Professor Jeff Noblett was born in Cleveland (and still has a great collection of Indians cards) and raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated Summa cum Laude from Knox College in 1975, with majors in both Geology and Philosophy. He earned his Ph.D. at Stanford in 1980, studying plate tectonics and the origin of Tertiary-age volcanic rocks in central Oregon. He has taught at Colorado College under the Block Plan since 1980 (except for a year of semester-teaching from 1989-90 in Tokyo for Temple University).
He currently teaches courses in:
- Field-based Introductory Physical geology,
- Environmental Geology (with varying emphases on ecofeminism, environmental racism, issues in Japan and Asia, and Earth Systems approaches),
- Igneous Petrology,
- The Earth as a Chemical System (Introduction to Mineralogy and Petrology),
He has taught courses in
- Metamorphic Petrology,
- Plate Tectonics;
- Extended field classes in:
- Yellowstone/Craters of the Moon,
- Death Valley,
- Big Bend,
- Black Hills/Baraboo/Upper Peninsula/Northern Minnesota,
- Central Arizona
- He led a class of senior geology majors on a block studying geology in Japan
As well as interdisciplinary courses on:
- Gender and Science,
- Earth Systems Science,
- Geology of Asia.
He has studied and taught the arts of Aikido and Reiki to CC students.
His primary field of research is Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology with a focus on Volcanology.
- His early work was on the Clarno Formation, a package of Eocene volcanics in Oregon, which developed above a subduction zone.
- He has worked on Proterozoic-age metamorphic rocks in the central Colorado mountains, revealing part of the story of the creation of the North American continent. The metamorphic rocks were a mixture of meta-basalt amphibolite, meta-sediments (greywacke and shale), and several generations of granite bodies (one pre-dating the isoclinal folding of the region, other bodies intruding later). Together, the rocks tell the story of ancient oceans in what is now our Southwest, subducting under the Wyoming craton, developing a series of southward jumping volcanic arcs with back-arc basins (Yavapai) to which a large craton (Mazatzal) was added resulting in the creation of continental crust we call the Southwest.
- He also directed a student Keck Consortium project on the origin of the anorogenic Pikes Peak Batholith. The group sampled the gabbro-syenite-fayalite granite-sodic amphibole granite and main series granites and determined their trace element geochemistry and Nd-Sm isotope contents. The data confirmed and expanded an earlier hypothesis that the batholith is anorogenic (not formed near a subduction zone) and formed through a complex process of mantle melt rising through those metamorphic rocks, with some of the melts fractionating from the gabbro to granite and the bulk of the melt assimilating some lower crust and becoming the large batholith around Pikes Peak today.
- He also worked on a project collecting gravity and magnetic measurements over the Shiprock, New Mexico diatreme that suggested we might be looking at the lower portions of this body.
- He currently is completing a project on some Tertiary-age volcanic rocks in central Colorado that form the best physical link between Thirty-Nine Mile volcanics and the San Juan volcanics. This region reveals the shift in volcanism that accompanies a change in tectonic environments from subduction to rifting.
- He is also studying the non-ideal behavior of trace elements across the contacts of commingled magmas in Colorado. Beautifully commingled dikes occur both in the Wet Mountains and within the Pikes Peak Batholith (as well as in other sites in Colorado). The trace elements do not just follow ideal behavior across the contacts between mafic and felsic rocks, but demonstrate all possible geometries.
At the college, he has:
- Served on numerous committees, and advised student clubs and theme houses,
- Served as department chair three times,
- Recently completed eight years of service as Associate Dean of the Faculty, overseeing international, interdisciplinary and first-year programs. He chaired the General Education Oversight Committee, was a member of the Curriculum Committee, and served on committees that included: Emergency Planning, Enrollment Management, First-Year Experience Committee, International Studies Committee, College Re-accreditation Committee, Assessment Committee, Summer Session, Cultural Attractions Fund, Davis Projects for Peace, and the Information Technology Board. He helped develop a Faculty Leadership Seminar, and a new Chairs’ workshop, along with aspects of a two-year-long new-faculty orientation. Other duties included review of annual salary requests, departmental staffing, review of course schedules, regular review of Lecturers, oversight of the Chair’s website, interviewing faculty candidates for visitor positions, oversight of in-house grants for international travel, research in Asia, curricular development, and of various budgets, and so on.
- He can also be seen on the big screen in the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center explaining the local geology to visitors.