Dana L Thomas

Undergraduate Research Leader, Jackson School of Geosciences
Lecturer, Energy and Earth Resources Graduate Program, Jackson School of Geosciences


Email: dthomas@jsg.utexas.edu
Work: +1 512 471 0506
Office: JGB , EPS 1.148
Mailcode: R2200


I am a geoscience educator who is passionate about developing and facilitating impactful, inclusive programs that provide students from all backgrounds the learning, opportunities and support they need to pursue their goals. As an Undergraduate Training and Research Specialist in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, I partner with colleagues across the JSG to broaden participation in Earth, planetary and environmental science, primarily at the undergraduate level, and extending into pre-college and post-baccalaureate transition phases. Current projects include the JSG summer undergraduate research traineeship experience (RTX), the Math and Science Institute for incoming college freshmen, a computational earthquake science summer school and an NSF-funded workshop series for faculty and researchers to become more inclusive mentors. I also lead the assessment and evaluation that drives iterative improvement of these programs. I have always cherished teaching, and I am a Lecturer with the Energy and Earth Resources Graduate Program at the Jackson School, incorporating societally-relevant issues into geology courses.

My fondness for education has always existed alongside my love of Earth science. After spending a few semesters jumping from major to major, I pursued and received my Bachelor’s degree in Geology & Geophysics from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where I am from. I earned my PhD in Geological & Environmental Sciences from Stanford University, where I investigated the fluid-rock interactions between CO2-rich fluids and basaltic rocks to make better predictions about storing carbon dioxide emissions in volcanic rocks underground. During graduate school I nurtured my interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning and DEI issues in geoscience. With my peers, I developed a departmental TA training program for graduate students, participated in workshops on evidence-based pedagogy, and I also served as a Program Assistant for an undergraduate research program for two summers.

Projects and Programs:
JSG Champions of Diversity (NSF-funded, co-PI)
MTMOD: Megathrust Modeling Framework (NSF-funded, co-PI)
JSG Research Traineeship Experience
Transition to College Math and Science Institute

YearSemesterCourse
2021Fall GEO 386R Geology Of Earth Resources