Laura Triplett


Associate Professor in Geology and Environmental Studies

I am driven to help people understand our planet and protect the resources that people and ecosystems depend on.  I investigate how human activities have changed the water quality of lakes, rivers and groundwater, and I'm curious about how the glacial history of southern Minnesota leads to rapid erosion in various ways.  I've done research on a variety of streams and rivers in the U.S., working with wetland ecologists, geomorphologists, park managers, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to find collaborative solutions to problems and reach society's environmental quality goals.

I am also active in finding ways to address climate change.  In all of my courses, I teach at least a little about climate science because it is so intertwined with the geology of the earth's surface.  Students always ask me, "What should we be doing to address the enormous problem of rapid human-caused climate change?"  I strive to provide practical and tangible answers to that question, and lead through example.  

I grew in up in Minneapolis, then went to college first in Massachussetts and then finishing in Colorado.  I have Master's and Ph.D. degrees in geology from the University of Minnesota, with expertise in quantifying environmental change through geochemical analysis of sedimentary records.  I love to travel, hike and camp, and I also love indoor activities like working in my lab, reading books, and cooking good food.


B.S. University of Colorado, Boulder; M.S. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Courses Taught

ENV-120 (Geochem of Environ Lab), FTS-100 (FTS:The River), GEO-120 (Geochem of Environ Lab), and GEO-246 (Earth Surface Lab)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
GEO-246 Earth Surface w/Lab 31 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2017/FA, 2016/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, and 2007/FA
GEO-111 Our Planet Lab 15 2020/SP, 2019/SP, 2017/SP, 2015/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2009/SP, 2008/SP, and 2007/FA
GEO-350 Hydrogeology Lab 12 2019/SP, 2017/SP, 2015/SP, 2013/SP, 2010/SP, and 2008/SP
ENV-120 Geochem Envirnmt w/Lab 11 2020/SP, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2016/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, and 2012/SP
GEO-120 Geochem Envirnmt w/Lab 11 2020/SP, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2016/FA, 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, and 2012/SP
GEO-237 Global Climate w/Lab 6 2014/SP, 2011/SP, and 2008/SP
GEO-393 Research in Geology II 4 2017/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, and 2009/SP
GEO-392 Research in Geology I 4 2017/SP, 2013/SP, 2012/SP, and 2009/SP
GEO-111 Principles of Geology 4 2014/SP, 2011/FA, 2011/SP, and 2010/SP
FTS-100 FTS:Science of Dirt 3 2017/FA, 2010/FA, and 2008/FA
GEO-225 Climate Chg Solutions 2 2020/SP and 2018/SP
ENV-120 Geochem of Environmnt 2 2012/FA and 2012/SP
GEO-120 Geochem of Environmnt 2 2012/FA and 2012/SP
GEO-244 ST: Telling the Story 1 2019/SP
GEO-225 Climate Chg Lab 1 2018/SP
BIO-344 ST:Our Global Ocean 1 2012/FA
CHE-344 ST:Our Global Ocean 1 2012/FA
GEO-344 ST:Our Global Ocean 1 2012/FA
PHY-344 AT:Our Global Ocean 1 2012/FA
GEO-110 Paleolimnology 1 2010/JN