Spring 2009 Outstanding Educator
STEPHEN R. MATTOXDr. Stephen R. Mattox is associate professor of geology at Grand Valley State University. He has served as a member of the GVSU faculty since 1998. His primary focus at the University is Earth science education, where he prepares future Integrated and Earth Science teachers.
He is described by his former students as inspirational, intelligent, approachable, caring, and truly dedicated to the learning process. They commend his passion for his subject matter and the profound impact he has made on their personal and professional lives.
Mattox received a Bachelor of Science in geology from Indiana University in 1983. He went on to earn both a master’s and doctorate degree in geology from Northern Illinois University, studying the geochemistry of volcanic rocks in central Utah for his dissertation.
After earning his Ph.D., Mattox moved to Hawaii to work at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as an interpretive ranger. Here, he assisted U.S. Geological Survey geologists in monitoring the on-going eruption of Kilauea and authored A Teacher Guide to the Geology of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a curriculum for K-12 students.
He conducted post-doctoral studies at the University of North Dakota, developing content for Volcano World, a Web site featuring general information on volcanoes, updates on current eruptions, activities for students, and lesson plans for educators. Mattox then spent two years in Australia exploring for gold and mapping base metals in Indonesia, before joining the faculty at GVSU.
Mattox is widely published, having authored various publications, articles and educational materials, and is currently working on a book about Michigan geology. He is especially proud of the seven papers and twenty-five presentations he has shared with student collaborators. Last year, he was named the Michigan Science Teachers Association College Teacher of the Year, and in 2002, he received GVSU’s Pew Teaching Excellence Award for the Science and Mathematics Division.
Mattox and his wife Tari currently reside in Grand Rapids and have two daughters.