Connecticut College Magazine · Winter 2004

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Douglas M. Thompson

Douglas M. Thompson
Douglas M. Thompson

Associate Professor of Geology in the department of Physics, Astronomy and Geophysics
Joined CC faculty: 1997


Just like many students today, my college experience had a profound impact on both my outlook and future. For the first time in my life, I felt free to explore the topics that were of greatest interest to me. I realized that my youthful fascination with the natural environment, especially rivers, could develop into a life-long pursuit. Several key professors helped me grow as a student of science. These individuals accepted the complex job of combined role model, instructor, adviser, colleague and friend. As one of my mentors often said, the best way to thank an adviser for their invaluable support is to pass along the same gift to the next generation. In my current position, I enjoy the opportunity to influence students in the same profound way that I was changed. The classroom is just a starting place for a process that hopefully becomes a way of life for many of my students.

Perhaps the greatest reward in my teaching comes when students discover a completely new interest in geology. Students begin to view their natural surroundings with a new perspective. I know that the lessons follow my students on their travels, and I now have a small collection of photographs of geologic features from around the world that were generously donated by former students. These pictures and the accompanying stories attest to the success of their liberal arts education and the intellectual awakening that many students, myself included, first experienced in a college classroom.


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