Dr. Joseph DiPietro, professor of geology at USI, has worked for the New York State Geological Survey, heading a major mapping project in the Adirondack Mountains. He’s completed a Ph.D. project in the Northwest Himalaya of Pakistan, spent a summer doing mapping for the Idaho State Geological Survey, and received a $225,000 National Science Foundation grant to continue research on the stratigraphy, structure, metamorphism, and tectonics of the Northwest Himalaya while at USI. In addition, he teaches six geology courses at USI.
As a culmination of his work and experiences, he recently announced the release of a new book, Landscape Evolution in the United States: An introduction to the Geography, Geology, and Natural History. The book was published by Elsevier Academic Press in late February.
“I wrote this book for those curious about the natural wonder and beauty of the United States, for those wishing to delve into how mountains form and evolve beyond the obligatory colliding of continents, and for those who seek insight on the reasoning and methods geologists use to interpret landscape evolution and geological history,” said DiPietro.
The book is intended to serve as a textbook for first- and second-year university students, a reference book for advanced geology students, and as an interesting read for general audiences or travelers seeking a deeper understanding and appreciation of landscape. In addition to being a stand-alone textbook, DiPietro said the book could serve as a complimentary text for a number of different courses, including physical geology, physical geography, national parks, geomorphology, and tectonics. He said the book also would make excellent reference material for students and teachers at the K-12 level.
“My overarching goal is to present the novice reader with a deep understanding of the incredibly varied landscape of the United States, and to show how much fun it is to learn about geology,” he added.
Landscape Evolution in the United States contains three parts. Parts I and II deal specifically with present-day landscape—its evolution, and how the forces of nature affect it. The focus is on why the landscape looks the way it does. Part III deals with the rocks—the focus is on geological history, mountain building, and past landscapes. The book includes a series of color figures and maps designed to help the reader understand complex geological concepts.
DiPietro completed his undergraduate work at the University of Washington and graduate work at the University of Vermont and Oregon State University.