Contact the Faculty of Science

John W.F. Waldron, PhD, BA

Professor

Science

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

About Me

I am a structural and sedimentary geologist who works on deformed sedimentary rocks, with a broad general interest in the tectonic history of the Earth and how it is recorded by sedimentary rocks. My education was mostly in the British Isles (where I grew up). I then worked in Atlantic Canada, based at St. Mary's University, until 2000. At the University of Alberta since then I have taught Structural Geology and Tectonics at several different levels, in addition to Introductory Earth Science and Field Schools in the Cordillera.  Much of my research is currently focussed in the norther Appalachians and their continuation in Northwest Europe as the Caledonides.  This mountain belt records the amalgamation of Pangea and is a fascinating place to study the effects of Plate Tectonics on the Earth's crust.

I acknowledge the generous provision of academic licenses to the University of Alberta by:

For more information, visit my personal website: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~jwaldron/

Research

Research area

Tectonics, Structural geology: Evolution of deformed sedimentary basins

Research interest

My projects typically involve a combination of fieldwork with geophysical and geochronological data where available. Much of my work has been focussed in the Appalachians and Caledonide orogens of eastern Canada and the British Isles, where sedimentary rocks and associated folds and faults provide a record of ocean closure and supercontinent assembly. My lab stores equipment for fieldwork ranging from basic tools to a DJI Inspire 1 drone for photogrammetric surveying of outcrops. The lab is equipped with petrographic microscopes and computers capable of running state-of-the-art computer software for mapping, seismic interpretation and structural geology. 


Teaching

I currently teach courses in Structural Geology and Tectonics at second year, fourth year, and graduate level.

EAS 233 Geologic structures is a basic introduction to the identification, documentation, and basic interpretation of all kinds of structures in the Earth's crust. It focusses on field observation as a means to understand what has gone on in the Earth's history, and is a prerequisite for Geology Field School EAS 234.


EAS 421 Structural Geology and Tectonics Is a fourth year undergraduate course that examines how Plate Tectonics has affected the Earth's lithosphere over time, including sections on major tectonic environments

  • Rifts and extensional environments
  • Orogens and crustal shortening
  • Strike slip, transtension and transpression
A graduate level section, EAS 521 is available for graduate students who did not cover this material in their undergraduate program.


EAS 541 Topics in Tectonics and Structural Geology is a graduate level course in which each participant takes on a selected orogen. In a series of presentations, participants may examine, in their chosen orogen:

  • A preserved rift or passive margin
  • A foreland basin and thrust belt
  • An ophiolite or arc terrane
  • A metamorphic belt
This course includes instruction on working with the scientific literature and preparing papers for publication, useful to thesis-based graduate students in Geology and Geophysics


In addition to the above courses, I have undertaken several larger-scale projects with the support of the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund https://www.ualberta.ca/centre-for-teaching-and-learning/grants/tlef and related initiatives, including:

  • The Geoscience Garden at the University of Alberta http://gg.eas.ualberta.ca/
  • 3-D printed models in teaching structural geology
  • Open Educational Resource based on EAS 233 teaching manual