C. Brannon Andersen
Professor and Chair
119D Plyler Hall, Townes Science Center
Phone: (864) 294-3366
1994 Ph.D. Geology, Syracuse University
1988 M.S. Geology, Miami University
1984 B.S. Geology, Texas A&M
2010-present Affiliated Faculty, Shi Center for Sustainability, Furman University
2009-present Chair, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Furman University
2008-present Associate Editor, Environmental Geosciences
2007-present Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Furman University
2006-present Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences,
School of the Environment, Clemson University
2002-2009 Director, Environmental Studies Concentration, Furman University
2000-2007 Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Furman University
1999-present Co-Director, River Basins Research Initiative
1999-2008 Councilor, Geosciences Division, Council on Undergraduate Research
1994-2000 Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Furman University
1991-1994 Instructor, University College of Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
2010 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Distinguished Research Mentor, Furman University
2008 South Carolina Independent Universities and Colleges Teacher of Excellence
2004 Association of Furman Students 2003-2004 Faculty Member of the Year
1998-2000 Henry and Ellen Townes Assistant Professor of Science, Furman University
1992-1993 Syracuse University Teaching Fellow
1990 Newton E. Chute Award, Syracuse University Geology Department
Current Collaborative Research Projects With StudentsBiogeochemistry of a Urban Ponds
Student: Austin Morrison
Funding: Furman Advantage Fellow
The focus of this research is to better understand how ponds in the urban landscape function as biogeochemical reactors that transform nitrogen, carbon, and silicon. Because urban streams tend to have relatively high concentrations of nitrate, algal production is stimulated in the ponds (including diatoms), which should draw down nitrate and silicon concentrations. Decay of organic matter in the pond is tied to denitrification and ammonification, and microbial production should change the character of organic carbon.
Organic Matter Sequestration in Soils of Intensively Grazed Pastures
Student: Claire Campbell
Funding: Furman Advantage Fellow/Faculty Sustainability Research Grant
The object of this research is to evaluate the amount of soil organic matter in soils from a local sustainable farm (Greenbrier Farm) in the upstate that uses intensive grazing methods. Intensive grazing, where high densities of cattle graze on a small area of land for a few days before being moved to a new paddock, is a form of agroecology that mimics large herbivore grazing patterns. This type of pasture management, combined with no-till planting methods and elimination of chemical additives, should lead to rapidly increasing soil organic matter and rehabilitation of land devastated by a history of cotton farming. Higher soil organic matter content should also correlate to higher soil moisture and greater resilience during periods of drought. Higher soil organic carbon should also lead to higher amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous in the soils, making them more fertile. This is the first year of a 4 year research project. This summer, we are using a stratified random sampling method to determine baseline soil organic matter content for each soil type on the farm to a depth of 30-50 cm.
Efficiency of the Furman University Geothermal System, North Village
Student: Laura Eubanks
Funding: Mellon Foundation Shi Center Fellow
A geothermal system was recently installed in North Village (and is currently being expanded). The system takes city water and pumps it deep underground so the water is 60 degrees F. The water is used to either pre-heat or pre-cool air for the HVAC system to reduce energy costs. The research will determine whether energy savings are significant, and whether student behavior overrides potential energy savings. Two buildings and six apartments from each building will be compared - one with geothermal and one without. Laura will also calculate an estimated payback time for the system.Ecological Footprint of Furman University
Students: Miranda Joliff
Funding: A.V.Davis Foundation/Furman Advantage Fellow
Ecological footprinting is a method of estimating the amount of land required to provide the resources necessary to sustain and assimilate the wastes of a person, business, or nation (or the planet!). As part of Furman University's Sustainability Master Plan, we will be calculating an Ecological Footprint for Furman University, and using it to help reduce consumption of resources by the university. We are partnering with Craig Simmons and associates of Best Foot Forward
, London, England, to develop the footprint model.
Courses for 2012-2013
EES 112 Environmental Science
This version of the course is designed for the first year students in the Engaged Living Program and it examines the impact of humans on planet Earth. We will be exploring this question: Is there a limit to the growth of the technosphere? We will be reading papers, gathering data, and doing projects that will help answer this question. These students then go on to take a first year seminar on sustainability in the spring.
EES 402 Geochemistry
In this course, the focus is on using thermodynamic models that predict behavior of chemical reactions in natural systems. We learn how to construct phase diagrams and then apply the results to natural aquatic systems in labs. A key aspect of this course is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of mathematical models in science, as well as building quantitative and graphing skills.Spring Term
SUS 242 Dynamic Systems Modeling
This course uses STELLA software to better understand systems and how they operate, with a special focus on the non-intuitive behavior of complex systems because of feedbacks. Student will build models using STELLA to explore a variety of human impacts on planet Earth.
EST 301 Environment and Society
Understanding how humans transform the Earth is the important, but science does not create policy. This course explores how society responds to environmental predicaments. The nature of this course varies considerably with who teaches the course. I will be team-teaching this course with Dr. Sarah Worth from the Philosophy Department, so this course will explore how ethics relates to decisions regarding how humans should address environmental issues. We will discuss difficult topics such as climate change. Energy consumption is clearly related to societal advancement and human health and well-being, but energy consumption is also causing climate change. How should we make decisions that clearly involve important trade-offs?
Other Courses Taught
EES/BIO 343 Environmental Systems, EES 310 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
2011 Mellon Sustainability Seminar in Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland
2010 Sustainability Across the Curriculum Workshop, Emory University
2009-2010 Lilly Seminar, Simpler Living, Radical Change: Theology, Ethics, and Sustainability
2008 Mellon Foundation Interdisciplinary Teaching Seminar, Galapogos and Ecuador
2007 Lilly Seminar, Religion and Science
, Furman University
Selected Professional Experience
1999 Co-moderator, Our Future Landfill Committee, Greenville County
1997-2001 Faculty, Olsen Enterprises, Inc.
1995-2001 Faculty, Environmental Education Enterprises, Inc.
1993-1996 Senior Geochemist, Freshkills Landfill Leachate Mitigation Project
1993-1994 Hydrogeochemist, Stearns and Wheler Environmental Engineers and Scientists
1989 Research Scientist, R.V. Mona Wave, June-July
Professional MembershipsAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, Council on Undergraduate Research, Geochemical Society, Geological Society of America, Sigma Xi
Author or co-author of over 20 journal articles and over 120 presentations at professional meetings, more than 90 with student co-authors.
PI or Co-PI of over $2 million in externally funded grants. PI of many Research and Professional Growth , Furman Advantage, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants through Furman University.