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Alice Baldridge is an Associate Professor of Geology and the Director of Environmental and Earth Sciences at Saint Mary’s College of California. Her research interests are currently focused in three areas: 1) understanding the processes that have shaped planetary surfaces, 2) comparing laboratory, field, and remote spectroscopic data to solve various problems in Earth and planetary science, and 3) increasing accessibility and representation in field sciences.
She has performed field work in Death Valley, CA, Acidic Lakes and Banded Iron Formations of Western Australia, Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park, Potrillo Volcanic Field in New Mexico, Sand Dunes of the Western United States, and Hot Springs and Glacial environments of Iceland.
Dr. Baldridge is currently part of a multi-institutional interdisciplinary project funded through NASA to further the science that astronauts are able to perform on planetary surfaces by guiding them on how to analyze and interpret remote sensing datasets and field observations.
Dr. Baldridge teaches courses in Sedimentology, Earth Materials, Earth Systems, and Environmental Geology of the National Parks. She believes in finding balance in her life especially between gaining and sharing her knowledge of Earth, Planetary, and Environmental sciences. She is therefore particularly interested in building partnerships that create research and field opportunities for undergraduate students in order to train a new generation of naturalists to protect and appreciate the world around them.
Alice believes in creating inclusive, respectful, and authentic relationships with her students. Her basic goals in teaching are to: 1) ensure that basic concepts that are part of the curriculum are learned and reinforced, 2) convey how such information is relevant to the field of Environmental and Earth Sciences and the broader natural world, 3) raise excitement, appreciation and trust of the scientific process through experience and 4) provide insight about scientific practice and thought to develop strong observational and critical thinking skills in all aspects of her students’ lives.
“…we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” Laudato Si
Students are drawn to the environmental sciences because they want to make a positive impact on our world. The Saint Mary’s College mission recognized that “the intellectual and spiritual journeys of the human person to be inextricably connected.” EEE students at Saint Mary’s have a deep intellectual understanding of the “cries of the earth” and through their spiritual journey they also recognize the “cries of the poor.” As a Catholic community, we are stewards of our environment and are all called to be leaders in this stewardship. As director of the EES programs, Dr. Baldridge’s efforts are directly and integrally tied to the mission of the College and continued student stewardship of the Earth long after they graduate.