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Clint Cowan

Clint Cowan

Visiting Faculty Director, Fall 2018
Professor of Geology, Carleton College

Geologist Clint Cowan lived and worked in the Netherlands for five years as a research scientist with Royal Dutch Shell before joining the Carleton College faculty in 1997. As Visiting Faculty Director for the fall 2018 Amsterdam program, he’s excited to be able to share his insights into Dutch life with students from across the ACM.

The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (or VU Amsterdam) is a recognized leader in science research across the life, physical, and social sciences, with many courses taught in English. Students will explore courses of their choice across the VU curriculum, with Clint there to help navigate the ins and outs of daily living in the Netherlands.

Clint’s interests include the world’s energy future and the impending changes to the global economy, health, and society. As a visiting professor, he will offer a course that examines the challenges of the coming energy transition. The program provides an excellent opportunity for students to study these topics in a nation that is not only rich in traditional energy resources, but also a global leader in exploiting the power of wind and water and is one of the countries most threatened by sea level rise.

At Carleton, Clint teaches courses on climate, paleobiology, and sedimentology. His research employs the use of stable isotopes to investigate Earth’s past climates and ocean chemistry as preserved in sedimentary rock. His real passion is fieldwork, and over the past two decades he has led nearly 150 students on off-campus study programs.

He designed and co-leads Carleton’s biennial Off-Campus Geology Field Seminar in New Zealand, which has been running since 2010. He does fieldwork across the upper Midwest and in Newfoundland, Canada, and regularly leads field trips to Scotland, including Orkney and Shetland, and the Caribbean. When he lived in the Netherlands, Clint co-led field trips to the Pyrenees, northernmost and southernmost Italy, Mallorca, and the Ardennes.

Amsterdam is surrounded by towns with their own distinct charm: Leiden, Hoorn, Utrecht, Delft, and The Hague, to name a few. All of these places are easily accessible as day-trips by one of Europe’s most evolved public transport systems. Clint encourages the ACM students to explore their environs and get out and marvel at the Dutch water husbandry, coastal engineering, and wind-harnessing efforts that span centuries.

For more information, see Clint Cowan’s faculty profile.