Norlene Emerson

Norlene Emerson


106C Science Hall
(608) 647-6186 x109
Office Hours / Schedule 

Spring 2018:

Monday -Wed - Friday: 9:00-1:00 pm

Tues - Thurs: 1:00-2:00 pm

or by appointment


Dr. Emerson is a native of Richland Center and alum of UW-Richland.She received her PhD from UW-Madison in the field of sedimentary geology. Norlene joined the staff at UW-Richland in 2002 where she teaches a variety of introductory geology courses. Dr. Emerson's research interests involve improving undergraduate geoscience education; and pursuing a better understanding of the environmental conditions within the Upper Mississippi Valley during the late Ordovician period which was a time of rapid climatic change and the earliest mass extinction on earth.

Emerson is a recipient of the 2011-2012 Roadrunner of the Year; a 2010 recipient of the Alliant Energy Underkofler Excellence in Teaching award; a 2009 recipient of the Outstanding Alumni of UW-Richland; a 2008 recipient of the Outstanding Contributor to Student Services award; a 2007-08 recipient of the Arthur M. Kaplan award; and a 2007-08 University of Wisconsin System Teaching Fellow.


McLaughlin, P., Emerson, N., Witzke, B., Sell, B., and Emsbo, P., 2011, Distal signatures of Late Ordovician oceanic anoxia new data from a classic epeiric ramp transect, Geological Society of America Field Guides 2011, v. 24, p. 259-284.

Emerson, Norlene R., and Simo, J.A. (Toni), 2006, Sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy of a mixed carbonate-siliciclastic system within the Ordovician (Caradocian, Mohawkian) epeiric sea, Decorah Formation, Upper Mississippi Valley region, USA., in Day, J., Luczaj, J., and Anderson, R., eds., New Perspectives and Advances in the Understanding of Lower and Middle Paleozoic Epeiric Carbonate Depositional Systems of the Iowa and Illinois Basins: Guidebook for the 36th Annual Field Conference of the Great Lakes Section, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), Iowa Geological Survey, Guidebook Series GB-25, p. 111-136.

Emerson, Norlene, et al., 2005, Road log and Descriptions of Field Trip Stops 4 & 5, in Ludvigson, G.A., and Bunker, B.J., eds., Facets of the Ordovician Geology of the Upper Mississippi Valley Region: Guidebook for the 35th Annual Field Conference of the Great Lakes Section, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), Iowa Geological Survey, Guidebook Series GB-24, p. 94-103, p. 115-121

Simo, J.A. (Toni) and Emerson, N. R., 2005, Ordovician Cratonic Interior Succession; A Wisconsin Perspective, Guidebook for the 2nd Annual IGCP 503 (International Geosciences Program) Fieldtrip June 16, 34p.

Emerson, Norlene R., 2002, Sedimentology, Sequence Stratigraphy, and Brachiopod Biostratigraphy of the Ordovician (Mohawkian) Decorah Formation, Midcontinent, USA: Ph.D. thesis, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 509p.

G.A. Ludvigson, B.J. Witzke, C.L. Schneider, E.A. Smith, N.R. Emerson, S.J. Carpenter, and L.A. González, 2001, A Profile Of The Mid-Caradoc (Ordovician) Carbon Isotope Excursion At The McGregor Quarry, Clayton County, Iowa: in Anderson, R.R., and Bunker, B.J., eds., The Natural History of Pikes Peak State Park, Clayton County, Iowa: Geological Society of Iowa, Guidebook 70, p. 25-31.


2002 , Ph.D. in Geology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
1987, MSE in Secondary Education, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1982, Graduate studies in geology, Eastern Washington University
1981, BS in Geology, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
1979, University of Wisconsin-Richland

Current Project:

Emerson is one of the Principle Investigators for an NSF funded project titled: Faculty as Change Agents: Transforming Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges. The program runs from Fall 2015 through 2019. The goals of this project are to 1) implement high-impact evidence-based instructional and co-curricular practices that support the academic success of all students and promote professional pathways into geoscience; 2) build a sustainable national network of 2YC leaders who catalyze change at multiple levels from their courses to institutions in their local regions and within the community of practice; and 3) investigate models of professional development for full-time and adjunct 2YC geoscience faculty that promote the cycle of innovation, where faculty learn from the research of others, make changes in their own practice, and share what they have learned with the education community.