Dr. Alan Lester brings a unique background of excellence across multiple endeavors. A renowned rock climber of the 1990s (first ascents from the Colorado mountains to Yosemite National Park), Alan was understandably drawn to geology as an undergraduate at the University of Oregon, followed by a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research has entailed the use of various technologies (paleomagnetism, stable-isotopes, trace-elements, and radiometric dating) to understanding the origin and evolution of the Rocky Mountains. Since the mid-1990’s Alan has served as Senior Instructor, Research Associate, Academic Advisor, and On-Line Developer at CU-Boulder, and has received multiple university-wide awards for excellence in undergraduate education. In recent years his focus has been on geoscience education with an emphasis on sharing the history of science. In addition, and for over a decade, Alan has been a part-time commercial airline pilot, flying regional jets across the U.S. and Canada—an aerial perspective often brought to the classroom. It is this wide range of experience that is undoubtedly part of what makes Alan an engaging and dynamic storyteller whose video lectures are the backbone of this course.