Many people do not love their job. Luckily for many of the students taking Earth and Environmental Systems, María Brunhart-Lupo is the exception, not the rule. She says of her job, “I love turning up to teach [my SYGN 101 students]. This is the highlight.”
Brunhart-Lupo can relate to the average Mines undergraduate more than most instructors. She earned her bachelor’s degree in geology from CSM and returned to Golden for her doctorate, again in geology. For Brunhart-Lupo, Mines is a family affair. “My father went here,” she said, “I remember coming here as kid, and I thought it was the neatest place.” Additionally, her brother is currently at Mines pursuing a doctorate in computer science.
Brunhart-Lupo has loved geology since she began her education at Mines. “I have wanted to teach [Earth and Environmental Systems] since I took it my freshman year. I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do.” When asked about her least favorite class, she was reluctant to answer, but confessed, “I had a hard time in economics because it was very confusing. It was not my least favorite, I was just very confused.” In addition to geology, she has also enjoyed some of the liberal arts and humanities classes offered.
Brunhart-Lupo clearly loves her subject area, and is willing to let the whole world know it. She is currently “researching the sedimentology and stratigraphy of the Great Sand Dunes National Park… looking at how the area evolved over time by looking at the sediments that are present.” But overall, she especially loves historical geology. If it was not clear from her office’s giant geology posters or her animation when lecturing on or discussing geology that Brunhart-Lupo loves her subject area and wants others to as well, she stated it, “I just think geology should be fun. It should not be a hard class; it should be a lot of fun for people to learn geology.”
Some instructors seem aloof and serious, but this is not the case with Brunhart-Lupo. Whether she is sharing her own, sometimes dramatic, geology stories or leaving notes for herself in one of the several languages she knows, María Brunhart-Lupo is fun, informative, and an excellent instructor.