Richard Harwood grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Wheaton, Illinois where he attended Wheaton North High School. He then attended Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 1982 to 1984. After two years in Colorado, he transferred to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Geology in 1987. Richard remained at NAU where he completed a Master's of Science degree in Geology in 1989. His Master's Thesis is entitled, "Cinder Cone Breaching Events at Strawberry and O'Neill Craters, San Francisco Volcanic Field, Arizona."
After completing graduate work at NAU, Richard joined the U.S. Peace Corps and was assigned to serve for two years (1989-1991) in the Central American country of Honduras. He was assigned to work with the Geology Mapping Program in Honduras. This program is conducted under the combined direction of the Direccion General de Minas e Hidrocarburos (General Offices of Mines and Hydrocarbons) and the Instituto Geografico Nacional (National Geographic Institution). The overall project goal is to geologically map the country of Honduras. Mapping is conducted at a 1:50,000 scale. The host country agencies provided logistical and technical support while Richard conducted field mapping. He also provided geologic advice and training for agency personnel. The areas surrounding the towns of Ojojona and Yuscaran were geologically mapped during his service in the Peace Corps.
Upon his return to the U.S., Richard married Kristine Strenge. Kristine had also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. In 1992, Richard attended Rutgers University in New Jersey and completed two additional years of graduate course work.
In 1994, Richard was hired by Black Hawk College to teach Geology, Geography and Astronomy. During his time at BHC, he was actively involved in developing presentation and online resources for his courses at Black Hawk College. Richard regularly gave presentations in the community as part of the BHC Speakers Bureau. In the spring of 2017, the president, administration and Board of Trustees of Black Hawk College, in violation of the College's Mission Statement and Core Values, announced that Earth Science was no longer a subject worth studying at BHC, and would no longer be offered to students. With that senseless and fatuous decision, and in violation of the contract with faculty, Richard Harwood, after 23 years of dedicated and exceptional service to the College and community, was fired, without cause, at the end of the spring semester. On November 27, 2017, the Board of Trustees, at the unanimous recommendation of the Natural Science and Engineering Department and Faculty Senate, voted to grant Richard the status of Professor Emeritus. Richard has recently returned to teaching at Black Hawk College on a part-time basis.
October 1999, Richard and Kristine adopted a collie-husky mix dog from the Milan Humane Society shelter. They named her Cinder. After nearly 11 years, and after a very sudden, brief illness, she passed away in July of 2010. On October 22nd, 2010, Richard and Kristine adopted a retired greyhound racer from the Quad Cities Greyhound Adoption. Her professional racing name was Baby Lily, but she was known as just Lily once she was adopted. She was 7 years old at the time of adoption. She ran in 91 races during her racing career, and won 11 of those races, finished 2nd in 14 races and 3rd in 8 races. After 14.5 years of running and being a member of the family, Lily passed away on January 26th, 2018. On August 7th, 2014, their third dog was adopted from Rock Island County Animal Care & Control shelter. Her name is Luna and she is a malamute-husky mix.
Richard is a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. During his off time Richard likes reading science fiction, working on the computer, home improvement and woodworking.
Earth Science, Natural Science and Physical Science Courses Taught
• Astronomy: The Solar System
Richard Harwood is available for public speaking engagements for the topics listed below. All presentations require a minimum of one hour, and are designed for adult audiences, however requests for presentations for younger audiences are also welcome. If there is an Earth Science topic that is not listed below that you would like presented, please contact Richard to discuss the topic and to make arrangements for a presentation. Travel expenses and honorarium are expected and appreciated. For more information, or to request a presentation, contact Richard Harwood at email@example.com.
Australia: A Travelogue
Chile: Volcanoes, Deserts and Glaciers
Energy: Sources and Suppliers
From Shit to Truth: And Other Crappy Thoughts
Geography Goes to Hollywood: Weathering the Storm in Film
Geology Goes to Hollywood: Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Dinosaurs, Oh My!
Geology Goes to Hollywood: Volcanoes, Glaciers and the End of the World! Part 2
Global Warming: Evidence and Causes
Honduras: A Peace Corps Perspective
Natural Hazards: Questions and Answers
A Geologist's View of the National Parks
The parks and monuments that are included in the presentation:
Other National Parks and Monunments that may be mentioned:
• Museum Displays: Information on some of my materials that are being used in museums.
Rock Island County Fair
• Rock Island County Fair Awards: Information on some of my award winning entries in the local county fair.
Images and Descriptions of Recent Trips and Special Events
• Southern Illinois - 2008
Tectonic Plates Visited
• "Never under estimate the power of human stupidity"
• "Hypocrisy is folly. It is much easier, safer and pleasanter to be the thing which a man appears, than to keep up the appearance of what he is not."
• ". . . the more technically developed a nation or race is, the more cruel, ruthless, predatory, and commercialized its systems tend to become . . . all because we continue to think like animals and have not learned how to think consistently like human beings."
• "Pay no attention to Caesar. Caesar doesn't have the slightest idea what's really going on."
• "Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before."
• "Is it not a pleasure to learn and to repeat or practice from time to time what has been learned."
• "And so, my fellow Americans...ask not what your country can do for you...ask what you can do for your country."
• "Lo único que se puede aprender de la historia de la humanidad es que no hay nada más peligroso que una utopía."
Gerad Meteyer Foundation
Sigma Nu Fraternity Educational Foundation
Ronald C. Blakey Scholarship Fund for Graduate Research
Below are the loans and projects that are being currently supported. Also listed are the loans that have been supported and repaid. Click on the picture to learn more about the projects.
U.S. Oil Usage
July, 2016 Daily Average:
Global Average Temperature