People

Please go to our official SMC Earth Science page and click on the disciplines on the top left to see a more complete list of current faculty.

Anthropology

Full Time Faculty

Ciarán Brewster comes from Longford, Ireland. He completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA. During his time there he participated in numerous archaeological expeditions and forensic cases. He has worked on numerous archaeological projects in Armenia, Georgia, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the USA. He completed his PhD in 2014 at University College Cork. He taught at University College Cork and University College Dublin before becoming a physical anthropology professor at SMC in the fall of 2015. His research interests include forensic anthropology, Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic societies and population dynamics, skeletal variation, and hunter-gatherer social systems.

Geography

Full Time Faculty

Jing Liu is a Geography Professor teaching Physical Geography (GEOG 1 and GEOG 5) and GIS (Geographic Information Science, GEOG/GIS 20, GEOG/GIS23) in the Earth Science Department, SMC. She joined the department in the Fall 2015. Jing earned her Bachelor’s degree in Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China in 2007 and her Master’s degree in Beijing Normal University and the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China in 2010. She then traveled across the Pacific Ocean to the United States to pursue a PhD and completed the PhD program in the Department of Geography in the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2017. Her research interests include digital soil mapping, citizen science, and online web mapping. She is now working on establishing a Geospatial Technology Certificate program in SMC, which is expected to be launched in Fall 2018.

Geology

Full Time Faculty

Christyanne Melendez earned her B.S. in geology at the University of Vermont and her M.S. in geology (with a focus in volcanology) at Northern Arizona University. She first fell in love with geology as a child during discussions with her mother about the Earth and trips to geologically-active Mexico growing up. As a student, she was most fascinated by the living Earth as it expressed itself in volcanism, earthquakes, and the effects of active tectonics. Following that passion her graduate research focused on an infamous volcanic center in Japan, the Mt. Unzen volcanic complex, and a devastating (volcanic) debris avalanche that left 15,000 dead in 1792. Her professional experience includes both industry and academia, but she is most passionate about sharing her love of geology with students in, and especially, outside of the classroom. She has most recently been interested in exploring the relationship between humanity and geology; a topic that is a central theme in all of her courses. She plans to develop field courses that explore this relationship, particularly in volcanically-active settings in California and beyond.

Sustainable Technologies

Full Time Faculty

Stuart Cooley is Professor of Renewable Energies and leads the Sustainable Technologies Program within the Earth Science Department. He teaches Solar Photovoltaics and Energy Efficiency classes, is Principal Investigator on an NSF Advanced Technology Education grant (SMC’s first!), and has engaged over 100 students in green building (LEED) training, all to build students’ credentials in pursuit of jobs. Professor Cooley has 30 years of experience in energy as a utility manager, a consulting engineer, and the City of Santa Monica’s first Energy Efficiency Engineer. He holds an MSME from University of Hawaii and a Bachelors from University of Maryland-College Park.

Part Time Faculty

victoria_1aVictoria Charles is a Professor, Sustainability Practitioner, Lecturer and Writer. After a career in global marketing for more than 20 years she crossed over to the greener side. Following her passion and love for education and ecologically awareness she stepped into the role of Professor. She now teaches courses in Recycling and Resource Management, sustainable business practices and concepts such as the Triple Bottom Line and Zero Waste. As a sustainability practitioner, Victoria successfully advises and implements sustainable best practices into the core of an organization. Victoria, partners with businesses, local governments and schools to help reduce their waste by 90%. Her blogs are featured in international posts and she continues to bring ecological awareness and action through her lectures, classes and writing.