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Department of Geology and Geophysics


Kenneth W. W. Sims

Kenneth SimsProfessor

Isotope Geology
Office Phone: (307) 766-3306
Fax: (307) 766-6679

Dept. 3006
Laramie, Wyoming 82071-2000
Office: GE 314


Ph.D., Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 1995
M.Sc., Institute of Meteoritics, Department of Geology, University of New Mexico, 1989
B.A., Colorado College, Cum Laude, with Honors in Geology, 1986

Research Interests

Application of U-series disequilibria, radiogenic isotope geochemistry, major- and trace- element geochemistry and the principles of physics and chemistry to a variety of fundamental problems in Earth and planetary sciences, including: accretionary and core-formation history and processes in planets; the origin and evolution of the Earth's mantle and continental crust; the generation and transport of basaltic magma; the development and evolution of volcanic systems; magma degassing; volcanic hazard assessment; radiometric methods for dating igneous and sedimentary rocks; geo-archeology; and, isotope hydrology.

Publications (click link on left sidebar)


Geol 1100: Physical Geology

Geol 5050-1: Introduction to Isotope Geology

Geol 4200/5200: Genesis, Impact and Predictability of Yellowstone Volcanic Systems

Geol 4200/5200: Basin and Range Volcanism

Geol 4200/5200: Planetary Volcanology

Geol 4200/5200: Ocean Tectonics

Geol 4490: Geochemistry

Current Graduate Students:

Research Statement

Teaching Statement

"A teacher affects eternity; he (she) can never tell where his (their) influence stops"
-Henry Adams

Our responsibility as Earth scientists and educators is to foster a sustainable relationship with Earth's natural systems. My educational goal is to prepare students to understand and safely manage the Earth and its resources for the future.  Toward this goal I strive to provide an educational environment where students can learn to think, conduct research, apply their knowledge, and achieve success in a rapidly changing world.

Another important aspect of my educational program has been to convey my results and understanding to the public. To this end I have lectured for senior citizen groups and at numerous elementary, secondary and high schools across the US. In addition, I have worked with several science writers and the professional photographer John Catto ( to document my research in a manner that is accessible to the general public. My research has been covered in publications including National Geographic (October, 2004), Oceanus (Fall, 2006), New Scientist (July, 2008; December 2008) and in the children's book Lava Scientists: Careers on the Edge of Volcanoes (Sarah Latta, Enslow Publishing, Inc.

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