Michael Wysession

Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Michael Wysession

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Biography

Wysession is a professor of Earth and planetary sciences and executive director of the university’s Center for Teaching and Learning. An established leader in seismology, Wysession has made major research contributions in visualizing seismic wave propagation and mapping the structure of Earth’s deep mantle. His more than 100 published papers include the structure of the U.S. Mid-Continent Rift, the tectonics and structure of African plates, intraplate earthquakes and using seismic waves to identify military explosions. He is internationally known for his efforts in increasing science literacy, as Chair of the National Science Foundation’s Earth Science Literacy Initiative, Chair for Earth and Space Science for the writing of the K-12 “Next Generation Science Standards,” coauthor of more than 30 science textbooks from kindergarten to graduate school, author of video lecture courses with the Teaching Company’s Great Courses series (How the Earth Works, The World’s Greatest Geologic Wonders, National Geographic’s Polar Explorations, and The Science of Energy) and presenter of more than 300 public lectures on geologic hazards, natural resources and human impacts on the geosphere and biosphere.

WashU in the News

Stories

Teaching high school chemistry with real-world examples

Teaching high school chemistry with real-world examples

Michael Wysession, professor in earth and planetary sciences, and Bryn Lutes, a lecturer in chemistry, both in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, believe that high school students will learn chemistry better when they crunch actual climate data, rather than memorize the periodic table by rote. They helped write a national chemistry curriculum that is loaded with real-world examples — like ocean acidification — and is already being rolled out by school districts in Los Angeles and other parts of California.
WashU Experts on the Climate Assessment

WashU Experts on the Climate Assessment

Washington University in St. Louis experts from all corners of academia long have been studying climate change in the context of their own fields. Here is a sampling of their perspectives on the National Climate Assessment released Nov. 23.