George Harlow

A man, George E. Harlow, Ph.D., outdoors, wearing a sun hat and backpack and crouching beside a rock formation in a dry scrubby area.

Curator and Professor
Physical Sciences, Earth & Planetary Sciences

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[email protected]


  • Princeton University, Ph.D., 1977
  • Harvard University, B.A., 1971

Research Interests

Trained as a geologist specializing in mineralogy and crystallography, Dr.Harlow has concentrated his research on the chemistry and structure of minerals as tools for understanding their origin and the record of geological processes they contain. This interest and questions about specimens in the gem collection led him to a long-term study of jadeite rock, used as jade, and related rocks from the Motagua Valley in Guatemala and, more recently, Myanmar (Burma), and Japan. A major NSF-funded collaborative project on the geology along the Motagua Fault (the North American-Caribbean plate boundary) in Guatemala is underway. Expeditions to Myanmar permitted visits to the famous ruby deposits including the Mogok Stone Tract which has led to a research project on the genesis of the deposit and the myriad minerals and gems they produce. Another major research interest, stimulated by unexpected chemical compositions of some mineral inclusions in diamonds, is the high-pressure crystal chemistry of minerals relevant to the mantle, in particular large ion lithophile and volatile components including K, Ba, F, and H2O.

Teaching Experience

  • Rock-forming Minerals, W4115, Columbia University
  • Graduate courses in the theory and techniques in mineralogical crystallography and crystal chemistry (Princeton and Columbia).


  • Robert Klimentidis
  • Kyla Simons


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