Dr. Jennifer M Garrison

Geography, Geology and the Environment
Office ASCL159


Fulbright logo

Dr. Garrison received her Ph.D. from UCLA in 2004 and has been at CalStateLA since 2007 after completing post-doctoral research at the University of Iowa. She is a 2024 Ecuador Fulbright Scholar, Professor of Geology and Director of the Natural Science Program. Her primarily research interest is igneous petrology and volcanic processes in continental arcs. 



Jennifer specializes in understanding subvolcanic plumbing systems and differentiation of rhyolite and andesite in continental arc systems. She applies principals of geochemistry and high-temperature isotope systematics to learn about timescales of eruptions, magma evolution and of volcanic rocks associated with active and extinct volcanic systems


The primary goal of the Fulbright Ecuador project is to better understand the genesis and mantle extent of highly alkaline lavas in the rear-arc of Ecuador. This project will be used to create research and learning opportunities for students in Quito and at CalStateLA, in collaboration with the Instituto de Geofisico in Quito.

In addition to the research in Ecuador, several students have completed their research on the Pickhandle Formation in Calico Mountains of the Mojave Desert. These projects include a zircon study of rhyolites and volcaniclastic sediments from the Miocene Pickhandle Formation.



Dr. Garrison teaches courses in igneous and metamorphic petrology, mineralogy, volcanic processes and isotope geochemistry. In addition, she also teaches introductory level courses.

Field Trips and Excursions

We can't learn about the features of volcanic rocks without walking through outcrops and across geologic terrain.