Virginia "Ginny" L. Peterson 

Associate Professor of Geology, Unit Head of Geology

The Seymour K. & Esther R. Padnos Hall of Science # 121
One Campus Drive
Allendale, Michigan 49401-9403
Office Telephone: (616)-331-2811
Office Fax: (616)-331-3740
Electronic Mail:


B.A. Geology, Grand Valley State University (1980)
M.S. Geology, University of Massachusetts (1984)
Ph.D. Geology, University of Massachusetts (1992)

Teaching & Research Interests:

My research has involved the integration of field and analytical data to study metamorphic and igneous petrogenesis of rocks in zones of high or variable strain, structural analysis of areas with a complex geological history, fabric and textural analysis in metamorphic rocks, and the use of geophysical tools to solve subsurface problems. My general teaching and research interests are in the areas of metamorphic and igneous petrology, structural geology, tectonics and regional geology, mineralogy, mineral chemistry, rock chemistry, geophysics, Appalachian geology, Precambrian geology and crustal evolution. I am particularly interested in field-based geologic research and the inclusion of field and practical examples in the classroom.

Selected Publications:

Peterson, V.L. and Ryan, J.G., 2009, Petrogenesis and structure of the Buck Creek mafic-ultramafic suite, southern Appalachians: Constraints on ophiolite evolution and emplacement in collisional orogens. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 121, p. 615-629.

Lee, A.J., Peterson, V.L., and Ryan, J.G., 2004, Coexisting clinopyroxene/spinel and amphibole/spinel symplectites in metatroctolites from the Buck Creek ultramafic body, North Carolina Blue Ridge Coexisting Clinopyroxene/Spinel and Amphibole/Spinel Symplectites in Metatroctolites from the Buck Creek Ultramafic Body, North Carolina Blue Ridge, USA. American Mineralogist, v. 89 p. 20-30.

Lang, H.M., Peterson, V.L., Ryan, J.G., Yurkovich, S.P., Kruse, S., and Burr, J., 2003, A Collaborative Field-Laboratory Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program in Geosciences, CUR Quarterly, v.24, No 1, p. 13-17.

Lord, M.L., Peterson, V.L., and Vandervoort, K.V., 2003, Integrating Inquiry Across The Geology And Physics Curricula: The Cullowhee Creek Environmental Field Station, Western North Carolina. Journal of Geological Education, v. 51, No 4, p. 415-423.

Berger, S.,Cochrane, D., Simons, K, Savov, I., Ryan, J., and Peterson, V., 2001, REE systematics of Appalachian mafic-ultramafic complexes, Southeastern Geology, v. 40,No. 3, p. 201-212.


Page last modified July 22, 2011