In case you pass me on the street,

this is what I look like,

but if you see me like this (CLICK HERE).

Dr. Michael A. Gibson

Professor of Geology

Areas of Interest:

Paleontology, Earth History

& Tennessee Geology


Below you will find information about me, the courses I teach at UT Martin, my research interests, and my work with K-12 educators. Come in and browse around for a while. For the standard information about my professional career visit my vitae. If it is my publications your are interested in visit my publications page.

Jump instead of scroll, use the following anchors.

My approach to teaching | Courses I teach | My Research interests | My Educational projects

My approach to teaching...

Go my sons burn your books

Buy yourselves stout shoes

Get away to the mountains, the deserts

And the deepest recesses of the Earth

In this way and no other

Will you gain true knowledge of things

and their properties.

--Peter Severinus

The quote above summarizes my philosophy of teaching quite well. Lectures are necessary, especially to learn the “language” of geology, but I believe that students learn best by doing. I encourage active engagement of the science. I try to incorporate students into my research activities as much as possible by taking them on my field trips (I am always going somewhere) and providing them opportunities to conduct their own research. I encourage students to attend professional meetings and present their work at these meetings.

Courses I teach...

Physical Geology 111

Applied Geology 112

History of the Earth 113

Transfers Student Studies 115

Geology of Tennessee 334

Structural Geology 337

Principles of Paleontology 351

Geodynamics 371

Field Methods 462, 463

Geology of Belize 481

My Research interests...

Fossils and paleoecology the Silurian and Devonian strata of Western Tennessee

Biotic interactions of in the fossil record

Fossils and paleoecology of the Cretaceous Coon Creek Formation of Western Tennessee

Fossils and paleoecology of the Pennsylvanian strata of Northern Alabama

Geology of the Reelfoot Lake region

My Educational projects...

In addition to the courses I teach at UT Martin and my research, I work extensively with K-12 teachers in Tennessee. During the academic year I can be found giving talks at area schools on geologic topics ranging from minerals and rocks to earthquakes to fossils (yes, especially dinosaurs for the kids). During the summer months I often run workshops and lead field trips for teachers who want to incorporate geology into their curricula. Currently I serve as the Geological Society of America Southeastern Section Education Coordinator for Tennessee and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Education Coordinator for Tennessee. You can find more about these activities by visiting:

Tennessee Earth Science Teachers Association (TEST)- visit this site to learn about the Outstanding Earth Science Educator for Tennesse!

GeoTrek - Goals 2000 project for the enhancement of geology K-12 education in Tennessee.

GeoConclave - Annual geology competetion at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee.

My approach to teaching | Courses I teach | My Research interests | My Educational projects

Return To The Department of Geology, Geography and Physics

If you find any errors or just want to send me a message, my email is