Mary Lou Bevier

Senior Instructor Emerita

Not accepting students

Associate Head, Undergraduate Affairs

Ten department committees dealing with undergraduate issues and business report to me, and I liaise between these committees and the Head. In addition, I chair the department Curriculum Committee and I am the department's representative on the Faculty of Science Curriculum Committee. As faculty liaison to the EOAS Undergraduate Club Council, I attend their Presidents Committee meetings and sit as a non-voting member on their Finance Committee.

Teaching Responsibilities

My teaching responsibilities are extensive, reflecting my commitment to quality undergraduate teaching and mentoring. Geoscience is a fascinating subject and I love learning new things about Earth, communicating that knowledge and the underlying concepts to students, and helping them to discover how to use geoscience to better Earth's environment and our society.

I teach required geoscience courses to undergraduates enrolled in Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, and previously I taught a first year geology course that was taken by science, arts, and education students. In addition I mentor our Honours students through the BSc thesis research process. Most of my classes have significant lab or field components or both, which is a reflection of the fact that the geosciences involve the hands-on study of Earth materials, structures, and processes. My teaching responsibilities decreased as of fall 2012 due to my taking on the position of Associate Head, Undergraduate Affairs in the department.

Term 1:

  • EOSC 220: Introduction to Mineralogy - a course for students in Geological Sciences, Geological Engineering, and Earth and Ocean Sciences degree programs. Required for Professional Registration as a Geoscientist in British Columbia.
  • EOSC 449: BSc Thesis - taught in conjunction with the Environmental Sciences ENVR 449 course.

Term 2:

  • EOSC 223: Introduction to Field Techniques - required of all students in Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering and required for Professional Registration as a Geoscientist (P.Geo.) in British Columbia.
  • Director, Saltspring field school - the capstone 7-day field experience for EOSC 223.
  • EOSC 449: BSc Thesis - taught in conjunction with the Environmental Sciences ENVR 449 course.

Geoscience Education Research

Because of my participation in the Earth and Ocean Science's Science Education Initiative (EOS-SEI) project (2007-2013), funded by the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI) at UBC, my teaching style has evolved such that I now spend less time lecturing and more time wherein students participate in classroom active learning exercises, which serves to engage them and increase their learning. Explicit course-level and lecture-level learning goals have helped my students focus their studying and ultimately has increased their conceptual understanding of geoscience knowledge and related field skills.

Outreach Activities

Geoscientists have an obligation to society, to use their education and talents to promote a better understanding of humankind's interactions with the physical Earth, including the mitigation of geologic hazards and the dissemination of information on the pros and cons of resource and energy extraction.

Because I feel strongly about the value of geoscience education to society, I am involved in a wide variety of outreach activities, mostly during the summer when I am not so busy with UBC courses! These activities include giving talks on local geology, volunteering in First Nations classrooms, teaching K-12 teachers, and acting as a resource person for the public regarding geoscience information.


Earth and Ocean Sciences Leadership and Service (ELAS) Award, for outstanding long-term service and leadership in the Department, 2011.

Letter of citation from UBC Science Undergraduate Society for €œNotable contribution to the academic or overall educational experience of Science students€, 2006

Incredible Instructor Award, Solid Earth Sciences from Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, The University of British Columbia, 2001

B.S. with Honors, Earth Science, 1975 (University of California, Santa Cruz)
M.Sc., Geological Sciences, 1978 (The University of British Columbia)
Ph.D., Geological Sciences, 1982 (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Post-doctoral Fellow, Geological Survey of Canada, 1985-1987