Andrew Beck

Assistant Professor
BA-Philosophy, Albion College (2004); Ph.D.-Geology, The University of Tennessee (2011)
Year Appointed
Courses - Fall
  • Mineralogy & Petrology
  • Introduction to Physical Geology
  • Introduction to Physical Geology Lab


Dr. Andrew Beck received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Albion College in 2004 and completed the course equivalent of a Bachelor of Science in Geology at Albion in 2006. He earned his Ph.D. in Geology at The University of Tennessee in 2011 with a dissertation on petrologic variability in howardite, eucrite, diogenite (HED) meteorites, which was honored with the Meteoritical Society's Nininger Meteorite Award and the Geological Society of America's Pellas-Ryder Award.

After graduate school, Dr. Beck worked for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as a team member of NASA’s Dawn at Vesta Science Team, conducted meteorite research, and was a member of the 2012-13 Antarctic Search for Meteorites Team. Dr. Beck joined the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in 2014, where he continued meteorite research, began research projects in nuclear spectroscopy and was a team member on several NASA mission proposals. Dr. Beck is a Science Team member on MEGANE, a nuclear spectrometer set to arrive at the Martian moon Phobos on JAXA’s Mars Moon eXplorer (MMX) in the mid-2020s. Dr. Beck remained well-grounded in terrestrial geological sciences pedagogy, teaching six different undergraduate and graduate geology courses as an Adjunct Professor at Howard Community College, Johns Hopkins University and Albion College from 2013-19. 

Dr. Beck joined Marietta in Fall 2019. He teaches Mineralogy, Petrology, and plans to develop courses in Planetary Geology and Geologic Field Mapping. He also continues as an Instructor for Albion College’s capstone undergraduate geology field camp, taught in Wyoming over five weeks every other summer.

Research Interests 
Being a petrologist (ancient Greek, pétros = "rock"), Dr. Beck likes rocks. All Rocks have a story to tell, but sometimes those stories are difficult to see. Dr. Beck’s research focuses on figuring out that story using optical and electron microscopes. His research interests largely revolve around petrogenesis ("rock origin") of meteoritic material and igneous rocks. He is also involved in several NASA/JAXA/ESA planetary exploration missions, primarily focusing on correlating nuclear remote sensing data to petrology.