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Michael Gibson



  • Higher Ed: Science 


Michael A. Gibson received his B.S. in Geology from the College of William and Mary in 1979, his M.S. in Geology from Auburn University in 1983. Upon completion of his M.S. Gibson served as an instructor at Auburn for the 1983 academic year. He then moved to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he obtained his Ph.D. in Geology in 1988. Since 1988 he has been on faculty at the University of Tennessee at Martin, currently holding the rank of Full Professor. Gibson teaches area of study in paleontology and he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the History of Earth, Fossils: Life Through Time, Marine Geology, Oceanography, and Geology of Belize, Central America. Gibson's research includes: 1) Silurian - Devonian paleoecology and taphonomy; 2) Paleoecology of the Late Cretaceous of the Mississippi Embayment; 3) Floral paleoecology of the Claiborne Formation of West Tennessee; and 4) Geology and paleontology of Belize, Central America and 5) Stromatolites of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Gibson teaches marine geology during the summers at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama. He is an Associate Curator for the Pink Palace Museum & Coon Creek Science Center. Gibson was the 2003 Tennessee Higher Education Science Teacher of the Year and the 2006 Distinguished Educator of the year for the Tennessee Science Teachers Association. Gibson has served as Southeastern President of National Association of Geoscience Teachers (2000-2003); Councilor-at-Large on the NAGT Executive Committee (2003-2006) and helped to pen the NAGT position statement on teaching evolution. He is the 2007 recipient of the NAGT Neil Miner Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Stimulation of Interest in the Earth Sciences. Gibson was Secretary (1989-1994) and President (1994-1996) of the Southeastern Section of the Paleontological Society and served as the National Chair of Education for the Paleontologial Society form 2004-2010. Additionally he has served as the Southeastern Section Education Coordinator (2003-2005) for GSA; and is the Past-President of the Tennessee Academy of Science and the Geology Editor for the Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science. He is a two-time recipient of the Cunningham Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award (1996 and 2008). Gibson was instrumental in Tennessee establishing the Cretaceous bivalve Pterotrigonia (Scabrotrigonia) thoracica as the Official State Fossil of Tennessee in 1998. He helped to found the Tennessee Earth Science Teachers (TEST) and serves as one of their higher education advisors. Gibson routinely runs development programs and field trips for Tennessee educators and serves on several State of Tennessee Department of Education committees, including the committee writing the state science standards and licensure requirements. He has run numerous grant-funded teacher education programs over the years including GeoCamps, GeoTreks, IMEGS, and participated in numerous others related to Earth science education. Gibson pioneered a dual enrollment geology course for high school. He is the director of the online Master of Education: Geoscience Education (GEDU) program at UT Martin. Gibson has published over 75 articles, 105 published abstracts, and is currently working on a book about Tennessee's state fossil. 


Geology, Paleonotology, Geoscience Education 


Gischler, Eberhard, Stjepko Golubic, Michael A. Gibson, Wolfgang Oschmann, & J. Harold Hudson. 2011. Microbial mats and microbialites in the freshwater Laguna Bacalar, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico: In, Joachim Reitner, Nadia-Valrie Quric, & Mike Reich (eds.) Advances in Geobiology of Stromatolites, Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences, Universittsdrucke Gttingen, vol. 131, 187-205. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-10415-2
Barrick, J.E. M.A. Kleffner, M.A. Gibson. N. Peavey, & H.R. Karlsson. 2010. The Mid- Ludfordian Lau event and carbon isotope excursion (Ludlow, Silurian) in southern Laurentia - Preliminary Results: Bollettino della Societ Paleontologica Italiana, 49(1):13-33.
Dilcher, D.L., Gibson, M.A., Lott, T., Dudlie, C. In review. A Caesalpinoid flower from the Eocene of Tennessee: International Journal of Plant Sciences.