• Robert Sternberg
Professor of Geosciences
Earth and Environment



Office: Hackman 128


Rob grew up influenced by America's concern with science after the International Geophysical Year (1957-58) .  After receiving an engineering bachelor's degree, and two years designing photovoltaic power systems for satellites, he returned to the halls of academe by moving to the beautiful Southwest to study geophysics. Short stints working for mining and oil companies did not dissuade him from the academic life, in which he has now spent over 30 years at F&M.  His research focuses largely on the application of magnetic methods of geophysics to archaeology.  He has worked in the American Southwest, Israel, Greece, Jamaica, Italy, Germany, and Azerbaijan.  He likes to cook, travel, watch independent films, read, and collect memorabilia from that formative IGY.

Course Information

GEO/ENV 114 - Earth, Environment and Humanity (syllabus)
GEO/PHY 237 - Physics of the Earth (syllabus)


Archaeomagnetic secular variation of direction
Archaeomagnetic secular variation of paleointensity
Archaeomagnetic dating
Paleomagnetic studies of clinkers
Geophysical prospection at archaeological sites
Magnetic properties of obsidians
Geophysics pedagogy

F&M Geophysics lab

Events - recent and upcoming

Santa Fe Conference on Paleomagnetism, 21-24 June, 2012
Teaching Structural Geology, Geophysics, and Tectonics in the 21st Century, Knoxville, 15-19 July, 2012
American Schools of Oriental Research meeting, Chicago, 14-17 Nov. 2012
Keck Geology Consortium project, magnetic and chemical characterization of obisidians, New Mexico, June-July 2013
American Geophysical Union fall meeting, San Francisco, December 2013
International Symposium on Archaeometry, Los Angeles, 19-23 May, 2014 
Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, 15-19 April, 2015
International Symposium on Archaeometry, K alamata, Greece, 15-20 May, 2016
Retirement, Summer, 2016


Ph.D. 1982, University of Arizona, geosciences
M.S. 1977, University of Arizona, geosciences
B.S. 1972, Cornell University, engineering physics