About Karen Grove

At SF State Since:



Karen Grove received her BS in Geology from the University of Maryland in 1983, where she completed an undergraduate thesis in structural geology. In 1989 she received her PhD in Geology from Stanford University, where she studied Late Cretaceous sedimentation and tectonics in west-central California. After beginning her faculty position in the Department of Geosciences (now Earth & Climate Sciences) at San Francisco State University, Karen studied more recent sediments in active fault zones, focusing on the tectonic evolution of Point Reyes and other parts of the Bay Area. Assisting in this research were 26 undergraduate students (mostly completing senior thesis projects) and 8 MS students (completing their graduate theses after the department's MS program began in 2000).

During her 26 years in the department, Karen taught a large number of courses for graduate students, geoscience majors, and general education. Graduate/majors courses included Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Quaternary Climate and Soils, Earth and Life Through Time, Coastal Processes, Research Methods, Field Methods, Global Tectonics, Structural Geology and field excursion courses to Baja and the Andes. General education courses included Our Dynamic Earth (+ lab), Our Dynamic Ocean (+lab) and The Violent Earth. For these courses she pioneered a pedagogic approach (now called "Just-in-Time Teaching") where students completed online homework assignments (Virtual Voyages for oceanography and Earth Explorations for geology) prior to attending class. In 2010–12, she and two colleagues (Dempsey and Dekens) received a grant from the NSF to completely revamp introductory geoscience courses.

Continued interest in increasing the diversity of those doing geosciences led Karen to write a proposal to NSF that resulted in the SF-ROCKS (Reaching out to Communities and Kids with Science in San Francisco) program that was directed by colleague Lisa White. As part of this program, Karen led research groups with high-school students. Diversity has included international collaborations; in 2006, Karen was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago where she taught a sedimentology class in Spanish and helped supervise student research. Building on geologic travel interests, Karen created a blog about Patagonia during her sabbatical in 2012 (see website link).

As a Professor Emerita, Karen is continuing to work with the Department of Earth & Climate Sciences to organize alumni events and seek funding for graduate students. She continues to do Educational Consulting and Writing that includes external evaluations and reviews and geologic travel writing. She is currently residing in Ashland, Oregon, overlooking the beautiful Rogue Valley. She continues to teach geology as a volunteer for OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) that is part of Southern Oregon University (SOU).