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About Susan DeBari

Geology:  Crustal scale petrologic processes within island arcs.  The focus is to understand the physical and chemical processes that operate within and beneath volcanic arc systems.  What processes govern magma generation in the mantle wedge? What happens to these magmas as they traverse the Moho into arc crust?  How does this arc crust become "continent-like"? This research takes the form of study of active arc systems as well as ancient systems. I am currently involved in three major research fronts: active Cascade volcanism, deep crustal sections of ancient volcanic arcs (Alaska, Vancouver Island, North Cascades Crystalline Core), and a marriage of the former fronts through a proposed research drilling expedition to the mid crust within the active Izu-Bonin volcanic arc of Japan.

Science Education:  Using results of research on student learning to develop curricular materials for undergraduate non-science majors that foster deep learning of science and scientific practices.


Present Professor, Western Washington University Department of Geology
Professor, Western Washington University Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education
Professor, Western Washington University AMSEC - Advanced Materials Science & Engineering Center


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Honors and Awards

  • 2016: Arlan Norman award for excellence in student mentoring


  • GEOL 406 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (field and classroom versions)
  • GEOL 309 Volcanology
  • GEOL 423/523 Advanced Igneous Petrology
  • SCED 202 Transfer of Matter and Energy in Earth Systems
  • SCED 201 Transfer of Matter and Energy in Physical Systems
  • SCED 481 Fundamentals of Teaching Science


1990 Ph.D., Stanford University ‐ Department of Geology
1984 B.A. with Honors, Magna Cum Laude, Cornell University ‐ Geological Sciences

Contact Information

Geology Department
ES 237
Western Washington University
Office phone: 360-650-3588


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles and Curricula (29)