Jennifer Lindline

Jennifer Lindline, 2016 Spirit Award

Jennifer Lindline,
2016 Spirit Award


Jennifer Lindline, a Highlands geology professor and Natural Resources Management department chair, was named for the Spirit Award for her dedication to students and research.

Fellow geology professor Michael Petronis nominated Lindline for the honor.

“Dr. Lindline is truly an outstanding professor who serves as a model for junior faculty, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, with her spirit, dedication and numerous research endeavors,” said Petronis, who has worked with Lindline for 10 years. “Her energy and enthusiasm permeates the classroom, and her dedication to the students of Highlands is unmatched.”

In 2016, Highlands President Sam Minner selected Lindline as the first HU President’s Leadership Fellow.

Lindline joined the university’s faculty in 2000. She earned her doctorate in geology with an emphasis in petrology and mineralogy from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

“It’s the spectacular geology of the region that brought me to Highlands, but it’s the people that kept me here,” Lindline said. “There’s a can-do spirit, a commitment to individual students and the belief in each student’s ability to succeed.”

Lindline’s philosophy is that each student’s potential is limitless.

“Being part of my students’ academic growth – and watching them evolve from introductory learners to senior scholars – is very rewarding professionally and personally. From the beginning of my tenure at Highlands, the students showed an eagerness and hunger to learn. That’s powerful,” Lindline said.

In 2013, Lindline was named Professor of the Year after the Highlands University Geological Society, a student group, nominated her for the award, writing: “Dr. Lindline is an exceptional professor and overall extraordinary person who has her students’ interest at heart every day.”

Lindline said with Highlands’ location at the juxtaposition of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Great Plains, the university has an exceptional and diverse natural geologic laboratory in its backyard.

“The accessibility of these nearby rock formations is a geologist’s dream. It’s simple: the best geologists see the most rocks. Immersing students in fieldwork is important because it’s when they get their hands on rocks and begin to establish the rock relationships that lead to hypotheses that are then tested in the lab. Research opportunities solidify classroom learning and promote scientific thinking at advanced levels,” Lindline said.

One primary focus of Lindline’s research is the evolution of volcanoes. Her research on the Rio Grande Rift volcanism in Northern New Mexico shed new light on one of the world’s great continental rifts.

“The Rio Grande Rift is a fantastic manifestation of volcanoes, faults and basins that dates back 35 millions years. My research focused on the geochemical makeup of basalt rocks on the surface,” Lindline said.

She has published numerous research studies and developed an international reputation as a petrologist.

Lindline and Petronis have been highly successful in securing scientific grant funding that involves students in cutting-edge geology field and laboratory research from New Mexico to France, Ireland, Czech Republic and Poland.

“International research partnerships help build global competence for our students, and prepares them to be the next generation of scientists,” Lindline said.