Welcome.  I’m a professor of economic geology, a field of study focused on understanding the processes by which nature forms mineral deposits. The elements that we extract from mineral deposits are embedded in every aspect of modern life, from rare earth elements that allow you to read these words on your screen, to copper that allows wind turbines to produce renewable energy, to cancer fighting medicines that are grown on platinum substrates. I think the world is an amazing place. Yes, there are problems, without a doubt. But, in comparison with foragers in the stone age and farmers through the nineteenth century, by almost all metrics, modern society is amazing. To sustain our global society, we must combine advances in recycling of materials already extracted from Earth and responsible sourcing (mining) of natural resources, both of which will be required for the foreseeable future. I don’t operate in a vacuum. My research program is possible only with the incredible effort of the graduate students in my academic family. The best way for you to learn about our research is to take a look at what they do on the People tab. The Research tab contains a narrative of why I do what I do.  My teaching program is only possible because of the wonderful students from across the entire academic spectrum, including the humanities, social sciences, engineering, business, and natural sciences, who enroll in my courses. I love to teach and feel blessed to have the opportunity to engage with young adults who are growing into their roles as our future leaders. The Teaching tab contains a list of courses that I teach, with a brief description, followed by an essay that gives you a sense of why I love to teach.

Please contact me at simonac@umich.edu if you’d like to know more. I’m always happy to discuss any aspect of natural resources.