Tim Schroeder

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Tim Schroeder applies physical and chemical principles to understand interactions between deep-Earth and shallow-Earth systems. His courses are based on the idea that geology begins as an observational science, but that understanding Earth observations requires a physical sciences context.


Schroeder is a geologist who studies the movement of rocks and fluids through the Earth at active plate boundaries and at locations of past plate tectonic activity. He is interested in how mass-transfer reactions can change the physical properties of rocks to facilitate rock weakening within fault zones. Schroeder is currently researching how active faults exhume rocks from the Earth’s mantle to the sea floor to construct new plates at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This work has included participation on two research cruises that sampled rocks from the sea floor via submersibles and drilling. Schroeder is also studying the formation of the Cordilleran rift 25 million years ago in Arizona by studying rocks that were brought to the Earth’s surface from the mantle by ascending magma that erupted during the first phases of faulting. His research has been published in the journals Geology, Geochemistry/Geophysics/Geosystems, and Marine Geophysical Researches. He has received grants from the United States Geological Survey, the Joint Oceanographic Institutions, and the Geological Society of America.

He teaches courses in earth sciences, environmental studies, and physics. His classes are centered on “real-world” applications of theory. He wants his students to understand “how things work” at their most basic level. They spend a lot of time breaking things apart (both physical things and idea things) to understand how fundamental scientific theories explain the workings of both the natural world and things that people build. BS, University of Wisconsin, Madison; MS, Northern Arizona University; PhD, University of Wyoming. Schroeder has been a faculty member at Bennington since 2008.