J. Lawford Anderson
J. Lawford Anderson, a Professor of Earth Sciences, received his Ph.D. in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin and has been doing teaching and research at USC since that time. He recently completed terms in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences as Director of Faculty Affairs and Chair of the Department of Earth Sciences. During 1997-1998, Anderson served as the President of the Faculty of USC and the University's Academic Senate, the highest elected faculty position at USC, where he helped sponsor resolutions committing the faculty to greater availability to students and to guiding the university to better utilization of five-day classes. During 1995-1996, he served as President of the Faculty Council of the College where he had a significant role in revising the University's General Education curriculum. Anderson was the technical advisor to the PBS television series, "Earth Revealed" which first appeared in 1993 and continues to air on public television nationwide.
Anderson's research lies in the origin of the Earth's crust. Much of his work and that of his students have focused on the growth of the western margin of the North American continent during the past 200 million years. The research has led to pioneering studies towards the use of granite magmas to track the depth history of crustal sections as a consequence of plate tectonic interactions. Another facet of Anderson's research has been directed at the early origins of the Earth's continents, particularly the rapid growth of the continents centered around 2 billion years ago and subsequent crustal processes during the next billion years. His research has also been long supported by the National Science Foundation. He has supervised over two dozen graduate students and all of his Ph.D. students have gone on to academic positions.
Anderson is also an environmentalist with long-term interest in educating students about Earth's resources and environment. He has received nearly a dozen teaching awards, including the USC Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1989, the College's General Education Teaching Award in 1998, and the Professor of the Year Award from the Gamma Sigma Alpha National Honor Society in 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2004. These have been received largely in recognition of his teaching of large general education classes, such as Geology 108,"Crises of the Planet," where he strives to learn by first name all of his students.
In regards to becoming a CET Fellow, Anderson comments, "I am very interested in helping faculty take advantage of CET and am convinced that their involvement will have a significant role in their development as teachers, advisors, and educators. CET not only has an important role in developing the teaching of new faculty but all faculty. Moreover, its continued efforts to prepare our students as future professors and teachers is central to the mission of the University."