Dan Luna grew up primarily in California and Florida and attend Duke University in North Carolina, where he earned a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in religious studies. He received his Ph.D. in paleontology at UC Santa Barbara, where his research focused on describing new species of fossil mammals from the Andes of Chile. Highlights of his graduate studies included exploring new fossil localities in Madagascar and South America, earning a Fulbright Fellowship to study collections in Argentina, and working extensively at the American Museum of Natural History (NYC).
As a graduate student, Dan also developed a strong passion for teaching, first as a TA and then as a graduate instructor. In conjunction with his Ph.D., he also earned UCSB’s Certificate for College and University Teaching. After finishing his dissertation in 2015, Dan was hired at UCSB as a lecturer in the Earth Science Department, teaching classes focused on geology, paleontology, and evolution. During Dan’s teaching tenure at UCSB, several of his courses became exceedingly popular and undergraduate enrollment in Earth Science courses doubled. In his last year at UCSB, Dan’s courses attracted nearly 2000 students!
Dan says he couldn’t be more excited about starting a new teaching position at Boise State working alongside the outstanding faculty in the Geosciences Department. Dan will strive to imbue his courses with clarity, passion, and broad-minded insight, helping a wide array of Boise State students understand and appreciate the physical principles and historical realities that have combined to shape our wonderful planet!
Dan will be teaching Physical Geology (GEOL 101) and Global Environmental Science (GEOS 101).