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Home » A. Joshua (Josh) West

A. Joshua (Josh) West

Faculty in Residence
Cowlings & Ilium Residential Colleges

Associate Professor and Zinsmeyer Chair
Department of Earth Sciences/Zumberge Hall of Science


Phone: 213.740.6736

B.S., Geology & Geophysics and International Studies, Yale University
MPhil, Environment and Development, University of Cambridge (UK)
PhD, Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge (UK)

Bio + Fun Facts:
West is an Associate Professor of Earth Sciences and Environmental Studies and the Wilford and Daris Zinsmeyer Early Career Chair in Marine Studies in USC Dornsife. His research focuses on how Earth’s environment has changed over the millions of years of geologic time, and particularly how the evolution of global climate, atmospheric CO2, and life are related. He also works on understanding how erosional processes at Earth’s surface sustain life, including vibrant tropical forests, while simultaneously generating deadly natural hazards such as landslides and debris flows. A great deal of this research time is spent doing fieldwork in locations that range from the Andes and the Amazon basin, to the Himalaya. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University, and both a master’s in Geography and a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Cambridge. West teaches and leads research groups with undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral scholars at USC and considers his work with students one of the most inspiring aspects of his career. He lives in Trojan Hall with his wife, Tracey, who is a film producer, and their dog, Muggle the Puggle. He enjoys many of his activities as a Faculty in Residence, with a highlight being the opportunity to take South Residents to visit the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island.