Jeffrey Greenberg

Jeff Greenberg Faculty Headshot

Jeffrey Greenberg, Ph.D.

Professor of Geology Emeritus

On Faculty since 1986

Dr. Greenberg has served on Wheaton’s faculty for over thirty years. He is married and the father of five children, the older four being adopted. His prior employment was with the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey in Madison.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ph.D., Geology, 1978

University of Kentucky
M.S., Geology/Geophysics, 1975

Florida State University
B.S., Geology, 1973

  • Environmental Geology
  • Structural Geology
  • Physical Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology
  • Geological Society of America: fellow
  • Affiliation of Christian Geologists: member
  • Association of Geoscientists for International Development: member
  • National Association of Geology Teachers: member
  • Geological Association of Canada: fellow
  • American Scientific Affiliation: fellow

Fracking Isn't a Four-Letter Word
Christianity Today

Experts debate whether fracking can lead to earthquakes, though scientists at the United States Geological Survey said there is no connection. Some suggest fracking contaminates drinking water, though critics acknowledge their fears are due to suspicions, not hard evidence. The Department of Energy study released recently found no evidence that fracking contaminates groundwater. We need to weigh these potential risks against fracking's alternatives. Despite the risks, I believe the case for fracking is stronger than the case against it. As Jeffrey Greenberg, geology professor at Wheaton College, said, "Do it and do it carefully if all reasonable and pertinent variables are considered honestly. Fracking isn't perfectly safe, like living itself. It is still a good option under the right circumstances."...
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The Hebrew Scriptures and Geology
32nd International Geological Congress, Florence, Italy, 2006

  • First Year Seminar
  • Physical Geology
  • Structural Geology
  • Mineralogy
  • Petrology/Petrography
  • Chemistry of the Earth
  • Physics of the Earth
  • Theories of Origins
  • Appropriate Technology and the Environment
  • Field Geology
  • Environmental Geology in the Field
  • Senior Seminar

Greenberg’s research interests are very broad and have shifted from igneous petrology and tectonics to applied geophysics, applied geochemistry, Precambrian continental development, and (more recently) to the relevance of geoscience to issues in international community development. He began investigative work with undergraduate studies of ultramafic rock bodies in the southern Appalachians.

This interest matured into a master’s thesis project at the University of Kentucky utilizing geophysical and structural analysis of a region in south-central Virginia. While in the UK, he completed various surveys of the gravity fields over counties and igneous rock-bodies. His doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina included thesis work on the suite of “Younger Granites” in the Eastern Desert of Egypt as well as a research assistantship cataloguing the potential of uranium resources in crystalline rocks of the eastern U.S. He also served as a cooperating petrographer for Ebasco consultants investigating the characteristics of andesitic volcanic rocks from the western Philippines.

Greenberg’s post doctoral activities in Wisconsin continued to focus on investigations of igneous geology and the tectonics of complex crystalline terranes. Over an eight-year tenure with UW, he added a public-policy component to his work and produced several geologic maps of northern Wisconsin. Also, he is coauthor of the Wisconsin state bedrock geology map. Before leaving Wisconsin for Wheaton College, Greenberg undertook responsibility for state consultation on matters of natural-resource issues. His teaching duties in Wisconsin were few, including some lecturing to undergraduates at UW and Edgewood College and seminar/research advising of graduate students.

Individual Research
Tectonic history of Precambrian terranes, Granite petrogenesis

Research with Students
Studies of Black Hills geology, Integrated investigation of groundwater, Haiti and Kosovo.

While on staff at Wheaton College, Greenberg found it necessary to change emphasis from research to teaching, institutional service, and administration. He has taught twenty-one different courses at various times over sixteen years. In addition to Department Chair, he has twice chaired the Faculty Development Committee, sat on Faculty Council, advised the student Earthkeepers and Voice For Life groups, and established the college’s Environmental Science degree program. Efforts in “scholarship” have included a scaled-down project with the origin of granites (article published in a Special Paper of the Geological Association of Canada and leadership in a field conference for the International Geological Correlation Project).

He retains a keen interest in the full natural and human scope of Florida’s Everglades. This area is seen as a tremendous case study of the interaction among many aspects of Creation. In 1993, Greenberg made a study of the Everglades system as the heart of his sabbatical leave. Other writing projects have emphasized geoscience education, issues of faith and the environment, and issues of faith and sciences. Various investigative activities with students include supervision of HNGR (Human Needs and Global Resources program) interns on natural-resource projects, study problems in the South Dakota Black Hills (geologic mapping of complex metamorphic terranes, petrography of basaltic sill magmas, and provenance analysis of heavy-mineral suites from stream sediment), analysis of clay mineral components from Yucatan pottery, and investigation of geologic conditions around two Superfund sites in northern Illinois. All of these studies have been presented in one form or another at meetings of professional scientists.

Most recently Greenberg has supervised outreach-research projects for Geology majors in South Africa and Tanzania. He is Editor-author for a Geological Society of America book on Geoscience for the Public Good and International Development (2016), and Editor-author for a future book encouraging Science vocations among Christians.

Greenberg is a member of a local evangelical church in Wheaton, where he is a member of the Missions Committee. He is quite interested in the application of earth-science knowledge in missions and community development work. He has been a frequent guest instructor for YWAM (Youth With a Mission) at their University of the Nations base in Kona, Hawaii.

Religious faith as motivation in using geosciences to develop a sustainable future, in, G. Wessel and J. GREENBERG (eds), Geoscience for the Public Good and Global Development: Toward a Sustainable Future: Geol. Soc. of Amer. Special Paper 520, p. 23-34
White, R. and GREENBERG, J., 2016

Small-scale waste-stabilisation ponds for rural communities: an undergraduate experimental venture, Waterlines, UK, v. 34, p.434-444.
GREENBERG, J., Gamble, C., Pickens. B., Keil, C., Wallett, K., Edgren, D., Lewis, R., and Clark, J., 2015

The many educational facets of development cooperation between a Kosovar village and earth scientists, The Journal of Geoscience Education, v.60, p. 201-211.
GREENBERG, J.K., Hefley, D., Brice, P., Hoti, A., Engel, E., Webb, F., Erkmann, C., O’Rourke, K., Ademi, K., 2012

Co-operative sanitation project, Pellsrus Township, South Africa, Waterlines
Greenberg, J.K., and others, 2007

A Modular Program for Applied Research-Training in Interdisciplinary Geoscience, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs
Greenberg, J.K., 2006

Littoral Zone Contamination and Integrated Waste Water Abatement, Pellsrus Township, Republic of South Africa, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs
Greenberg, J.K. and others, 2005

Geology at Evangelical Wheaton College: History and Approaches, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs
Moshier, S.O., Greenberg, J.K. and Maas, D.E., 2003

Geological Framework of an Evolving Creation, Perspectives on an Evolving Creation
Greenberg, Jeffrey K., 2003