Emily G. WardEmily Ward

Associate Professor of Geology
B.A. Whitman College
M.S. Washington State University
Ph.D. University of Montana
Phone: 406.238.7264
Office: Tyler Hall 211
Email: emily.ward@rocky.edu
Personal Website


Dr. Ward's current research is in the field of geocognition and geoscience education research. This research is interdisciplinary, combining geological sciences and the fields of cognitive science, educational psychology, and human geography. Presently, Dr. Ward is working with science educators, cultural experts, and tribal college faculty and staff on a National Science Foundation grant to develop valid and reliable place-based assessment for the geosciences. The resultant assessment identifies culturally significant local landscapes to infuse with geoscience content in order to effectively measure the conceptual understanding. 

Within geology, Dr. Ward enjoys pursuing field-based research to decipher the history of the Rocky Mountain foreland basin and thrust belt of Montana and related natural resources. This work combines structural analysis of fractures, faults, and folds within the thrust belt system with stratigraphic relationships within the foreland basin to unravel the tectonic history of the region. Understanding the geologic history has practical application in the exploration and development of oil and gas in this area. Dr. Ward's interest is in using this geologic knowledge to work with communities in order to better understand oil and gas development along the Rocky Mountain front and address community questions and concerns regarding exploration and extraction. 

Courses Taught

  • GEO 101: Fundamentals of Geology
  • GEO 204: Earth Materials I
  • GEO 310: Geomorphology
  • GEO 320: The Geology of Natural Resources