Rachel J. Beane

Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Natural Sciences

Prof. Rachel Beane is recipient of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Neil Miner teaching award for “exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences.”

Prof. Beane enjoys teaching and mentoring undergraduate students at Bowdoin. She holds an endowed chair as the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Natural Sciences in the Department of Earth and Oceanographic Science.  She has been honored with the Bowdoin College Sydney B. Karofsky teaching prize for her “ability to impart knowledge, inspire enthusiasm, and stimulate intellectual curiosity.”  

She served as the college’s associate dean for Academic Affairs (2016-20) focusing on faculty development and mentoring.  She co-developed and led workshops for faculty search committees with an aim to mitigate bias and broaden faculty diversity. She led a committee that designed mentoring structures to enhance faculty support. She guided the college’s departments and programs to develop learning goals.  She co-chaired the educational effectiveness standard for the college’s reaccreditation. And, she served as Acting Director of the Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching.

Prof. Beane is a geologist who interprets processes that have shaped our Earth.  She has conducted mineral, volcanic, and tectonic research in New Zealand, Russia, Kazakhstan, Greece, western U.S., and Maine, with grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Bowdoin.   Her approach is to use mineral compositions and textures to interpret solid earth processes using a combination of methods including field work, light microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (EBSD, CL, EDS, and BSE). She welcomes collaborations with Bowdoin students. She is a fellow of the Geological Society of America.

She leads national professional development workshops for science educators through the National Association of Geoscience Teachers and On the Cutting Edge, an NSF funded project focusing on geoscience faculty development. She was the lead convener for the annual Workshop for Early Career Geoscience Faculty: Teaching, Research, and Managing Your Career – a five-day workshop for 70 faculty from institutions across the U.S. emphasizing strategic planning and a holistic approach to career development.  Her recent articles related to faculty development and science education research are: 


  • PhD, Stanford University, 1997
  • BA, Williams College, 1993