Learning really takes a huge effort on the part of the students. Pettit sees her role as facilitator and mentor in the learning process. Erin teaches students at many levels. Graduate students in Erin's research group have also put significant effort into teaching. They TA undergraduate and graduate courses, one has been NSF CASE GK12 Fellow working side by side with teachers in our local schools, and several teach in the Girls on Ice program.

I recently moved to Oregon State University - my teaching will change!


Expedition Expert: National Geographic / Lindblad Expeditions - In December 2018, Erin was invited as an expedition expert on board the National Geographic Explorer. Different type of teaching, but as I love teaching in the field - getting to watch people experience Antarctica for themselves for the first time is pretty powerful. Some photos and of the data we collected is here.


Inspiring Girls Expeditions started as Girls on Ice and are courses (field expeditions) designed to challenge teenage girls in ways that will inspire their interest in science and build their intellectual self confidence to give them skills and mentoring towards future success. Girls on Ice is the science version of a “language immersion” experience – where we connect science with all aspects of daily life with the goal of creating lifelong advocates for Earth science, specifically, and the scientific process as a whole.

Oregon State University is the new leadership home for Inspiring Girls!

Mentoring and Leadership in the Science, (UAF STO 602), is a course that is part of UAF's Science Teaching and Outreach Certificate program. It is open to anyone interested in learning more about being successful as a mentor, leader, or manager in academic, industry, or agency science. We discuss research team leadership, one-on-one mentoring with students or other scientists, building collaborations, and creating a divers and inclusive team and scientific community.

I hope to continue teaching these ideas in some format at Oregon State University

As a stacked graduate and undergraduate course Erin taught UAF’s Foundations of Geophysics, UAF GEOS 431/631, with Dr. Jeff Freymueller. In this course we teaching approaches to problem solving in geophysics. Erin teach continuum mechanics and the conservation laws. Jeff builds on this teaching global concepts in lithospheric flexure, gravity, and magnetism.

Ice in the Climate System, UAF GEOS 477, is an upper level course for undergraduates in geology, geography, and geophysics. This course can also provide a broad survey of the cryosphere for students in ecology or other fields that are affected by cryospheric processes.

In spring 2013, Erin led a team of undergraduates to the Kennicott Glacier through an NSF-funded workshop on ice dynamics. Christina was the fearless TA who kept the group happy even at -20F. This workshop was part of a collaboration with Dr. Bob Anderson and Billie Armstrong.


Erin has also taught Glacier, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, GEOS 120, an introductory course. Christina has TA'd this course.

Other courses Erin has taught or helped teach:

  • Geodynamics, GEOS 620

  • 2010 International Summer School in Glaciology

  • Global Environmental Change, through Portland State University

  • Multiple field courses through the North Cascades Institute

  • Workshops with teachers through the Seattle Partnership for Inquiry Based Science