Faculty Profile: Terry Plank

Terry Plank conducting research in the field

Terry Plank

Arthur D. Storke Memorial Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences


“The Earth and Environment are critical topics for the next century, and Columbia leads the way in integrating fundamental science with sustainability and field research to prepare students for debates and discoveries in natural hazards, resources, climate change and other planet-scale processes.”


Professor Plank’s research focuses on the origins of magmas and explosive volcanism. In examining the H2O and CO2 content of magma, she is linking the plate tectonic water cycle to volcanic eruptions. Professor Plank works out of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and field work has taken her to the Aleutian Islands and Nicaragua, and on drilling platforms at sea.

Professor Plank was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2012 for her work as a geochemist probing the thermal and chemical forces below the Earth's crust that drive the motion of tectonic plate collisions.

Undergraduate Courses Taught

  • Geochemistry for a Habitable Planet
  • Frontiers of Science
  • Earth and Environmental Systems: Solid Earth