A photo of Joseph Allen outside of the Concord University Science Building

Allen, Joseph

Title: Distinguished Professor of Geology/Chair

College: College of Science, Mathematics, and Health

Department: Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences

Phone: 304-384-5238

Discipline: Geology

Room: Science 401C

Box: F19

Allen, Joseph


Joe Allen is a Distinguished Professor of Geology, Chair of the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, and Director for Arctic REU Greenland (https://www.arcticreu.earth/). He came to Concord in 1998, founded the Environmental Geosciences program in 2004, chaired the Division of Science, Mathematics, & Health from 2002-2014, and was awarded statewide WV Professor of the Year for 2022. Prior to working at Concord, in summer 1989, he lived in Athens while completing field research on coal-bearing sedimentary rocks in Mercer, McDowell, and Wyoming Counties for his M.S. thesis.


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Tennessee
Ph.D., Geological Sciences, University of Kentucky
M.S., Geology, East Carolina University
B.S., Geological Sciences, Michigan State University


In collaboration with Concord students, Dr. Allen works on a variety of field-based problems in structural geology. Current field sites include the Colorado Rockies, western Greenland, and the southern Appalachians of Virginia and West Virginia. Other research seeks to understand the impact of undergraduate research experiences on student learning. His research has been supported by several grants from the National Science Foundation, two grants from the American Chemical Society, WV EPSCoR, the National Park Service, and other sources. See Dr. Allen’s research web site (https://www.josephlallen.com/) ​for more information.

Dr. Allen’s courses integrate development of field skills and laboratory analysis using petrographic microscopes, and Concord’s electron microprobe and X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. He teaches GEOL 385 Earth Structure and Tectonics, GEOL 404-405 ​Field Geology, GEOL 365 Earth Materials and Minerals, GEOL 202 Evolution of Earth Systems, GEOL 380 Sedimentary Geology, ​GEOL 140 Geology and Environmental Issues in Appalachia, and GEOL 101 Earth Processes, Resources, and the Environment.

Some Representative Publications

Allen, J.L., Kuehn, S.C., Creamer, E.G., and Austin, J.E., 2020. “A Multisemester, Curriculum-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (MS-CURE) in the Geosciences: Contextual Factors Influencing Student Motivation for Pursuing Research.” Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research, v. 4, no. 2, p. 35–44, doi: 10.18833/spur/4/4/8.

Allen, J.L., Kuehn, S.C., and Creamer, E.G., 2020. “A Boost for the CURE: Improving Learning Outcomes with Curriculum-Based Undergraduate Research.” GSA Today, v. 30, doi: 10.1130/GSATG458GW.1.

Allen, J.L., and Shaw, C.A., 2013. “Seismogenic Fault-Zone Processes and Heterogeneity Recorded by Pseudotachylyte: New Insights From the Homestake Shear Zone, Colorado.” Geological Society of America Field Guide 33, p. 165–184, doi: 10.1130/2013.0033(05).

Jones, J.V. III, Shaw, C.A., Allen, J.L., and Housh, T., 2013. “U-Pb zircon age constraints on two episodes of Paleoproterozoic magmatism and development of the Grizzly Creek shear zone, White River uplift, western Colorado, U.S.A.” Rocky Mountain Geology, v. 48, no. 1, p. 15–39, doi: 10.2113/gsrocky.48.1.15.

Lee, P.E., Jessup, M.J., Shaw, C.A., Hicks, G.L., and Allen, J.L., 2012. “Strain partitioning in the mid-crust of a transpressional shear zone system: Insights from the Homestake and Slide Lake shear zones, central Colorado.” Journal of Structural Geology, v. 39, p. 237–252, doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2012.02.006.

Matchen, D.L., Allen, J.L., Peck, R.C., and Mercier, D., 2011. “Bedrock Geologic Map of the Bluestone National Scenic River, Flat Top and Pipestem 7.5’ Quadrangles, West Virginia. West Virginia Geologic and Economic Survey, Publication OF-1101, Scale 1:24,000, 32 p., 1 plate.

Allen, J.L., and Shaw, C.A. 2011., “Seismogenic Structure of a Crystalline Thrust Fault: Fabric Anisotropy and Coeval Pseudotachylyte–Mylonitic Pseudotachylyte in the Grizzly Creek Shear Zone, Colorado”. Geological Society, London, Special Publication 359, p. 135–151, doi: 10.1144/SP359.8.

Kirkham, R.M., Streufert, R.K., Cappa, J.A., Shaw, C.A., Allen, J.L., and Jones, J.V. III, 2008. “Geologic map of the Glenwood Springs quadrangle, Garfield County, Colorado.” Colorado Geological Survey Map Series 38, scale 1:24,000, 1 plate, 32 pp.

Allen, J.L., 2005. “A Multi-kilometer Pseudotachylyte System as an Exhumed Record of Earthquake Rupture Geometry at Hypocentral Depths (Colorado, USA).” Tectonophysics, v. 402, no. 1–4, p. 37–54, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2004.10.017.