Why do continents move? What makes the Earth work? How has geography changed? These are the questions that drive Professor of Geological Sciences R. Damian Nance, whose research probes Earth's biggest mysteries using the tiniest of tools: crystals of zircon.
In his 29 years at Ohio University, Nance has devoted himself to the study of Earth's moving continents by reconstructing their past geography and charting the long-term geologic, climatic and biological consequences of their assembly into supercontinents. It is this research for which Nance was named Ohio University's 2008 Distinguished Professor. Considered the university's highest faculty honor, the award is a lifetime designation recognizing scholarly accomplishment, professional reputation and contributions to the university.
As a part of this Friday's Founders Day celebration, Nance will share details of his research in a lecture titled "From Sand Grains to Supercontinents: Discovering How the Earth Works," at 7:30 p.m. in Walter Hall 135. A 7 p.m. reception in Nance's honor will precede the lecture in the Walter Hall atrium.
Here, Nance discusses his detective-like approach to geology, ponders the complementary roles of research and teaching and gives a sneak preview of Friday's lecture.
-- From staff reports