About the Author and Acknowledgments

About the Authors

Adapted by

Laura Neser, Ph.D., is an Instructor in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech. Dr. Neser earned her B.S. in Geosciences at Virginia Tech in the spring of 2008 and completed her Ph.D. in Geological Sciences At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in 2014. Her doctoral research focused on the structural geology, sedimentology, and stratigraphy of formations that were deposited along the flanks of the Beartooth Mountains as they rose during late Paleocene-Eocene time. Dr. Neser has worked as an athletic tutor and online instructor at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC), in temporary positions as an Adjunct Instructor at Chowan University (Murfreesboro, NC) and Full-Time Lecturer at Indiana State University (Terre Haute, IN), and as a Professor at Seminole State College (Sanford, FL) before starting as an Instructor at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2021.

Although she is currently focused on teaching online sections of Introduction to Earth Science, Earth Resources, Society and the Environment, and Climate History, her teaching background is significantly broader and includes Environmental Science, Astronomy, Environmental Ethics, Earth History, Structural Geology, and Field Geology.

Incorporating original works by

Chris Johnson, Matthew D. Affolter, Paul Inkenbrandt, and Cam Mosher (2017). An Introduction to Geology, (CC BY NC SA 4.0) Salt Lake City Community College. Retrieved from https://slcc.pressbooks.pub/introgeology.

An Introduction to Geology (2017) was edited and reviewed by

Johnathan Barnes – Salt Lake Community College
Jack Bloom – Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper (retired)
Deanna Brandau – Utah Museum of Natural History
Gereld Bryant – Dixie State University
Gregg Beukelman – Utah Geological Survey
Peter Davis – Pacific Lutheran University
Renee Faatz – Snow College
Gabriel Filippelli – Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Michelle Cooper Fleck – Utah State University
Colby Ford – Dixie State University
Michael Hylland – Utah Geological Survey
J. Lucy Jordan – Utah Geological Survey
Mike Kass – Salt Lake Community College
Ben Laabs – North Dakota State University
Tom Lachmar – Utah State University
Johnny MacLean – Southern Utah University
Erich Peterson – University of Utah
Tiffany Rivera – Westminster College
Leif Tapanila – Idaho State University

With Special Thanks to   Jason Pickavance – Salt Lake Community College, Director of Educational Initiatives; and R. Adam Dastrup – Salt Lake Community College, Geoscience Dept. Chair, Director of Opengeography.org 


Karla Panchuk (2019) “Starting with a Big Bang” in Steven Earle (Editor) Physical Geology, 2nd edition. (CC BY 4.0) BC Campus. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/physicalgeology2ed/chapter/22-1-starting-with-a-big-bang.


Andrew Fraknoi, David Morrison, and Sidney C. Wolff (2016). Astronomy. (CC BY 4.0). OpenStax. Retrieved from https://openstax.org/details/books/astronomy.

Contributing authors to Astronomy (2016) included

John Beck, Stanford University
Susan D. Benecchi, Planetary Science Institute
John Bochanski, Rider University
Howard Bond, Pennsylvania State University, Emeritus, Space Telescope Science Institute
Jennifer Carson, Occidental College
Bryan Dunne, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Martin Elvis, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Debra Fischer, Yale University
Heidi Hammel, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
Tori Hoehler, NASA Ames Research Center
Douglas Ingram, Texas Christian University
Steven Kawaler, Iowa State University
Lloyd Knox, University of California, Davis
Todd Young, Wayne State College
Mark Krumholz, Australian National University
James Lowenthal, Smith College
Siobahn Morgan, University of Northern Iowa
Daniel Perley, California Institute of Technology
Claire Raftery, National Solar Observatory
Deborah Scherrer, retired, Stanford University
Phillip Scherrer, Stanford University
Sanjoy Som, Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, NASA Ames Research Center
Wes Tobin, Indiana University East
William H. Waller, retired, Tufts University, Rockport (MA) Public Schools


This publication was made possible in part by funding and publishing support provided by the Open Education Initiative of the University Libraries at Virginia Tech.

Editorial Team

Kindred Grey, Graphic Design and Editorial Assistance

Kindred Grey is the OER and Graphic Design Specialist in the University Libraries at Virginia Tech. She received her B.S. in Statistics and Psychology from Virginia Tech in 2020 and has worked in University Libraries since then, assisting to publish open textbooks. Kindred’s design abilities are demonstrated in the visual elements of this book: cover design, interior formatting, and creation of new figures. She prioritizes the accessibility of textbooks without compromising design. She provided project coordination and editorial assistance, including tracking and updating the over eight hundred figures and tables which were reviewed, revised, or replaced through the course of the project. Kindred’s contributions have resulted in a text that is accessible to a wider range of readers and uses visual content to illustrate and more clearly convey conceptual information.

Anita Walz, Project Manager

Anita Walz is Associate Professor, and Assistant Director of Open Education and Scholarly Communication Librarian in the University Libraries at Virginia Tech. She received her MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has worked in university, government, school, and international libraries for over 20 years. She is the founder of the Open Education Initiative at Virginia Tech and the managing editor of several open textbooks adapted or created at Virginia Tech, many of which may be found here: https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/70959. She has provided overall planning, project coordination, coaching, problem-solving, and oversight for this adapted version.


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Introduction to Earth Science Copyright © 2023 by Laura Neser is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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