Nicholas Van Buer

Assistant Professor of Geology

Department of Geological Sciences

Cal Poly Pomona

Nick Van Buer, taking notes at 17,000 feet in Ladakh, India
Photo by Yogesh Adhikari                              
Miocene leucogranite dikes invading Cretaceous tonalite, Angmong Footwall Complex, Ladakh, India

About me:

I am an assistant professor specializing in hard-rock geology.  I teach classes such as mineralogy, geochemistry, megascopic petrology, igneous and metamorphic petrology, and field classes.  My research applies petrologic and geochronologic techniques to field-based study of tectonic problems, with an emphasis on geologic mapping.  Many of my active projects focus on aspects of the Cretaceous-to-present magmatic history of the Mojave Desert.  I also have ongoing research interests in NW Nevada and the Ladakh Himalaya.

If you are an undergraduate or prospective masters student interested in joining our adventure, check out the research and field photos subpages for an idea of what we do.  Don't hesitate to stop by my office (Bldg. 4, Rm. A-404) or shoot me an email:

More info:


Stanford University, Stanford, California, 2005-2012
Ph.D., Geology; advisor: Elizabeth Miller.

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, 2001-2005
Bachelor of Science with Honor, Geology

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Cal Poly Pomona2014-present
Operations manager, Floodmatters, Inc.2013-2014
Postdoctoral associate, MIT; advisor: Oliver Jagoutz2012-2013
Teaching assistant, Harvard, part timeSpring 2012
Research or teaching assistant, Stanford, part time2007-2011
Teaching assistant, Caltech, part timeSpring 2005