Ronald C. Peterson
Ronald C. Peterson graduated from the University of Western Ontario (B.Sc. Hon., 1975) where he attended his first course in mineralogy, taught by Brian Fryer. His honours thesis, "Computer Interpretation of X-ray Diffraction Data," was supervised by John Starkey. From 1975 to 1977 he studied with Gabrielle Donnay and J.D.H Donnay at McGill University and completed his M.Sc. thesis, "The Crystal Structure Refinement of a Sulfate-rich Scapolite," under the supervision of Don Francis.
Ron completed his Ph.D. in 1980 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where he studied with Don Bloss and Paul Ribbe. His Ph.D. dissertation entitled, "Bonding in Minerals: I. Charge Density of the Aluminosilicate Polymorphs and II. Molecular Orbital Studies of Distortions in Layer Silicates," was supervised by Gerry Gibbs. In 1980 Ron was appointed assistant professor at Queen's University and assumed the teaching duties of Len Berry. In 2000, along with student Kim Gibbs, Ron built 500 rock and mineral kits and distributed them to Ontario schools to help teachers with the new Earth science curriculum.
From 1999 to 2004, Ron was the director of Distance Education and Enrichment Programs at Queen's and was responsible for bringing more than 4000 elementary and secondary school students to Queen's each year for educational outreach programs. Recently Ron's research has focused on the minerals that occur in mine waste and the properties and behaviour of these complex mineral systems. Ron and his students approach their research using a wide variety of experimental techniques and field observations.
Ron and his wife JoAnne have three children currently studying at university.