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J B. Bennington

Professor of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability, Chair


Degrees

PHD, 1995, Virginia Polytech Inst & State; BS, 1985, Univ Rochester


Bio

Dr. J Bret Bennington is currently Professor of Geology and Chair of the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability at Hofstra University on Long Island, New York where he has been teaching since 1993. His B.S. degree in biology/geology is from the University of Rochester (1985) and his Ph.D. in geology is from Virginia Tech (1995).

Dr. Bennington is a member of the Geological Society of America, the Paleontological Society, the Long Island Association of Professional Geologists, and the New York State Council of Professional Geologists.

In 2019 Dr. Bennington was presented with the Neil Miner Award for exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth sciences by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers.


Recent Grants

2020 - 2023 Co-Principle Investigator, NSF GP-EXTRA: GEOTeams: Summer Research Pathways to Geoscience Using a Novel Multilevel Team Approach," FAIN# 11911514, Funded: $347,530.

2018 - 2022 Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, Living and Learning with the Bay, Subrecipient Award. Funded: $1,064,718.

2017 - 2021 Principle Investigator, NSF STEM+C Design and Development: "A Sustainable Computer Modeling Curriculum for Mastery of Core Biology Concepts and Computational Thinking by Secondary School Students," FAIN# 1742373, Funded: $1,611,462.

2016 - 2021 Co-Principle Investigator, NSF Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, Noyce Scholars Program Phase II: Expanding the Model, FAIN# 1557388, Funded: $1,049,452


Recent Publications

Hsieh, S., Bush, A., and Bennington, J. 2019, Were bivalves ecologically dominant over brachiopods in the late Paleozoic? A test using exceptionally preserved fossil assemblages. Paleobiology, 45(1). doi:10.1017/pab.2019.3

Bennington, J Bret and Farmer, E. Christa, 2015. Recognizing past storm events in sediment cores based on comparison to recent overwash sediments deposited by Superstorm Sandy, in Bennington, J Bret and Farmer, E. Christa (eds.), Learning from the Impacts of Superstorm Sandy. Elsevier, ISBN 9780128015209.

Farmer, E. Christa and Bennington, J Bret, 2015. Trace metals as a tool for chronostratigraphy in sediment cores from south shore barrier beach marshes on Long Island, NY, in Bennington, J Bret and Farmer, E. Christa (eds.), Learning From the Impacts of Superstorm Sandy. Elsevier, ISBN 9780128015209.

Bower, Peter; Kelsey, Ryan; Bennington, Bret; Lemke, Lawrence D.; Liddicoat, Joseph; Sorice Miccio, Briane; Lampousis, Angelo; Thompson, Doug M.; Greenbaum Seewald, Bess; Kney, Arthur D.; Graham, Tamara; and Saugata Datta, 2014, Brownfield Action: Dissemination of a SENCER Model Curriculum and the Creation of a Collaborative STEM Education Network. Science Education and Civic Engagement 6:1. http://seceij.net/seceij/winter14/brownfield_acti.html

Bennington, J Bret and Aronson, Myla J., 2012. Reconciling Scale in Paleontological and Neontological Data: Dimensions of Time, Space, and Taxonomy, in Louys, Julien (ed.), Palaeontology in Ecology and Conservation. Springer, ISBN 978-3-642-25037-8.



Teaching Interests

Teaching activities include courses in physical geology, historical geology, dinosaurs, hydrology, geomorphology, paleontology, and Charles Darwin and evolution. Dr. Bennington also co-directs a study abroad program in the Galápagos Islands and Ecuador. He serves as a program planner and instructor for the annual Greentree Foundation Teachers Ecology Workshop program teaching elementary and secondary school teachers about Long Island natural history and he is an internship coordinator and educational programming consultant for the Jones Beach Nature and Energy Center.

Research Interests

Dr. Bennington’s research in paleontology involves the quantitative analysis of the fossil record to learn about the evolution of ecological communities over long intervals of time. Other paleontology projects involve studies of marine ecosystems in the Devonian, Carboniferous, and Cretaceous periods, as well as the statistical analysis of fossil footprints.

Other research activities involve the glacial geomorphology and environmental history of Long Island. He has collaborated with Dr. E. Christa Farmer at Hofstra on a project studying the record of past hurricane and major storm events preserved in the marsh and bay sediments of southern Long Island and has investigated the hydrology of local coastal marshes. He is also involved in grant-funded projects to explore ways to bring science teaching into the 21st Century through involving students in research and by infusing coding and computer modeling into secondary science education.

Recent Courses Taught

Course Title Level
GEOL 001 (NS) PLANET EARTH Undergraduate
GEOL 002 (NS) HISTORICAL GEOLOGICAL SCI Undergraduate
GEOL 033 ENVIRONMENTAL GEOMORPHOLGY Undergraduate
GEOL 100 DEPT HONORS CANDIDACY: ESSAY Undergraduate
GEOL 121 HYDROLOGY Undergraduate
GEOL 151 INDEPENDENT SPECIAL PROJECTS Undergraduate
HUHC 020H EVOLUTION:DARWIN DANGEROUS IDE Undergraduate
PHI 051D PHIL EXPL: DANGEROUS IDEAS Undergraduate
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