N. Alex Zirakparvar

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Davis Scholar - Postdoctoral Fellow, Earth and Planetary Sciences

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  • Ph.D. Earth Science, Syracuse University, 2012
  • M.S. Geology, Washington State University, 2007
  • B.S. Geology and French: Juniata College, 2005

Professional Interests

Alex’s professional interests lie in the fields of isotope geochemistry and geochronology; specifically, he integrates isotopic and elemental systems to solve geologic problems at the scale of individual minerals to the evolution of the Earth’s lithosphere.  He is currently using Hf isotopes in zircon to constrain the petrogenetic evolution of the Bushveld Igneous Complex with Ed Mathez, but also has past and ongoing research focuses in Papua New Guinea and the Northwestern U.S. Cordillera. Alex has great interests in sparking and fanning appreciation and passion for science in high school and college students, and is always seeking new ways to foster the cognitive development of his Earth Science pupils.



Faulty Appontments

  • Research and Education Fellow: AMNH June 2012 to Present
  • Adjunct Earth Science Professor: City College of New York, August 2012 to Present
  • Teaching Assistant and Full Course Instructor: Syracuse University, January 2008 to June 2012
  • Teaching Assistant: Washington State University, August 2005 to May 2007
  • Undergraduate Teaching Assistant: Juniata College, August 2001 to May 2005

Courses Taught

Extensive experience as both a graduate teaching assistant and full course instructor for introductory and advanced college level Earth Science courses.  Currently teaching Earth System Science and Weather and Climate in the MAT program at AMNH. Alex has also led numerous geology field trips for college students majoring in Earth Science.



Zirakparvar, N.A., Mathez, E.M., Scoates, J., Wall, C. (2014) Zircon Hf isotope evidence for an enriched mantle source for the Bushveld Igneous Complex. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 168: DOI: 10.1007/s00410-014-1050-2

Zirakparvar, N.A. (2014) A story of changing instructional practice by a research scientists learning how to turn future Earth Science teachers into master of content in a clinical preparation pilot program. Journal of Geoscience Education 62 (3): 280 - 284

Zirakparvar, N.A., Baldwin, S.L., Schmitt, A.K. (2014) Zircon growth in (U)HP quartzo-feldspathic host gneisses exhumed in the Woodlark Rift of Papua New Guinea. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 15: 1258 - 1282

Zirakparvar, N.A., Baldwin, S.L., Vervoort, J.D. (2012) The origin and geochemical evolution of the Woodlark Rift of Papua New Guinea. Gondwana Research; doi: 10.1016/j.gr.2012.06.013

Zirakparvar, N.A., Baldwin, S.L., Vervoort, J.D. (2011) Lu-Hf garnet geochronology applied to plate boundary zones: Insights from the (U)HP terrane exhumed within the Woodlark Rift. Earth and Planetary Science Letters v. 309, 56 – 66.

Zirakparvar, N.A., Vervoort, J.D., McClelland, W., Lewis, R.S. (2011) Insights into the metamorphic evolution of the Belt-Purcell basin; evidence from Lu-Hf garnet geochronology. Canadian Journal of Earth Science v. 47, 1 – 19.


In Review

Zirakparvar, N.A. (2014) Mobilization of the Lu-Hf system during exhumation of a (U)HP terrane in an active rift: Insights from laser ablation depth profiling of complex zircons. In review for Lithos (submitted August 2014)

Zirakparvar, N.A. (2014) The value of graduate level course work and research experience in teacher preparation’s third space. In review for Journal of Science Teacher Education (submitted July 2014)


Selected Communications at International Meetings (first author):

Zirakparvar, N.A., Mathez, E.M., Wall, C. 2013. Insights into the origin of the Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC) from zircon Hf isotopes. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2013, #V51C-2680

Zirakparvar, N.A., Ustunisik, G., Flores, K., Nadeau, P., Sessa, J. 2013. An alternative path to improving university Earth Science teaching and developing the geoscience workforce: Postdoctoral research faculty involvement in clinical teacher preparation. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2013: #ED13C- 0786

Zirakparvar, N.A., Baldwin. S.L., Schmitt, A., Fitzgerald, P. 2012. On the interpretation fo U-Pb ages from (U)HP host gneisses in the Woodlark Rift of Papua New Guinea. Goldschmidt 2012 conference, session 17a.

Zirakparvar, N.A., Baldwin, S.L., Fitzgerald, P.G., Vervoort, J.D. 2010. Piecing together the eastern Australian margin in Gondwana: Origin of metamorphic rocks in the Woodlark Rift, SE Papua New Guinea. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2012, #T13C-2220.

Zirakparvar, N.A., Bookstrom, A.A., Vervoort, J.D. 2007. Cretaceous garnet growth in the Idaho Cobalt Belt: Evidence from Lu-Hf geochronology. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs v. 39, p. 413.

Zirakparvar, N.A., Mathur, R., 2005. Comparison of peridotite nodules from Lanzarote, Canary Islands, and the San Carlos Indian Reservation, Arizona. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 37, p. 60.


Graduate Committees

  • PhD Committee: Suzanne Baldwin (SU), Paul Fitzgerald (SU), Jeff Karson (SU), Scott Samson (SU), Jeff Vervoort (WSU).
  • M.S. Committee: Jeff Vervoort (WSU), John Watkinson (WSU), Reed Lewis (Idaho Geological Survey). 

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