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  • Faculty

Leslie Kanat



“Dr. Leslie Kanat is a geologist with research experience in metamorphic petrology and structural geology. He received his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the University of Cambridge and was supported by Fulbright Scholarships. He studied metamorphic rocks in the Norwegian Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard, the Saualpe of Austria, and northern Vermont.

In 1987, Dr. Kanat began teaching geology courses at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Since 1989 he has taught a wide variety of undergraduate geology and computer courses at Northern Vermont University-Johnson (previously Johnson State College) where he was Professor of Geology, past Chair of the Department of Environmental and Health Sciences, and past Chair of the Faculty Assembly. He received the Vermont State Colleges Faculty Fellowship awards in 2000 and in 2004, the Johnson State College Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year award in 2004, and the Excellence in Advisor’s Award in 2003. He is a current and active member of the Geological Society of America, the National Association of Geology Teachers (past-President of the New England Chapter), and a Board Member of the Vermont Geological Society. He served as Interim Academic Dean for Northern Vermont University from 2021 through 2023.

Dr. Kanat served on the governing board of the Vermont Chapter of the Fulbright Association and was a volunteer firefighter specialist with the Underhill-Jericho Fire Department (2003 Firefighter of the Year). He was a School Board Director for the Mount Mansfield Modified Union School District (2007-2018), and in 2012 was appointed by Governor Shumlin to the Vermont State Nuclear Advisory Panel. He currently serves as the scientific advisor for Fairewinds Energy Education Corporation and as a co-Leader of the Vermont Chapter of the National Fragile X Foundation.

Dr. Kanat conducted research with students on the Jeffersonville Vermont Landslide with financial support from the Vermont Emergency Planning Grant (2016-VGS-LHRM-02). This work incorporated the use of a drone quadcopter to conduct structure from motion photogrammetric geodetic surveys with the goals of determining 1) the volume of soil loss due to erosion, and 2) the rate of ridge cutback in this region. He completed his work as a research scientist on a National Science Foundation EPSCoR grant regarding Research on Adaptation to Climate Change (NSF EPS-1101317). He was the Principal Investigator for a large National Science Foundation grant that provided significant financial support to financially needy and academically talented undergraduate science students to prepare them for graduate school and future employment by providing realistic, relevant, supportive, and challenging research and learning opportunities (NSF DUE-1153457).

Previous significant grants included a 1) National Science Foundation EPSCoR Grant to initiate a field research project investigating a newly discovered greenstone body in north central Vermont, and 2) a Vermont Genetics Network Grant (now the Vermont Biomedical Research Network) to support three students conducting research on Vermont’s snowpack and a stream restoration project. He also received support in the following areas related to computer aided instruction: 1) use of multimedia computers for college level mathematics and science courses to allow students to become actively involved in their education (1996, NSF ILI 96-50041), and 2) to develop an integrated, interactive, multimedia, computer-based geoscience curriculum for the nation’s middle schools, referred to as the Geoscience Education Through Intelligent Tutors Project (1995, NSF ESISE 94-50251).

Presently, Dr. Kanat serves as Dean for the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at Vermont State University (starting in academic year 2023/2024).”