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I enjoy interacting with students; discussing natural processes, helping students understand how those natural processes work, and listening to the students questions about the natural processes, because the students have a fresh perspective on the processes and are able to ask really good questions.

I completed my BS in Chemistry at the University of Kansas in 1989 and my PhD in Geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas in 2002. I have a broad background in geology, remote sensing, chemistry and environmental science. Currently, I am an Adjunct Professor at Dallas College Brookhaven Campus in Farmers Branch, Texas and Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas teaching Physical Geology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science. During the 2016-2017 academic year, I was an Instructor of Geosciences (teaching Remote Sensing) at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

I am in the process of writing a nonfiction book, "The Art of Science: Seeing, Interpreting, Analyzing, and Visualizing." I use examples, which include the Mpemba Effect (Chemistry) and Eruptions of the Valles Caldera and Deposition of the Bandelier Tuff (Geochemistry, Magma, Volcanic Eruptions, Igneous Rocks, Geology, and Fieldwork). My most recent publication: John C. Volesky, Matthew I. Leybourne, Robert J. Stern, Jan M. Peter, Daniel Layton-Matthews, Sarah Rice & Peter R. Johnson (2017): Metavolcanic host rocks, mineralization, and gossans of the Shaib al Tair and Rabathan volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits of the Wadi Bidah Mineral District, Saudi Arabia, International Geology Review, DOI:10.1080/00206814.2017.1307789. This paper includes a description of the tectonic setting (back-arc basin) in which the massive sulfide (gold bearing) deposits formed and the structural, geochemical and petrological evolution of massive sulfides, gossans, hydrothermally altered host rock and metamorphosed host rock (schist) from two of the deposits, Shaib al Tair and Rabathan, of the Wadi Bidah Mineral District, Saudi Arabia.


I feel that it is important to provide students with a basic understanding of the subject matter, raise the students' consciousness of the story that the geology (environmental science, chemistry, and physics) they see everyday has to tell, encourage the students' natural curiosity by discussing real world examples, stimulate creativity by requiring the students to prepare and present the results of research projects, and stress the fundamental importance of critical thinking. The importance of geologic issues is that they are interconnected with economics, politics, history, and culture. If a raw material can't be grown on a farm or in your garden, then it must be mined from the planet we call home, Earth.

The basic understanding or knowledge base is achieved by assigning reading and homework, lecturing using real world examples, and hands on laboratory experience. An important part of homework and the laboratory experience is preparing research projects and presenting the results of these projects. Developing the research project allows students to choose the subject matter in which they are most interested and develops their ability to write and critically think about the information.

Having a healthy skepticism of information, being able to think critically about the information, and having an intense curiosity (Asking Why, How, What) enables the students to become problem solvers who:
Can make observations of the world around them,
Determine if the observations support current knowledge,
Can formulate a hypothesis,
Figure out how to test the hypothesis,
Can collect and analyze data,
Can draw conclusions from the results,
Can compare their results to real world examples and models, and
Determine if the conclusions support the hypothesis.

The student can then ask:
Has the question been answered?
What is the significance?
How can this new knowledge be applied to learning more about the Earth

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John’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: University of Kansas - Bachelor of Science, Chemistry

Graduate Degree: The University of Texas at Dallas - Doctor of Philosophy, Geology


I like to be outside; walking, running, biking, hiking, or sitting quietly and listening to the sounds of the world around me.

Tutoring Subjects

College Physics

Earth Science


Environmental Science

High School Physics



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