Geology/Geography Faculty

Current Faculty
Emeritus Faculty and Former Faculty

Current Faculty


Brett Anderson: Instructor; M.S. 2000, Kansas State University

  • At EIU since: 2005
  • Area of Expertise: Cultural geography; Geography of the Great Plains
  • Research Interests: Cultural Geography; Geography of the Great Plains.


Kathy Bower: Professor; Ph.D. 1996, University of New Mexico

  • At EIU since: 1998 
  • Area of Expertise: Engineering geology, environmental geology, groundwater hydrology. 
  • Research Interests: Environmental geology, educational outreach in the schools. 


Diane M. Burns: Assistant Professor; Ph.D. 2006, University of Wyoming

  • At EIU since: 2007  
  • Area of Expertise: Sedimentology, Stratigraphy. 
  • Research Interests: Sedimentary processes and products, sequence stratigraphy of aeolian/carbonate systems, Pennsylvanian/Permian of North American mid-continent, environmental awareness. 


Bob Cataneo: Instructor; M.S. 2003, Eastern Illinois University

  • At EIU since: 2004
  • Area of Expertise: Weather and Climate; regional Climatology


Craig Chesner: Professor; Ph.D. 1988, Michigan Technological University

  • At EIU since: 1989 
  • Area of Expertise: Volcanology, Igneous Petrology. 
  • Research Interests: Toba Caldera in Indonesia, Quaternary volcanism in Guatemala


Michael Cornebise: Associate Professor; Chair; Ph.D. 2003, University of Tennessee - Knoxville

  • At EIU since: 2000 
  • Area of Expertise: Latin American and European regional geography 
  • Research Interests:  Cultural and economic geography of the Caribbean 


Cameron D. Craig: Professor Laureate; M.A. 2002; Ph.D. Candidate 2006, Indiana State University

  • At EIU since: 2005
  • Area of Expertise:  Climatology, physical geography, atmospheric and geographic education, broadcast meteorology
  • Research Interests:  Historical climatology; geographic film making; geographic conceptual development
  • Director of EIU WeatherCenter


James A. Davis: Associate Professor; Ph.D. 2001, Kansas State University

  • At EIU since: 2003 
  • Area of Expertise: Rural economic development 
  • Research Interests:  Rural economic development, tourism and festivals, cultural geography


Steve DiNaso: Instructor; M.A. 2008, Indiana State University; Ph.D. Student, Indiana State University

  • At EIU since: 2004
  • Area of Expertise: Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Research Interests: Applications of GIS to Geology, Geography & Archaeology; GIS in government


Katie Johnson: Assistant Professor; Ph.D. 2008, Ohio State University

  • At EIU since: 2009 
  • Area of Expertise: Benthic micropaleontology and paleoecology 
  • Research Interests: Cenozoic climate change and paleoceanography, benthic foraminiferal micropaleontology, paleoecology, evolution, and stratigraphy. Geoscience education.


Belayet Khan: Associate Professor; Ph.D. 1985, University of Pittsburgh

  • At EIU since: 1986 
  • Area of Expertise: Weather and climate, climatology
  • Research Interests: Climatology, Global change


Barry Kronenfeld: Assistant Professor; Ph.D. 2004, State University of New York, Buffalo

  • At EIU since: 2011
  • Area of Expertise: Geographic Information Sciences, Physical Geography
  • Research Interests: Landscape system modeling, GIS and Geostatistical Analysis


Chris Laingen: Assistant Professor; Ph.D. 2009, Kansas State University

  • At EIU since: 2009  
  • Area of Expertise: Use of Remote Sensing and GIS in Regional (Bio)geography, Rural Geography, and Agricultural Geography
  • Research Interests: Changing rural geographies of the Midwest/Corn Belt/Heartland region of the U.S. 

Godson Obia: Associate Dean of the College of Sciences; Ph.D. 1986, University of Oklahoma

  • At EIU since: 1994
  • Area of Expertise: Agricultural Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Research Interests: Population, resources, and environmental issues with primary focus in Africa


Thomas Over: Assistant Research Professor; Ph.D. 1995, University of Colorado


James Riley: Assistant Professor; Ph.D. 2013; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • At EIU since: 2010 
  • Area of Expertise: fluvial geomorphology  
  • Research Interests: fluvial dynamics of river confluences and meander bends, human impacts on river systems, watershed management


Betty Smith: Professor; Ph.D. 1994, State University of New York at Buffalo

  • At EIU since: 1995 
  • Area of Expertise: Latin America 
  • Research Interests:  Urban geography, Geographic Information Studies (GIS) 


John Stimac: Dean Honor's College; Ph.D. 1996, University of Oregon

  • At EIU since: 1999 
  • Area of Expertise: Structural geology, tectonics, paleomagnetism 
  • Research Interests:  Tectonics of the Western United States, Ash-flow Tuffs 


Dave Viertel: Assistant Professor; Ph.D. 2008, Texas State University

  • At EIU since: 2007
  • Area of Expertise: Remote Sensing, Urban Environments
  • Research Interests:  Digital Terrain Modeling, Quantitative Morphological Analysis


Susan Kile: Secretary

  • At EIU since: 1989 
  • B.S. degree in geography 


Emeritus Faculty and Former Faculty


Alan Baharlou: Professor Emeritus, Ph.D. 1974, University of Tulsa

  • At EIU since: 1980 - 2005
  • Area of Expertise:  Geochemistry.
  • Research Interests: Geochemistry, well log interpretation


Vince Gutowski: Professor Emeritus; Ph.D. 1986, University of Pittsburgh

  • At EIU since: 1983 
  • Area of Expertise: Fluvial geomorphology, Pleistocene record in Illinois 
  • Research Interests: Watershed management, Atmospheric particulates


Bob Jorstad: Professor Emeritus; Ph.D. 1983, University of Idaho

  • At EIU since: 1982 
  • Area of Expertise: Stratigraphy, Sedimentology 
  • Research Interests: Palynology, Stratigraphy 


Ray Pheifer: Professor Emeritus; Ph.D. 1979, Indiana University

  • At EIU: 1984 - 2004
  • Area of Expertise: Paleobotany, Coal geology, Organic petrology 
  • Research Interests: Paleobotany, Coal geology


Jim Stratton: Professor Emeritus; Ph.D. 1975, Indiana University

  • At EIU since: 1975 
  • Area of Expertise: Exploration geophysics 
  • Research Interests:  Paleontology of Paleozoic Bryozoans, Exploration geophysics


Les Stoner: Former Instructor, B.S. 1993, Eastern Illinois University

  • At EIU since: 1993 
  • Area of Expertise: Geography of Illinois, weather and climate.