Dean, College of Natural Science & Mathematics - Paul Layer
College of Natural Science and Mathematics
University of Alaska Fairbanks
358 Reichardt Building
P.O. Box 755940
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5940
Paul W. Layer had been the dean of the College of Natural Science & Mathematics since 2009 and has been with the university since 1989 when he was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Geology & Geophysics and the Geophysical Institute. He was awarded tenure in 1994 and promoted to professor of geophysics at UAF in 2000. He served as department head/chair for the Department of Geology & Geophysics from 1995 to 2003 and then again in 2007.
As dean, Dr. Layer supervises seven academic departments, which offer undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in atmospheric sciences, biology and wildlife, chemistry and biochemistry, geosciences, mathematics & statistics, physics and veterinary medicine. He also supervises a robust outreach program that engages local and national communities in the fields of science and math. Dr. Layer has been instrumental in developing a new life sciences building, increasing undergraduate enrollment in CNSM and developing a professional veterinary medicine program with Colorado State University. Under his leadership, the number of students earning Ph.D. degrees has climbed to an average of 25 per year, more than half of all such degrees awarded through the University of Alaska.
As a geochronologist, Dr. Layer maintains an active research program that focuses on the use of the 40-argon /39-argon dating technique to investigate geological and geophysical problems in Alaska and elsewhere. He has coauthored more than 120 papers and has been involved in international collaborative projects with scientists from Russia, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Sweden and South Africa. He has supervised eight graduate students and numerous undergraduate research projects. He has also been chair and is currently a member of the Alaska Geologic Mapping Advisory Board, State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.
Dr. Layer received his BS in geology from Michigan State University, and his MS and PhD degrees in geophysics from Stanford University. He spent three years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, Department of Physics.