Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction and Geology | Interim Director of STEM Education Research Center
E: Henson@ geo.siu.edu
Henson’s research areas of interest include science education, earthquake seismology, and applied geophysics. Henson teaches undergraduate and graduate students in science and science education, mentors undergraduate students in research, advises graduate students, and partners with STEM educators. Harvey Henson has been sharing his expertise in earthquake seismology with local officials, emergency responders, and school and community groups for more than 25 years. He has received a number of grants from state and federal emergency management agencies in recent years that have funded hazards mitigation projects, such as the Earthquake Kiosk at the Science Center, and public service announcements on earthquake mitigation, such as the DVD, “Suddenly on an Average Day” while working with colleague Scott Hodgson at the University of Oklahoma. Henson has worked collaboratively with other STEM researchers to obtain over $12 million in externally funded grants and contracts
In addition to ongoing earthquake research and outreach, Harvey now serves as assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and also in the Department of Geology. Harvey is passionate about STEM, and was recently appointed the first Director of the STEM Education Research Center at SIUC. Henson enjoys working collaboratively with other faculty and staff to prepare the next generation of STEM professionals and educators.
Henson came to SIU Carbondale for a research assistantship in geology in 1985 and has served at the university ever since. He was a researcher and instructor in geology from 1989 to 2008, before serving as Assistant Dean of the College of Science in 2008 to 2016. As the Assistant Dean of students in the College of Science Henson mentored students who helped create a large student volunteer group called Saluki Science Ambassadors.
Henson developed an early appreciation for geology and science while climbing around the mountains and strip mines of eastern Kentucky, and exploring the caves and rock outcrops of southern Indiana. He graduated with honors in 1981 from Scottsburg High School in Indiana, and continued on to college and earned a degree in Geology from Ball State University in 1985. He went to SIU Carbondale to do research in seismology and geophysics, and since that time he earned two advanced degrees from SIU while working fulltime... including a Ph.D. in Science Education in 2015 and a M.S. in Geology in 1989.
Henson spends much of his time directing STEM outreach and community service activities, such as earthquake awareness and preparedness workshops, writing grant proposals to fund STEM projects, and conducting educational and geoscience research. His research to investigate geologic, neotectonic, archaeological, environmental, and engineering related problems have taken him to remote areas around the globe, including the Atlas Mountains, the Sahara desert regions of Tunisia and north Africa, the Caribbean islands of Jamaica and Barbados, Anasazi Ruins of southwestern Colorado, and many other interesting places.