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Rob Thomas, Ph.D.


[email protected]


Block Hall 122


Dr. Rob Thomas is a Professor of Geology, Regents’ Professor and Carnegie U.S. Professor. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, recipient of the Humboldt State University Distinguished Alumni Award, the University of Montana Geoscience Alumnus Award, the Geological Society of America Distinguished Service Award, and co-recipient of the Mike Malone Montana Educator of the Year Award.

He earned B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in geology from Humboldt State University, the University of Montana and the University of Washington. His professional work focuses on environmental sedimentology, geology of Yellowstone, Cambrian mass extinctions and geoscience education. He has authored or co-authored over 60 publications, including the book, Roadside Geology of Yellowstone Country. His publications can be accessed at:

Rob’s international experience includes teaching mountain environments to Sherpa mountain guides near Mt. Everest in Nepal, shipboard students on the global voyage of Semester at Sea, and native Caribbean students at St. George’s University in Grenada. He led GeoVenture field trips for the Geological Society of America for 10 years, has taught the Princeton University (YBRA) geology field camp for over 30 years, and runs layperson geology trips in Yellowstone National Park for Yellowstone Forever.

Rob is deeply passionate about experiential education and uses Montana Western’s unique Experience One immersion scheduling to get his students working in the field on projects that make a real and positive impact on the environment. Rob’s personal passions are family, mountain recreation and playing guitar around a campfire.

Related Articles

Professor Publishes Research about Earth’s Geological Past


Full CV

Educational Background

  • A.A.General Education –Las Positas College, Livermore, CA (1982)
  • B.A.Geology -Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA (1985)
  • M.S.Geology -University of Montana, Missoula, MT (1987)
  • Ph.D.Geology -University of Washington, Seattle, WA (1993)