Dr. Janis Driver Treworgy

Professor of Earth Sciences
PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
MS, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
BS, Principia College

Janis Treworgy joined the Principia faculty in the fall of 2000. She began this second career after working for 25 years at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) in Champaign, Illinois, where she was a senior geologist in the Sedimentary and Crustal Processes Section. Her research focuses on the stratigraphy, depositional environments, and structural and tectonic setting of the Paleozoic rocks of the Illinois Basin, with a focus on the upper Mississippian rocks. She leads field trips in the Alton-to-Pere Marquette area and welcomes the opportunity to share her years of experience in the area with Principia students.

Mammoth Excavation Project Director
Dr. Treworgy also directs the excavation of a mammoth found on the campus in 1999. She teaches a course in which students learn how to excavate large, but delicate, mammoth bones and clean and consolidate them in the lab. Students taking this course do nearly all the excavation and lab work. It’s a unique opportunity for both students and professor. As a result of this project, her research interests have expanded to include the Pleistocene (time of the Ice Age) and vertebrate paleontology, with a focus on Mammuthus jeffersonii.

Mongolia Abroad
Dr. Treworgy directs the geology portion of the Mongolia Abroad program in which students explore the geology and natural history of the areas they visit as well as study the culture of the country.

Teacher Education/Founder of Independent School
Janis has given workshops for K-12 teachers providing background information on mammoths and the Ice Age. Area teachers can then bring their classes to Principia to see first-hand a real mammoth excavation and bone preparation laboratory.
Prior to coming to Principia College, Dr. Treworgy collaborated with the Illinois State Board of Education to conduct geology workshops for K–12 teachers throughout Illinois. She and her colleagues designed more than 40 classroom activities, which are linked to the State Learning Standards and available in the ISGS GeoActivities Series.

In 1992, Janis co-founded a secular independent school, Countryside School, in Champaign-Urbana, which is now a flourishing K–8 school of more than 130 students.

Professor Treworgy is a member of:

  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • Geological Society of America
  • National Association of Geoscience Teachers
  • SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology)
  • National Earth Science Teachers Association
  • Council for Undergraduate Research
  • Illinois Geological Society

To learn more about Professor Treworgy and her contributions to Principia College, tune in to the “College Faculty Spotlight” Talk Show on Principia Internet Radio, linked below.