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Geologist Bob Reynolds: an adventure of a lifetime

Bob Reynolds
Nicole Paris-Johnson | The Broadside

Nathanial Kelly
The Broadside

Dr. Bob Reynolds has been a geology teacher and researcher at Central Oregon Community College for 17 years.

At first, Reynolds had a choice between teaching geology at COCC and studying volcanoes on the Galapagos Islands with the Smithsonian Research Institute located in Washington DC. His first choice was COCC.

“The job at the Smithsonian Institute was a two year temporary position located in urban Washington DC and the salary was bad at the Smithsonian Institute,” said Reynold. “There were longer term prospects at COCC with more secure employment and I still was interested in teaching.”

Though Reynolds didn’t travel to the Galapagos Islands with the Smithsonian Organization, he finally got to follow his dream by venturing to the Galapagos Islands.

“What I thought I was giving up, I wasn’t. I went to the Galapagos Islands four additional times,” said Reynolds.

Before Reynolds came to COCC, he went to the University of Idaho’s graduate school and majored in geology. During his years in graduate school, he taught classes, and from there on, he had an interest in teaching.

When not teaching, Reynolds studies volcanoes on the Galapagos Islands as well as the volcanoes in the Cascade Mountain Range. He also worked at Newberry Volcano National Monument and Crater Lake National Park.

“[My] research area has to do with understanding the structure/behavior of volcanoes,” said Reynolds.

In his free time, Reynolds enjoys telemark and skate skiing.

At COCC, Reynolds will keep teaching students what he has learned from the field.

Nathanial Kelly can be reached at



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