Sitting at his desk strewn with various rocks and minerals, Dr. Christian Shorey begins to talk about his background. “I grew up in Dallas, Texas, born in California though, the two most hated states in Colorado,” he jokes.
Geology has always been of interest to Dr. Shorey, even at a young age. “I’ve been doing it since I was in Kindergarten… always into rocks, playing in creek beds, doing stuff outdoors… it was something I already knew I was going to do when I was in eighth grade.” Dr. Shorey received his Bachelor’s of Science in Geology with a minor in Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2002, he received his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. “I went straight to my Ph.D. because I knew I wanted to teach. That was in paleoclimatology… the study of ancient climates.”
After finishing his Ph.D., the Universtity of Iowa hired Dr. Shorey as a visiting assistant professor, so he could fill in the gaps left by retiring professors. “Whatever course needed to be taught, that’s what I taught,” Dr. Shorey says. “So now I come here and I teach one course.” Dr. Shorey has been teaching at Mines since 2005.
Although many faculty members do work in research, Dr. Shorey prefers to stick with lecturing. “My main focus has always been teaching,” he explains. “My main goals are education both for the students here and public outreach education through the podcast stuff I’ve been doing.” His interest in podcasts was sparked when he got an iPod a few years ago. “The first thing I did was search ‘geology podcast,’ and I listened to all the ones out there. I thought, ‘There should be something better than this.’” For the next couple of years, Dr. Shorey devoted time to finishing his lecture series, which can be found on iTunes.
Outside of teaching, Dr. Shorey enjoys biking, and he bikes to work whenever he can. “A lot of interests are my work… I did go into the line of work that I thought I would most enjoy myself in, and that has turned out to be true.” In his spare time, Dr. Shorey experiments with a variety of tools to add to the classroom, including a video podcast that will “parallel the audio podcast in the sense that they both would parallel my course.” Dr. Shorey works hard to keep his course interesting for students, which is reflected in his passion for teaching.