Dr. LaBlanc joined the Carroll University Environmental Science program in 2010, where she teaches classes in the curriculum related to the Earth Sciences and serves as the primary advisor for most environmental science students. She also teaches regularly in the cultural core of Carroll’s general education program, including leading students on a CCE experience in Belize. While her focus is almost entirely on teaching, Dr. LaBlanc's research interest is in using GIS to analyze landscape evolution and earth surface processes. More recently, her interests have turned to community outreach and addressing issues with GIS technology.
Areas of Specialization
Geology particularly surface processes, landforms, and sediments, Mapping and Geographic Information Systems, Weather and Climate.
Scholarly and Professional Achievements
LaBlanc, K.J. (2016). Earth Science Lab Manual. Kendall Hunt: Dubuque, IA.
Past Student Research
Cisar, Anna (2013). Mapping the Ribe Region of Kenya for Landuse Planning. Carroll University, Celebrate Carroll.
Past Meeting Abstracts
Derouin, S.A., LaBlanc, K.J., and Jennings, C.E. (2009). A GIS approach to sediment mass balance in tunnel channel systems, Lake Superior Basin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 41, n. 7, p. 213.
LaBlanc, K.J. (2005). Evaluating Theoretical Models for the Spatial Distribution of Subglacial Erosion in the Sawatch Range of Colorado. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 37, n. 5, p. 27.
LaBlanc, K.J. (2004). Glacial Dispersal Patterns and Numeric Modeling: A Combined Approach for Interpreting Large-scale Patterns of Erosion and Deposition. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 36, n. 5, p. 497.
What is your teaching style?
I am always trying to deliver a logical, clear story and to be as transparent and up-front about expectations as possible. I organize my class content so that topics fit together and build logically on one another. I also see it as my role to directly address student fears and misconceptions and to build an appreciation for science in students. I always try to make connections between classroom content and life outside the classroom. In lab exercises and assignments, I always use real and local data when available so students feel a tangible connection to their environment.
Why do you do what you do?
I became a scientist because that is the way my mind works. I am always analyzing the world and trying to figure out how things work. I chose geology as my field of study because I like working outside and in nature. I never feel more alive or at peace than when I am looking out over the ocean or hiking up a glacier. I’ve grown to love the natural areas of our world, and I worry about their future. I chose teaching as my profession because I love interacting with students and helping them discover and appreciate the world around them, and I hope I have given them the tools they need to meet the challenges ahead.
How do you make learning engaging?
I try to let my excitement and enthusiasm for class content shine through my actions. I tell goofy jokes, use non-science analogies, incorporate short videos and occasional dances, and am constantly trying new activities. I always encourage students to interrupt me with questions even if they are not totally on topic.
What should students know about you?
I love to hear from past and current students how they have seen what we talk about in class in the real world or to be asked questions about something that a student has seen or is curious about related to class. I’m an avid video gamer and have been since I was little. I also like baking and reading. My pet peeve is people who use smart devices when they are supposed to be paying attention to someone or something else.