to streams, urban riparian zone and hyporheic hydrology and geochemistry, physical and chemical impacts to stream flow from urban runoff, and the effectiveness of low impact development features like rain gardens. My department recently added a new major in Sustainability Science, and as such I have expanded my research interest to include topics related to campus sustainability (e.g., the campus waste stream, energy use, student recycling behavior) and food systems (e.g., the local and organic foods movement in South Carolina, farmers market demographics). My teaching interests and responsibilities are broad and include introductory and upper level undergraduate courses in earth science, hydrology, environmental science, and sustainability science. I have been a big proponent of engaged teaching and have worked very closely with Furman’s Center for Teaching and Learning to develop a very hands on, interactive style of teaching. I have always been one to try new teaching pedagogies, and have regularly been an early adopter of new teaching technologies. I am an avid supporter of field experiences and include sizable field components in all of my classes. I am honored to be a CUR Geoscience councilor!”

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